Raw black metal has always had a special place in my life and therefore, I now would like to unveil an interview I had the pleasure to conduct with French band Ende, whose masterminds are also known for participating in Reverece. Streaming of both of Ende’s full-length albums is included in the article.
Hello guys! Let me start this interview off in a little atypical way. Most if not all companies have a mission, vision and values working as a backbone that connects each of their business components. Interpreting this into music, can you tell what’s Ende’s mission, vision and values?
I.L: Our values are ethical in the first place and we primarily aim at doing things as we feel them. Our goal is to create music that we’d like to listen to and to make it evolve throughout our releases. Ende’s backbone is darkness, occultism and individualism – the hidden part of our true self. Music needs to be authentic in order to be powerful: it is pointless to rehash things and influences need to be assimilated to offer a fresh and personal vision.We talk about matters that are important and relevant to us, show our vision and, in a way, the lifestyle we have chosen and developed throughout the years.
T.Njodr: First of all, it is a return to the roots. A simple raw black Metal is the way we choose. We do as we feel, a powerful music with a sound that serve music.
To my knowledge, Ende’s current lineup consists of two members only having also live performers on the side. What brought both of you together and how did you decide to form a band of such caliber?
I.L: Ende’s history is rather complex. I started composing the first songs back in 2004 without making the project official, but rather a personal one driven by need and impulse. Then, throughout the years, it grew stronger. Thanks to the arrival of T.Njodr (drums), it became a duo, which is my favorite setup. Our full line-up is composed of close friends and relatives as live members. I don’t like having 4 or 5 members in a band as it involves too many concessions. That’s why Ende will always remain a duo and we’ll keep playing live with session musicians.
T.Njodr: The integration of some others musicians wouldn’t be positive, the Ende’s vision is particular. The guideline would be deviate of your first goal.
I.L and I, we’ve the same vision about black metal music. I’s easier to compose music and to stay right on our way.
So far, you’ve got two full-length albums under your belt, “The Rebirth of I” being your latest. How was the recording process of it? Can you share some interesting facts during each of its stages of production?
I.L: We’ve always produced our albums ourselves and will keep doing things thisway. We want to remain 100% free and autonomous. I have my own home recording studio in which we produce our albums. Artworks and visuals are also made internally. This is for the better on every level: we can take all the time we need to achieve what we want. Going DIY is also aligned with our speech and values.
T.Njodr: I recorded the drum parts at the studio of our session bass player. It’s the only exterior intervention of the recording but from the near Ende circle directly.
We’re proud about the sound production and we’ll continue in this way for the next full-lengh.
I would like to go in-depth in the lyrical themes that shape Ende’s core. What is the main creative force that drives you to write your lyrics? Since they are not published anywhere, did they change or evolve significantly when comparing “Whishpers of a Dying Earth” and “The Rebirth of I”?
I.L: “Whispers of a dying earth” is mainly about world’s rejection, individualism and forgetting about the system’s morals and values in order to start things again with new ones, chosen by and for ourselves. “The rebirth of I” is linked to the same topic and talks simultaneously about the importance of witchcraft only a few centuries ago – people who worshiped a cult, healers, enlightened ones who lived under their own rules or those who rejected the proclaimed system got persecuted by the monotheism and secularism of that time (secular courts used to execute them to the point that even the Church had to suggest them to ease things off a bit). All of these aforementioned things are linked.
Do you perform rituals or use any special mood settings in order to create a suitable atmosphere prior to the writing process?
I.L: I am lucky to live in a remote area, where I can enjoy the surrounding nature and quietness and stay away from the modern world. That is my main ritual. Ende’s music is heavily influenced by it and also by my reading.
T.Njodr: We live in small towns near of some big ones. We need of our private space, far away from the modern human visions who seaching to change the individual way of life and perceptions.
This doesn’t mean that I reject any society or modernism forms but I try to keep my own opinion and to stay in safe.
What is the storyline behind “The Rebirth of I”? What lies underneath the surface and do you use this record to promote personal visions and knowledge through your music?
