Features

New Artist Focus: End Game

Photo: Cole Hadley

Featured on No Echo's 2020 Hardcore Releases Spotify playlist, End Game is a new band out of Calgary, Alberta you should check out. Their recently released demo features 5 tracks of the kind of gritty metallic hardcore that never gets old around these parts. You want riffs? These folks got you.

We chatted with Wolfgang and Spencer of End Game to get the skinny on their formation, sound, and local scene.

(After you're done reading the story, you should also check out Spencer's Scoped Exposure podcast, who just interviewed No Echo a few days ago.)

Give me the backstory on how End Game came together.

Wolfgang (vocals): Ironically, it took me, Spencer, and our original drummer, Chad, to all leave our own city to go to a hardcore festival in Vancouver to come up with this idea of End Game. Our bassist, Remi, and I, had been trying to find others in Calgary to start something for a while.

We're weren't really picky on the style of music, but just wanted to do some cool shit for our homies and get more bands going in Calgary. Spencer and Chad were in the midst of working on some sort of crossover project already, so we brought the idea to Spencer and he was down. 

Spencer (guitar): We started writing about a week or so after we got back from the fest. Chad actually dropped a keg on his foot at work, so the majority of the songs off the demo were writing while our current drummer was wearing a boot on.

Chad wanted to step away from the band for personal reasons, so we linked up with our friend Frank from a local band here called Snakepit. Frank helped us write one more song, and filled in for us for our first handful of shows. At the beginning of this year, we got Travis as our full-time drummer just in time to do our debut of the demo with recorded music.

How would you describe what End Game is doing sonically? 

Spencer (guitar): I used to play in a thrash band back in Winnipeg called Usurper, and when I moved out west to Calgary I wanted to take what I learned in that project and apply it to something new. "Crossover" feels like this ultimate genre where there's this freedom to do whatever musically. Fight riffs, two-step pickups, fast parts, even beatdown esque endings are all fair game and not questioned.

There's definitely a heavy amount of Power Trip influence, but we've heard from people that they hear from Trapped Under Ice or even Backtrack in the mix of things. I just wanted this band to be fast and fun. Also divebombs.

Photo: Cole Hadley

How would you say the local scene there in the Calgary area has taken to End Game so far?

Wolfgang (vocals): Considering the fact that we had no music out for a single show that we have played, we had a very good response especially from a lot of the younger kids. I personally had many conversations with kids in the scene here that immediately loved us and would always ask me at every show when they would finally hear us recorded.

Since releasing the demo, our response has been huge, at least to us. I've personally have been soaking it all in as I've wanted to be in a band ever since the 9th grade so its an incredibly surreal feeling watching my local scene and scenes outside of it give us this sort of response.

Spencer (guitars): There's always gonna be those "demo first" people in hardcore, but no hardcore band goes down the same path. Out of every project I've been in since like 2016, this response has exceeded any expectation I could have had.

Let me take a second to shout out the homies. Set Straight is a young band from Calgary who have been with us since the get. Backbite (RIP) are our Vancouver brothers in arms especially having Luka do some guest vocals on "Above the Law." 

Gotta shout out Snakepit as their drummer Frank did so much to get this band off the ground, and musically make our thrash riffs look like lullabies. Not in a band, but Nikki who's featured on "No Mention" is the original Bad Bitch and the soul of this band. 

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End Game on social media: Bandcamp | Instagram

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Tagged: end game, new artist focus

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