Before we have the chance to miss them, The Pinheads will return from the studio …
To An End have emerged from the vibrant project spaces of Melbourne’s heavy scene with a debut album, Redefine. And indeed, To An End has set out to redefine the classic sounds of heavy metal.
What began as a casual creative project has grown into a fully-fledged band that brings us back to the memorable riffs, catchy melodies, and serious fun of the heavy music we love.
To An End clearly take some creative cues from bands like Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold, even Metallica. As guitarist Matt Turner explains, he’s always been right into the classic sound. ”I grew up listening to Metallica,” Turner begins, “Pantera, Slayer, all those sorts of bands, so that was kind of my bread and butter, I’ve obviously evolved as well, so I do listen to a lot of modern bands, so I feel as though the album mixes those more classic elements with more modern influences as well, so from a standpoint of the band members themselves, we all have pretty varied taste, like half the band has modern influences, half has the classic influences [laughs] and we kind of bring it all together to mix the two really, I think we’re all attracted to songs that are memorable, that you can sing along to, that kind of stick in your head, I think that’s certainly like a basis for what we try to achieve with our songs. We want people to hear a song first time and go ‘oh that’s cool, I can understand and I can feel it, the chorus, I can bang my head to it’, sort of thing.”
Redefine certainly has its share of melody-infused, hard rocking songs, such as the first single, Wasteland, which takes us through a few different emotions and musical movements. “Wasteland was written as a live song,” Turner states, “I really wanted to write something that I felt would connect us with our fans live, especially as a new band, you know, you try to make connections with new fans, I thought what’s a song and a style that’s really going to capture the attention of people who haven’t really heard us before? And that’s how it’s actually turned out. It’s usually the closing song for the set, and every time we sort of finish up, people come up and go ‘that last song was fantastic’ and that’s how they kind of get introduced to the band. So we thought that was a good first single and its based around big grooves and big choruses, so I thought that’s the way to go.”
I really wanted to write something that I felt would connect us with our fans live, especially as a new band …
[ Matt Turner ]
While we’re on the topic of To An End’s writing process, one has to ask about the guest appearances on Redefine, which include some vocal work from Chris Clancy [Mutiny Within and Wearing Scars] and guitarist Chris Amott, formerly of Arch Enemy. Turner recounts the way in which To An End built up from he and vocalist Allister Gammie throwing some ideas around and to deciding to enter to studio. “So as all that was happening,” Turner continues, “I was thinking so what could be interesting, what could we add to this whole thing, because we didn’t know then if it was going to be a band, we just kind of wanted to record the album and then see what happens, so during that process I thought I’d love get a great guitar player to add a solo to this [Hear No Evil] which really would be perfect for a ripping solo and I came across Chris Amott, who was formerly from Arch Enemy, and he does session work. So I got into contact with him and sent him the song, and he liked it and he did his thing. It was literally his first draft [laughs] that we used, being an extremely talented guitar player, and the same sort of process happened with We Are Infinite. Chris Clancy does a lot of session work, he seems to be very active, with recording, mixing, that sort of thing, he’s got two bands as well, Mutiny Within and Wearing Scars, he is a very active musician and I loved his vocals. I was a fan of his vocals prior to this whole project starting, and then again once I learned that he did session work I sent him the song and he goes ‘this reminds me of some of the early work we did in Mutiny Within!’ So he was keen to do it and that’s how it turned out.”
Given the range of heavy and mellow that resulted from this process, and found its way onto Redefine, exactly where Turner sees To An End going to musically from here is an open, exciting question, as he pauses to reflect on their sound, “that’s an interesting question, because it’s sort of an unknown, given that this album started out as a project and now we’ve turned into a full band, who is actively gigging and writing and rehearsing and doing all the things normal bands do [laughs], its going to be interesting to see what happens next. It’s going to be a bit more of a band-effort, I’d say for the next album, and I think the debut has so many different angles to it, from heavy songs like Out Of My Hands, that’s our fastest, nastiest song, so we’ve got that, and we’ve also got, you know, the ballads, like Collide, the last song, is a piano and acoustic ballad, so I think no matter which direction we choose to go or whatever style we choose, no one can say ‘you went soft’ or ‘you went too heavy’ because we kind of have those things already covered. “