Interview: Boston duo Endation on raw rock duo power, live energy, and new LP ‘Liars, Thieves and Dead Leaves’

Kelly Davidson Photography

Back in the ’60s Boston was equally celebrated and warned of the unholy trinity of “lovers, muggers, and thieves” wandering our city’s streets. Nearly 50 years later, we are presented with something consistent with the evolution of society: Liars, Thieves and Dead Leaves.

Not merely a milemarker for those who have deceived, stolen, and left the rest of us in an autumnal lurch, it’s also the brilliantly appropriate moniker for the latest full-length from Endation, which is officially out today with a record release party tonight at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge.

Liars, Thieves and Dead Leaves is an aggressive, difficult, and unforgiving album; 15 raw, emotive and anxious guitar-rock tracks that offer a twisted wall of sound with a sonic deviant waiting around each corner. It’s the sound of something gone astray, and all the mental and emotional second-guesses that come with life’s decisions.

Before Endation unleash its live fury upon us tonight in Central Scare, we tossed some questions at guitarist/vocalist Anthony Conley and drummer
Matt Graber in order to lift up the bunker grate and take a peek inside the duo’s musical mania.

Preview Liars, Thieves and Dead Leaves below via Bandcamp, listen to our favorite tracks off the LP today on Vanya Radio, and read out Q&A with Graber and Conley after the jump.

Michael Marotta: What type of ideas and emotions went into this record as a step forward from Absence of Everything?

Endation: We continually write new material practically every time we get in a room together. Over the last couple of years, our sound has continued to evolve and mature. The songs for this album are a bit longer on average than the last and a bit more intricate. We have always strived to embody light and dark into our sound. The lyrics generally embody the pain of life experiences, while the carnage of drums and guitar embody release.

There’s a real raw power to any Endation live show; how does the band capture that on record?

We spent a lot of time rehearsing and fine-tuning the songs before going into Woolly Mammoth to record. We are primarily a live band that always tries to play with a raw power, and we wanted to bring that out on the album. We do this by preparing ourselves until we know the songs inside and out, so that we can go into the studio and confidently play them with the same looseness that we would if we were on stage.

Also, we make sure to work with people who understand the type of sound we’re going for. We worked with Joel Simches on The Absence of Everything, and our new album was recorded by Chuck Pukmel. Both of them were on the same wave-length with us as far as capturing our sound.

We’re living in a sort of golden age for rock duos (one just played the Garden, and there are two on tonight’s bill!). What other 2-pieces reflect what you guys do?

Hmmm…. good question. Honestly, not sure. There are some great duos, but none that I can think of that reflect what we do.

As a two-piece, is there an underlying desire to sound fuller and heavier than most traditional bands?

I wouldn’t say it’s a specific goal, although it is nice when people say that we sound heavier than most bands with three to five people. It’s more just that we’re trying to sound the best that we can, and we try to use a wide range of dynamics to do that and be expressive as possible. That can mean we get extremely quiet, or insanely loud.

Where does the Liars Thieves and Dead Leaves title come from? It sounds very Boston

Liars, thieves and dead leaves: Lying or people who have lied, things we’ve all stolen or have been stolen from us and the dead leaves are all that’s left of us. Beautiful and complex but no more than an insignificant speck in the grand scheme of life.

Speaking of Dead Leaves, I always feel albums have a seasonal feel; is this an autumn record?

We recorded most of the album in the spring… when all is in bloom.

ENDATION + DO NOT FORSAKE ME OH MY DARLING + EDDIE JAPAN + YELLABIRD :: Thursday, September 25 @ T.T. The Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline Ave., Cambridge MA :: 8:30 p.m., 18-plus, $8 advance, $10 at doors :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page

Endation Flyer