Get up. Wipe off the eighteen layers of black eyeliner, stop whining about life, and F.Y.I., duct tape was not meant for clothes. It’s time to rock n’ roll.
Despite the assembly line of performing drones that are currently pervading the air waves, there is one band that has been stealthily building momentum in the background. Endeverafter holds the match to the gasoline of hard rock—and these boys are not afraid to ignite the fire.
The band Endeverafter was birthed two years ago in Sacramento, CA, where front man and lead guitarist Michael Grant, rhythm guitarist Kristan Mallory, bassist Tommi Andrews, and former drummer Austin Sinclaire decided that they wanted to go down in music history. However, the magic happened long before that, as Michael Grant explains, “I’ve been friends with Kristan for five years, with Tommi for three years, and [current drummer] Eric is one of my best friends.” Yet friendship is only part of the foundation that these band mates share. Perhaps learning a lesson from past legends, Endeverafter stands by similar musical fronts, “Our influences are in the deeper 60s, 70s hard rock,” Grant explicates the departure of former drummer Sinclaire, “We had a lot of creative differences, he was more into the glam aspects of rock. A band grows, and sometimes people don’t grow along with you, and you fall apart.”
Endeverafter heated up the stage this summer as the opening act for Poison’s 20 Years of Rock tour. “It’s been an amazing tour, this is an amazing opportunity to play in front of this many people and [laughs] not have an album out!” Grant added, “We’ve been on tour with them for about two and half months. The whole tour’s been amazing; we’ve had some crazy shows like Detroit with thirty to forty thousand people.” However, they are no rookies. Previous to this tour, Endeverafter took on Asia, where they opened for rock gods KISS, and scored a major deal with Epic Records. Even after such huge success in a short amount of time, Grant manages to keep cool, “We don’t really get stage fright...night after night you kind of develop this immunity to the nerves, but at the same time, it’s the nerves we actually embrace—it’s like a rush.”
If nerves are what it takes to deliver the kind of electrifying performance that Endeverafter gave at Jones Beach Theater in August, then the secret’s out. Michael Grant’s vocal flamboyance as he strutted across the stage, ripping the chords on his guitar instantly swooned the audience. Not far off was Kristan Mallory, a dead-ringer for Robert Plant, whose lucid riffs and cascading solos could make anyone forget that the 70s ever passed. Together, Mallory and bassist, Tommi Andrews, made the songs come to life, especially on the definite crowd-pleaser, “Baby, Baby, Baby.” Still, the attention always seemed to gravitate back to Grant, who seethed with ruthless ambition. Dusting off some Steven Tyler-esque stage antics, the ever-charismatic Grant dug deep into his soul to find the harmonies that will doubtless one day be on their greatest hits album.
According to Michael Grant, Endeverafter’s premier album is due out around January. The band finished up working in the studio before the summer, although two additional tracks, which will make twelve on the album, are in the works. “I write all the songs, and then I bring them to the band so they can put their personalities and flavors in them,” Grant remarks. In addition, Grant also has the reigns in the studio, “I’ve produced a couple of albums for friends, so I’m very much into the production aspect. For the most part, when I do write a song, in my head I know where things should go and what needs to happen in the studio.” To most people, so much responsibility could seem intimidating, but without falter or hesitation, Grant stated, “there has never been a moment where I didn’t think I would not be a rock star, I’ve always known and I mean that in the best way possible.” Elaborating, Grant maintains that writing has played a key role in developing his creative muscle, “ever since I was a kid, I have always written poetry.” Moreover, at the young age of fourteen, Grant learned to play guitar the way masters Joe Perry and Slash learned—no lessons. “I taught myself. I’d watch any kind of videos, buy magazines, books, and just read up. I think that when you learn in a very formal way, it gives you limitations, you’re like ‘Oh I can’t do this because this person says I can’t,’ but if you learn on your own, you’re exploring the possibilities, you’re learning by trial and error, and nothing is wrong.”
However, one of the places where Grant believes that the well of inspiration is dry is the current music scene. “There are some good bands, but I don’t think there are any bands to idolize...I think that everybody is half-assing it.” Grant finds more meaning using an analogy, “It’s like there is a rock n’ roll crown, and it sits on top of this mountain, and everybody’s too pussy to climb the mountain. Nobody wants to go up and grab it; they just go half-way. We’re all about getting that crown at the top of the mountain.”
Endeverafter has the drive, professionalism, talent, and most importantly, the star quality which is so lacking in our disconcerting age. With a pledge to restore decadence to the name of rock n’ roll, if Michael, Kristan, Tommi, and Eric continue to have the powerhouse shows they gave over the summer tour, there is no telling how far they can take this.