The End

author PP date 21/03/07

It never seizes to amaze me how many astonishingly great bands the Ontario, Canada music scene is able to produce. The End is one of those that previously has sailed under the radar for most Europeans, but is finally starting to get the attention they need through increasing promotion overseas from Relapse. They've released an amazing album in "Elementary" earlier this year, so it was only natural to get a hold of the band for some more in-depth questions about the album. The band had their guitarist/lyricist Andrew Hercules sit down at a computer and complete our email questionnare, and against all expecations, returned a much more informative and thought out response to us than most bands tend to do, even if he doesn't quite understand the meaning of the word "sentence" fully [;)]. If you haven't checked this band out before reading this interview, now is the time. Hello! First of all I'd like to thank you for doing this interview with us, our editorial staff has been going crazy over your newest album "Elementary" in the past weeks. But yet there are a couple of readers who I'm sure haven't heard of The End before, so can you please introduce yourself and your band to them?
We are a collection of thoughts and ideas that goes by the name The End. Our main product is music. We have recently released three albums since we were formed in 1999. You can usually find us in the Toronto, Ontario Canada area. "Elementary" is your newest release - you must be more than happy how it turned out. What do you think of the album? If you had just four sentences to describe all of it, what would you say?
It. Kicks. Much. Ass. If I told you that your vocalist Aaron sounds a LOT like Dustin Kensrue in "Vheissu" by Thrice, what would you respond?
I would say that Dustin Kensrue is a very talented young man. I find it extremely interesting how many different influences are audible on the album. On one hand you think of bands like Every Time I Die and Converge, but on the other hand especially "The Never Ever Aftermath" sounds a lot like Thrice. What do you think yourself? Who do you sound like the most, and which bands inspired/influenced the writing of "Elementary"?
Everything we’ve ever heard influences us, not just the stuff we like. The stuff we don’t like acts as a reminder of what not to do and that’s also important. We mostly listen to rock bands, but other than that it’s all up in the air. There really is something to be learned from everything. As far as our own style goes we would just like our name to be idiosyncratic with our own sound, that to me is the true measure of success. "Elementary" is a colossal leap forward from your sophomore album "Within Dividia" - what happened between that album and this one in the songwriting process? I ask this because "Elementary" has improved in every single aspect by leaps and bounds from the past two albums - how on earth did this happen?
Focus, as a band we knew we wanted to do something different and it was an unyielding commitment towards acheiving that goal that made it possible. The hardest part was knowing that perhaps some of our fans might even be turned off by some of the evolutionary changes, but every true achievement involves some risk, besides The End has always been about the ideal of change. Balance also fits in there too somewhere, but that’s a whole other can of larva entirely. The album has a lot of contrasting points, with plenty of heavy tracks opposing the more soothing ones. Was this done on purpose to brutalize the aggressive parts and to make the soft parts sound even more beautiful than normally, or did it just 'kind of happen'? Which do you prefer yourself?
I think you’ve summed up the answer in the question. The truly interesting things in albums that I’ve been a fan of for years and years, is the variety. Contrast is a very valuable songwriting tool, On elementary we realized that we didn’t have to put everything into one song, but rather focus on something specific for a song and really nurture that idea rather than crowd it with so many others. That way I think it impacts more, but that’s not a rule. Here's a question about the cover artwork of the album. If I'm looking at it correctly you have a gigantic pyramid in the middle of a city. Can you expand on the artwork a little bit?
Well, what you have there is an idol figure and there are a few ways of looking at it. The surronding city is in ruins almost as if time itself has eroded the buildings, while the pyramid itself stands tall and seemingly undaunted. The pyramid/idol can represent beliefs and ideal the things that humans believe to be eternal. Religion is a good example of that. Civilizations have come and gone and those ideals remain. Within the pyramid itself there is an exclamation mark which makes the central image akin to that of the danger/warning sign or on product labels as well. It’s i guess about the overwhelming power of the ideal. You are currently signed to Relapse, who have an incredibly wide-ranging roster. How do you think you as a band fit into their mainly extreme-music roster? How many albums do you have left with the label and how is it working with them?
I don’t think we would fit on a label that didn’t have an extreme sensibility and Relapse has been with us for a few years, so it feels like home. Almost all songs on the album have absolutely massive build ups that have ridiculously big 'explosion' points. Now I haven't seen you play live yet, but my imagination goes wild when I think of how those transfer through in a live atmosphere. Tell us about The End's liveshow.
The funny thing is I’ve never seen our live show, that is to say I’ve seen video’s of us playing, but I’ve never got to experience it. From what I’ve heard it’s a good time. To me if you don’t feel it then what’s the point. We’re in this band because we love music and that’s it. You’ll just have to be there to know for sure. That leads me into my next question. When do we get to see The End in Denmark? Or anywhere in the Europe for that matter? We are awaiting eagerly...
I can guarantee before the end of the year that we will be overseas so it will happen. We had an amazing time the last time we were there, not in Denmark, but in Europe and now that we know we’re wanted there, we really have no reason not to. Lets take a few steps back and move onto a little bit more general questions. You originate from Ontario, Canada, which has one of the most vivid music scenes in the entire world. Bands like Boys Night Out, Alexisonfire, Cancer Bats and others stem from the same scene as you (all which are also among our favorite bands), so I'm excited to hear your thoughts on why exactly Ontario seems to have a constant flow of bands that are not only fantastic, but like yourselves, are immensely different from what's trendy and seem to all have a unique identity?
I think that about ten or so years ago we had a really strong underground music scene in southern ontario and most of the bands you mentioned there were all products of that. There was something about seeing amazing bands in small venues and playing for the love of music, plus there was so much creativity in that genre. You set that up in somewhere like Mississauga and Oakville which are huge suburban sprawls of a major city like Toronto and you end up having a lot of talented and able musicians who can afford to be in bands and therefore do so with a level of commitment. Competition never hurts either. I think some other mentionables would be Cursed, Moneen, Silverstein, Protest the Hero and Death from Above 1979. What are you guys listening to right now other than the bands mentioned just before? And what were you listening to when writing "Elementary"?
A lot of stuff. This is the era of the iPod so we’re all pretty much listening to the bulk of our music collections at any given time, but specifically we did start listening to some older material that we hadn’t listened to in a while old grunge era stuff and classic rock. As a last question, I'd like to hear about your future plans as a band - where do you see yourselves in five years?
Working hard as fuck. That’s the only prize really ....oh no, what have I gotten myself into?

comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII