JUST A HANDFUL OF MONTHS AFTER MEETING AND DOING THEIR FIRST GIG, NYC BASED ROOTS ROCKERS EREZ AND THE END ARE MOVING ‘SILENT MOUNTAINS’ WITH THEIR HIGH ENERGY, ANALOG DRIVEN DEBUT EP.
Insightful and talented beyond measure but humble to his core, singer/songwriter Erez Eisenman says he always wrote songs for himself, rather than thinking “about an imaginary audience, fame or fortune.”
After over four years living in China, where he started his first band late into his two year stint in Beijing, the multi-talented singer/songwriter/guitarist moved to New York City, simply looking for musicians to vibe with. Erez is still keeping it raw, real and honest, only now he’s discovering there are a lot of fans hungry for the roots-rock (or as he loves to call it, “LP Era Rock”) of his group Erez and the End. Just months after recording their first tracks and playing live at hotspots like the Rockwood Music Hall, Spike Hill and The Shrine, the band—including Nic Travis (guitar, backing vocals), Bennett Miller (bass, backing vocals) and drummer Chris Infusino (after the departure of original drummer Chris Benelli)—is moving Silent Mountains, musically and sonically on their infectious five track debut EP.
Weaned on and influenced by iconic, culture shaping icons like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Mark Knopfler, Erez and the End bring a fresh power and excitement to the classic organic spirit of rock and roll. They capture the spirit of looking ahead while also harkening back to an era long before synths and laptops took over (on stage and in studios) for heartfelt melodies and lyrics that evoked thought, memory and emotion. Working with engineer and co-producer Craig Dryer at Mighty Toad Studio in Brooklyn, the band takes a refreshing old-school all-analog approach, committing the songs to tape without using any computers in the recording or mixing process. This enabled them to keep the warm, natural sound of the instruments and capture that potent moment of time. As Erez explains, “Everything you hear is natural, stemming from the sound amps and guitars. We didn’t even use overdrive pedals.”
Although the band was in the studio recording before they had done their first live gig at the 11th Street Bar in the East Village, Erez said their goal in creating Silent Mountains was to capture the raw intensity and excitement of their ever-solidifying live performances. “The greatest challenge when I moved to New York was finding the right guys to play with, and the process took a total of six months,” he says. “It was essential for me to find people that I could relate to on a personal and musical level – musicians that would not only be skilled, but also sensitive and deep – people who can convey emotion through music.”
Perhaps the greatest irony of the easy rolling “Better Days” – defined by Erez’s hypnotic gruff vocals, bluesy keyboard harmonies and crackling guitar lines – is that while the song is about a relationship gone astray, the song’s title could also be interpreted as an optimistic metaphor for Erez and The End’s rising fortunes. The songwriter’s powerful sense of poetic expression comes across beautifully on the plaintive blues/rock ballad “Here In The Dark”: “Here in the dark/A memory escapes/A stranger roams free/She stares at the drapes/Out in the dark/She’s riding with him/An ill-fated spark, unfulfilled whim.” Likewise with the stark and very personal, gently strumming, harmonica laced title track, on which he sings: “Clouds change shape, earth changes colors/Lines have settled on your face/I hope you’re not beyond the land of sadness/Oh mama, emptiness is a terrible place.”
“I believe that everything we do is an extension of who we are,” says Erez. “Music enables me to convey things that I needed to say but couldn’t any other way. I don’t choose to write because of a career choice or as another routine. I don’t try to squeeze water out of a moist rag and turn it into songs. I don’t go and deliberately soak that rag in water so I’d be able to produce songs. Only when that rag gets soaked with water by living, experiencing and hurting, water start dripping down, forming songs. It’s not a matter of choice. It’s a necessity, a natural process. Ultimately though, the music can never capture the truth, like the lake can never capture the sky. The music can only reflect it. And if it does it in the purest way, it has the ability to touch and change things in me and in other people.”