Recently picked as one of Punknews' '12 Under the Radar Bands to Watch at Fest 12,' Save Ends' sweet tunes have been catching the ear of many since their release of last year's Strength Vs. Will EP. This Boston band has already made a such a mark in this scene that they were picked up by the ever growing and always awesome Tiny Engines, with whom they will be releasing their debut LP, Warm Hearts, Cold Hands in November. Save Endss co-vocalist and guitarist, Christine Atturio, chatted with Punknews staff writer Adam Sever about their new album, her astronaut uncle, Dungeons & Dragons, and their plans for this year's Fest.
One cool fact I read about you is that you have an uncle that is an actual astronaut who has been to space a few times, is that correct?
And you actually got to go down to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the Atlantis Shuttle Launch a few years back, can you talk a little bit about that experience?
Actually my family went down twice. We got to see his first launch at night and the second one was during the day, so we got to see both experiences. It was probably the coolest thing I will ever see in my whole life. They give the families special treatment and they bring you out on this bus and you are three miles, I think, from the launch site, which is the closest they let people be. There are tons of people there, and a space museum, and places to eat and all that stuff. You just watch off of this little island and it is really awesome.
Having a close relative that is an astronaut is pretty much the best inspiration for any young person; did having an uncle as an astronaut fuel any interest in the nerdier things in life like space, or science fiction or astronomy?
Yeah, definitely. It's my mom's brother that is the astronaut and I think both of them kind of grew up liking the same sort of stuff, like space, Lord of The Rings and all those sort of things. It's always been around me growing up. My mom was into science fiction shows. I used to watch X-Files with her every Sunday and stuff like that. It's definitely sprung from that a little bit.
It's been noted that Save Ends came together through a mutual love of Dungeons and Dragons, and there is even a song on the EP dedicated to your continuous D&D campaign. My knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons doesn't extend further than that one episode of Community where they played D&D, how would you sell me on getting in on a campaign?
I think the funnest thing about it is retelling the story afterwards. Like once you realize all of the ridiculousness that just happened and you don't even know how it totally all came together. Rehashing it is always hilarious. Plus, it's a good time; you sit around, you drink beer and you eat snacks and you just kind of do these ridiculous things. It is funny seeing your friends trying to do these role-playing things and stuff like that. It's just sort of like a bonding thing I guess.
You, Brendan and Sam had also played together in the band Rotary prior to forming Save Ends. What happened with Rotary and what was it about Sam and Brendan that made you want to play in another band with them?
Rotary just kind of dissolved after a little while and then me, Brendan and Sam were still hanging out a lot and we started playing D&D with Tom. I think sometimes we would just, after playing D&D and having a few beers, we would just go down in the basement and start playing music. Then we decided that maybe we could so something with it and kept going.
Since you three had previously played in a band together and knew each other's playing habits, was there any weirdness adding new members who weren't familiar with your style of playing or did the continual playing of D&D help add some camaraderie?
Sam is such a solid bass player, he is so great to play with, and Brendan and I just can write together really well. So just having Tom come along who is a very strong guitar player, and having him backing me up has been really helpful. We had another drummer, but he was in a second band and he just didn't have time. Rotary had played shows with Burton's old band Telfair. We got in touch with him and asked him if he wanted to come jam with us. He played one practice and we were all excited because he knew all the songs really well and we were wondering if he was going to want to stay in the band. He was like, "So, I can just leave my drums here right?" and we were like "YES!" So that's how that happened. Once it all came together with Burton in there, it just completely solidified.
You mentioned that you and Brendan do all the vocals, do you write all the lyrics together as well?
We write them together. Sometimes we sit down together and work on things together. Sometimes we will bring things that we've been working on and share lyrics with each other and fit them into the songs and try to make sure they make sense together.
You're not the first Tiny Engines band that has been signed to the label after contacting Beartrap PR to have them work a release. What drew you to working with Beartrap PR and were you actively looking to be signed by any labels?
Right after the EP, we got really good feedback on that EP and Tiny Engines got in touch with us and said that they would like to do a full-length with us down the line if we wanted to. We all got really excited and started thinking further for the band and what we could do with it. Then Tiny Engines suggested we try out Beartrap just to try to get more publicity for us. It worked out for us really really well. We kind of didn't know what to expect, since we'd never done anything like that, but it definitely was very helpful. After a few months, we told them we were ready to start doing the full-length and they gave us the go ahead and now here we are.
