Eternal 1989 - Michael, Sean, Stuart and Christian. Real men have two drinks (Photo: Monster Movie Facebook)
Official eternal website(1)
Welcome to the first ever Eternal site! This is the official site dedicated to a pioneering band that was at the forefront of the shoegaze scene of the early 90's, though it was never a "proper" band really. This will basically just be a page which describes the Eternal story in detail. So sit back, grab a beverage, and read on to learn of a band that never really was, yet led to so much...
Who were they?
Basically they were: Christian Savill (b. 6 Dec 1970) - guitar & vocals, Stuart Wilkinson - bass guitar, Michael Warner - drums. They had various other members who helped out with live stuff and various other things, those people were: Sean Hewson - guitar, Alan Bryden - cello, and Darren Seymour - guitar and vocals. Formed in late 1989 in Reading, England.
What did they release?
Sadly, they only released one 7". That's it. But what a release it was! Dreamy fuzzed out guitars drenched in reverb gliding over brilliant pop melodies. It was way before its time, highly underrated and unappreciated, and was heavily influencial to shoegaze bands to follow. Slowdive even did a cover of "sleep", although they never released it. The 7" was released on Sarah records in 1990, approximately 2000 copies were pressed. On it were three tracks recorded in February 1990, entitled "breathe", "sleep", and "take me down". Being admittedly inept at recording and low on money, they had to record the single and mix it in about 5 hours. The original demos for those tracks were recorded in December 1989 at White House Studio, Weston-Super-Mare. Oddly enough, the original unreleased demos actually sound like better mixes than the released versions, but again this is most likely due to the hurried nature of the seven inch's recording session. In addition, the cover got screwed up in the printing process and wasn't supposed to look like the messy red and yellow collage that it turned out to be. Two songs from the 7" ("sleep" and "breathe") were also released in CD format on a Sarah records compilation album called Glass Arcade. Click here to see the Eternal discography complete with cover scans. They did have other songs (one of which they ended their one and only gig with, more on that in a bit) but unfortunately never got it together to actually release an album. The band soon disbanded and everyone went their separate ways.
Did they ever play live?
Yes actually they did, but only once. It was sometime in 1990 (the exact date seems to escape everyone's memory), at a now nonexistent little club called Cartoon's in Reading, England. The capacity for this club was said to be about 50 people, and there were about 30 people at the show. It was a triple bill with Eternal, Slowdive, and Chapterhouse (quite an incredible show!!). Eternal played 4 tunes; all the songs from the 7" and an unreleased song at the end. There was a lot of tuning up between songs, sometimes lasting several minutes. When they went to play "sleep", it was so horribly out of tune that after about 45 seconds in they all stopped, the crowd giggled, and Christian went back to his lengthy tuning-up process, whereupon a minute or two later they burst into "sleep" anew and this time it sounded perfect. The songs translated very well live, but one did get the impression they were a bit nervous (understandably) and perhaps not as well rehearsed as possible.
What happened after Eternal?
Darren soon went on to join the band Seefeel in 1992 as a bassist, and they released a bunch of great albums. He has subsequently worked with the likes of Mark Van Hoen (aka Locust) in an experimental collaborative effort under the name Aurobindo, as well as other Seefeel offshoots such as Disjecta and Scala (also with Van Hoen). He is still active in music today, in various capacities. The whereabouts of Stuart, Michael, and Alan, and what they did after Eternal is unknown to me. As for Christian, upon answering an ad for a guitarist placed by a little known band named Slowdive, he soon joined up and Slowdive went on to release 3 glorious albums and 6 equally glorious EPs from 1990 to 1995. He actually recorded one last Eternal song in 1992, during the recording session for Slowdive's "souvlaki" album. This was a short, brilliant little acoustic track called "remember". It was never released, and it undoubtedly never will be. After Slowdive broke up in late 1994, Christian took a break from music. He spent some time in Finland and dreamed of taking about 60,000GBP and moving to Rovaniemi in Northern Finland, living quietly designing websites and recording songs in a little home studio. This dream never materialised, the main reason being Christian didn't have that kind of money! So, he got married to a girl from Philadelphia he met in 1993 on Slowdive's USA tour, and settled back into Reading. He recently relocated to London in September 2000. He has spent the past few years working as a web designer. Christian and Sean had been doing music on and off during this time, but nothing really serious. Round December 1999 they got the idea to actually make another record, in essence an Eternal revival band. Well, not quite. Originally they wanted to call their group B-Movie, but after finding that to be the name of a pre-Soft Cell band they settled on their second choice, which was Monster Movie. Christian once wrote me about this, saying "Man, one very shitty band called 'b-movie' is bad enough, but two very shitty bands called 'b-movie' is too much, we'll change it to 'Monster Movie' probably". To see some early ideas for cover art while they were still called B-movie, click here. Other band names considered were Venkman and Schroeder. In April 2001, eleven years after the Eternal 7" came out, Monster Movie released its first EP on Clairecords, an excellent 5 song record with definite traces of the Eternal sound of old.
Special thanks to Christian Savill and Nick Dyer for their contributions to this page! This page was created on 15 April 2001.
(1) All the information on this page was taken from the "Official Eternal Website" created by John Kupchik. The site was hosted in Geocities.com and it can't be accesed anymore since Geocities.com was shutted down.