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Sydney outfit Endless Heights had a solid year in 2018, releasing their second album Vicious Pleasure earlier in the year and soon after hit the road playing headline shows nationally in support of the record.
Endless Heights also brought their emotive hardcore idiom to the European continent twice over as well as a few dates in Japan. This well oiled machine is already heading backing on the road in February with Hands like Houses, Ocean Grove and RedHook in what is sure to be a dream line up for fans of hardcore and alternative rock. Hysteria had a chat to lead singer Joel Martorana about their incredibly busy 2018, how travelling made them into mature and professional musicians, their background in classical music and opera, and much more!
Hysteria: Let’s begin by talking about how 2018 was for Endless Heights?
Endless Heights: It was a massive year for us, probably one of the most active years we’ve had as a band. I feel pretty drained now but I feel pretty good about everything we’ve done. We put out a record Vicious Pleasure in February and have been touring ever since then (laughs). We got to go to Europe twice, we played gigs in Japan and did a sold out Australia tour. It’s gone in a flash but when I think about some of the specific things that we’ve done, even just memories like having lunch in Italy and then playing a show at night, it feels like ten years of work in one year.
How did all the touring change the band’s chemistry and songwriting?
It left us in a position where we needed to have some rest before we go into writing music. The travel just showed us that we did want to write more music and there’s a lot of music in us that we want to achieve collectively; we’ve always traditionally played every opportunity by ear, we’re best friends and we’ve never had a member change in ten years. Every time we write new songs or go on a new tour, we see how that will add value to us personally as friends and then secondly as a band and for our career. As friends we started to experience touring with a more professional mindset because the scale of these tours really taught us it’s a job and this was our first time experiencing that. We are switched on people but some days the adrenaline kicks in less for me personally and I just have to practice gratitude that I’m in another country or that I’m playing in London for the second time in one year, something which I or my band mates have never done before.
Every time we write new songs or go on a new tour, we see how that will add value to us personally as friends and then secondly as a band and for our career.
[ Joel Martorana ]
Growing up, what music were you and your band mates influenced by and did your travels expand your music taste?
Well, we come from very diverse sonic backgrounds, Jem Siow our guitarist, studied flute at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, so he’s essentially classically trained. When I was a kid I sang in Opera Australia, our bassist Matt Jones use to build stages and is heavily into electronic music. We already had quite diverse influences before we started travelling and are influenced by artists that have been in heavier or alternative music for a long time because we like to see how those bands have grown and how they become more unique.
Looking ahead to this year, how are you guys feeling about going on tour in February with Hands Like Houses?
Starting the year with such a solid Australian tour line up is exciting to us. When we released Vicious Pleasure we toured the album with our own headline shows and showcased it with our hearts and passion. So it is a good feeling to play with bands like Hands like Houses who we culturally relate to and respect. Their approach to the music industry and music in general is something I personally really admire; we also looked up to Ocean Grove for ages so it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ve played one show with RedHook before so it’s going to be cool to get to know them better. All the hard work we’ve put into the band and the release of the record in 2018 is now being felt and we are getting to enjoy some of the benefits of that straight away in 2019 with this upcoming tour.
Where there any bands, tours or albums in 2018 that stood out for you?
We had a chance to tour with The Amity Affliction in Europe and seeing how chilled they were but also how tight they were every night was inspiring. The Plot in You had a great album come out last year called Dispose and they were on that same tour with us.
Which bands in 2019 should your fans look out for and what are Endless Heights’ goals for this year?
In Australia people should keep an eye out for Broken and Born Free, two great hardcore bands from Melbourne as well as Reactions and Shackles. I’m pretty happy with our trajectory at the moment but with anything that’s good or exciting part of you always wants more. As far as our bucket list of things to do this year, we would like to do an American tour, we would like to tour in parts of South East Asia and we also want to write and record new music and continue to nail some of the things we’ve done already. We were tired at the end of last year but really inspired to give everything we can. We’re just going to see what comes up and take on every opportunity we have because you never know how long these opportunities are going to last, we’ve already achieved so much and we’re eager to see what unfolds.
Catch Endless Heights with Hands Like Houses, Ocean Grove & RedHook at the following dates:
Friday 8 February // UC Refectory // Canberra
Saturday 9 February // Enmore Theatre // Sydney
Friday 15 February // The Tivoli // Brisbane
Saturday 16 February // The Forum // Melbourne
Friday 22 February // HQ Complex // Adelaide
Saturday 23 February // Astor Theatre // Perth*