Our email tagline is ‘while Scotland sleeps we listen’ which means that when we do wake up, there is frequently a facebook-twitter deluge to wade through. The reaction summary the other day went a bit like this:
(Sadness) -“Endor broke up!”
(Relief) – “Endor is now just not Endor”
(Joy) – “there’s a new song and video!”
(Hell yes!) – a message from Comets and Cartwheels asking if we’d have any interest in doing a feature.
From over here it seems that it was all a closely guarded secret. How well coordinated was the roll out? Is there a story to the new name?
“Surprisingly not as well coordinated as you might imagine. We have been working on our new project “Fake Major” for the last 6 months, and when we finally got our first track completely finished (and we were both happy with it!), we put it online two days later. It wasn’t so much a closely guarded secret, as much as we didn’t just want to tell everyone who had helped support Endor that it was over and nothing else. We wanted to show those people that we were still writing and recording, and had something new to offer them. The name comes from a feline friend that lives on my street. We thought it sounded good and stuck with it!”
With this duo you’ve gamely entered ‘Over The Wall’ and ‘TMTATC’ territory. I’m guessing this change has been a creative boon and way to move forward musically. Would you characterize that as being the case?
“I think when you start anything new, there is always an excitement at the beginning, and this has helped us be more creative in everything we have been doing recently – writing, recording, and making videos.
We have definitely changed the way we write and record music. In the past we limited ourselves to what we could reproduce at a live show, but now there is a real difference between our recordings, and how we reinterpret the songs when performing.”
Releasing the video on the same day was well played. If I had heard the song ‘Little Researcher’ the first time without knowing the source, I can’t honestly say I would have instantly recognized it as being Endor. Listening to it a few times, I’m struck by how ‘well considered’ it all is. Other than just extorting the questioner to listen, how would you say your song craft has developed?
“Little researcher was originally written as our previous band was falling apart, so for Jarv and I it was even more important that we scrutinized every single line. We continually revised the song until we were both happy, and I think we have delved a bit deeper with all the songs on our upcoming EP. Each individual part – whether a guitar line or vocal harmony – has been more considered than before, make sure every part has its purpose and hopefully adds something interesting.”
The video is undoubtedly one of the finer debuts I’ve seen in a while. It probably seems impossible now, but did you ever consider any other narratives to present the song? My favourite part was when the stethoscope is placed to the glass and the music itself slows down a beat shortly after. Who came up with idea for the final notebook entry?
“We are extremely proud of the video, and it was a great creative experience to work with Jolene and Richard (of Precious Productions). I don’t think we did consider other narratives. Jarv had the idea of a child trying to make sense of the world around them, and together we all developed the different scenarios. Richard (of Precious Productions – we call him “Richard 1”) did an incredible job editing it all together, as you have picked up on it the stethoscope! We were lucky enough to have a star in the making play the heroine. Lots of the video was made up of things she already owns, and I think the final notebook entry was her doing. A future star in the making for sure.”
Since we last chatted, people have started sending us ‘press kits’ and I’m still fascinated by the nearly contradictory usefulness and meaninglessness of them. Which four songs on that Snow Patrol album do I need to listen to again more carefully?
“Ha! Yeah press releases are a strange thing. Jarv sang on Open Your Eyes, Shut Your Eyes, Make This Go on Forever and Hands Open on their Eyes Open album.”
The snippet from the press blurb that did make me take note was “The truest version of Fake Major exists somewhere between the record and the venue” This strikes me as a much deeper observation. Could you describe that place yourselves?
“The original idea we had for this band was to write songs that would sound great with only two people performing them, and equally as good with a full compliment of musicians. We hope that when people come to see us perform live, they can appreciate the different interpretations of the songs, while being able to relate to them from the recordings they have heard. As a bonus, it’s a lot easier to tour with two people rather than seven!”
The first EP is “to follow”. Any sense of the timeline? How many tracks? … Any information you could share would be most welcome.
“The final tracklisting is still to be decided, but the EP should be out in April 2013. We plan to release material as we have it, so expect more to follow.”
It seems that your first ‘official’ show was a few weeks ago in Dundee. We’d very much like to hear how it went.
“The show in Dundee was great thanks. It felt good to be back on stage performing after hiding away for what seemed an eternity. It is always interesting to take the songs out from the practice space, and get an idea of what parts work better in larger rooms (and which definitely don’t). It’s especially satisfying when certain areas of a song unexpectedly sound great, it’s a real ear treat!”
Thanks for introducing us to Michael Cassidy. Can you tell us anything about him from previous experience? (or from what you learnt from the support slot)
“Michael is a lovely guy, and a great singer songwriter. This is the first time we saw him play with a band, and there is a real country influence that is probably less evident when it’s just him and his guitar, which I really liked. Special mention needs to go to his guitar player who was quite spectacular.”
Have you secured Ms. Crawford for the next video?
“We are currently having heated discussions with Ms Crawford’s agents (/parents)! Child stars are extremely unpredictable.