Interview with Dirk Stühmer, Eternal Reign (May 20, 2005)

Tell us a few things about the group; How did you meet? And when?
Dirk -
Hi, my name is Dirk Stühmer and I am the lead singer of the German Melodic-Power-Metal-Band ETERNAL REIGN. We are from Bremen in northern Germany.

We started out in 1997 working under the name PERFACT CRIME and won a local band contest in 1999. After that we got the chance to record our first demo CD called “Crimetime”. Our song “Perfect Crime” opened the Rock Hard Magazine’s “Unerhört” sampler and we played numerous gigs at small festivals and supported US metal legend BREAKER and the hard rockers from AXE. All this resulted in a contract with TTS Media Music, who, in 2002, released the "Crimes Of Passion" CD. The reactions on the album were very positive and after we’ve recorded our second album “Forbidden Path”, we signed the contract with LMP.

Did any of the band members play in bands before Eternal Reign?
Dirk - We all played in different bands before ETERNAL REIGN. Our guitarist Mick founded SECRECY, but he left the band before their first release. He also played with FINAL PROPHECY and INVADER. Our bass player and our drummer played together in a band called EXPLODER, who also released an album. I sang in different cover bands before I started with ETERNAL REIGN.

Tell us about the recording of “Forbidden Path”; Where did you record it? Who was the producer? Are you satisfied with the final result?
Dirk - We recorded “Forbidden Path” in a three week recording session at TTS Media Music. TTS was our first label and they have their own studio near Bremen. We chose the studio because of the nearness to Bremen and because we knew the studio from our first album “Crimes Of Passion”. The music was recorded during the first ten days and we spent the rest of the time to mix the album. J.R.Friede was the producer and owner of the TTS studio and we already knew the way he works. I think he made a very good job! All in all we’re satisfied with our performance on “Forbidden Path”. Of course, afterwards there are always some things you would like to change or parts that could have done better, but that seems to be normal and we'll have the chance to improve our work on the next album.

To what subjects do the lyrics of Eternal Reign refer to, and who writes them? Who writes to music?
Dirk - The main ideas concerning the music came from our guitarist Mick Sebastian, but of course he needs the whole band to develop the songs. So during the song writing everybody gives input to the new material. I am responsible for the lyrics and the vocal lines. Some of the lyrics are just fiction but I’m also influenced by personal experiences or situations everybody goes through. I try to work a lot with metaphors. The song “Nightstalker” is based on the story of “Interview with a Vampire”, which is one of my favorite movies. My favorite song on the album is "Edge Of The World". The song is speaking of reality and has a very personal meaning. It's about a person who stood very close to me.

How did you secure the deal with Limb? Is it a worldwide deal?
Dirk - Our first record deal was for only one album and so after the debut album we decided to look for an alternative. We are happy with the contract with Limb Music. The label is well known in Europe and they’re doing a lot of promotion for their bands. Of course they also have a lot of experience working with metal bands. I think we made the right decision.

Your first album was released by the TTS label, great album small label, how did that work out?
Dirk - Our first label TTS was a very small indie label and of course they were a little limited with their support for the bands. As I mentioned before, it was a contract for only one album and so we got in contact with Limb.

Please tell our readers what kind of music Eternal Reign plays, and what are your influences?
Dirk - Our sound is leaning more towards US metal than towards the typical European power metal sound. The main influences are bands like Vicious Rumors, Queensrÿche or Jag Panzer. During the song writing progress we don’t think about sounding like one of these influences, but that’s the music we like to listen to and that’s why our music might sound not typical European. Some people trying hard to define the sound/influences in your music, which is an indication for us that ETERNAL REIGN has its own unique sound.

What can we expect from an Eternal Reign live show?
Dirk - ETERNAL REIGN is a typical live band, because the songs working really well live. We put a lot of energy into our gigs and many people say that we’re sounding much harder playing live than on our CD’s. You will have to check us out!

Are there any plans for an Eternal Reign tour?
Dirk - Yet there's nothing planned concerning a tour. We already had an offer to take part in a tour in spring this year, but unfortunately it wasn't possible for personal reasons to make it happen. We'll wait and see what will happen in the near future. We will promote our album with some concerts during the first half of 2005. In autumn we will start writing new songs for our third album and hopefully enter the studio in 2006.

I know that “Forbidden Path” has just been released, but how are the reactions so far?
Dirk - The latest reviews in the internet and the print media showed us that we can't be wrong with our album "Forbidden Path". All of the reviews were pretty good and many magazines asked for interviews. We got a lot more press for this album than for our first release "Crimes Of Passion".

Can we expect a vinyl release of “Forbidden Path”?
Dirk - No, I don’t think so, because as far as I’m informed, LMP only releases CD’s.

What do you think of the metal scene of today?
Dirk - I think the international metal scene is pretty much alive, which is fantastic. Every month there are a hundred new releases of all the different styles of heavy metal, but only a band with a unique sound and good compositions will stand out among the other releases. I think ETERNAL REIGN will take their chance.

Please give me a list of your 5 favorite albums of all time.

Dirk -

  • Queensrÿche - Operation : Mindcrime

  • Metallica - Master Of Puppets

  • Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast

  • Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

  • The Police - Synchronicity

Add if you like any final words to our readers.
Dirk -
Check out our website at to sign our guestbook and listen to "Forbidden Path"'s gonna kick your ass!
Thanks for your time, hope to see you on tour.

Thanks a lot for your interest in ETERNAL REIGN
Dirk Stühmer

Eternal Reign - Forbidden Path

Album out on LIMP Music.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Eternal Reign.