Q&A with Endolith
January 18th Endolith will premiere their second album Chicxulub – The Fossil Record. We sat down to have a chat with Erling Malm. As always he had much to offer on different aspects of their band and next album release. Read on to find out!
Who are Endolith, and what is the story behind your band name?
Endolith is an extreme metal band from northern Norway, based in Tromsø. The band consists of Frode Horsøy on vocals, myself on guitars, vocals and electronics, and Roger Tunheim Jakobsen on drums. We draw on a wide range of musical influences from a plethora of genres, and really feel that any more precise categorization is near impossible. But we guess that is what the all say. An Endolith is a microbe that dwells on the surface and inside of rocks. Many are extremophiles, meaning that they live in conditions normally thought inhospitable to life. They are of interest to astrobiologists because of their potential for helping us understand possible extraterrestrial life. For us, it was the perfect metaphor for humanity – for are we not anything but insignificant organisms clinging to a rock, floating in the most inhospitable environment imaginable?
Your album is titled Chicxulub – The Fossil Record and consists of nine tracks. What can you tell us about the music and lyrics?
The album was written almost entirely in 2017, in a very intense production phase that included two rounds of preproduction, orchestral arrangement and rehearsals. It is a concept album dealing with the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the music was written to a structure that Frode set up for us early on. As the writing progressed, a lot of contemporary global political issues made their entry as abundant double entendres all over the record. The music itself is maybe more structured and straight forward than last time around, more melodic, but possibly also a little darker overall, owing to our black and death metal roots shining through a little more clearly.
In short, tell us about the recording process, and also why you chose to produce and mix it yourself?
As is usual these days, the recording was done in increments. Because of the nature of our arrangement with the Arctic Philharmonic, we had to record the strings first. We did this with an 18-strong full string ensemble in just one day in Kysten Studio, with epic arrangements courtesy of Bernt Simen Lund. Next up we recorded drums during an oval weekend also in Kysten. We tracked DIs for the guitars at home, and re-amped them in Schille Media Studio in Narvik. All real drums and amps this time, as opposed to our previous releases that were V-drums and modelers. This contributed to a much more organic sound, that we are quite happy with. We have always recorded everything ourselves, and the production is a part of the creative process for us. This time we actually had a little more help with engineering than previous releases, and the plan was initially to have someone else mix for us. However, budget and time restraints led us to do it myself. Mastering was handled by Henning Bortne at Oslo Mastering.
Tell us about the cover art of the album. Who is Kristine Marie Børresen?
The cover is put together in a true team effort, based on a photo of an ammonite fossil taken by Frode, an our supporting symbol the “Impact Sigil”, designed by me. Kristine Marie Børresen is a friend of the band and a professional in the Tromsø music scene, and she was gracious enough to lend us her Photoshop and Illustrator skills to pull the whole thing together.
What’s in store for Endolith in 2019? Any tours planned?
We have two live appearances slated in February, first our split release party with Vederkast the 9th, and then Rob Mules Records Annual Rock Show two weeks later. We are working out further plans as we speak.
Tell us about your influences, bands you like?
Our influences are truly too many to mention, but we all appreciate Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, and lots of classic death and black metal. We are also influenced a lot by other genres, like jazz, electronic music, classical and contemporary orchestral music and film scores.
Remember people, January 18th the double LP Chicxulub – The Fossil Record hits the stores – hard! Don’t miss out on this one! The coming weeks we recommend that you to have a go at their mixtape. Listen to Endolith’s favorite Christmas carols …
Photo by Normark Photography