I have spent the past hour trying to write this introduction piece because I stupidly decided that it would be easy enough to come up with something half way decent (i.e. passable) whilst also trying to entertain a screaming baby. Not that I imagine that the blurb that I write at the start of this feature matters to you all that much. I am sure you don’t come on here expecting to read anything anywhere near sensible from me. In case you hadn’t already worked it out, you’re probably best to skip my ramblings and go straight to the band answers.
Seeing as I am trying to pass myself off as some sort of music writer, I guess I had better try and introduce this weeks featured band, Endor.
I imagine that a lot of folk out there who follow the Scottish music scene will already know the name. Until fairly recently that’s all they were to me, a band whose name popped up on the bill of some pretty decent gigs. For one reason or another they never crossed my path. Upon reflection this seems pretty ironic to me, as firstly, they take their name from one of my all time favourite films and secondly, they write cracking catchy indie-folk pop tunes.
It wasn’t until I picked up their eponymous debut album on a bit of a whim at the start of August that I fully realised what I had been missing out on. My excuse is that it came out on the exact same day as the Kid Canaveral album, so it almost passed me by. I do love the irony that we had two Scottish indie pop bands releasing long overdue debut albums on the exact same day though.
Anyway, that’s enough ramblings from me for one week, Mrs Peenko needs rescued from a crying baby, so here’s the lovely Jarvis to tell you a bit more about the band…
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hi we’re a band from Glasgow called Endor. There are 5 of us.
How would you describe the music you make?
This is going to sound so pretentious and lame but we’ve always called it Thinkpop. We’ve been told it’s pop in the same vein as Teenage Fanclub or Orange Juice.
How did you come together as a band?
We all met at high school. Calum and I have been friends since we were little as have Rich and Mark. Then a few years ago I met Andy at work and he begged to get into the band but we made him suffer until he couldn’t take it anymore then we put him out of his misery earlier this year after recording the album. I don’t know if he regrets it now though, you’d have to ask him.
How did you start out making music?
Originally we got together over our love of Weezer and bands like Belle and Sebastian, and Idlewild. Our first ever show at a friends house party was a set of 8 Weezer songs and Big Me by Foo Fighters all played at triple speed cause we were nervous! After a while we started writing our own songs and put out some singles on Say Dirty Records, then recorded and released our first record this year.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
Rich and I spent the last year and half living together and writing a lot of songs specifically for the album. Normally Rich or I will have some music or an idea for a sound or something then we’ll work on it together before I write lyrics. For quite a few songs Rich had the whole thing down with a melody of him singing lyrics to another song or just mumbled words then all I had to do was write lyrics and restructure things slightly to fit. We recorded rough demos of everything and actually had the tracklisting sorted in order to get an idea of a flow for the album before going into the studio. We spent a long time talking about how we wanted the album to sound and how it should run from beginning to end. Basically it just me and Rich playing instruments at each other and rambling about stuff we like, then we play it for the guys and they either get it and start playing or look at us like we’re playing Jean Michel Jarre crossed with The Cheeky Girls. Which sometimes we might as well be.
Who are your big musical influences?
I guess the major influences for this album were bands we’ve been listening to for years cause we wanted it to sound like a first album even though we’ve been together for a while, so the really obvious stuff like The Beatles, Paul Simon, Teenage Fanclub, B&S etc. Also definitely Weezer, Flaming Lips and a bit of Fleetwood Mac thrown in for good measure.
What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?
Quite a lot, but mostly in the sense that we’ve been playing in Glasgow and going to shows here all our lives. So when people compare us to bands like FR or WWPJ I always think that’s obviously going to be in there cause we’ve been around each other so much, that type of sound is going to move as if by osmosis between us. That’s also the case with bands like The State Broadcasters, we kidnapped their trombone and accordian players because we just wanted their sound so badly! We didn’t get to keep them though. 🙁
What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?
Some songs with some quiet bits which people talk over, some loud bits which people can’t talk over, and hopefully some really quiet bits that people rarely try to talk over.
Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?
Over the years there’s been some great gigs and loads of awful gigs. The one that’s sticks in the memory now though was our album launch with Over the Wall and Washington Irving. We played the whole record in order and had all our guest horn players, singers, and accordian maestro for the one night only sort of thing. It was amazing! We were ok, but to have that kind of backup on stage just lifts everything above what we could ever achieve on our own.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?
We’ve got some stuff coming up that we can’t quite confirm yet. But there’s some really fun shows coming up and we’re talking about the next record and sorting ourselves out to start writing again.
Lastly, who shot first Han or Greedo?
Endor’s self titled debut album is available to buy now, it’s a cracking wee album filled with little pop gems, a perfect remedy to those cold dark winter nights that are fast approaching. On Friday the 29th of October they are playing at Pin Up Nights Halloween Party alongside The Social Services and PopUp.
More from Lloyd at his Peenko blog
Endor – Without the Help of Sparks (Live on BBC’s Rapal)
Photo Credit: John Lewis