End Of Fashion Mess With Your Mind
Think you know End Of Fashion? Think again. Since 2005's hugely successful self-titled debut album, the Perth four-piece have been on a mission to mess with your mind and challenge all perceptions. According to singer/guitarist Justin Burford, last year's 'Book of Lies' LP was "mission accomplished."
"We were very keen to play with our identity and with what people thought End Of Fashion was. A lot of the songs on this album are very dark and quite a bit edgier, but they're also tongue-in-cheek and delivered with a grin. Even at our darkest, we're still taking the piss. I hope people don't take it all literally, and understand it with a sense of irony that is sometimes lost."
A big fan of Radiohead, Burford confesses to taking a leaf out of the Thom Yorke book of songwriting rules when it came to the new album. "It's really hard to keep people's attention spans these days so we like to challenge them. I've always loved those bands that, every time they bring out a new album, you can't wait to go out and buy it because you're just so curious what the hell they've done this time.
"I haven't heard anyone lately who has been able to do that, to really make me go 'wow' and just raise the bar altogether. I think it's a bit daggy to admit this, but Radiohead are sort of the masters of that domain. Every time they bring out an album I have no idea where they're going. As weird as this sounds, I think 'In Rainbows' was so successful for me, as a fan, [was] because I actually didn't like it at first. I had to force myself to listen to it because it was such a challenge and I took it with a pinch of salt."
Not that End Of Fashion fans will ever feel the need to force themselves to listen to 'Book Of Lies' recorded in their hometown, the record largely reflects Burford's mind-frame over the last four years.
"We couldn't have possibly recorded this album anywhere else but Perth," he says. "Whereas our last album was done in the U.S., this album was very influenced by Perth. Lyrically, the record tackles many personal issues so I felt like it was an album that should be created at home because that's where the content of the songs happened. We got to familiarise ourselves with the songs a lot better in the Perth studio; if we had gone away to do this record it would have become something else completely. We also knew there was a built-in risk that after our 2005 album, we weren't going to follow on soon enough. These days it's seen as a big no-no not to ride the momentum, but we had also made a decision that we weren't going to go in there and make another bunch of 'O Yeah-s'. I love those songs, but we didn't want to make a record for momentum's sake."
While the 2005 self-titled debut earned End Of Fashion two ARIA Awards and a nomination for APRA Song Of The Year Award, the frontman says it's on the touring front that the band truly shines.
"This year is going to be the 'year of the road' for us," he predicts. "Basically, we are about to reclaim our title, which was of a touring band anyway. It's how we started the ball rolling in 2004. There seems to be this perception that we came out with our first album and it was all kind of overnight, but people tend to easily forget that we actually toured solidly for about two and a half years leading up to 'O Yeah'. It took us years to lead up to that. We've already played some regional shows, which have been great. This tour is kind of a medium-sized one; we've done some real big monsters like the seven or eight-week tour with The Living End in 2006. Those guys really go hard, that was an eye-opener for sure."
According to Burford, fans can also expect to see the many different faces of End Of Fashion thanks to the addition of new bass player, Simon Fasolo.
"He's been playing in Perth bands for years and he's been a really good friend of ours for a long time," Burford says. "I've always admired him as a muso and he was also a fan of the band. Simon has injected this lust for life into the band that's inspired us to be really creative. Every chance we get, we try and put songs together, even while on tour, and Simon has already been a very big part of that process. He is pretty much the only person that we as a band wanted to take over the reins from our old bass player, Tom [King]. I can safely say we made the right decision."