Friday, December 26, 2014

Interview with Endzeit

I want to say thanks to Polaris for finding the time to answer some questions about Ednzeit's 'Years of Hunger' EP. You can see the 'Years of Hunger' review here. Without further ado...

Pedro Ribeiro (PR) - To begin with why don’t you tell me more about yourselves? Endzeit is a term that’s related with the end of time, the apocalypse. What’s the relation between your name and your music?

Polaris (P) - Yes, Endzeit refers to the end of time. When you look at what’s going on in this world, politically, environmentally, culturally, I’m not very optimistic when it comes to humankind’s future. Therefore, the term ‘Endzeit’, which also has a somewhat religious connotation, and the darkness that black metal transports fit rather well, I suppose.

PR - What do you love most about black metal? Why did you choose to venture with a raw black metal project?

P - I personally have been into black metal since the mid 90s and I’ve always basked in the melancholy in combination with the aggression of this particular type of music. Full-speed blast beats, melodies and powerful guitars, the cold vibe of the songs and the higher-pitched vocals have always been my personal favourite. Since this is my most-preferred musical style it’s natural to play it, too. 

PR - ‘Years of Hunger’ EP was written in the moment that the band was conceived in late 2012. How were you capable of composing that fast?

P - Yes, the basic ideas for the songs were written in late 2012 although the concept was not there yet.  And then I went to Detroit for a work-related trip in early 2013 and Endzeit was born (see next question). Hmm... how was I capable of composing that fast? Well, I compose all the time and have hours and hours of music on my computer. So it’s only natural that some of it will be released one way or the other.

PR - How did you proceed with the recruitment of the other members?

P - I asked them. Hehe, kidding. Well, in the beginning Jarkko, who designed the artwork of ‘Years of Hunger’ and I wanted to keep this as a two-man project: Him on vocals and me doing the rest.  But since he had to drop out due to personal reasons I had the songs ready, but nobody to record it with. So I asked Schwarz if he was willing to do the vocals, and he agreed. Samuli (drums) works here in Lahti in a music store and since I knew that he is a kick-ass drummer, I asked him, too, and he agreed. Same goes with bass-man Pyry. At a gig of his and Samuli’s other band Less Than Three  I asked him if he wanted to play the bass on ‘Years of Hunger’, because I knew that he digs black metal, and yes, there you go.

PR - Can you explain the concept of the EP.

P - The EP depicts the end of time. It describes the desperation of people who have lost everything after a devastating event that has left the world deserted. In other words, it describes life in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which their last hope, God, has also abandoned them. So it’s basically the antithesis to the narrative of a helping, caring God that stands by your side and guides you through rough times. And after all it is desperation that prevails and which has brought us the ‘years of hunger’.

PR - What do you feel when you look at Detroit?

P - Detroit is a crazy place. I had only very little time there, but seeing the abandoned places and yet the life in these ‘food deserts’ is an interesting experience – to say the least. It’s very moving to see the downfall of society’s entire infrastructure and the failure of capitalism.

PR - What’s your opinion about modern capitalism?

P - I don’t really have an opinion. It’s clear that capitalist ways of life are very destructive ones – to our species, to other species and to our world, our home in general. But just by writing these words I make use of it, so it would be a double-standards bitching about it all the time. I for myself try to live as non-capitalist a life as possible. But after all we are all part of a world society which is governed by finance. And I don’t see who this could change.

PR - Neither the lyrics nor the music itself foreshadows some kind of hope in humanity. Are humans futureless?

P - I think it is clear that in the longer run the global economy will collapse or will devour itself. At the latest when climate change has made water a scarcity and/or when fossil fuel runs out.  So, in that sense we are futureless. But humans are also a very resilient species, so I think as a species we will survive. At least for some more hundreds of years although we won’t be there anymore to witness that. But I do hope that our children will be smarter than us and have a bit better of an understanding of what sustainability means.

PR - What do you feel when you compose? Does your feelings divert the sense of your music?

