Relentless aggression is crucial to Ender's MO. The New Jersey five-piece's debut is called This is Revenge; they play a vindictive cross between Metal and Hardcore (heavier on the latter); and its merch sports slogans like “Break Shit,” “Payback's A Bitch” and “Ruin Somebody's Fucking Day.”
Last September, its hostile approach came into question when a promoter in Allenstown, N.H., pulled Ender from a bill because, as he allegedly said, his venue didn't “book bands that promote violence, hate, revenge, killing, etc.” Before the final decision was made, the band agreed to self-censor its music and merch for the venue, but clearly those impromptu alterations weren't enough.
In a way, that anecdote — which drummer Danny Lavarco calls “a great example of us being fucked over” — reinforces the band's ideological approach.
“We write songs based on how people have treated us,” Lavarco says. “With previous bands we've been in, we've been fucked over. If someone pissed us off in the past, we use that against them and write lyrics to a song.”
Before Ender was established, four-fifths of the group were in a band that Lavarco says was about trying to “stay radio-friendly,” and the material the outfit plays today was the sort of stuff they did for kicks back then. As Lavarco explains, the new band adopted this anxious, angry lyrical angle because listeners can empathize with its rage.
“Everybody's been screwed over in their life — once, twice, three, maybe five times,” he says. “Everybody can relate to it so they get into it more. I know when we're playing live, we get into it every night because it's what we all wrote and how we feel. It never gets boring.”