When founding drummer Chad Zollo departed from Ends !n Tragedy, he left with a message for singer/guitarist Ian Jarrell.
“He said, 'I’m going to find you another drummer, I want you to continue, and you have to be a part of this project forever,' ” Jarrell remembers. “That’s a theme we’ll always have. It’s us against everything that’s going to try to stop us—and we’re not going to let it.”
After four years, three guitarists, a trifecta of bassists and a triple-shot of drummers, Jarrell is Ends !n Tragedy’s only constant. “I don’t know what that says about me, exactly,” Jarrell says. “There’s a real feeling that we’ll live on regardless.”
The current roster consists of what Jarrell calls “an Albuquerque all-star lineup.” Members of Left Unsaid, Stabbed In Back and The Unemploid form a punk rock dream team. Jarrell’s nine-month stint with the 12 Step Rebels (along with Zollo) adds an extra spoonful of local music cred to the equation. “Having this lineup gives me the best options I could possibly have, because I’ve got some amazing musicians to play with me,” Jarrell says. “It’s built my confidence.”
“We say we’re trying to bring back the solo.”
It took nearly a half-decade, but Ends !n Tragedy has an official release on local label Socyermom to tout. The six-song EP "Like Bullets From Fairview" wields what an Anaheim promoter who booked the band once described as the “ultimate rock.”
Jarrell says the band plays hard and fast to give the songs a hardcore feel, but there's plenty of melody to soften the edges. “There are a lot of licks,” he explains. “We say we’re trying to bring back the solo.”
There’s an overarching sinister quality to the chunky guitar, and Jarrell’s screams sound like they’re doing irreparable damage to his vocal chords. “I do probably hurt my voice more often than I should,” Jarrell admits. “Eventually, after doing it for so long, you build almost like a callus in your throat. I think my speaking voice has gotten deeper since I started singing for Ends !n Tragedy.”
Lyrically, "Like Bullets From Fairview" follows the life and afterlife of a man named Otis. Otis is banished to hell, where he climbs the ranks to become one of the leading forces in the campaign to bring about the end of the world. Jarrell says many of Otis’ struggles are inspired by events in his own life—save for the whole burning in hell part. “It seems like a more interesting way to tell the story of what people feel like when they’re betrayed by friends or people that they’re close to.”
To record the EP, Ends !n Tragedy traveled north to Tone Palace Recording outside of Taos. “It’s in the middle of nowhere,” Jarrell says. “It was so nice to come out of the studio and see snowy mountains completely surrounding you. You separate yourself from everything else and you can just concentrate on the album.”
In April, Jarrell says he hopes the band can jump back into the studio to record its first full-length album. But before that, there’s the little matter of two EP release parties. Jarrell says the group’s supporters have been itching to celebrate for some time. “There’s been one little obstacle after another trying to keep the band from staying together,” Jarrell says. “We have a lot of great friends who have been pushing us along and have been waiting forever for us to finish this album.”
Ends !n Tragedy welcomes its faithful followers to the Launchpad on Friday, Feb. 27, for an all-ages CD release. Hit By A Bus and Dead Hours open the party; The Gracchi and Deadmary clean up the mess at a 21-plus after-show. The merriment commences at 8:30 p.m.
Then on Friday, March 6, folks are invited to Atomic Cantina for a strictly 21+ CD release. The free show with Fadnez begins at 9 p.m.
Marvel at the misfortune by visiting myspace.com/endsintragedy