Gil Bitton: Vocals
Joe Eshkenazi: Drums
Eli Parker: Guitar
Endo's 2001 debut, Evolve, was characterized by Guitar World as "an ultra-modern, sonically pristine blend of raging guitars and throbbing hip-hop beats tempered by a harsh industrial edge," while the LA Weekly simply stated "...[Endo] kick all kinds of motherf***ing ass." In 2003, the Miami foursome ignites another gritty wake up call with Songs For The Restless, an album that ventures for no less than rock revolution.
Songs For The Restless, recorded in Los Angeles with producer David Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty), exhibits Endo in its finest fashion. While clearly a pivotal debut, Evolve was independently recorded in sporadic sessions over a year, and the group acquired a new guitarist and drummer right as the disc hit retail. Now with focused studio time and a galvanized line-up, Endo takes Evolve's singularized touches to full fruition with a darker, more seductive sound that magnifies the band's immediate force and draw. Each song guides listeners through prominent peaks and valleys, but rather than rely on simple bursts of anger, vocalist Gil Bitton drives the hard-soft dynamics with an emotional tone that delivers the dagger with the hammer.
Bitton remarks, "I recently embraced different styles of music, from Diamanda Galas to Leonard Cohen, and they inspired me to sing more. The last album relied on more screaming, but the new album is darker and more melodic yet retains the same intensity. I feel that we really reinvented ourselves, but most importantly, the album doesn't sound contrived. It came from us, and you can hear it."
"The new album has a different vibe," adds bassist Zelick. "With our new line-up, we felt more freedom to pursue different directions, and we wanted to make a name for ourselves in our own voice. Gil doesn't sound like any other singer out there. He has a totally different voice and method."
The album's title, Songs For The Restless, reflects a restless state that seized the band during the writing and recording of the new album. Bitton suffered from serve insomnia that often caused the distraught singer to stir himself awake at four or five in the morning. From such a discomposed state, Bitton often began writing in the moment so that his lyrics could tap into the raw emotional core of frustration, distraction, and vulnerability. From such a haunted inspirational base, Endo's edge transcends the simple rage and fury of their hard rock associates.
"The energy behind Songs For The Restless comes from a deeper, more complex source than just anger," explains Bitton. "It's an emotion that comes from loving someone so much that love, anger, intensity, jealousy, and rage all meld into one. It's about trust, betrayal, lust. It's the dilemma of trying to trust those around you when you cannot trust yourself."
Dealing with similar struggles, the rest of the band captured in music the mood that Bitton struck in word. Drummer Joe Eshkenazi, who battles his own bouts of insomnia, exorcised his restless demons in the practice room. He remarks, "We took about nine months to write this record, and many times I couldn't sleep so Eli and I would go in early and hammer out our frustrations in the music. When I listen back to the album, it's actually very therapeutic."
From writing lyrics to crafting the music, Endo retaliated in song against the emotions that were tearing their insides apart. Moreover, the scope of Endo's songs move beyond individual anxieties to include the impact of others as well, as epitomized in the lead single "Simple Lies." Bitton remarks, "There are those times in which a simple lie can help prevent someone from being hurt. You cannot be honest throughout your relationship all the time, can you? There's always a circle of simple lies involved in a loving relationship because everyone has skeletons in their closet. The song is like a David Lynch movie, very lost in its own way."
In addition to leading at radio, "Simple Lies" also appeared on "The Daredevil" soundtrack (a Top 10 release on the Billboard "Top 200 Albums" chart) and is featured with "Ruckus" in a Pioneer commercial titled "Headbangers" (Endo's music is also featured on Pioneer's website and on a trade show CD-Rom giveaway). Elsewhere on Songs For The Restless, the song "Shame" recalls Endo's early aggro-roots, while the trippy "I Won't Die" illustrates their willingness to engage artistic challenges. Likewise, album standouts such as "Clean Sheets (and a dirty mind)" and "Remember Us" exemplify performers adept at balancing a sound that's both original and FM-ready.
"Making this album was a very natural process," says guitarist Eli Parker, "and it comes through in the songs. There's no smoke and mirrors, no electronic sounds, no keyboards - every sound is guitar, bass, drums, or vocals, and they all come from us. We will never play to tape, and that means we must always write a song that's really a song. For so many bands, if you take out all the loops and keyboards, the band is not the band anymore. We could never do that because we have too much respect for artistic value in music."
Flipping back several calendars, Bitton and Zelick formed the future core of Endo in their late teens. At the time, Bitton hosted a local open-mic night, while Zelick studied at an acting/theater and music school. The pair performed together with the group Above and Beyond, but a few years later, an original vision birthed Endo, a name derived from a prefix meaning "within/inside." After recording and releasing Evolve, Endo acquired guitarist Eli Parker and drummer Joe Eshkenazi, who together brought changes that elevated and defined the true Endo sound. With their talents added to mix, Endo was able to land a recording deal with DV8/Columbia Records.
In anticipation of Evolve's re-release, Endo attained national exposure as their song "Malice" landed a spot on Wes Craven's "Dracula 2000" soundtrack, and the group collaborated with platinum-selling rapper X-zibit on a rock remake of "L.A. Times" for Loud Rocks. Endo also blanketed the nation on tour with such road mates as Megadeth, Sepultura, Static X, Godhead, Stereomud, Hatebreed, Puya, and Nothingface.
Over the past years, Endo built up a name for themselves as one of the most promising rock bands of the future. With Songs For The Restless, Endo delivers on said promise by rattling a sleepy nation into seeing just how powerful rock music can be. Or as Zelick puts it, "We're going to wake people up to the world of rock!"
Posted by endomusic.com