There hasn't been much written about Save Ends, but everything that has been written about the band has been positive, are you surprised by the praise you've received so far, including being one of Punknews's 12 Under the Radar Bands to Watch at the this year's Fest?
Yeah, definitely. Getting put on that is such a big deal to me. I think it's so awesome. We've wanted to play the Fest, even with Rotary, we were trying to get on it and we never could. Not only getting on it this year, but people picking up on that Punknews thing has been really exciting for all of us.
Save Ends is scheduled to play the afternoon of the last day of Fest, are you heading down earlier to catch some of the bands, and if so, which bands are you eager to see?
We are all going to get there sometime on Thursday, on Halloween. I think a lot of us are really excited to see Knapsack on Sunday. I'm excited to see all the Tiny Engines bands that haven't made it out Boston yet and the ones that have, just to see them again. Bands like The Reveling and Banquets, who are our buds, and then it would be awesome to see Signals Midwest and Little Big League. Basically just lots of our friends' bands is what I'm excited for this year.
You recorded Warm Hearts, Cold Hands with Jay Maas from Defeater/Getaway Recording. How was your experience recording with Jay and did the album turn out how you expected it?
It was a really awesome experience. Jay is so easy to work with and he can talk to everybody in their own language. Like he can talk to Burton about how to do a drum part and I don't even know they are saying, but they totally know what each other is talking about. He helped us out with guitar parts and he worked on some of the vocals with us. It came out better than I think we had expected.
What was the timeline for writing and recording this album? Was there many months involved or did it come together pretty quickly?
I think probably last, not this past summer, but the summer before, at every practice we started trying to write a song. We wouldn't do the words and stuff, we'd just write a song of music, like every week for four months. So, we ended up with like 20 songs and we didn't know what to do with them, so we started working on certain ones that had potential. Towards spring last year, we wrote a few more and then scheduled recording in which I think we did 10 days of recording. We went in with everything written, everything good to go. We definitely started with a huge amount of songs and just tried to whittle it down and figure out what our sound was and where we were going. It was a good exercise, because I think we stopped telling ourselves "no" about ideas. We would just kind of do everything we could think of, and I think a lot of good stuff came out of that.
Will the songs that got scrapped ever see the light of day on future releases?
They might be. There are some that we just didn't finish on time and some that just weren't coming together right. We still have all the practice recordings, so I'm sure when we start writing we might look back and see if there is anything that we missed.
The Strength Vs. Will EP dealt with letting go, loss and getting older. What topics does Warm Hearts, Cold Hands tackle?
I think the same sort of stuff. We are all in our late 20s and we all work regular full-time jobs. We are trying to do this band thing and have as much fun as we can while doing it, while still maintaining these adult lives. Itâs about our friends, growing up, and letting go of things.
Since you all have full-time jobs, will there be any extensive touring after the release of Warm Hearts, Cold Hands?
We have some weekends planned and we are playing Canada in January. We are playing Pouzza Fest and maybe we will tour up to that or something. We definitely are open to things and we are kind of just going to see how things go once the record comes out. We can get like two weeks off work or something like that.
Aside from Save Ends, you are also a graphic designer, did you do the artwork for Warm Hearts, Cold Hands and is Tiny Engines doing any cool printing treatments with the LP jacket?
No, I didn't do the artwork for this. I've done it for the EPs in the past and I think if I did the artwork for this, I wouldâve driven myself insane. I couldn't imagine taking that on while trying to write at the same time. We actually went to our friend Josh Smith, who is in the band Mountain Man. I've always really liked his album artwork. All of his stuff is moody and he gets very cool photography in there, so I knew he would be able to pick up on what wanted the album artwork to look like. We definitely made the right choice with him; he is really great. As far as printing, it was pretty simple actually. It's printed on matte paper, so it has a pretty cool finish.
The cover art for the album, is that a photo or an illustration?
It's a photo. Though I'm not sure where Josh got it. I think he might have increased the background, those stars and stuff on there, and enhanced it a little.
Tom, Save Ends' guitarist, has said that two goals that Save Ends had was to play Fest and release an LP Now that both of those will be accomplished in the next few weeks, what new goals has the band set for itself?
To start playing out a lot more. Get this record out there and I think we would love to do another one down the line. We just want to have as much fun as we can and just get out of Boston as much as possible.