Introducing The End of America

Isn’t discovering new music wonderful? The journey to discovering The End of America (TEOA) has been a complex one and is intertwined with fate: That spontaneous decision to get in the car one night, drive for an hour & a half and catch an artist perform live. The support act also appealed to my musical palate and following some research it turns out was involved in other projects. One of these was The End of America.
There’s a line in the Q&A below that captures exactly how I felt when I first heard TEOA – “hearing something that makes you (us) happy and feel in the moment”. The music these guys produce does exactly that with refreshing and honest lyrics. Three part vocal harmonies that are uplifting and are perfectly complimented by a blend of acoustic guitars, harmonicas, mandolins and even a banjo. TEOA tour extensively in their native America and have supported the likes of Beck and taken in festivals including South by South West (SXSW). Beck invited them earlier this year to perform some of his new music from his SongReader sheet music album release. You can check out the video below. 
Introduce yourself to our readers, who are you and where are you from?

We are The End of America: Brendon Thomas, James Downes and Trevor Leonard. We grew up all over the North Eastern United States, but are currently concentrated in New York City.

What are you about? 
We’re about singing at the top of our voices, playing music for the sake of hearing something that makes us happy and feel in the moment. We’re about touring. We’re about guitars. We love instruments and gear and all that s**t. We’re about playing live. Big shows, intimate shows. We’re about constantly creating. We’re about traveling and meeting people. And their dogs.

Where/who do you take your influences from?
We take our influences from lots on genres, but I could narrow it down to two main categories: underground music from the 80s on (punk, hardcore, indie) and classic rock. Our band developed during a time in our lives where we were all infatuated with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. But we have this moody Floyd thing going on too. Among other bands, we’re pretty taken with the song writing style of guys like Ryan Adams and Jim James. Mix that all together with some old school punk rock van rambling and you have The End of America.

Tell us about your song writing and recording process.
It varies. Sometimes we gather in a room with no ideas and start aggregating parts and lines and lyrics until a song is born. We’ll then capture the new tune that day and press it to record. That’s how Steep Bay (our first release) was done. As with Shakey and our new song, “Silver AM”, we’ll bring a more developed song to the table and rehearse it a few times with the guys and then track it live. The last two sessions have been done on analogue tape.

What do you think about the current music business?
Tough question. Things are in a bit of a flux right now in the music world. Both good and not-so-good things are happening out there: bands are getting discovered in new and interesting ways, but record sales are declining. Elevated gas prices make it tough for some bands to stay on the road, but bands are also making income through less conventional avenues like scoring.

If I had to narrow things down to the best and worst things about the industry right now…

Best: computers and internet levelled the playing field a bit for bands and small companies. It’s possible to carve your own niche without the support of the big guys.

Worst: attention spans are dwindling. People seem to be drifting away from elongated music listening. It’s probably pretty rare that someone sits through a whole album these days. Most folks listen to tracks on a phone, or even worse, 45 seconds of a tune on Youtube.

Who are you listening to right now?
Dawes, Grateful Dead, Iron and Wine, Slothrust, Black Sabbath

What bands/artists outside of the US are you into?
Well, British bands are what I grew up on (besides CSNY and Dylan): The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, etc. But besides classic rock, my favorite non-US artists are Carlos Montoya from Spain, Holger from Brazil, and Autumn Owls from Ireland.

Best thing/worse thing about touring?
Best thing is visiting a new city every day. There are so many people to catch up with and so many interesting places to get familiar with. It reminds you how big and infinitely complex this world is.

Worst thing is missing the folks you love back home. It’s hard to leave ladies, families, and friends behind for many months out of the year.

What’s up next for The End of America?
Having released “Silver AM” on September 15th we’re going to go on tour for most of the first half of Fall. After that we plan to hole up in basement and write/record our first full length. We’ve got a ton of ideas and our best songs are coming out right now. We’re excited for the future.

If you’re reading this and are even remotely intrigued then I implore you to take 5 and check The End of America out, your ears will thank you. TEOA have yet to grace the UK shores but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time and I for one will be right there when they do.

The End of America: Website|Facebook|Twitter

About Paul Mathias 16 Articles
Twitter: @iPaul09 25 years of music listening, purchasing and gig going experience. Started off listening to Metallica. Now can be found enjoying the South Wales scene (Straight Lines, The People The Poet, Funeral for a Friend) as well as discovering gems from all over the globe (The End of America). Guitar based rock & folk are in my ears right now (Frank Turner, Rob Lynch, Electric Eden).

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