Here in 2008, the definition of a successful band is becoming less tangible by the moment. Almost no one is buying records, and the long-coveted "Major Label Deal" isn’t what it used to be. In fact, about the only real measuring stick left is the fervor of a band's fan base.
Less than six months into the band's existence, END THE CENTURY's fans have logged over 160,000 plays on their MySpace site. The fans are passing the music along to their friends. They're spreading the word. They're making it happen. The fact is, if labels could figure out how to bottle the kind of early momentum END THE CENTURY has right now, the record industry would be a whole new ballgame.
"It's been pretty surreal," says bassist Jason Jepsen of the band's meteoric rise. "We put up one song, and it got us over 100,000 plays in three short months."
"We have fans everywhere going to great lengths to promote us," adds drummer Chase Whitney. "Kids are taking great interest in finding out more about us and where we all come from."
Where END THE CENTURY comes from is the no-man's-land between earth-scorching metal and penny-candy pop. For every kid who jumps on the END THE CENTURY bandwagon because of an AS I LAY DYING fetish, there's another whose attraction is much more visceral, who's drawn like a moth to the flame of their songs' under-the-skin pop leanings. END THE CENTURY is a band that can rattle skulls like AUGUST BURNS RED and still charm the pants off fans of STORY OF THE YEAR and UNDEROATH. It's an unintentional win-win situation – brutality, beguilement and bravado in one potent spoonful of sugar.
"We all grew up on pop rock," admits frontman Ramsey Badawi. "We don't consider ourselves to be the 'tough guys' that our sound might warrant. Chase is an Eagle Scout. Jason likes classical music. Jon is a techno kid. Interesting right?"
"Interesting" is an understatement. That juxtaposition – the Eagle Scouts of Death Metal – is underscored by the band's debut EP, Hammer & The Anvil. On the album, END THE CENTURY drives home the sentiment that, despite the fact that they've been a band for under a year, they know their way around a song. They've got the musical wizardry, and they've got the form and structure to back it up. The relentless double-bass pounding, buzzsaw guitars, and white-noise screams will have metal fans smiling from ear to ear, even as the plaster from the ceiling rains down on their heads. Just as importantly, END THE CENTURY knows how to connect with an audience in a way that major-label money can't buy. And paramount to that, the band can make that intensely personal connection in the midst of a genre that's filled to the brim with pseudo-metal-emo bands.
"We feel in an over-saturated genre, we can be the light that shines through, breaking stereotypes, bringing hope and a positive image to today's youth," says guitarist Jonathan Gaytan. "This is just the beginning."
Hammer & The Anvil is an auspicious setup for what could become a seminal band in the new hardcore and metal scene – the scene owned by the show-going, record-buying public that is the youth of today. They might not have hair halfway down their backs, they might not have arms full of pentagram tattoos, but there's no denying that END THE CENTURY is helping to carry the torch of metal into the 2010s.
"With the anticipation we have gotten, and the support of thousands of anxious fans," says guitarist David Sudock, "I feel confident that the band is right where it should be, and I can't wait to see what is to come."
If metal is the anvil, you can count on the fact that END THE CENTURY is going to be wielding the hammer for years to come.
END THE CENTURY IS:
Ramsey Badawi - Vocals
Chase Whitney - Drums
Jonathan Gaytan - Guitar / Vocals
Jason Jepsen - Bass / Vocals
David Sudock - Guitar / Vocals