Greetings Boys, what`s new? Did your backpacks are ready? Did you prepare for your spring shows?
Hello Alex, hope you’re keeping safe. We are packed and ready to go! Busy learning to play the new record for the upcoming shows, which is challenging but super fun to play!
I guess now I can congrats you on a new album! “Manifested Forms” is unbelievably loud and strong work! What can you tell us about it? Do you satisfied with the final result? How long did it take you to start and finish this full-length?
Thank you so much! We’re all incredibly happy with the final result, from the production to the writing we feel it’s the best representation of who and what Endless Swarm is and we’re very excited to share it with everyone. The record is a continuation from ‘Imprisoned In Skin’ thematically, we address our concerns about the world from both an environmentalist perspective as well as being anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and so on, as well as talking about things like drug abuse and mental health through science-fiction imagery. The album has been assembled using songs Alex has written from 2019 to 2021, we started putting it all together and learning it last November and then holed ourselves up in our drummer Dave’s studio – The Broken Drum Studio, Edinburgh – in January 2023 for two weeks to record it ourselves. It was then sent off to Ben Jones (Pest Control) and he mixed and mastered it for us. A pretty quick process once we got going!
This LP will be released in Europe and in the USA. Who will release it, and when people can buy it for their collections?
So it’s coming out in the USA through To Live A Lie Records, which we’re incredibly happy about, getting to work with a label that inspired us to start this band and continues to put out so many great records is an honour for us. Likewise with Coxinha Records the European label putting our LP out, he’s been putting out some incredible records over the past few years. It should be available by July if not sooner, which means we’ll have plenty with us for our (tba) European tour!
Graham I couldn’t help but notice your old-school tattoos. The album cover is made in the same style, and as I know these images always have some meaning. So what is the meaning of this album cover?
So Steve that has done the artwork for both our albums has now gone on to start tattooing so there’s definitely some parallels between my love of traditional tattoos and the style of our art but I don’t think it was a deliberate choice. This cover is Steve’s interpretation of some of the themes in the album, we very much let him do his thing with it and it turned out great! It’s just a big gnarly monster alien and lots of space stuff. There’s also a little train at the bottom which for anyone who’s paid close attention to us before will see is a bit of a theme for us. It was also sent to Tommy Wilson who deserves a shoutout too, he distressed the painting by Steve to give it an old Sci-Fi book feel and he’s done the whole layout of the LP too which looks really cool.
Can you give me a brief history of the band and provide some background info for those who are unfamiliar with Endless Swarm?
Sure! So we formed in 2013 in Edinburgh. The idea was to play very fast and sound like something you’d expect to hear come out on Slap-a-ham mixed with more current stuff that labels like TLAL, Nerve Altar and Diseased Audio were putting out. After a few years, a few tours and a lot of records we arrived at the current line up and put out Imprisoned In Skin, our debut LP in 2018. We describe our sound as Grinding Powerviolence as we very much see ourselves as a PV band but with strong Grindcore influences.
What goes first: lyrics or music? And who’s writing most of the guitar riffs, and structures, and who goes to the store for a beer?)
Our writing process is unorthodox, I think. Alex writes a power of songs and tabs them straight into guitarpro and posts them in the group chat. I separately write all my lyrics, not to any structure and then I’ll spend a lot of time placing them into one of the midi files I think works best once they’ve been written. That being said I don’t write all the lyrics and Alex contributes his own, I think with MF I’ve ended up doing around 75% of them. We then take this into the practice space where Dave plays the drums to what he thinks works best, writing his own fills etc. whilst Maty does a similar thing with the guitar parts playing along to what Alex has written and adding in his own flair. So we definitely approach it a lot more structured as opposed to jamming.
What is a ExSx – show like? What can people expect when they go to one of your concerts?
For us it’s all about energy and fun. We want it to be a space where everyone feels welcomed, can be silly and enjoy our silly music.
When I first heard your band I was very amazed. You perform in a very high speed, it’s quite difficult. How long is your live gig? What do you eat to keep up the pace?)
We aim to stick to the 25 minute mark, which is usually around 30 songs. Our diets are pretty unremarkable but we always enjoy all the vegan food promoters offer us while we’re away, there seems to be a lot of Grindcore promoters in Europe that know how to cook! We all are pretty active outside of band stuff – climbing hills and riding bikes – so I think that’s the secret to our hyperspeed endurance.
Everyone has their own heroes. What are your personal icons of powerviolence genre?
The Lack of Interest vocalist (Mike? Rick?) for me, hands down. The vocal patterns, the style, everything about it is perfect! I listen to Trapped Inside whenever I need inspiration for writing. Other heroes include Matt Domino, Chris Dodge, Rich from TAG and John from Weekend Nachos.
Can you describe the local scene where you grew up, what bands and venues were important to you and can you share some of your greatest memories about these bands/places?
So I grew up in a town near Edinburgh called Livingston. It’s famous for its shopping centre first but secondly it’s skate park. I was around in the late 90s and early 2000s and picked up on lots of Nu-metal and Hip Hop around then as my first introduction to “alternative music” but I wasn’t properly invested in any scenes until I moved to Edinburgh in 2008. Around that time I met a guy called Neil Thomas, he was booking lots of Hardcore and as I’d just started a Hardcore band we ended up playing lots of the shows he put on (Mother Of Mercy/Twitching Tongues/The Mongoloids/The Ghost Of A Thousand). He ended up moving to the States and I sorta took over booking shows but I quickly drifted into the fast end of the spectrum. For me the most important venue through this was The Banshee Labyrinth. The first show I booked was there (Full Of Hell) and it’s been host to many of the early Endless Swarm shows. My favourite memory from there is booking a 4 band tour – Nothing Clean, Famine, The Day Man Lost and Lugubrious Children it was an incredible night and we had a party at my old house afterwards which was sick. I didn’t know most of them at the time but most of the bands involved have gone on to be really close friends of ours and really important to Endless Swarm over the years!
What is the most frightening thing in modern life for you?
Capitalism. Billionaires hoarding wealth. Billions starving, freezing, overheating, displaced, fleeing from war. The climate breakdown. Poverty everywhere from the global south to Scotland. The system is failing everyone but a tiny handful of elites.
If there’s an apocalypse coming, and the chaos will devour us, what Abba’s song would fit perfectly for this kind of situation?)
I’m saying Super Trooper “beams are gonna blind me” sounds pretty apocalyptic and it mentions Glasgow so I have to pick it!
Thank you very much for this interview. I’m looking forward to seeing you this summer! Feel free to add something to our readers 😉
No, thank you! Always a pleasure talking with you and thanks for helping us spread the word! Will be great to meet each other face to face soon!
To the reader’s, check out our new album if you haven’t and catch us when we come play your city. Ripitup!