English » ENDLESS VOID – „10 questions“
15. 3. 2013ENDLESS VOID – „10 questions“
Interview with ENDLESS VOID from USA.
When was your group set up, why this particaler name, what does it mean and what the initial reason of its creation?
The rock band Endless Void was formed during the fall of 1985 in Erie Pennsylvania as a result of the band After Foreverâ (1982-1985) band breaking up. The Endless Void served as a liberation and offspring from the old band. However our ideas, directions, and goals as well as objectives and methodology were very similar. Specifically, there are always differences in opinions and attitudes between group members regarding various factors. For example, the band Endless Void was controlled by a new driving force (band leaders instead of a single band leader) and we were not extremely pleased with the vocal sound in the old band. I am not insinuating a control factor was the main issue or extremely poor sounding vocals, Rather, I think everybody developed new ideas and opinions about the situation in its entirety and everyone gladly went their separate ways to pursue personal musical goals and directions. The name Endless Void for the new band began as collaboration between the original guitar player Paul Sayre and me James Owen the bass player and singer. Its origin was thought to be derived from Black Sabbath and the song Into the Void but this explanation and description is much too abstract and rational. Rather, throughout the years I have channeled the band´s meaning and use it to convey the message of the universe, outer space, the cosmos, and infinity (no boundaries or barriers) as well as the spirit world, unexplained phenomena, the otherworldly, and death & dying! Originally the band´s name was an identification factor but grew to become unique with personality.
Introduce the individual members - their age, whether they have played somewheres, and how long they have played their instrument?
The Endless Void has always had a number of band members and I have been considered needing minions to do my dirty work, I prefer to explain it by means of chronology in order to clarify. The first phase of the Endless Void and its members: (1) James Owen (bass guitar and lead vocals), (2) Paul Sayre (rhythm and lead guitar), and (3) Kenny Lawless (double- bass drum kit). We were in our late teens and early twenties, we played a respected living room gig in front of devote metal listeners, but the band broke up due to personal goals and objectives. The second Phase of the Endless Void and its members: (1) James Owen (bass guitar and lead vocals), (2) Joe Ropeleski (rhythm & lead guitar), and (3) Tom Ropeleski (single-bass drums kit). We were in our late teens and early twenties and we played two shows. The first show was in a large backyard in front of 150 plus spectators and the second show was at a privately owned rock house named Little Hope on the outskirts of Pennsylvania, but the band broke up due to personal goals and my vocal content. The third phase of the Endless Void and its members: (1) James Owen (bass guitar and lead vocals), (2) Mark Alley (rhythm and lead guitar), and (3) Tony Laken (single-bass drum kit). We were in our late teens and early twenties and we played two shows together. The first show was at the Asbury Barn in Millcreek Pennsylvania and the second show was at a very large back yard in front of 200 plus spectators. The band broke up as a result of personal goals and objectives and Mark Alley formed his own band named Doc Holiday. The fourth phase of the Endless Void and its members: (1) James Owen (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and lead vocals), (2) Charlie Hunter (lead guitar in the song Prophecy), and Tom Hit (electronic drums in the song New York Girl). We were in our early thirties and not a functional band but rather collaborators writing music for demonstration purposes. In fact both musicians were for hire and had no responsibility with the direction of the band. However they were owed royalties if success with the project occurred. The fifth phase of the band and its members: (1) James Owen (bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and lead vocals), (2) Darin Hilinski (lead and backing vocals), (3) David Owens (single bass drum kit), and (4) Steve Maynard (lead guitar). We were in our mid- thirties and mid-forties and we were not a functional band. Rather, we were collaborators attempting to finish a song titled Andromeda included on a five song demonstration disc titled Final Doom for self-promotional purposes and talent recognition under the A.I.F. Record Label logo. These musicians were for hire and had no responsibility with the direction of the band. However they were owed royalties if success with project occurred. In fact it was an optimistic and experimental project that may have eventually led to performing with additional band members but I decided to produce the disc instead. The reasons being The town of Erie Pennsylvania was bankrupt and borrowed money from its sister city Pittsburgh, economic opportunity was not available and the North America is referred to as the rust belt, and Dixie Lan was the direction I was heading to improve my life!
In addition, it is easier for me to describe these musicians in order to enable readers to understand the degrees of talent involved rather than attempting to determine the amount of time they have seriously studied music. Firstly, Dave Owens, Tom Hit, and Steve Maynard were musically literate and the most professional and can best be described as studio musicians in the truest since of the word. Secondly, Paul Sayre and Kenny Lawless were the most bombastic and added destructive and demolition like dimensions to the adjective New Wave of Heavy Metal. Thirdly, Mark Alley and Tony Laken were very functional band mates and capable of conforming to the latest contemporary sounds of the modern Heavy Metal movement. Fourthly, the Ropeleski brothers were adequate performers. And Fifth and final Charlie Hunter lead guitar tracks in the song Prophecy and his use of the Quadraverb in conjunction with a panning strategy was amazingly up to date for analog guitar tracks and execution. Equally important Darin Hilinskiâ lead vocals (produced by me) in the song Andromeda (Choir version) have been described as one of the best characteristics of the Final Doom CD by some but not all webzine critics as well as the song New York Girl which is equally praised for its downer styled metal sound and uniqueness.
