“The End Of America” Chat With TMI About Their Journey As A Band

What led to you guys forming “The End Of America”?

We all met on the road, touring as the lead singers in our own punk rock / indie bands. All being the type of guys that’d shake a stranger’s hand after watching them play a great set, we meet lots of people. But there was and is a commonality in demeanor we all share that was an immediate sign that’d we’d know each other for a long time. Trev and Brendon (this is James speaking, by the way) were kind and interested, present and down to earth, yet we all possessed an unreasonable love for the DIY/underground music scene that we were a part of. A match made in punk rock heaven.

How did you guys all meet & become a band?

We toured as separate projects for years, hopping on stage for each other’s songs, gradually singing more and more background vocals. But it was only after our good friend Jeff Brown saw us informally singing on each others’ tunes years later that he said “You’d be idiots if you didn’t start a project together.” We did just that the next day.

What’s the meaning of the name “The End Of America”?

The end of America is a place. You can only get there by pushing yourself to your limits, be they personal or creative. It comes from Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ and is the phrase the characters reflect upon as they stand at the edge of the continent, realizing they followed their muse to the edge of their world.

What’s the difference from your band and all bands that are currently doing well?

Hmm, well, hard to say because everyone’s situation is so drastically different but I do know we’re unique in the sense that we really are best friends. At the core of the project you have three guys (and their incredible, supportive spouses) who really love spending time together. We love making music, of course. It’s the backdrop to the whole show. But, even without the instruments, we’d be hanging out no matter what. I’m sure there are some bands like that, but I know it’s unique.

Can you tell us a little something about each of you?

Sure.

Trev is the oldest by 5 months. Then me, then Brendon (3 months younger than me). We all grew up in small towns, playing punk rock and hardcore music. We all toured starting at 18 years old.

Trev lives in Philly with his wife and beautiful baby boy. I live in the Bronx, NY with my wife, and Brendon lives in Keene, NH with his gal.

Trev loves to cook and takes a long time to decide on things like food at a restaurant. I love to draw and rush into decisions, forget things everywhere. Brendon is a myco genius and loves to make medicinal tinctures from mushrooms he finds in the woods.

What inspired you guys to pursue music?

I think we all shared a healthy skepticism of authority figures, bosses, cops. Music is a natural and healthy outlet for youthful rebellion. I’ve got a bunch of friends who didn’t survive their teens and early 20s. I’m convinced I’m still here because of music. I know Trev and Brendon would say something similar. Being bent towards self preservation instead of self destruction meant having to find an outlet for the the passion, anger, and curiosity. Music was perfect.

How would you describe your musical style as a band?

We’re punk rockers, raised on classic rock, who play indie/folk. Ha. We were recently described as being a mixture of Crosby Stills Nash and Young mixed with Sufjan Stephens.

What artists do you guys look up to right now?

We’re big into Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief, and Hop Along.

Are there any projects in the works you can tell us about?

We’re currently releasing a song per month. It’s an experiment to see how our fans and audience interact with that type of release schedule. So far, we’re seeing great results! When we started, we got a few Spotify playlist adds, and by our fourth single, we were placed on Spotify’s Fresh Folk playlist with over a half million followers! So cool.

Why do you think social media is so important for singers today?

Well, part of me wishes I could walk away from social media. The implications of its influence frighten me a bit (just look at how Trump is spreading disinformation to stoke his followers). Yes, it gives everyone the ability to speak their mind, but I really don’t give a shit to read the opinions people lob from behind the safety wall of their avatar.

Now that my old man rant is finished (I went to high school pre MySpace), I will say that, from a profession standpoint, social media helps artists marquis more of what they’re about. Everyone is looking for the next song that makes facing the day a little easier. I think social media helps facilitate the discovery and development of that talent

How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?

My favorite bands create a community where fans and band members interact, share ideas, support each other. I want the people who relate to our music to feel a bond with us and others like them, all in hopes of creating a sense of belonging and acceptance. Really, if people felt accepted and not alone, this world would be a better place. Growing up in the Connecticut hardcore scene, I felt a sense of community that helped me grow to be a responsible, conscious, and connected person. I hope our fans get some semblance of that feeling.

How has this whole music career experience been?

It’s been looooonnnnnnngggggg. Haha. Been at it for about 18 years and for real, I’m only now starting to see the dominos of progress starting to tip. It’s a process that can take years (for the lucky ones) or decades (for the majority of us). It’s all about being the best you can be, being trustworthy, being focused with unwavering determination. Before things started to feel like they were going well, I lived through over a hundred awkward family holiday dinners while my Ivy League extended family politely asks me how the ‘music biz’ is going. Just gotta keep on keepin on.

Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?

Just want to say thank you for your time, your emotional and do financial support. We don’t get to do this without you, so we send you our praises. We hope to see you at a show, shake hands, and get to know you.

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