I.L: This album embodies our vision of music and our thoughts. We bring topics and ideas that are important and essential to us: Ende is an overview of our very own lifestyle and state of mind. As I mentioned earlier, “The rebirth of I” talks primarily about individualism, witchcraft and occultism in every sense; in a way, about the vital reject of the system we live in. It is important to know where to stand in order to stay true to yourself and not become what you hate.
Let’s take another turn now. Upon releasing “The Rebirth of I”, how did fans evaluate it? Do you think it managed to top up “Whishpers of a Dying Earth” in terms of interest?
I.L: Feedback for this album was positive. I think that when music is done ethically, what comes out of it is easy to understand. Our two albums are stylistically speaking very different from each other. The second was released 5 years after the first one, so music had time to evolve. We think that “The rebirth of I” is Ende’s first real album, and there’s a reason to that: the first album was never meant to be released officially, I made it on my own with a personal approach and without asking myself if it had to be done. That is also why it took 2 years to be released after having been recorded.
Then I decided to make the album official to end a project that was important to me. Obscure Abhorrence Prod (OAP) released it in 2012. Once released, I felt my work was done so I put the project on hold. Later on, I started wanting to create a sequel, so the project came back to life once and for all with precise ideas, the wish to make it a full band and to go back to the Black Metal scene’s roots, which were always important to me.
Music-wise, are there any bands that influence the way Ende sounds? If positive, could you name them?
I.L: The bands we’d feel the closest to would be Mutiilation, Vlad Tepes, Taake, Kvist, Bathory, Belketre, Moevöt, Nehëmah… among others.
T.Njodr: To put in a nutshell, most of old black metal bands.
Allow me to change the interview’s direction to none-music themes. Do you consider being ignorant is a synonymous with being blindfolded by religion? What are your thoughts on this matter?
I.L: Unfortunately, ignorance doesn’t stick to religion only. You just have to look around in our modern society. Listen to people on the phone, in shops or supermarkets, look at their behavior, what they convey – this is truly meaningful. The world functions in a very weird perspective: people work jobs they hate, spend more than they earn to buy things they don’t need in order to impress others, then die. We destroy, pollute, break everything we can; mankind is the Earth’s cancer which has lost all forms of spirituality and justifies its laziness with very questionable technologies.
The list is so long we could go on discussing this topic for days. Fortunately, there are still clear-headed people who try to stay away from this world. If we can see it, others can too. The biggest issue is the amount of people who are able to distinguish this crap from reality.
I often ask myself if I had one moment to decide what humanity’s destiny would be like, what decision would have I taken. What is your take on this one?
I.L: I don’t know, I just want to stay away from it as much as I can. I am not wishing the death of mankind, why would I since it’s already dead? It’s only a matter of time.
T.Njodr: The things aren’t going to be improving. People are closed in themselves and think only about superficial happiness (Phone, TV, « peoples »), an aimless glorification (Social network). It’s so stupid.
Are you satisfied with the society you are living in nowadays and if you had to outline its biggest issues out loud, what would they be? What goes wrong and what goes good?
I.L: As I previously wrote, I don’t want to be part of the world I live in and am lessening my connections with it. Even if my opinion on it remains mostly negative, I keep on moving forward with the things and people that are important to me; I get rid of what doesn’t meet my criteria and keep my contact with the meaningless modern world to a bare minimum.
Back to Ende. Have you set any plans for the future? Any upcoming gigs outiside France or new ideas for an upcoming album?
I.L: We’ll start recording the new album in March and hope to release it by the beginning of 2017. We have several other releases planned as well, which allow us time to get this new album ready. Dread Records will re-release our first album on tape in April. If everything goes well, our demo “The God’s rejects – demo 2008” and our second album “The Rebirth of I” will be re-released on vinyl at the same time. OAP will release the CD-split “Le puits des morts” with Sorcier des Glaces from Canada in September. We have several gigs planned in France until the summer (Nantes, Paris, Bordeaux, Rouen, Toulouse…).
Can you paint a picture of how Ende’s 2016 would look like?
I.L: I don’t know how Ende will look like at the end of the year yet, but I hope we’ll be able to play even more gigs. We should release plenty of new material on various formats too and will keep pushing things this way.
Thank you so much for the time to answer my questions! Please, take this moment to conclude the interview in a way you want.