Katie met Endeavour at The Underworld in Camden recently and felt they deserved to be featured as our Band of the Day. Guitarist Iain kindly agreed to answer our questions, so have a read and get to know Endeavour!
The band is based in Bristol. All the members come from different places in the Southwest area not too far from Bristol, however I [Iain] actually grew up in Rome, Italy and have a mixed heritage with an Australian father and Scottish mother.
How did you meet?
Ben, Chris and I all met while we were attending the Bristol Institute of Modern Music (BIMM). Jake attended BIMM as well however we didn’t actually we meet until a few years after the three of us had finished university when he joined the band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We started playing live in 2012.
What are your influences?
We all grew up on the usual suspects: Metallica, Pantera, Slipknot, Machine Head etc. but more direct influences on the music when Ben and I started writing were a lot of the progressive metal bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree and for Ben bands like Yes, Genesis, as well as fusion stuff like Pat Metheny. There’s also a bit of a grunge tinge that comes through, especially in the vocals, bands like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden which got introduced once our singer joined the ranks. But we try to keep that early metal influence alive in our music, having a bit of that Pantera street attitude about everything, Nevermore, even Strapping Young Lad.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We’re labelled as a progressive metal band, that’s just a way to give us the all clear to do what we want as opposed to trying to fit into other people’s idea of progressive music. It just means we could potentially have pop, death metal and jazz ideas in the same song if we felt those combination of elements made a great song, but not trying to shoe-horn riffs, solos and parts in just to be progressive.
I think what we excel at is writing music that a lot of people find digestible and appealing while being able to maintain and include proggier characteristics. The focus is way more on song quality first and using any of our technical abilities as musicians to help inject more interesting parts as opposed to stock riffs. You could say it comes more from a King’s X or Alice In Chains perspective as opposed to a Dream Theater point of view.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Typically proggier bands have focused on science, sci-fi, history, fantasy and topics in similar fields whereas the lyrics we’ve put on record have always been a bit more about self, mental state, a bit more existential and just about being a human being which hopefully people can identify with and helps the make the music more relatable.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve always been good, but in the last year or two we’ve really started to hit our stride live and nail down what our thing is – which is exciting, full of energy, tight, but dynamic; it’s not all 100% heavy all the time, you’re going to get sombre and more introspective moments as well but I think that helps to keep the show fresh. We all put a big focus on making sure our own sounds are good, investing in great equipment and dialing it in just right.
We’re also not all going nuts on stage all time as we’re trying to perform the parts well but we’ve got good presence when we play. We also want to get more into our stage production along with our backdrop and scrims, try and make it a real experience as opposed to just a band on stage.
At this point we’ve played around 75 shows which isn’t very many to be honest, and a majority of those have been in the last two years. A big focus in the band now is just to play live as much as we can to get the word around, it’s still the only real way to get your name out there.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
The craziest thing that happened at one of shows was me splitting my eyebrow open when played the Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock 2017. We had just finished our set, our first time on that stage, and in a moment of excitement and victory I lifted my guitar into the air – very forcefully – and in doing so hit my eyebrow, causing it to split open and bleed everywhere. There’s pictures of it online on our Facebook I think and an article by metal talk (http://www.metaltalk.net/news_seventeen/bloodstock_kreator.php). A funny anecdote to add to that was I immediately had to rush over to the mainstage to lend Testament my wireless guitar receiver – having not cleaned the blood off – and Danny Filth was backstage about to go on with Devilment and somebody commented “you look more black metal than Dani Filth does right now!” I felt somewhat proud.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Jake our drummer uses a Mapex Saturn V kit, Mapex hardware, an assortment of Zildjan Cymbals, DW pedals and Vater sticks.
Ben uses Sound Gear/Ibanez Basses, goes through a pedalboard consisting of a Darkglass Bass Preamp/Distortion pedal alongside an MXR compressor which goes into an Ashdown Head and Cab.
I have a fairly involved setup but in short I play an Ibanez 7 string which goes through various pedals, then into a rack consisting of an Axe Fx II which takes care of all the preamp sounds and other effects, and then into a Seymour Duncan stereo which feeds two cabs, a Zilla and Marshall however I’m looking to replace the Marshall with another Zilla. I’m planning on making a video to demonstrate my whole rig as it’s a little bit complex.
Finally Chris was using a Line 6 wireless mic, but he broke that and still has to fix or replace it, GET ON IT CHRIS!
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
We’ve just started working on another EP. We’ve started recording bass which will be done by mid April. We’ll then track the guitars and vocal between April-May and drums last which is a bit different. We’re looking to release by mid summer fingers crossed. We also have songs reserved for our debut full-length album which we’re working on in tandem with the EP.
Other than music we’ll just be booking in as many shows as we can and looking at ways to constantly improve the band onstage, the studio and online.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Besides the obvious big guns such as Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Metallica or Gojira, I think opening King’s X would be amazing, Symphony X or Sons Of Apollo would be incredible as well!
To support us I’d say our friends in Collibus and Ashen Reach, the later of which are actually about to go on tour with Bullet For My Valentine. The guys Divine Chaos have been really supportive of what we do, although we’d probably be opening for them at this point in our career!
Header image by Katie Frost Photography