Mar 2, 2012

Ender Interview


You're looking for a new vocalist. How has this process been going? Has it been easy/hard, painstaking/enjoyable? Will it affect the style of music you play?

Sal: Whenever looking for a new member, it's always hectic no matter what the position. But, it's all a process and unfortunately this process set us back a little more than what we wanted. We aren't just looking for anybody. So yes, to find that person has been very hectic at times and truthfully we wouldn't want it any other way. As far as the music goes, we don't intend to change it. It's one of those things that you just can't force.

Danny: The process has been lengthy. It's been about a year since we have been searching for the right guy, and the key is to find the right guy. This pause for Ender comes at a time where we wanted to take a time out to write and record a bunch of new material, but we didn’t want it to be this long! We're being extremely picky about the vocalists so we don’t have to go through this for a third time! We've had two singers already.

Mark: It's been tough because we didn't want to settle. We want this new record to be a strong one. The time it took finding a vocalist actually worked in our favor though because we got to really mess around and experiment with our sound. I think it was really beneficial in establishing who ENDER is musically.

Casey: The process in general has been painstaking for sure. But thats what happens when you want a certain sound that you want to fit. Definitely wont be affecting the music we already have written in my opinion unless they have ideas they want to throw at us.

Lance: Finding a new member of the band that can fill the role of a frontman is always a challenge. Sometimes you find someone who just "clicks" but other times it's a lot of trial and error. You go through the motions, and sometimes you'll get to the last step before finalizing a decision and then ONE thing messes it up completely. Then you're back to square one. The thing with a finding a frontman is that, for the most part, it's a lot of changing as far as styles are concerned because it's not like you can tune a guy's voice down, or buy a new amp and "fix" it. You work with what you have.

What are your musical influences?

Sal: Well, as a guitar player Dimebag Darrel and Pantera really influenced me in my earlier years of music. Now a days it's very hard to find influences without being categorized as a copy. So I try to stay as true to the roots as I can but I also still try to stay current.

Danny: I listen to a lot of different artists; From Korn, Slipknot, Deftones, Lady GaGa, Lil Wayne, New Found Glory, Molotov Solution, Legend, Every Time I Die. We all have very eclectic taste in music.

Mark: Saves The Day, the new Legend record, Molotov Solution, the new Liferuiner, Acacia Strain, the new Veil of Maya. 

Casey: Personally I have been listening to Meshuggahs "Nothing" and "Catch Thirty Three" albums more than anything. But other than that I have to say the new Suffokate has caught my attention.

Lance: I personally have to throw myself into a lot of genres because I used to be a session musician. Country, Rock, Rap, Metal, etc.. For my own leisure, I like to listen to a lot of old school and contemporary jazz and blues (Django Reindhart, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Freddie King) and 90s RnB and hip-hop (Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Usher, etc.) weird mixes of heavier stuff (Volumes, Structures, For The Fallen Dreams, To The Lions, In Flames, Scar Symmetry, etc.)

If you could tour with any 3 bands, active or not, who would they be, and why?

Sal: Pantera, Meshuggah, Korn. All 3 bands changed their genre of music in their own way as individuals. Certainly not worrying about what was cool or what the trend was. To me, that speaks louder than the music. Smart, though tout bands are the ones that stick around even when they break up.

Danny: First and foremost Korn! Slipknot, and Motley Crue. I just hope I'd be able to remember any of the Motley Crue tour.

Mark: The Acacia Strain, Terror, Emmure. 

Casey: I would definitely want to tour with Meshuggah! Thats the top one. Most likely Slipknot of course, the exposure there would be amazing. And the third would have to be Hatebreed.

Lance: This one is interesting. I'd want to tour with: - Lamb of God: I hear those guys know how to have good times on the road - Destruction of a King: Even though we did already, they were really fun guys and made a harsh tour a little easier - Killswitch Engage: Adam is hilarious. 

What kind of direction can we expect on your next album, compared to your last one? Will it remain mainly the same, or will we see a drastic change?

Sal: The direction of the next album is nothing short of progression. We are working, trying to set ourselves aside with new and thought-out things. Change is a must but not so drastic that we will abandon our fans that have grown to love us through "This is Revenge". I'd like to call this a theme album, which I'm very excited about, but still to early to say.

Danny: This new material has so much more depth to it then anything off of our last record. Were picking the speed up a bit at times, as well. It’s still really heavy. It’s just going to be a heavy record. It will still have that Ender feel to them as well.

Mark: I think there will be a rather drastic change. Nothing too drastic that will deter fans of the old record. There is still a familiar style and feel from the old record, however I think this record takes Ender to a new level. I think the whole structure and feel is drastic. We really had the time to try out new things and define ourselves. The material that came out of this new record surprised me, in a good way. The new stuff makes me never want to play the old stuff! I just hope people feel the same.

