Summon: How did the band get started?
Damian: Nate (guitar, vocals) and Tou (guitar) have known each other forever and were in a band together back in high school, which is when I (drums) first met them. We’ve all been in bands along the way, but never the three of us together. Around 2010, Tou started playing guitar again and wanted to start playing heavy shit. At that time, Nathan and I were playing together in another band, and also wanted to get into playing heavier shit. So we essentially started Eternal Khan as a side project.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Damian: I think we’re essentially a metal band that draws heavily from black and doom metal as well as a bit of thrash.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Damian: The fan response…it’s been very positive overall, but I need to qualify that statement as I’m not sure how much of a fan base we actually have. We have a modest share of followers on Twitter and friends on facebook and we’ve sold some CD’s. These days it’s easy for bands to reach everywhere without even leaving the basement or garage, so we’ve actually popped up on the radar in the UK, Spain, Serbia, Poland, Brazil, Italy, etc. But, if we were to play a show locally here in Providence (which we are currently pursuing), I can’t say what type of draw we’d have.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Nathan: Tou suggested a few ideas based on Genghis Khan and the Mongolian Steppe tribes which piqued our interests. We then narrowed it down and found something we felt was a fit to our music aesthetically. Genghis Khan’s historical legacy is one of destruction and genocide, but simultaneously order and progress. We found out later that 0.5% of the world’s population is said to be descended from him which is fascinating. Our civilization today still bears the fruit and scars of his conquest.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band. Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Nathan: Tou plays guitar and was the prime mover in getting us together. Damian plays drums and writes all of the lyrics. I am the vocalist and play guitar; I am also responsible for the technical aspects involved in the recordings. Tou often provides the initial spark in writing new material, but all of the music is written collaboratively.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Damian: The lyrical inspiration and themes come from experiences I’ve had, books I’ve read, and my own introspective thoughts. We explore war, folklore and mythology, and a host of existential and epistemic questions and themes. I usually develop a theme or notion in my mind of what I want to write about or what would be an interesting way to address a very common theme, subject, or emotion. I try to craft the lyrics in such a way that they play off of and complement the mood and arrangement of the music, that way it all comes together in a complete picture. I also try to tell a cohesive story with lyrics from start to finish, rather than just throwing words into the songs. My primary contribution to the band is the lyrics, in my opinion.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Damian: Occultism doesn’t play a direct role in our music or world-view, however there are aspects of the occult that are quite interesting. For example, “Forbidden Aeons” is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s, Call of Cthuhlu, which is heavily based and influenced by occult lore. So that’s about as significant a role occultism plays in our music. You’ll probably never hear a song in reference to Satan or Satanism or anything that depicts the devil as the head of an organized school of worship…unless the song actually has to do with Jesus or the Christian bible. Otherwise we prefer to remain more primitive and elemental when referring to evil or primordial forces and entities.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Nathan: We have a two-song demo from 2012 and released our EP, A Primitive History this year. They are both available as digital downloads on our Bandcamp page: http://eternalkhan.com. We also sell a physical CD that combines both releases.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Damian: “The Deity” explores the birth of Christ. Not the actual physical birth some celebrate on Christmas, but the mythical birth that came about at the plotting and carrying out of his crucifixion. The song affirms that, at bottom, Christ was just a man and that his proponents and his antagonists alike breathed life into the notion of his Divine nature. Musically, it is very moody, a bit haunting, and dynamic all at once.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Damian: No. We’ve really hit our groove now with Eternal Khan and we’re very happy to just work on this.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Nathan: Early metal and the second wave of black metal, primarily. We also listen to a range of music outside of the genre which I’m sure influences the writing in a more subtle way.
Summon: Which current bands?
Nathan: Agalloch, Mastodon, Pallbearer, Negative Plane, Watain, Faustcoven, Windhand, and Tool, to name a few. We’re also into Pilgrim who hail from our home state (Rhode Island).
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Nathan: Our sound is quite different from the recordings since we do not play with a bassist. We adjust the guitar sounds in those environments to take advantage of the open space that is available in the lower frequency ranges. We actually prefer our live sound compared to the production on the recordings. We’d like our future releases to reflect that a bit more.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Damian: No, not yet. There’s nothing like that on the horizon, but we’d love exploit that opportunity if given the chance. We need to generate more of a following and interest.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually? How is the crowd response when you play?
Nathan: We’ve only played a single show at this point, so that’s difficult to answer. We’ve just recently decided to shift from writing/recording to doing live performances for a bit.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene? What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Nathan: At this point, I think it’s unimportant where a band is from and what scenes they are associated with. The only thing that matters is the music. There are many bands out there taking the genre in new directions, and others paying homage to the classic styles of past decades. I don’t like all of it, but I must say it is a great time for underground metal.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Nathan: Bölzer (Switzerland) and Sadgiqacea (Philly) have my attention of late. My favorite releases so far this year are Bloodlands by Ash Borer and The Underground Resistance by Darkthrone.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Nathan: We’ve completed two new songs since the EP was released in the spring. We are currently rehearsing for live performances so writing new material will come slower. We plan to release a follow-up to A Primitive History in the first half of 2014.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Nathan: We’re just starting to get some exposure through word of mouth and have recently generated some label interest. We’re exploring our options now, there are many possibilities.
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