Journey’s End are a hardcore band from Wakefield who have quickly found success in their local scene. I caught up with Harry to discuss the local scene, his lyrics and what the future holds for the band.
Harry, do you want to introduce yourself and tell us a little behind the history of Journey’s End?
Hi there. I’m the vocalist of Journey’s End from Wakefield. We formed in mid-2011 but really didn’t pull things together until early 2012 when we started writing songs. Then in summer 2012, we started playing gigs in our local region and things have been going up from there. Our name is actually pulled from a pretty awesome play.
Nice. How many people make up the band? Do you all contribute equal amounts to the writing process or does somebody usually take charge?
To be honest, out of the 4 of us, most of the song writing process falls to our guitarist Charles and our bassist Joe. They’ve really been driving the direction of our songs but we all contribute seperate elements, like I pretty much wrote our intro. In regards to gigs, we all try and individually do our part to get a spot on what we can.
You guys released your debut self-titled EP a short while back, tell us about the writing and recording process.
We were referenced a guy to record with through a band we were all fond of and had played gigs with – Lost Ground from Bradford. Writing songs for the EP came naturally. 3 of the songs we pretty much wrote specifically for the EP whilst one song, ‘Trapped In Hell’, was originally an old song from our days with more metalcore influence (and you can still notice it!) that we just altered to go with the new hardcore direction we wanted.
Are you happy with the final product? Is there anything you’d do differently if you could record it again?
Seeing as it’s our first recording, we’re really just happy that we have an official release we can put out more than anything else. We’ve all taken note of things we’d like to improve for our next release; but nothing would stop us from going back to GrantBC, who we recorded with.
Where do you venture lyrically on the album?
It’s quite simple in the respect that the lyrics seem to be songs in the generic hardcore topics like non-conformity, angst and violence. I suppose it went with the vibes of the music as a whole. On our next release, I’ll definitely be moving into more specific lyrical content though.
Speaking of your next release, what can we expect? A full length? Another EP? A split?
We’re looking at recording and releasing splits this summer with two bands; one local and one from another region/country. After then, who knows? We have considered that we’ll probably release another EP to consolidate the style we’re heading in and our influences on a whole – but the material we have at the moment for the split is a big step up from our EP.
Obviously your EP can be defined as being a hardcore release, but because the genre itself is quite broad, who would you compare Journey’s End to?
That’s a good question, we often get asked that and ask other people it ourselves! Listening to the EP, I’d say that there’s a lot of influences that appear in parts but none that are overtly prominent. Some parts you can say ‘Oh, that’s like Brutality Will Prevail’ or ‘That intro sounds like Desolated’ but for the most part, our songs are genuinely unique in sound and it’s hard for us and other people to compare our music directly against another band’s. One thing I will say though is that there is a strong metal influence in our music, and that’s certainly not going away any time soon.
You guys are from Wakefield, right? What’s your local scene like? Do you have plenty of venues for bands such as Journey’s End?
I’m going to set it straight here: The music scene in Wakefield is pretty strange. Whilst you get plenty of bands with young members and strong aspirations, a lot simply fall into line with dreams of becoming Asking Alexandria or another band that they look up to; so you can bet your ass that we’ve got plenty of post-hardcore & metalcore bands that all sound the same. But for the heavier genres, there’s really just us and our friends in Sea Of Abrogation doing our thing when we can, hosting gigs DIY-style at the local practice area – Diamond Studios. The few other ‘official’ venues, as it were, are more receptive to the rock/pop bands that wade through the peculiarity of Wakefield’s music scene. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a terrible thing; we still get people from outside of Wakefield coming to see us and other bands that we put on in what is basically a 10×10 foot room as well as our local fans here that we all know personally. We’re now relatively well-known in our local scene, it’s just simply expanding from this regular location that we all know and love and getting our music beyond Wakefield.
Of course. How beneficial do you find the internet as a tool for promoting Journey’s End?
Mixed results, really. For some bands, it’s a useful resource that allows their music to go pretty far and gain recognition from the fanbase they’re appealing to. For us, it’s more of an issue with the UK scene we belong to. Whilst the hardcore scene has its problems, we are simply attempting to make UK fans more receptive to our music, albeit we do get people from abroad liking our page and listening to our music (a week after our EP was released, I found a link to it posted on a German forum!). We’re just happy with our page and the genuine fans we get liking us and our music, keeping up to date with what we’re doing and coming out to see us when they can. It’s cool being able to be in contact with promoters and see events being organised and arranged – but it’s another thing getting onto gigs. So we’re just wanting to get our music to as great a number of people as possible, without needing to sacrifice our integrity as a band or individuals to do so.
On a more personal note then, when did you start getting into the vocal style that you like to use, and when did you start getting into the hardcore scene? How did they both come about?
Both are pretty closely related. I was always a massive fan of metal, over time growing into bands like Opeth, Cryptopsy, Anaal Nathrakh and then eventually the general extreme metal genre as a whole. In this period, I taught myself to death growl and scream – this distortion technique having been my main ally in any kind of vocals I’ve wanted to perform. I suppose I started properly getting into hardcore after I discovered Weekend Nachos on a whim (who are now my favourite band). I took the more extreme route of powerviolence to getting into hardcore from metal; always admiring the more natural vocal techniques that vocalists used. Whilst my live vocals are more like Harm’s Way & Trap Them, recording the EP; I wanted to capture the energy that the vocals in albums like Violence Violence by Ceremony had – so I made that my primary focus, so I suppose you could somewhat compare my vocal style on the EP to Nails and Last Witness. I’m still a massive fan of all my metal upbringings, but hardcore and its variants are my current musical interest. On our next release, I’ll be widening my vocal style a lot more though.
Speaking of metal, I know you’re a huge fan of many different types. Can you see these influences having more of an impact on the band’s sound somewhere in the future?
As a band, we’re growing more appreciative of the influences in our favourite songs – beatdown hardcore notably taking a large amount of its style from brutal death metal and ‘slam’. In the same way, we’re also attempting to integrate these aspects into our music without it becoming the main focus. So expect some killer beatdowns inbetween some sweet riffs!
Finally then, last question: I imagine it’s a well known fact that you’re straight edge. What made you claim the lifestyle?
I’ve got some personal reasons for claiming edge, but outwardly I can say that a major reason I became edge falls to individuals becoming other people when they drink. Drinking and doing drugs with people my age became more of a social gateway than something people could just enjoy, and what’s the point in having friends that you need to qualify in some way to be friends with? Or adhere to what usually ends up in a self-destructive stupor of drunkenness? I just got tired of going to parties and feeling pressure when I drank and when I didn’t. I’m totally cool with being friends with people who drink etc, the rest of the band aren’t edge; and straight edge may not be for everyone but it’s the only way for me with who I am as an individual.
Check out JOURNEY’S END here: http://www.facebook.com/journey.end
Download their EP here: http://www.journeysendhc.bandcamp.com