Casey: You are going to see a whole different side of us in terms of writing style. Where the old album was slower, this one will take some drastic tempo changes. It’s definitely more mature in terms of structure and has a different flair overall.

Lance: It's going to be pretty different. Some of the stuff pays homage to the first one (even though I don't think you can pay homage to yourself) where people can tell it's us, but there're a lot of nuances that have changed drastically as we explored new methods to write and achieve the sound we have now.

What do you think of the current deathcore scene and trends? Anything from the music to the style to how people react to certain music. Are you happy with it? What would you like to see change?

Sal: Credit is given where credit is do. Any band, and I do mean any band, gets my and our upmost respect. Me and other members of Ender have been around long enough to see how drastic the scene has changed. It's a very large scene, even outside of Jersey. And some people can't deal with others successes. You just have to keep doing what you love and push through all the BS that is thrown in your way. If we turned back the clock about 10 years, when everyone supported each other, all would be good.

Danny: Id like to see less drama, and I’d like to see more bands do less competing with each other and just rubber band together and help one another out. This day and age in music, especially for this genre, we need each other more then ever. The drama and competing is taking the fun and good times out of everything we do.

Mark: There will always be a trend in the scene: if one band does it everyone else is going to do it. That’s just how it goes, and honestly, I don’t think it’s by fault. People listen to music they like and ultimately create music they like. Who do you blame for trends even? You create what you love. Honestly I don't pay attention to the scene. Yeah I appreciate what comes out of it, but ultimately, I don't care what so and so is doing what tuning their playing in and how much they ride on the one song. I think we put our money where our mouth is on this one. We locked ourselves in our rehearsal space and just started writing. I don't think any of us have been to a show since we had our last one in March, so the inspiration for this record came from within, not influenced by what was going on out there.

Casey: I'd like to think that it's hopefully going in the right direction soon. You have a ton of local new comers that completely kill it in every way. But then you have the bands that do the same thing as everyone else. I also don't know if it's just me but the people that go to metal shows are becoming more and more ignorant in terms of crowd killing. Obviously it gives you a rush when you see people in to it and getting the energy you put out but when you see people get hurt every show you play because of idiots that either can’t handle their liquor or just enjoy being a douche bag, it get's really irritating.

Lance: I really can't have a valid opinion on trends because I'm so out of the loop with the whole concept. It's just way too much of a perpetually changing element that it's hard to keep up with. One day, something is cool. The next day, it's lame. Afterwards, it's cool again but because it's ironic or "staying true to your roots". I really want to see more appreciation. Not just for the artists and what-not. I want to see people being more open to how they feel about something as opposed to "what's in".

How do you think the NJ scene is doing in comparison to other areas of the country, like CA?

Sal: Well, unfortunately for us Ender hasn't made it to CA yet. But the NJ scene is definitely struggling. As I said before, 10 years ago was where it was at.

Danny: If I answered this question, it would be the same as Sals. Haha.

Mark: Jersey has a very close knit group of bands...everyone looks out for each other and that’s what I like most about it. I think we’re all pretty respected by each other and that’s what counts. We've been absent for about a year now so maybe it's changed but, I’m sure other bands held down the fort while we were gone and I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces again.

Casey: Well for one thing, the number of venues in NJ have decreased dramatically. Not to the mention NJ is a rather small state compared to some. I'm also not sure exactly how it works in other states but, NJ seems to have tightly knit crews in every area. Not to say they are all named or anything, but there are definitely solidified groups that roll together.

Lance: I really have no idea how it is out in Cali, but if it's anything like it is here (in some parts)....I'm sorry.

What has been your favorite city and why on tour?

Sal: Wow too many to choose just one. Any city that's happy to have us is my favorite!

Danny: Connecticut hands down! Never a disappointment. We have been to a lot of cities, met a lot of great people. My 2nd would be Nashville. Such an awesome environment!

Mark: Personally I love Nashville. By far probably my favorite city amongst others. The people there are just awesome. So nice people love their country music there, but I did not feel like an outsider being with a group of metal heads in a packed country bar. Just a warm feeling everytime there. Cleveland and Miami are always cool too.

Casey: That’s tough to narrow down. We have had so many good times in so many different places. But I'd say in terms of crowd participation, CT has been the best to us since the start. The runner up would have to be IN.

Lance: Bloomsburg, PA because of the awesome people who took us in, fed us, gave us a place to crash, and tattooed! That or Lakeville, NY because we got to play in a ball pit and be little kids again.

How did Ender come to be? Did you all know each other from school or college?

