A question I have asked a lot of bands in my recent interviews is whether the internet hinders or helps the band in any way. On this occasion, I had not heard of Hamburg based band Endseeker who have recently released their second album The Harvest through none other than Metal Blade Records to huge acclaim. I had just happened to wander my way through YouTube and after noticing their logo, I listened to a few Endseeker songs and I just had to contact them. Endseeker have been active since 2014 and have been very productive in the recording front and now, with their Bloodbath, Dismember and Fleshcrawl take on death metal, I give you vocalist Lenny’s insightful take on all things Endseeker. I wish Lenny and all the band good luck for the future.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from Hamburg, Germany.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
The earliest beginning of Endseeker is back in 2014 when Jury wrote the songs for the Corrosive Revelation EP and asked Kummer to be the drummer. Eggert, Ben and me came in February and March 2015 to Endseeker. Our first ever show was in August 2015 in the famous St. Pauli Rockcafé in Hamburg.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We play Swedish old school death metal with focus on bands like Entombed, Dismember and Grave. So you can see we are not this unique. We haven’t created a new style or so. What we do is: we take the HM-2 sound and create songs that sound like Endseeker. You can hear our roots, but you can also hear our own spawn. When we started this band, I haven’t listened so much to old school death metal. My favorites where bands like Cannibal Corpse and Krisiun. For me it is exciting to discover all these old school bands now. Our own spawn is characterized by catchy tunes, vocals with a lot of variation and passionate energetic performance.
You have recently released your second album The Harvest. How does it feel to get the album out there for the masses to hear for the first time and how have the responses been?
It’s the biggest release we ever did. So the feeling is just indescribable. To see all these reactions is superb. Due to the single releases in the past weeks we got some early responses. Most viewers of the videos dig it, but there are also (for sure) people with different taste. Now that people can listen to the full album, they can feel our music within the arrangement of songs. People write to me and comment in social media with a lot of honoring words. That’s cool.
You have released the album through Metal Blade Records which is a huge achievement. How did you manage to get the album released through the label and how has the support been so far?
Oh yeah! A teenager dream coming true. Metal Blade and us got to know each other at Summer Breeze Open Air in 2017, where we played. We talked and recognized that there is a good chemistry. After the release of Flesh Hammer Prophecy later that year, both sides showed interest to work together. And after we send Metal Blade a demo with 4 tracks of a probable new album, we got an offer we couldn’t deny. It’s a big honor to be part of the Metal Blade family and for me it took time to understand what happened. The collaboration is great and we get a lot of support!
Being active for a few years now, how would you say it compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will Endseeker continue to keep experimenting?
The biggest development is that we grew together as a band. In the early days everyone did his job and that for sure very well. But after all these shows, recording sessions good times and hard times, we are just like a family. We trust each other and know the darkest abysses. You will probably hear this on our record. To play a little bit with musical boundaries within the old school death metal curtain will always be part of Endseeker. But otherwise we have a good characterized own footprint.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
We rehearse once a week. That’s cool for us beside family, jobs and stuff. When we plan to record, we rehearse more often. The past studio recordings took place at Chameleon studios in Hamburg with our good friend Eike Freese. He is a superb producer and it’s a pleasure to work with him.
Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Endseeker now a band where all members contribute to the songs?
Jury is the mastermind for the instrumental arrangements. He writes the songs and record demos. We play the songs in our rehearsal room and work together on the details. I write the lyrics and we complete the song. For The Harvest there are more songs where Jury und Ben wrote together. Also the text of the title track is written by Ben and me. So all members contribute and I think this is a gain for Endseeker.
Being a five piece when the album was recorded and having different musical influences within the band, was there sometimes a lot of negotiating within the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
Each member has its own taste and preferences. Would be horrible, when not. But our songs are not finished until every one of us is satisfied. Sometimes there is negotiation. When the question is for example “blastbeat or groove”? Or “too much vocals”? Then we talk about it and find the best solution. But I refuse to say our songs are compromises. They have to feel perfect for us.
Is there a main lyricist within the band? What are the lyrics from the album based on?
I do the lyrics. They are highly diverse. Some of them broach the issue of inner insanity. Others deal with nature-related topics. I like to observe everything that surrounds me. Maybe kind of occupational disease as a scientist. Sometimes nature gives a perfect inspiration also for social injustices and the global madness that keeps me running. As a specific example: the song “Parasite” is about deep-sea angler fishes. I consider male and female as lovers. The interesting point is that this species has sexual dimorphism. So the female is a lot bigger compared to the male. When both decide to copulate, the male moves to the female and bite inside the skin. This is the signal for the female that her skin starts to overgrow the small male. The male gets completely incorporated. The bloodstreams get connected. But almost everything else gets dissolved. At the end, the female has a sperm gland that she can use in the way she wants. So where is the male? Is this organism dead? Is he now a part of the female? Fascinating! And all this you can also see from a social perspective. In humanity there are also existing imbalances in relationships. Who dominates whom and why?
You recently played your release party in Hamburg. How was the show for you and did it exceed your expectations?
Wow! Just wow! The show was intense in every way! We had a great evening with about 400 guests. Our special guests Implore and Milking the Goatmachine played great shows and we also haven’t sucked. The feedback was positive. People were partying and had a good time. Just like us. I can’t imagine anything that could have been better this evening.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on more bigger tours and further afield in 2019?
Yes, we are not the youngest guys anymore. Touring would be easier while still being a student. But now we have full time jobs, families and other things. However, Endseeker is a very important part in our lives and fortunately our families support us in the best way. Otherwise it couldn’t be possible. In the next year we plan to play more shows and also one or more smaller tours. We will see what can be realized. Also festival shows are great for us. Conquering other European countries would be cool!
How hard is it for a metal band like Endseeker to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
We are lucky that we don’t have to push our own money into this band. The band is self-sustained. We can play shows and sell merch just like we want. We are not mercy of playing as many shows as possible due to our regular jobs.
Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends. Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and Endseeker?
Oh, tough question. The internet has advantages, for sure. When you start a band you can promote it on your own. That’s good. But in the internet the big magazines are still the most important sources for metal information. And the writers are often very passionate in reviewing, interviewing and so on. Otherwise the work that is put into a band is more often not valued. There are just so many (good) bands, that it’s difficult to stand out. You can be lucky as a band one day, or not.
What are the rest of your plans for 2019?
After our release show, we will play several shows all over Germany to promote our album. Maybe we will record a new video and definitely plan the shows for 2020. Will be cool!
Being from Hamburg, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
Oh Hamburg is very rich in metal bands. You can find a qualitative good band in every metal subgenre from extreme fast death (black) metal over old school death metal, heavy metal to doom metal. I don’t like lists, because I will probably forget to mention a band of friends. So that’s all.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Parties…hmm. I would bring CDs from the German band Deichkind. All 5 CDs would come from this band.
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Thank you very much for your interest and support! We highly appreciate it! Check out our new album The Harvest and our videos on YouTube. Come to our shows and drink a beer with us! Cheers.
Band pics by Toni B Gunner