P - I feel a lot when I compose, of course. I hope that every composer does that. And sure, these feelings can be found in my music. Although it’s mostly metal, I have very epic songs, some extremely brutal black/death metal stuff, very melodic, orchestral or even some folk metal demo tracks. But apart from metal I’ve also demoed some pop/rock tracks, some rockabilly and some electronic stuff. So, as you can see, feelings are complex and need an adequate musical response.

PR - Do you want to talk about the construction process of ‘Years of Hunger’?

P - It went all pretty DIY-ish. Firstly, we recorded the drums at a local music store which happens to have recording facilities as well. Our buddy Jesse Soiletsalo, who is the main man behind Less Than Three, was responsible for recording Samuli’s blasts. Then I took those tracks and recorded the guitars via D/I-Box at home while Pyry then also recorded the bass with Jesse later on. Schwarz screamed his lungs out at a Tmi Mix-ari in Savonlinna where he was recording vocals with his other band anyways. Then the whole stuff was sent off to my old friend Ulf Scheel to who mixed and mastered ‘Years of Hunger’ in his recording studio Pivo Productions. Check him out, he does a fantastic job (! 

PR - Today I watched a video made by some religious ignorant dudes about metal as a way to spread evil (I’m not saying what’s the name of the video because it’s irrelevant to the matter, but you may be aware of what I’m talking about). What’s your opinion about religion and these people trying to denigrate metal?

P - Religion… I think its poison for the mind and causes more problems than it solves. Of course, many say that moral codes are built on religion and behavioural patterns such as altruism (which the Christians call “Love thy neighbour”) cannot work without it. I disagree strongly, because also in the animal kingdom many ‘moral acts’ and even ‘immoral acts’, if you can call them that, can be found there. This is a huge topic, but as long as people behave in a good way, I don’t care about religion. The problem is that if religions were to be abandoned they would most likely be replaced with something else: radical environmentalism, capitalism… The best thing about religions is that they have given us beautiful buildings all over the world.

PR - In what contexts you use religion in ‘Years of Hunger’? How does religion joins the concept of the EP?

P - I think this question is answered in question 5.

PR - Do you like “Dark Funeral”? Why a cover of ‘The dawn no more rises’ to finish the EP?

P - I personally dig Dark Funeral a lot, but only up to ‘Diabolis Interium’. The ones after that are not very cool anymore. The newest song ‘Nail them to the cross’ is just crap. That being said, I think ‘The Secrets of the Black Arts’ is one of the best black metal albums ever written. that’s the essence of black metal for me. And I got to know it through ‘The dawn no more rises’ in 1996. Having a cover version and the overall sound of ‘Years of Hunger’ is kind of like an homage to that album although we are maybe slightly more melodic and simply not as awesome as ‘The Secrets…’.

PR - What are your rehearsals like? Much beer and laughter?

P - This and the next question go together, because time is a crucial issue. In other words, I as well as the others have so much stuff going on that we have never managed to have a single rehearsal. Yes, you heard right. We were going to actively start rehearsing in October, but I’m in the final stages of my doctoral dissertation and work at a university in the UK, Schwarz is running his own business with very little time on his hands, Samuli and Pyry play in several other bands and need to earn money, too. Moreover, some of us also have kids which kind of need their metal-daddies too every now and then. So, in other words, Vendetta and Endzeit as well as my other musical projects I can only consider a hobby and therefore rehearsals have to wait. I simply can’t devote more time than I can. Vendetta is also doable from airplanes, so that’s well-manageable, but I have not heard of a band rehearsal via internet…

PR - Polaris you are a dedicated metalhead in all aspects be it with your online magazine “vendettametalmagazine” or be it with your bands. How do you do it? How do you reconcilie everything?

P - See above.

PR - Thanks for your time to answer these questions. Any last words?

P - Thanks a lot for this interview! And of course thanks a lot for the support! Let’s see if we manage to unleash our first long player next year! Until then, check our record at! Cheers!

One melee with the words, ideas and its paradoxes... albuns that are news, the reviews at "", always with its watermark,  Pedro Ribeiro, with love for beer... sorry, music from an early age, he studied piano and singing from 7 to 14 years,  then, devoted himself to the study of the guitar for 5 years. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!"

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