I was honest at the start of the interview (not in the text below), End of Green are a band I’ve not heard of despite them being around for some time and releasing eight albums. They’re pretty big in their native Germany, and I really hope they get a chance to purvey their wares further afield.
They have a new album, The Painstream, out by the end of the month (five different release dates depending where you are…). Their back-catalogue is superb. The interview should give you an idea of the type of stuff they play, but just to help I’ve popped a preview of their new album down at the end.
Some great answers, too! Thanks to Mr Sir for his time.
Various sources class your music as gothic, alternative, dark rock, alternative goth… How would you classify your sound, or describe the band to someone who’d not had a chance to listen to you yet?
I’d go for bad weather music, though I think we pretty much sound great in any kind of weather. We’re dark, we’re sometimes heavy, sometimes we rock and we roll, too. And our topics are rooted in darker places of everyday life.
End of Green is an interesting name. Does it have any particular meaning?
Green symbolises the colour of hope, where we grew up. We’re often operating at the end of that scale, but we’re not disillusioned enough to give up on it. We’ve been asked a couple of times by the German Green Party, what we’re trying to say. I think they didn’t get it.
The band’s been around since the early 90s. Are you still the original line-up or have there been many changes over the years?
We had a different bass player before the first record. With Infinity Hampez joined and I came on board after Believe My Friend. Which makes us one of the few bands that didn’t lose folks over the years – we gained people. I think that’s an outstanding stunt for a rock band.
The new album is out soon. I’ve had a listen to the preview on YouTube and it’s very good indeed! Is it fairly representative of the sound your fans would be used to, or have you taken any steps in a new direction?
Can’t tell, honestly. We always wrote songs, that sounded “right” for us. We haven’t changed that over the years. But we learned one important thing in those years: you can’t please everyone, so don’t even try. I think The Painstream is a natural progression for us, in the same way the previous records have been. It’s still us. Like some kind of update, with fixed bugs and some new features. Which in this occasion definitely is: eleven songs.
What would you say are your “picks” from the new album? Personal favourites or ones you’re particularly proud of?
Here comes the old joke, which is still true, though: you wouldn’t call any of your kids the favourite one, would you? Yesterday I was totally hooked on “De(ad)generation”, today I really enjoyed “Holidays In Hell” and “The Painstreet”. It changes every other day. So I take that as a good sign.
Is there a small “creative force” within the band, or is the writing of new songs a shared task?
It’s like a mixture of both. Someone comes up with an idea, the others join in and make it even better. Sometimes we don’t. And sometimes we agree that something is shite. It’s a natural form of a creative process – including fights, bad mood and group hugs afterwards.
The subject matter of your songs is universally dark and depressing. Is any of the material based on personal experiences? Otherwise, where do you draw such a huge amount of misery from? :)
(laughs) We’re busy, mister. I open my window tragedy parachutes in, already armed and naked and ready to destroy my life. No, honestly. Our lives are not shittier than anyone else’s are. We’re just trying to set tour minds straight about various downers. Yes, all the stuff we write is based on personal experiences and thoughts. But the good part of it is: we’re feeling better after writing it down or writing a song. Big artists may call that “catharsis”. We don’t. For us it’s perfectly okay and normal to bring our bad mood to our rehearsal space and leave with a smile. And just in case you wondered: we’re having good times a lot, but when you’re hanging with loved ones we’re usually not writing songs.
I see you’ve got a lot of German dates lined up through to the end of the year. Will you be showcasing the new album a fair bit?
Right now, there are only German dates lined up, which is obviously the place where we’re most known. Personally, I’d really love to do more shows. I guess we’re a so-called “live band”, because most of our songs sound a lot different when we’re on stage.
Are there any plans in the new year to tour more extensively (in particular the UK)?
Hopefully! We recently found a new booking agency that promised us to send our asses to other places than those we have already been to before. And I’d love to play in the UK. Who wouldn’t? I developed a dangerous love for those Flapjack-Bars at a recent stay in Edinburgh.
You’ve played live with some very well-known names (such as Iggy Pop and Paradise Lost). Are there any particular acts you would jump at the chance to tour with?
You would not want to write down that list. Believe me. Honestly, I don’t care who we play with, as long as it’s not some racist bullshit band. We shared the stage with loads of nice folks, nice bands and a couple of idiots, too. But we always had a blast. I particularly enjoy playing with bands that sound completely different than we do. Playing some Death Metal Festival or Medieval Rock Happening is always fun for us. And sometimes I even get a kick out of some Hatebreed-Dude calling us gay, while rubbing his bare chest at some other boy’s naked skin, calling him “Bro”.