Here at Already Heard, we’ve been keeping an eye on Boston, Massachusetts’ Save Ends for over a year and now with their debut full-length set to be released next month and an appearance at this weekends The Fest 12 in Gainesville, we thought it’d be a good time to highlight the band as part of our “Recommends” series.
With a hint of nerdiness and a definite early 2000s emo influence, Save Ends’ debut LP, ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’ is an energetic indie-pop punk record that thrives off the bands melodic sensibility, sparkling guitars and perhaps more significantly, the complimentary vocal work from Christine Atturio and Brendan Cahill. Tracks like ‘Same Old Dice’ are bright and upbeat whilst ‘Chasing Embers’ and ‘Don’t Panic’ showcase the bands sincere side. Nonetheless Save Ends are certain to win over many with ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’.
We recently spoke to Christine and Brendan from Save Ends to find out more about how the band started, how ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’ came together, what we can expect from them at The Fest 12 and more.
Already Heard: Can you introduce yourself and your role in Save Ends?
Christine: I’m Christine and I play the guitar and sing.
Brendan: I’m Brendan and I play the piano and sing.
AH: Let’s start off with something standard – how did Save Ends come together?
Brendan: Oh, we’d been friends and playing in bands together for years. Christine, Sam, Tom and I had been playing a dungeons and dragons campaign together for a while and decided to start this band. The campaign is actually still going on. We’re more than 3 years into it at this point. Burton filled out the lineup in between our first and second EP.
AH: From hearing your ‘Strength Vs. Will’ EP and your forthcoming ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’ full-length you seem to have an upbeat indie pop-punk sound. How would you define your sound for new listeners?
Brendan: Oof. This is always a tough question. If it’s one of my mom’s friends that’s asking, I usually say something along the lines of: “It’s like if Led Zepplin had a child with the Beach Boys and they didn’t pay enough attention to it. They were always on the road, or on drugs, and each expected that the other would do the heavy lifting” In all honesty, it’s hard to detach myself far enough from the music to objectively look at it. I know some of us are real suckers for early 2000s emo. And some of us grew up on 90s skate punk. I’m sure its a mishmash of that kind of stuff with hopefully some newer influences thrown in. If you put a gun to my head I’d say we’re like a faster version of The Anniversary.
AH: We first came across you after the release of ’Strength Vs. Will’ last year. Since then you’ve joined Tiny Engines. What attracted you to joining that label?
Brendan: Will started talking to us around the time ‘Strength vs. Will’ came out. We were pretty excited since it was a label we’d heard of and the bands on the roster are awesome. We had some interest from other small labels but Tiny Engines is without a doubt the perfect fit. They’re awesome dudes, you can tell that they absolutely love music, and they work so hard. It’s been great.
AH: Moving on to ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’. How has the band grown with writing this record?
Christine: We let ourselves explore with our songwriting a lot more for the full length. Previously we had focused on writing the catchiest songs we could possibly come up with. Writing for a full length let us relax a little bit and try new things and allowed us to have a range of songs.
AH: In comparison to your EP, how does the full-length differ?
Christine: We have songs like ‘Always Knew’ and ‘Punk O Rama 30’ that differ from other things we had written in the past. I think some of the songs on the record are a little more mature. We tried to push ourselves to make sure every song had its own feeling and personality.
AH: How would sum up ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’ in five words?
Christine: It’s plus 9 against ogres.
AH: Lyrically what has influenced the record?
Brendan: Oh a lot is about relationships and getting older. We’ve also got a song about Ray Kurzweil, a song about The Dark Tower, and some D&D references.
AH: There has been several comparisons been made to the likes of The Get Up Kids, Lemuria and Tigers Jaw. When Save Ends formed, who did you look for inspiration?
Christine: Definitely the Anniversary and the Get Up Kids because we grew up listening to them (and totally still do). There is also a great band called the Forecast who has dueling male/female vocals, which really influenced me when I was younger to do something similar.
AH: One of the key elements of Save Ends is the complimentary male-female work. How does this element develop when you’re writing?
Christine: For the most part we split the work within each song. Sometimes Brendan comes up with all the main singing, sometimes I do, and sometimes we combine those ideas. Harmonies usually get worked on as we go along and we figure out what makes sense for each song and how to best use our voices to get the feelings across. Some of the vocals are meant to be conversational and then sometimes they’re complimenting the other’s singing. We’ve learned our own voice’s strengths and weaknesses at this point and try to work with that.
AH: You recently premiered ‘A Life They Wrote’ from the record. How has the feedback been to the track?
Brendan: It’s been really good! I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s been so positive honestly.
AH: What impression do you hope listeners take away from hearing ‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’?
Brendan: I hope they think it’s our best record by a million miles. And they want to go to every one of our shows. And that maybe they want to play D&D a tiny bit.
AH: This week you’re heading to Gainesville for The Fest. With so much choice to see, why should people come and see Save Ends?
Christine: Because we’re playing at 2:30 pm and not much else will be going on yet and Tom C will probably be wearing a shirt with a cat face on it. Some may have spotted him last year walking aimlessly around Gainesville sans one shoe and swinging around a Loosies sangria cup.
AH: Are there any bands you’re looking to check out whilst you’re at The Fest?
Brendan: Oh god, so many. First of all, I have to see No Trigger (Tom’s old band) and Born Without Bones (Burton’s other band). Then I’m going to try to see as many Tiny Engines bands as possible. Especially our good pals The Hotel Year and Signals Midwest. Also must sees are Great Lakes USA, Banquets, The Stereo State (its their last show), Sundials, Hop Along, Choke Up, Shambles, Lemuria… so many more too. It’s going to be a busy weekend.
AH: What are your plans following Fest and the album release?
Brendan: We’re trying to put together a record release weekend on the weekend of Nov 22nd. Starting with a record release show in Boston with Little Big League and Somos. After that we’re working on playing a show or two in Canada (hopefully Pouzza Fest later in the year). We hope to just play as often as we can.
AH: Thanks for the interview. Do you have any closing comments?
Brendan: Thanks for having us!
‘Warm Hearts, Cold Hands’ by Save Ends is released on 12th November on Tiny Engines.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86).