Sal: We were once a band called "Yours Truly". Going through many music styles, it just didn't satisfy us because it wasn't what we wanted. So, after thought we decided to abandon YT and form ENDER. All in all ENDER was created for the purpose sticking it to the people that screwed us over through the years. And soon, the songs became exactly that, and people really got what we were saying.

Danny: I am going to backtrack, as I believe the guys will probably answer how Ender formed. I had met Sal in our freshman year of high school, in Elmwood Park, NJ. We instantly became friends and knew we wanted to be music partners together. We were in a numerous amount of bands together. We joined up in a band called Uboaf (shout out to Vic, Edgar, Dave, And Ernesto!) and that got us into playing shows, recording, basically experiencing what its like to be in a local band. After that band broke up we formed Yours Truly with some of the members from Uboaf. Years later Yours Truly disbanded, immediately forming Ender! Good times!

Mark: I met these guys when I was in college. We were in a band called Yours Truly for a number of years until one summer we just formed Ender.

Casey: We all used to play in a band called Yours Truly and our vocalist left. We knew that our music was turning in to a heavier breed as it was, so we just decided to scrap our old style and started writing the material we actually had a desire to play. Not that Yours Truly wasn't a genre we enjoyed, but it was more of something we did because it sounded good at the time. I'd say we took the right direction for us in general as avid metal listeners.

Lance: I met the guys while I was in another band (End Of Terra, which I'm still in and working with now) but we went through lots of name changes since then. The drummer for that band switched to vocals for us, and then went over to Ender to do vocals. We played a lot of local shows together and one day before a short tour, I was asked to tag along as a merch guy. A week before the first show of that tour, we found out Mark couldn't make it. I learned the set in the van 20 minutes before we played and finished out that tour on bass. The next tour pretty much followed the same story, with me only coming along to do merch, except Sal couldn't make it, so I re-learned the setlist on guitar. I did a couple more tours switching up between bass and guitar, and then was asked to officially join in April 2011.

What is your favorite album of 2012 so far, and your most anticipated?

Sal: Meshuggah all the way. Even though it's not out yet haha.

Danny: Every Time I Die “Ex Lives” is currently blasting in my iPhone. New Veil Of Maya is amazing. I am incredibly anticipating new Meshuggah, and Emmure albums to come out!

Mark: This new Veil of Maya is gonna crush!

Casey: My favorite personally would have to be the new Structures album. There are so many amazing elements that they combine that create such a unique sound. Most anticipated would have to be the new Meshuggah album and the new Veil of Maya album.

Lance: I don't really have a favorite album for 2012 yet because I'm still taking in 2011's releases. The most recent album that I've listened to a lot is VIA by Volumes. I'm not really anticipating any yet because I don't really like to expect anything from bands I haven't heard yet. I let my ears judge, not my expectations.

What's the best part of touring for you, and the worst part?

Sal: Playing the music we have worked so hard to write in front of people who know all the words. Getting a good reaction from new people. Greatest feeling in the world. Worst part would have to be cancelled shows. It sucks when it happens but what can you do?

Danny: My favorite part is waking up in a new city every day, doing different things, exploring landmarks, places to eat, hanging with strangers! The worst part is when shows are cancelled, or driving through blizzards and nearly crashing the van, and long drives with no scenic views. What we do need to experience more on tours is seeing and playing with exotic animals. I want to pet a tiger.

Mark: Love being in a new place everyday. Always on the move, I hate standing still. Worst part is running out of money and missing the family back home.

Casey: The best part of touring is traveling from state to state and witnessing events and places you have never seen before while obviously playing the music you love at the same time. Meeting new people who may or may not enjoy your music is also a plus. And if you happen to gain 2 or 3 fans that love your music, it makes you feel like you have had an impact on their lives. It's a wonderful feeling. The worst part is FILLING THE GAS TANK.

Lance: The best part is definitely seeing and meeting new people/places. It's really cool to travel 14-15 hours, meeting up with some people and realizing "You guys/girls are just like us!" It's nice to have a touch of familiarity when you're far from home. The worst part of it is how thin my wallet/bank account gets.

What's the best way to support a band on the road? Albums, merch or shows?

Sal: Any support is support. It's very very hard out there. Unfortunately every show is not a good show, the guarantee is not guaranteed. So merch sales is def a must.

Danny: Definitely coming to shows, and buying merch. That helps bands the best way possible. Me personally, I don’t give a shit if you download our album for free. As long as you know the words, love the music, and come to the shows is all I ask for.

Mark: Definitely people that come out to the shows is the best in my opinion. At times your morale can get pretty low and the thing that drives us are big crowds and rowdy people. I don’t give a shit about money because there isn’t any money there anyway. Just give me some damn pizza and throw down in the pit. That’s why I do this.

Casey: The best way would definitely have to be buying a shirt or CD just so the band can get from place to place. Sometimes the guarantee doesn't cover the cost of gas so you need that extra little push to get over the hump.

