It’s been a long time between drinks for the guys in Endless Heights! Between ‘New Bloom’ and their upcoming second album ‘Vicious Pleasure’, it has been a five year wait; thankfully come February 16th, that wait will come to an end as Cooking Label Australia are delivering a late Christmas present! When asked about the upcoming album release, Jem Siow kicked off the interview by expressing “this is the most excited we’ve ever been about any experience in the band!” before going into further detail:

“Endless Heights has been a band for ten years; so that’s ten years of us being best friends and going on this weird journey of being a band, travelling the world, recording music, meeting new people, putting out merch and all that sorta shit. With all that behind us, we’re about to do the most exciting thing we’ve ever done and that’s release the record that we’ve always wanted to release!”

Touching on how long Endless Heights have been sitting on the finished product, Siow mentioned “by the time the album comes out, we’ll have finished recording just over a year ago. We started the two week recording process at the end of January and finished it in the start of February; mind you, we were spending a bit of time writing before we started recording.” before giving an insight into the collective mind within the band and how the album eventuated:

“Whilst we’ve been eager, we took a lot of time off in 2016 to work out what the next step was for us; that’s where we committed to this album. After being a band for so long, we’re still five individual musicians with our own careers and aspirations outside of being in a band; Endless Heights is a unifying thing for us as we all have the same visions and we want to achieve the same things here! But coming together at the end of 2015-early 2016, we discussed if we were going to do another album or are we going to go off, put this to rest and go on with the next chapter of our lives. We decided to commit to at least one more album and put everything that we can musically, creatively and emotionally into it.”

With there being such a long gap between albums, this interviewer was curious as to whether there were any lessons learnt during the recording process of ‘New Bloom’ or throughout the years that made an appearance in the studio this time around. Siow was quick to point out how “New Bloom was the first album we’ve ever recorded and that was back in 2013; at that stage I was only twenty years old and we’d all only been out of high school a few years.” before giving more of an insight into the mindset of the band at the time:

“We were all very young and very naïve going into the album, with what we thought an album constituted and what it represents for the band; in terms of song writing we were just in a naïve stage because we were so young. The whole album was a massive learning experience, from learning how to write it to what we wanted to achieve at the end. There wasn’t anything that we did, that we didn’t enjoy or that we look back on and regret. ”

Well known Australian producer Lachlan Mitchell joined the Endless Heights band camp for the creation of ‘Vicious Pleasure’; Siow was quick to express that “working with Lachlan Mitchell was the first we have ever worked with a producer” before going to further detail about the working relationship they had:

“As I said, we had that period as a band where we had to decide whether we were going to continue or go our separate ways; once we committed to doing this record, we committed to doing it the biggest way possible. Not in the getting big off of the record sense, but really committing to the experience; we always want to get the most out of every experience and evolve during those experiences. A commitment like doing an album is huge and not that we couldn’t do it on our own, but we knew that if we had someone else working with us to bring out that creativity, we would get a lot more out of the experience. Lachlan is most well-known for working with such big Australian artists as Something With Numbers, The Vines, The Amenta, as well as having done all of The Jezabels’ albums; a lot of big rock and pop artists who are quite different for a band that comes from the hardcore culture and growing up as a hardcore band. We had wanted to try a lot of things but there was always a musical barrier; whether it was “we can’t write that chorus’, “we can’t do that melody” or “we can’t do that key change”. Lachlan helped us break that barrier down and because we really trusted his vision, we were able to bring out elements in us that we never thought possible as musicians.”

Endless Heights reached out to artist Tina Maria Elena to create the album artwork; when asked how they found across her, Siow mentioned how “Joel had been following her for a while and saw her stuff on social media. Joel just hit her up via e-mail and she was keen to work with us” before continuing further:

”She’s not someone who’s from our world in terms of hardcore music; she’s an erotic watercolour artist from Denmark I believe. She paints in a way that really captures emotion in an intense and deep way that we thought resonated with what we were trying to portray; I couldn’t be happier with the result! What she has done for us is amazing and it’s a real true reflection of the honest emotion, the record isn’t just about relationships between people. It’s also about relationships with yourself, which I think is explored very deeply lyrically and conceptually on the album and I think that’s reflected in the art!”

Having released their fourth single “Come A Little Closer” back in November, Endless Heights have clearly been getting a lot of positive feedback from fans! When asked about which single from the album had received the best response, Siow quickly pointed out that “Come A Little Closer would have to be the answer to that” before explaining why that is:
“We were very lucky to get it added to Triple J’s rotation; they’ve been playing it on the radio almost every day! That was a big chance for us, as we’ve never written a song like this before; we had a lot of back and forth over it actually. With it being close to five minutes in length, I was thinking ‘is it too long to put out’ and ‘I don’t know if it is the right song to lead off with’. Throw in the fact that it is such a different song that you’re not going to hear on the radio, I was very very surprised that it got picked up! We also just released a music video for it yesterday actually; it aesthetically is inspired by the artwork as well.”

Upon this being published, Endless Heights are in the midst of shows supporting Hands Like Houses; when asked how this support slot came to eventuate, Siow casually expressed “to be honest, they just emailed us and asked us to do it” before pointing out how he was doing ‘air quotation marks’ whilst describing the set of shows as a “full band acoustic” before continuing in further detail:

“We’re playing a slightly stripped down set with amps and clean electrics; we’re not even playing with acoustic guitars (laughs) It was different for us, but at the same time it’s an opportunity to showcase what we can do in this kind of environment. We’re just keen, as we don’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves into any certain mold or clique; to be honest, I don’t think it’s straightforward for us to fit in anywhere. Admittedly, Hands Like Houses are from a different kinda world to us, but we never want to restrict ourselves and are open to pushing ourselves to try new things.”