Tell us a bit about your band – how long have you been going, why you do what you do, what you want to achieve.
An Endless Sporadic began in 2004 as a recording duo between Andy Gentile on drums, and myself on guitar, bass, and keyboards. We sparsely made recordings over the years while I was attending college and Andy was working at a video game company called, Neversoft. We loved making instrumental prog rock that would work well for video games and through the Neversoft connection, we were able to get our music placed in Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero World Tour, and Guitar Hero V.
After gaining attention through the video games, we recorded a full length album and played local shows around Los Angeles. We later released a few singles and played on Progressive Nation at Sea, which is a prog-rock music festival on a cruise through The Bahamas, organized by Mike Portnoy.
The main reason I continue to create music for An Endless Sporadic is because I truly love working on this kind of music. I enjoy the technical challenges and especially love to find way to make a rock context, feel like similar writing for an orchestral piece or film score. I find that An Endless Sporadic is the best outlet for me to explore my writing, while also getting to work on my playing chops.
What I’m reaching towards is continuously finding ways to blur the lines between different genres, textures, and feels. I want to make sure my sound palette is always growing and am always finding ways to bridge the newer sounds into the context of all the previous material. In addition to creating brand new pieces, I want to extend and/or re-arrange older pieces to either fit into a new album or live show. This way there are recurring familiar themes mixed with the new music and all the pieces blend and evolve together.
You have a new release coming out soon – without giving too much away tell us what listeners can expect from it.
You should expect it to sound more grandiose and cinematic than the previous releases. It stays true to the An Endless Sporadic style that we’re used to, but now has even more drastic shifts to other styles of music. This is the first album that incorporates orchestral writing and live players were recorded for those parts. It’s also the longest, most complete sounding record to date. I think that the playing and writing has matured a lot since the last release. There’s also a remake of our most popular song, Impulse. I think this will really help clarify the direction that I’m trying to take with evolving the older songs to work well with the newer songs. Overall this is the highest quality, most detailed An Endless Sporadic production to date.
Plans for the next 12 months?
Following the release of the album, I will be doing everything I can to help promote the recording, There are a lot of videos taken from the studio that I will periodically release. In conjunction with looking for all possible opportunities for the growth of An Endless Sporadic, I’m also looking for new collaborations whether it’s composing for film/tv/video games, producing recordings for other artists, playing for other artists, as well as teaching.
Tell us a bit about what it's like to experience your live show.
It’s energetic, very well rehearsed, and there are always twists and turns to the arrangements. We go very out of our way to not use backing tracks. We like every part to be accounted for visually, and if there are too many parts to cover, we find a new way to play it so it fits the size of the group.
We haven’t played that many shows. Maybe only around 12. In the future, I want to collaborate with visual artists to create a great projection show to go along with the music.
How does the band prepare for a gig?
I’ll plan out a set of music to rehearse and the first thing I do is set up all of the sounds for my keyboard and guitar rig. Then we all get together at a rehearsal space and start rehearsing the set, at first with a significantly slower tempo than we would play live. We speed up as we get comfortable. Usually we play through each song twice and then move onto the next. Once we are really comfortable, we play each song once in the set order, and then we reverse it.
We are very precise for rehearsals but when it’s showtime, we relax and just have fun with it. I don’t like when it sounds too on rails. I just like for us to be so prepared, that everything feels like second nature and leaves a lot of room to sound more natural when really performing. There’s something about the mistakes during a show that I like. It’s kind of like dirtying up guitar tone with distortion, where the band is pure in the rehearsal space, and the venue is the drive knob.
Name 3 bands you would love to tour with and why
Animals as Leaders - I know Tosin and Javier and it would be a lot of fun to be traveling around with them. AAL has an audience that is receptive to instrumental music, and I think that our styles would be a nice contrast.
The Flower Kings - TFK is one of my favorite bands. I’ve gotten to know the band over the years. The bassist, Jonas Reingold, has now played on two An Endless Sporadic album and lead guitarist and singer, Roine Stolt, produced AES’s self titled record and guest solos on Magic Machine. Being such a huge fan for so many years and having the pleasure of working with Roine, and Jonas, it would be an honor to be on the same bill as TFK. Also, I think their audience would enjoy an AES show.
Jordan Rudess - Jordan has been a huge inspiration to me ever since I discovered Dream Theater 15 years ago. He played on a couple of spots on Magic Machine. So, it would be amazing to have a situation where he could guest on those spots live. I also think that most projects he plays in, has an audience that would be receptive to An Endless Sporadic.
Name a band you'd love to give a shout out to and think people should listen to (not your own band)
I would like to give a shout out to Free Salamander Exhibit! If you’re a Sleepytime Gorilla Museum fan you’ll go crazy over this. It consists of some of the original members of SGM and the music is just as clever, strange, and organic as SGM. Their first album is in the works. I’ve seen them live twice and my mind was blown both times.
How much has the internet and technology helped your band to get to the point it is today.
It’s been a huge help! It is well known that marketing music is difficult. It’s even more difficult when it’s instrumental, prog-rock. The song that really helped us get attention was, Impulse, because it was on Guitar Hero. I’m not sure that Impulse would have grabbed many of our fans attention, if it wasn’t a fun challenge for the game. The mixture of GH3 bringing attention to our music and having all of the social networking tools to promote everything else, enabled us to have an audience without ever touring.
What music are you listening to right now?
Now He Sings, Now He Sobs - Chick Corea
Ok you have a few lines to tell us why people should listen to your band. GO.
It’s really fun to listen to! It has a great lineup of players. It’s well produced. There is a great blend between prog, metal, fusion, and contemporary orchestral writing with a cinematic flair.