Lance: Show up to shows, pick up some merch, and show us that we're not some kind of inconvenience to you! It's rough when you travel days on to show up to a place and get stared at like "Why are you here?". Merch helps because that's what we use to pay for the gas and food to keep us going to make it to the next venue!

How did the signing to Eulogy come about? Was there a defining moment or show? Or was it a gradual process? Any tips for the hundreds of thousands of unsigned bands trying to make it?

Sal: Press kits. Send them out to every label you can. Eulogy was one that actually got in contact with us and one that we really wanted to work with. A lot of labels are looking at dollar signs but Eulogy had a liking for us and they do for all the bands on the label.

Danny: After we recorded “This Is Revenge”, we started sending
press kits our and shopping the record out to labels. We have had a lot of interest from other labels, but Eulogy and John Wylie stood out to us the most. He expressed more interest in liking our band rather then making money off of our band. And that meant a lot to us. For unsigned bands, just tour DIY style, and send press kits out. Hard work pays off. Keep writing new music and recording them too! But to be honest, you can make it on your own. You don’t need a label these days.

Casey: Just like any band does, they send out press kits to different labels. We wanted to choose a label if any accepted us at all that liked us as a band and didn't just want to sign us to make money off of us. Eulogy seemed to be the right fit. We knew that it was primarily a hardcore label but John Wylie and crew liked what we were about and decided to give us a shot, so it worked out overall. The main tip unsigned bands need to know is, BE PERSISTENT! It works.

Lance: I actually have no idea about this because I became a member after the band was established on Eulogy. My only advice that I've seen being consistently given out is to expect the amount of work that's coming. Whatever you expect it to be, it's going to be triple. Being prepared helps. It's not easy and it DEFINITELY isn't for everyone.

You're from northern NJ, which state do you do you root for sports wise? You've got PA, NY, and NJ all very close to you.

Sal: We all like teams from our 3 surrounding states. It can cause some serious drama, especially during hockey season haha.

Danny: I am only into Hockey. I am a humongous big New York Rangers fan. Casey and I have the most unfriendly hockey rivalry with him being a New Jersey Devils fan. Follow us on twitter and Facebook and watch the madness ensue. I dare you.

Mark: New Jersey Devils, New York Yankees, New York Giants.

Casey: I personally like NJ teams. But clearly in football and baseball there are no NJ teams so I go for the NY teams.

Lance: New York Giants, New York Yankees, and Chicago Bulls.

When can we expect to hear some news of a new Ender album?

Sal: Me personally would love to get something going by early summer. Really can't wait any longer.

Danny: News of a new record is pending on a new vocalist.

Mark: As soon as we announce this new singer haha. I'd say fairly soon though.

Casey: Once our vocalist is solidified, we will be hitting the studio for some recording to time and will have demos out to promote it. We don't exactly know when the new album will be completely ready but we all know we want it to happen sooner rather than later.

If you weren't in music, what would you be doing?

Sal: I'd be on the New York Yankees haha!

Danny: I have no idea. I have based my life off of being a musician and being in a band.

Mark: I would be working in advertising. Which I actually do now. Kinda like having my cake and eating it too. I love what I do.

Casey: I personally have other things going for me before music. This is definitely something I enjoy doing because these guys are like my brothers. But I am trying to pursue a career in Voice over work for commercials and cartoons.

Lance: Finishing up school and getting my teaching degree. I was an English major and kind of put it on pause because one of our touring cycles started right before my last semester started.

What is the inspiration behind your album, "This is Revenge?"

Sal: This album was written based on people who have screwed us over on the past. Everyone in the world has had at least one experience with that. We took that direction just to state that we can rise above anything put in our way. And people really took to the vibe we put out with that.

Danny: “This Is A Revenge” is a big FUCK YOU to everyone who has ever fucked us over.

Mark: We all have been in bands forever. Things just never went our way the way we wanted them to. We just wanted to tour and make music just like everyone else, and our cards just never fell right. That’s when we formed Ender and wrote “This Is Revenge” Revenge on all the people who said it couldn't be done.

Casey: It’s basically a message to everything and everyone that had been backstabbers and two faced to us in the past. We wanted to prove that we had what it takes. And so far, I believe we stuck it to the man.

What's the first thing you do when coming back from tour?

Sal: Shower for sure.

Danny: I come home, kiss my dogs, catch up with family, and take the most amazing shower ever, then lay in my bed.

Mark: Take a shower, take a nap in my bed, kiss my girlfriend, and hang out with my friends at the local bars where everyone knows my name.

Casey: Plan for the next tour!

Lance: Sleep in my own bed and relax with a meal that consists of absolutely NOTHING from any kind of dollar/value menu.