Under what conditions have you made a recording, are you satisfied with it, how many have you produced, has it been with sales, what is the cost?
I only record under adequate conditions. For example my experience ranges from home studios to the top of the line facilities available. Under these circumstances I know I will achieve success and contentment because of the professionalism involved as well as the seriousness put forth. Just for the record I have used average tape recorders, eight-track analog recorders, and digital computers as well as top of the line and very modern music programs invented during the state of the art technological revolution. In addition, I believe it is necessary to make known that I have applied both HI-Fi and Low-Fi strategies due to economic restraint and uncontrollable factors in order to achieve success with projects and musical endeavors. At this point using the previously mentioned approaches I have produced an estimated twelve songs but only released ten with Antithesis Records and A.I.F. Records and Music Promotion. Yes these records can be purchased but I also enjoy distributing them for free to webzines and websites interested in including me in critical commentary as well as internet radio airplay. The average cost of an Endless Void music disc can range from two to four dollars but again I must clarify that giving away free music is expected and accepted in the Underground music realm!
Lyrics - why did you decide to sing in English... who wrote the words, what topics have you choosen?
I sing in American because it is my native language and preferred. I write all of my own song lyrics because I am a college graduate, a literature Buff, and believe this is the most successful means of controlling the direction of my solo project as well as the quality of my song´s contents. I prefer to be considered a song writer interested in unexplained phenomena, supernatural activity, occultism, and mystery as well as the otherworldly by expressing myself through Heavy metal and Doom metal music. The fact that such topics can overlap at times due to similarities is unavoidable. For years, major religions, politics, and occults as well as ethnic societies have been propagating each other to these topics in hopes of controlling one another psychologically. Presently these topics are becoming associated with UFO´s and human encounters with alien life forms and extraterrestrials. In particularly reptilian humanoids thought to be Demons possibly from unknown regions in outer space. Similarly, apparitions also commonly referred to as ghosts are responsible for haunting specific locations and people causing torment and misfortune and are considered strange and powerful forces controlling the destiny of man for unknown reasons. The scientific
thesis to logically explain unnatural phenomena has become endless. With this in mind, I combined song writing and the unexplained with fact and fiction. This approach gives listeners the chance to use their imaginations, form their own opinions, and come to a conclusion regarding such delicate and controversial matters.
Who is the author of the logo, cover, Website – how much importace do you placeon these things?
I am the author of the Endless Void band Logo and creator of the Apparitions album cover artwork. This is one contributing factor as of why my musical output is so limited as well as financial restraints and strict budgeting. I have many tasks to perform other than writing music. I selected R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) for the name of the guitar introduction and included it on the front of the album cover in calligraphy because it is relevant to the CD´s theme of death. I also needed to utilize some traditional artwork because it is important to me. Calligraphy was practiced by monks to translate the Holly Bible letter for letter. This style of writing in black and bold conveys power and strength as well as reinforces the theme of death and seriousness. Furthermore, using a form of gestalt visually conveys the records meaning in one glimpse. I place great importance on these things because they represent who I am and make a statement of what I am about as a musician and songwriter. Consequently, the Apparitions CD was reviewed and accepted by numerous internet websites both overseas and abroad: (1) Lords of Metal, (2) IMRadio, (3) Throne of Serpents, (4) Rough Edge Radio, (5) Metal Crawler, (6) Metal Core Fanzine, (7) Web of Metal, (8) [UTF-8?]Mario´ s Metal Mania, (9) Beowulf Productions & Treats from the Underground, (10) Born In Blood, (11) Behind The Veil Webzine, (12) Brutalism.com, (13) YouTube, (14) Symmetrical Haze, (15) Indie Power Hour, (16) Extreminal, (17) Aristocrazia, and (18) Metal Cave on MySpace, and (19 )Last FM (submissions to Children of Doom and Hierophant Nox are pending and in the making).
Which bands have inspired you?
