End Has Just Begun: “Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face” Crushes All (Will Putney Interview)
End's music makes sense in light of the project's overtly straightforward name: this concoction of blackened hardcore and grind is totalizing, complete, and downright savage. It feels like the end; or, it's hard to listen to other music after listening to End. While most bands modulate the intensity knob to add dynamics to their music, this band is hell-bent on finding nuance beyond the cranked limit. It all started as a side project of Fit For an Autopsy guitarist and producer for many great albums Will Putney -- now, on the verge of their debut full-length, the band comprises talent from Counterparts, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Fit For An Autopsy, Misery Signals, and more.
Enough said. These gentlemen have come together to summon a fury seldom heard on any album from the realms of hardcore, grind, metalcore, or even deathcore for that matter. Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face consummates total onslaught: it never relents, it never backs down, it never stops charging forward with hyper-focused guitar attacks and beatdowns worthy of fucking your shit up. Check out the singles streaming now; below, we exchanged with Putney about the new release and what's next for End.
So, what’s new/changed with End since 2017’s EP From the Unforgiving Arms of God? Did any feedback, reception, or lessons learned from the EP help influence the new album at all?
We’ve done so much as separate artists since the release of the EP. A few guys have toured the world non-stop, Greg and I have made a ton of records. We’re all just constantly exposed to music whether it’s writing, performing, or producing it, so I think everyone came into this new full length really sharp. Adding Billy Rymer (drums) to the band was definitely a nice turning point for us to push the music into more extreme territories. We all just felt really focused about accomplishing a certain vibe and aesthetic with this record, and I’m really happy with the result.
The list of associated bands by members – e.g. Misery Signals, Fit for An Autopsy, The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc. – are markedly different (but all awesome). Even though End began as a passion project by you, how have the backgrounds of each member influenced the final product on the latest album?
To be honest, the backgrounds of our other bands don’t really influence End, if anything, it’s the opposite. End started as an outlet to play a style of music and scratch an itch that our other projects weren’t doing. I think it’s helped bring some focus to Fit For an Autopsy and Counterparts writing approaches, too. Brendan and I have this lane where we can get this out of our system and the other bands feel more cohesive in their intent now to me. This is just music we love to listen to and know really well but it didn’t gel with our current projects. And everyone else’s collective backgrounds and knowledge of the genre just strengthens that.
Did you realize that when writing/recording Splinters from an Ever-Changing Face that you would end up writing perhaps the most pissed-off, heaviest album of 2020?
Well, I very much appreciate that. We had collectively talked about amping this record up from the EP. I really like that record, but it’s initial approach was to just do something quick and fun and throw it out into the world. When we realized how it had connected with a lot of people, we did decide to take this LP more seriously and put in the proper work. I think, thematically, it feels more cohesive, Brendan did a great job of tying together a lot of his lyrical turmoil into more of a collective theme this time. The whole album is loosely based around a person’s journey through this psychotic breaking point, and all of the emotions that come along with that. It’s all delivered in such a dark and unsettling way, where you can really settle into some of these uncomfortable moments. Getting this kind of content out of our system is a great release, I think it helps keep us sane if that makes sense.
Does the band feel like a “supergroup” of sorts, or is it still a “passion project”?
We’re just friends who make music. When I started End, I wanted to do it with musicians I respect so I just asked people I had worked with previously who I knew loved this style of music. The supergroup tag is funny, because this music by a default is not meant to be overshadowed by individuals. I am happy that it’s given us a bit more of a platform, and that there’s crossover with the fans of our other bands who aren’t normally exposed to this kind of music. But hardcore and grind is so the opposite of rock-star/supergroup/etc. to me that I think any inflated hype around the members of a band is silly. The music speaks for itself.
What’s on the horizon for End post-release? Aside from the coronavirus pandemic (and assuming it ends before we all do), where you want to see the band go and do?
We’d really like to play more shows, as I’m sure everyone would right now. There are so many places we haven’t been, and these songs are going to be really fun to play live. We’ve gotten such a great response internationally I feel like we owe some people a chance to see us in a live setting. So now we wait.
Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face releases June 5th via Closed Casket Activities.