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Eternal Decision

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One of the bands from the US underground is Eternal Decision. This metalband celebrated recently its successes on MP3.com with the song Blindsided. This song eventually reached #1 in the metal chart and #1 in the power metal chart. Here's an interview with the band about their MP3 successes and their independent position.

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Interview with: Tommy Torres (guitars) & Kirk Campbell (drums)

Date: May 23rd 2000

Where: This is an E-mail interview. Date refers to date first E-mail answer

Other Band-members: Joe Chambless (bass, lead vocals), Cory Boatright (guitar)

Band's Geographical Home: Oklahoma, USA

Discography: Eternal Decision (1997), Ghost In The Machine (1999)

Available Through: Godfather Records

Official Website: Eternal Decision

Interview By: mpo

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First of all, congratulations with the success of the song Blindsided in the metal-sections on MP3.com. This is a song from last year's independent Ghost
In The Machine album. Is there interest from record labels because of this
success?

Kirk: We received an e-mail from a Columbia Records A&R guy and sent our "Ghost in the Machine CD to them. We haven't heard anything back though. We've spoken to Metal Blade briefly and sent our promo pack to them also.

Tommy: Alot of the contacts we've had from the MP3 thing are people who have purchased or wish to purchase our CD's, as well as other zines for reviews and interviews and people who want booking information. MP3.com has helped us out quite a bit for getting our music out and listenable.

In what way does MP3.com help the band?

Tommy: Basically, it has let alot of people who may have never heard of us get a chance to check out the music and get acquainted with the band.

The band is now on Godfather Records which is basically the band's label.
I have been thinking about what kind of label Eternal Decision would fit in
with but apart from the tiny, independent labels I couldn't think of any.
Where would you like to see the band being signed or are you satisfied with
an independent position?

Kirk: Right now we wouldn't consider anything but signing with a major
label. We have not actively sought out any labels. When there has been a
possible open door, we have tested it, but that's all. Since most of the
bands on GodFather Records are new bands, we really need the exposure that
Eternal Decision has received to carry the label until the other bands get
established. We have all confidence that God will work out his will through Eternal Decision and GodFather Records. If it is according to his will, it is all the same to us whether we reach a few thousand or a million. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is in a Christian Music Industry band. He said that their manager told him he HAD to cut his hair to fit a certain image. It's hard for me to believe this stuff goes on in Christian music, but it happens all the time. There's one thing I can say about the bands on GodFather Records. They are all about doing God's work and not what kind of image they are putting out. They are for real. What you see is what you get.

Tommy: The thing that has always been with our band, is that
when we try to do something and make something happen for US, it usually
doesn't happen. So we have learned a long time ago, that God will open doors
for us. So as far as seeing this band signed with anybody else other than
where we are at now, then it will be God making that available to us.

On the website I read about something strange. It was about a Metallica
live-album, a bootleg, but it contained the song Hunger from Eternal
Decision's debut-CD. How did this happen?

Tommy: We are not sure how it happened. Emails started coming in about rumors that "Hunger" was on a Metallica bootleg CD, being distributed in South America. We haven't heard the CD, but people have emailed us saying that they have. Apparently someone just put a live crowd track in the background of Hunger, making it seem like Metallica are playing the song live. It was obviously someone trying to make some money, and deceived people into believing it was Metallica. I would say that I am worried about Metallica finding out about this and thinking that we had anything to do with it, but I guess this bootleg CD is small potatoes in comparison to the legal stuff they are dealing with right now.

You mean the Napster thing. But why are you worrying about the bootleg small potatoe? It could be interesting if they found out because it might draw a lot of attention to Eternal Decision. Or do you look at this from a different angle?

Tommy: I just wouldn't want them to think that we had any collaboration with whoever put the bootleg together. Other than that, I'm not really worried about anything. This sort of thing probably happens with them so much though, that it probably wouldn't bother them to much.

That bootleg CD is not really strange as the band has been plagued with a
Metallica stigma, as I perceive it. What do you think of that?

Kirk: It's true that many have compared us with Metallica. Some have even
considered us rip-offs. We have NEVER intentually tried to sound like them.
We even tried not to sound like them on the last album. We won't do that
again though. We are going to get the sound we want and if it sounds like old
Metallica, then we will live with the consequences. There is not one Metallica riff on either album. Eternal Decision wrote every riff, every melody line and every lyric. 

Tommy: I don't even care about the comparisons anymore. I know it's mainly because of the way Joe's vocals sound, that we get compared to Metallica. There is nothing we can or will do about it. This is the way we sound. Most of the music is written by Kirk, Cory and I. And I know neither one of us have even listened to Metallica in a few years. We write what we like. There is no telling where the overall direction is going to go for the next album. We never plan it, we just write what comes naturally.

Eternal Decision is often referred to as a Christian band. But I know there are all kinds of Christians and so are there all kinds of Christian bands. Where do you see the band in the whole spectrum?

Tommy: Basically we are here to tell people about God in a very real way. We all go through experiences, good and bad, just like anybody else.  The first album was viewed by us as the way that a Christians relationship with God should be. And Ghost in the Machine's songs are about how some relationships probably actually are. The songs deal with different issues like, addictions, family genetics, divorce, friends that stray away from God, things that have affected us as a band. It is very important for us to be honest with our listeners about where we are at and how we are doing. Heck, we need for you to pray for us just as much as we need to be playing these songs as a ministry tool. As a result, our listeners have contacted us about things that they are going through, and that a particular song spoke to them and helped them through some tough times. Ultimately, we want God to minister through our songs. Alot of non-Christians have even been emailing us about how some of the songs are helping and speaking to them.

How then do you write your songs? First the lyrics and add music to them later on, or first the music?

Tommy: Usually, we always start with the music. Sometimes Kirk will come up with a vocal melody line that we write music around. But the majority of the time we have all the music for the song finished, then the vocals come into play.

Speaking about writing songs, Ghost In The Machine was last year's release. What I know is you're working on new songs for a follow-up. Can you tell more about that?

Tommy: Songs are in the works all the time. I'm not even sure at this point how many we have been working on. The song writing is getting better and better for us. Well, in my opinion it's the best stuff we have written yet. Of course, everybody says that, so as far as how things are sounding, we will just have to wait. I hope to be in the studio before the years end. We were hoping to be recording by the end of summer, but we are really spending time with the songs and making sure we have the best ones to record and not settle for anything that is just ok. Things have been very busy working with the band and Godfather Records.

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