I used to like Kiss and Judas Priest but became inspired by New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and the reason I choose to write songs reflecting this period and movement is due to the fact it has left a life- long impression on me. I am influenced by this music because it has Backbone (strength). For example the bands Withchfinder General and Venom introduced their "wild and radical" music styles while rejecting the mainstream media. Despite some harsh and brash satanic lyric content by the band Venom, their potential as New Wave Metal artists "shines through" in the popular Ballad Countess Bathory which I consider a genius collaboration in song writing. Similarly, Witchfinder General´s songs Love on Smack and Friends of Hell are also classics and very popular. Actually, it was the Death Penalty release which introduced me to the N.W.O.B.H.M. than other bands and their songs followed: (1) Tank/T.W.D.A.M.O.& Shell Shock (2) Angel Witch/ Angel of Death & Atlantis and (3) Mercyful Fate/ A Dangerous Meeting (is actually from the Netherlands but belongs to the time period and style of the movement because of various similarities). However, I must clarify my position and opinion regarding the N.W.O.B.H.M. in its entirety therefore I need to include some additional information. I never liked all of the songs written by all of these artists for one reason or another (personal preference) and I have to honestly say the satanic issue is a bit extreme. In fact, it can often ruin the listening experience. Never the less, the previously mentioned songs are some of my favorites of the N.W.O.B.H.M. (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) movement.
Have you sent your recordings to the labels… which ones? What was their response?
I have submitted to a minimum of 500 record labels and listing them would not be worth your time and effort. I have however worked with A.I.F Records and Antithesis Records regarding production and song writing. In addition, I have been invited to send new and unsigned material to F.N.A. records for review but this is common practice for all courteous A&R Representatives to optimistically encourage songwriters to submit music again in the future. Furthermore and just for the record, I do submit to the Big Four but seldom receive a response although I am on record in their archives. That is if they keep Demonstration discs. Recently, I was considered friends on face book with F.N.A Records and Metal Blade but no affiliation other than the previously mentioned.
How many shows have you done, and which ones do you consider the best?
My status as the front man of the Endless Void only lasted about two years. I actually began performing at 17 and stopped at 23 years of age. During this performing spree I played with the bands After Forever (1982-1986), Aragon (1985), and Final Judgment (1986-1987) at bars, clubs, and a rock war as well as a public school, a living room gig and several outdoor shows. All of these bands were from the Erie Pennsylvania area of the North (Lake Erie) during the 1980´s. My favorite show was actually with a popular Erie Band After Forever (1982-1986) and we performed in front of 1,000 public school student at Technical Memorial in the 10th to 12th grades (that is the 16-19 years of age bracket). Regarding performing with the Endless Void my favorite show was with Mark Alley and Tony Laken because we debuted our new song Generation X at an outdoor show in front of 200 spectators as we â??vibrated the roofs off of neighboring houses and transcended vicious lead guitar riffs, low-end bass, and steady drum beats into the limits of outer space blowing peoples minds.
Do you have ambitions to play in other countries?
Yes I am planning on touring overseas and audutuioning musicians
Plans for the future...
In conclusion, I have no permanent band members working with me at this time however change is possible. Becoming a member of the Endless Void project requires participating as an effective group member. In order to this candidates must be able to work with me as well as consider the direction of my career as a solo artist. More than likely people will come and go and I will have to hire (utilize) temporary members to accomplish goals and objectives; in other words while touring overseas I will more than likely have to find like-minded musicians who are willing to sit in for gigs (shows) on a temporary basis; Musicians from overseas locations will suffice as long as they are capable of performing and playing Endless Void music and passing the audition. This approach is economical and realistic since everybody likes a home-town guitarist and drummer. Besides, I have found through past experience that group experiences become "stagnant" and I have been thought of as needing minions to do my dirty work (assist me in playing shows). There are many possibilities for future shows and like-minded musicians. More than likely I will attempt to play a large bill as an opening act rather than being a headliner. Reason being, I am an Independent artist and neither overly popular nor established in the professional music scene. As a result I do not possess a large following. Furthermore, I am interested in serious and responsible participants therefore musicians will be selected by the degree of talent they are capable of exhibiting as well as their ability to play Endless Void music. Drop C tuning and Grunge tuning (1/2 step) will be considered and more than likely applied. However, various playing techniques and my final decision concerning tuning for live performances must be considered and respected; both amateur and professional musicians (foreign and abroad) as well as former Endless Void band mates are welcome to audition; touring is my dream and perhaps I will find like-minded musicians (a drummer and guitarist) overseas or abroad capable of performing and â??vibrating the roofs off of concert halls and transcending vicious lead guitar riffs into the limits of outer space blowing peoples minds. With this in mind, individuals and parties are encouraged to participate. A professional and functional attitude is vital in order to be accepted and achieve success. Participants will be responsible for meeting deadlines and fulfilling obligations. They will also be held accountable by means of legal contract if necessary especially if many performances are scheduled. Specifically, two locations I am planning on performing at and attempting to lease are: (1) the Capital Theatre (located in Clearwater Florida) and (2) The State Theatre (located in St. Petersburg Florida). I am also presently targeting the states of, Ohio, Pennsylvania (the Smiling Moose in Pittsburg), and New York (CBGBs) as well as California and possibly some overseas locations. If everything goes as planned and finances are available I will assist coordinate book additional shows. Again, interested and serious like-minded participants from both overseas and abroad are welcome to participate. Interested individuals and parties are welcome to contact me in writing using e-mail (Internet), snail mail (postal) or UPS & FED EX.