What: Punk Night
When: Sunday, Sept. 9
“I just woke up; I’m having breakfast,” said Big James Arsenian of Endast.
Breakfast at 1 p.m. in the afternoon?
With two shows the previous night and a 17-hour drive to get them there, breakfast at 1 p.m. sounds like the most rational thing these Montréalers have done since they left home.
The Quebec group is slowly making their way across the country with a pit stop in Whistler Sunday, Sept. 9 at Garfinkel’s as part of Punk Night.
Originally, a North American tour was scheduled, but the band was double billed with a band who had to cancel because they were thrown in jail, so Endast’s U.S. tour is postponed until March, when the jailbirds get out.
“We meet a lot of interesting characters,” he said, laughing at the situation.
Characters on and off the stage.
Endast is one revolving door of musicians. The high school band founded by Chris Arsenian and Christophe Ledent has undergone many member makeovers. Arsenian still plays guitar with his brother Big James manning the mic and Oli Beaudoin on drums, Ryan Miller on bass and Pepe Poliquin on guitar.
“We move at a fast pace, and that is what we live for,” Big James said. “It’s a full time thing for us and a lot of musicians are not willing to make that kind of commitment. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Repairs, renting a studio to jam in every week, recording, it gets expensive and time consuming. People come and go, but the core stays. Anyone who stays on longer than a tour, they are in it for good. The right lineup is the hardest thing to find; it’s so much more than just playing an instrument.”
The fivesome steps out from Montreal’s thriving metal scene, which has cozied Endast up with respected metal and hardcore heavyweights such as Soilwork, Chimaira, God Forbid, Walls of Jericho and Cannae, just to name a few. The band has released two projects to date: an EP called The Promise and the most recent work, a full-length album, The Odds Against Tomorrow .
The Endast sound embraces a combination of the old school hardcore vibe of bands such as Agnostic Front and the euro thrash tendencies of Soilwork and Callenish Circle. They sport an aggressive sound, but not attitude.
“We are all really nice guys,” Big James said. The main thing with us is that it has to be fun or we are not having a good time. We are not angry guys. We have a lot of fun on stage. I probably wouldn’t be such a happy person if I weren’t playing music. It’s such a huge release, an essential one.”
The constant need for consumption is one of the things he screams out in the song The Craving, from The Odds Against Tomorrow .
“It drives me crazy,” he said. “I wish I wasn’t driven to consume. I wish I didn’t like nice things. I don’t need my plasma screen, but it makes me happy. I wish it weren’t the case.”
Satellite radio for those 17-hour drives is considered another essential for the touring van, along with ramen noodles and those packaged moist towels.
“Wet Ones is a truck stop shower right in a can,” he said.