How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Usually the instrumental tracks are completed first, so it’s a matter of taking inspiration from the mood and feel of the song – that usually gives me some direction on what’s required from a lyrical and thematic standpoint. I keep a notepad file on my phone where I jot down various lines, phrases and potential song titles. I generally like to start with a good title, then I build the lyrics from there.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Integrity and soul. I love writers who are true to their instincts and don’t try to contrive a certain style or sound based on what they think people will want to hear. Music from the heart is always the best, no matter the genre – visceral. I think if the songwriter is coming from an honest and real place, audiences will connect. Artificial writers might attract audiences too, but the fleeting and superficial kind – here today, gone tomorrow.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
I’d be lying if I said no. There are a lot of personal stories I’ve shared through my lyrics so far, and I’m comfortable and proud to connect them with people. But there are still some deep-seated feelings and experiences I’m yet to fully express – I guess due to fear. Not so much fear of what strangers would think, but fear of having to re-live it all myself. I’m sure when the time is right, I’ll be ready.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
It’s really difficult to pick a single line, as opposed to certain songs. As far as To An End songs go, I think “Collide” and “From Grace Into Demise” have the most resonate and powerful lyrics. I’m really proud of the lyrics from a song called “Escape” by my previous band Moments Apart too.
What inspired “Collide” from your latest album/EP “Redefine”?
The one that got away, essentially. And how that person never really gets away in a sense, you know? It’s a deeply personal song – an expression of the scars, the regrets and the frustrations of never being free of a love that never eventuated, despite life moving on. I tried to deliver the lyrics like I imagined I was signing it right up close in her face. But in contrast, I also wanted to give it straightforward, non-cryptic and universal lyrics so listeners might draw from it as alike to their own experiences.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Wasteland”?
I remember Matt sending me a demo and him thinking I wouldn’t like it because it was super heavy and modern. I instantly loved it and knew exactly what melodies and phrasing to sing right away. The creative process was natural and fast for this one, and it became one of my favourite songs we’ve ever done!
Is there a link/a common theme among the songs of the new album?
We tackle a lot of subjects and cover a lot of ground from super heavy and viscous, to really melodic and sombre. We like to keep the lyrical messaging universal and direct – it’s important to us to connect with people on an individual level so they know we mean what we say and say what we mean!
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
“Do it again” haha.
What are your plans for 2019?
We are planning to play as much as we can in support of ‘Redefine’ and then hopefully get back into the studio late 2019!
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “Redefine”: Varied.
- The best show you ever played: We’ve played a few there, but Whole Lotta Love in Melbourne is the most awesome intimate venue – always a great reception and vibe in that room!
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: We’re a new band earning our stripes playing very small venues – if a place even has a backstage area at all then we feel like we’ve made it!
- The soundtrack of your childhood: A healthy diet of classic rock and heavy metal.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: “What Difference Does It Make” by The Smiths comes to mind. Morrissey has a deep vocabulary and unique eloquence – he tells amazing stories.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Relationships are seasonal. Sometimes it’s summer – party times at the beach and nonstop fun! But then winter comes – stuck in a blizzard on the highway, and you forgot to put snow-chains on your tyres!