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EndAnd
The lost art of 90s rock
by: Tracy Mamoun - October 5, 2012

 



With one album to their name, a second in the making, and already a sizeable fan base, EndAnd are the outsiders to keep an eye on. Thoughtfully split between polished recordings and DIY methods, their Adventures of Fi in Space cross the paths of bands like Nirvana or Queens of the Stone Age, finding on their way this tricky balance between aesthetic satisfaction, pop sensibility, and a dedication to hard rocking. Pulling through power chords and fuzzed-up weirdness with a strongly disarming sensitivity, they've managed to reach some unexplored confines of 90s heritage, off the beaten tracks, where everything you thought you knew just suddenly sounds a little peculiar.

A little about the making of the two EPs that constitute your album, 'Adventures of Fi in Space' - was splitting the recording something you had in mind from the beginning or did the idea come up once you had all the material?

D.F- I set out to release a full Lo-Fi LP (adventures of Fi is available all in Lo-Fi with two additional songs) with a Hi-Fi follow up EP. I decided it was redundant and just cut some songs out to settle on current "Adventures"

B.F.- I jumped into the band after recording was complete, but personally thought the separation was perfect. Both Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi recordings appeal to my tastes, but had they been intermingled within song order, it may have seemed less intentional. The intention of having the Lo-Fi tracks sound as they do is just as appealing to me as the sound itself.

In this project, you kept all the louder, heavier tracks for the polished, 'Hi-Fi' EP - what would you say are the main risks when recording noise rock/punk/hardcore etc. in DIY fashion?

D.F- The melodies could be swallowed up by sounds, get entangled by unwelcome pitches. It can be too noisy to make anything out. It's easier to contain and isolate noise in a Hi-Fi recording or capture the "right" noise with the many microphones that are present, capturing sounds and different tones from many angles. Ultimately, it's all about the engineer who should know when something is too polished, pitchy, empty sounding. Willie Chen did an excellent job being the Lo-Fi engineer. He was working with the bare minimum which his philosophy explains is advantageous to forcing one to be  better with less. I had the chance to experiment doing bedroom recordings myself which some proved to be a success that will not repeat itself under any mastery. Meanwhile Dan Kramer just seems to know what to do with more options and with surgical focus. Surgical focus is a great GBV song by the way. 

B.F.- Recording DIY almost always creates an issue with clarity of parts. Noise Rock & Punk, being already chaotic & abrasive, have the risk of being degraded in quality until nuance is indistinguishable. However, with these recordings, I feel like the parts are still capable of being heard individually despite the choice in recording process, thanks to having skilled people tracking, mixing, & mastering the release.

If there have been, since the sixties, many occasions for pessimists to claim that rock and roll had died, most everyone seems to find the end of the 90s- which is the decade you guys reference most -  to be a definite cutting point. What do you find went wrong from there?

D.F- everything! There's good music in every decade that gets blasted in the face by mediocrity. Anything to keep grand delusions and money rolling. We hope the age of grandeur for rock and pop dies off and leaves room for the modest intake of real musicians. No one deserves to make such a fat profit off of music... That's silly stuff. If musicians got paid what they deserve, then delusions of fame would subside with the reality of modest living, real musicians would be making a living today instead of starving while the obscene personalities of today's theatrical music world wouldn't exist. Also, truth be told, it seems rock these days is a big no no unless its recycled to its "raw and vintage" taste of the years of yawn. Or it can't be edgy unless it's some proper punk rip off. It can't be poppy without an unhealthy amount of reverb. It's not sensitive enough unless its done with an acoustic guitar. What happened to rock a la Queens of The Stone Age? Jay Reatard. And why didn't Polvo make bigger waves with their unbelievably good release of In Prism? 

B.F-Same thing that is going wrong today unfortunately. Anything genuine is processed & marketied until it becomes pure shit. Kinda like fast food, tastes good for the many, but substantive internal value of each is utterly obliterated the more it's made. Unique elements of flavor once distinct become emulated, over-produced, & bland. Quality suffers for mass consumption. Music is the food of life, makes sense the same would be true. Those in charge of putting out the shit, music or food, have a corrupted view of what "good" is, and often it has little to do with what originally was good about the product. In other words, business destroys creation by construing its main purpose to be profit, and business profits rather than the consumer, or in music's case, the listener. The most-heard mainstream evidence of that time period I think is certainly the plethora of Eddie Vedder impersonators that took what was arguably a definable vocal quality and bastardized it. Eventually we ended up with fucking Creed... and that's quite unforgivable.

Who directed the video for 'Commando'? 

D.F. He wishes to remain anonymous. That's silly....

To end with, let's hear about your next album,  'Mechanics and Energetics of Stilt-Running' - where will this 'adventure' be taking us?

D. F- this album is just the beginning of EndAnd. This is where us three started and finished writing songs together in our beloved King Killer studios. This is where each member was responsible for his own part from the start. We threw ideas at each other and interpreted it our own way. This album is also more accurately defined as hardcore or punk, yet we promise versatility. We got songs from 45 seconds in length aallll the way to...3:00! 

B.F-Certainly somewhere new, that's for sure. It develops more from the heavy Hi-Fi side of things, but new influences are highly evident inward & out. The funny thing is, although unintentional, it'll probably fall more within the classifications of the way our sound has been previously described: more punk at most times, more noise than before, more math in certain spots, yet still often pure & simple rock, still emotive in lyrical content & the nature of its performance. "Energetics..." is also much more comprised of the work of all three members of the group. The first album was largely a beautiful adaptation of Dan's work done with a team of our friends & peers. This effort has songs written with elements written by all members. Individual parts were more often than not the product of their players, which serves to more authentically replicate the roles we play in the band on the record itself. It's a bit harder in sound, and perhaps for some will be harder in difficulty to grasp, but for those familiar with our current line-up & live work, it will make perfect sense that the "adventure" leads EndAnd to a more ferocious frontier. 



 
 

It seems rock these days is a big no no unless its recycled to its "raw and vintage" taste of the years of yawn. Or it can't be edgy unless it's some proper punk rip off.




EndAnd
"Adventures Of Fi In Space"




what it is

Maximus et Minimus Roxamus. For those who like: Melvins, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age



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