I recently had the pleasure of speaking with frontman/vocalist Relentless of Brazil’s “deaththrashcore” band Endrah. For those of you unaware of the might of Endrah, this 4-piece metal genre fusion band has been gracing stages for well over a decade, overcoming the obstacles of several lineup changes over the years- Relentless being one of the new additions in 2005. If Relentless’ name is proven anywhere, it’s in his socio-politically charged lyricism and his incessant delivery of vicious, violence-inducing screams- a combination that makes him a force to be reckoned with. We touched on a few things in this particular interview, spanning from his background in metal to surviving lineup changes and some of the finer details of Endrah’s upcoming EP- and much, much more!
Ouch That Hertz!: So, first, tell us a bit about yourself!
Relentless: What’s up! My name is Relentless and I’m the lead vocalist of Endrah from São Paulo, Brazil. I also front a band called Vengince from Oakland, California. I’ve been playing metal for 20 years and this is what I do! I’m a serious guy and I have a message to bring across, and this is how I do it!
OTH!: I have to ask- what is the story behind your stage name?
Relentless: The stage name “Relentless” is my name that I use for all of my artistic purposes. “Relentless” resulted from friends calling me that back in the 8th and 9th grade in school. I’m a workaholic and a driven person, so it kind of stuck. I have it tattooed across my back as a reminder of being young and motivated.
OTH!: I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know an awful lot about you, Relentless. The most information I have on you is that you’re a Californian and in 2005 you joined Endrah after the band put out a recruitment announcement for a new vocalist. Oh, and your music and lyricism has one hell of a sharp and vindictive bite. How did you get started in vocal music- particularly in heavy music?
Relentless: If you Google [search] my other band, Vengince (yes, spelled like “Gin” in the middle), you’ll see more about me since I’ve been with that band a lot longer. But, I have been with Endrah for over 10 years now and we’ve played many shows all over. Endrah is mostly known in Brazil,but we ae now spreading out to the rest of the world. Which, thank you for this interview, by the way- it helps us in part!
I started playing heavy music at the age of 13 and I was interested in heavy music since the age of 10. My older brother, Joel, kind of got me turned on to it and then I went on and started playing even heavier music than what he had ever introduced me to. It might be too heavy for him, but it’s very natural for me; it’s part of who I am and I love being in Endrah and Vengince.
OTH!: Speaking of lyricism- lyrically, you’ve said that you’re inspired by social, political, and environmental concerns and issues. There’s an awful lot of material at your disposal regarding these topics- especially within the last 4 years. Can you elaborate on any specifics regarding socio-political (and other) issues in your upcoming EP?
Relentless: Thanks for that nice question! I do have a lot to use at my disposal for lyrics in the vein of social, political, and environmental issues. There are so many of them and it seems like today is as much as ever. The new EP has five songs: one is a re-recorded version of “Cadaver Na Barragem,” and we’re gonna do 4 others. [“Cadaver”] is a little different lyrically than the other four songs: one is about shaming, one is about bullying, one is about gentrification, and the other is about abuse of power.
OTH!: I’m aware that Endrah has gone through several lineup changes in its lifetime- yourself included back in ’05. This most recent change-up involved the departure of your bassist, TJ. Can you tell me why TJ left? Was it just a difference of opinions, a career/major life change, or something else?
Relentless: Endrah has had a lot of member changes in a sense. The reason TJ left was mostly because he wanted to move on with his life in another direction and he wasn’t as focused on the band as he was in the beginning and, in my opinion, it was starting to hold the band’s growth back. He left on his own will; we didn’t make him leave or anything like that. But it was best for everybody and have no hard feelings. He is a brother of mine. I love TJ, but we are really pleased with our new bass player, Adriano. He’s been quite a great addition for us as far as the business side of things go and musically.
OTH!: Furthering that question: I’m absolutely thrilled about your new bassist, Adriano Vivela (ex- Trator BR). He’s got some seriously mad skills- where did you find this guy/how did he come to join Endrah?
Relentless: Like our drummer, Bruno, who replaced our original drummer, Fernando, Adriano is a fan of Endrah. He had listened to us for years and when there was a chance for him to join the band, he jumped all over it and he quickly beat out the other bass players in auditions both with on-stage bass playing abilities and also off-stage with his business skills. He has helped the band behind-the-scenes get back to growing again and he seems like a really great guy. I haven’t even met him in person yet, as I live in America. We’re gonna meet in person for the first time right before our tour of Brazil, which starts in May this year!
OTH!: It’s been 4 years since your album The Culling was released. You dropped a new single, “Cadaver Na Barragem,” fairly recently and now you’re back in the studio for a new EP. “Cadaver” sounds much more vengeful and violent in comparison to your previous material- is this something that holds true for the rest of the upcoming EP? What can current fans and new listeners expect from the mighty force that is Endrah in this new album?
Relentless: I think the new material is going to keep old and new Endrah fans happy and it’s definitely gonna bring us new fans at the same time. Endrah has always been about an organic sound with a very raw and chaotic structure system. This EP is a little bit more refined in one sense of production, but it is still trademark Endrah and you will want to check it out.
OTH!: I’m curious. If you’re located in California and the rest of the members are based out of Brazil, what is your writing process like? Is it a lot of back-and-forth or do you ever travel to meet up with them and write together in-person at all?
Relentless: Typically our lead guitar player, Covero, writes most of the riffs on guitar and then shows the riffage to all of the rest of the guys. Then our drummer, bassist, and guitarist will get together and create the song structures and then once the song is pretty much sense as far as the structure of the riffs go,they’ll send me the tracks and then I start placing lyrics over them. To record we basically get that all set up and demo-ed, and then we have drums go in with the guitar. Then guitar and bass come in after to re-track, and then they send that to me. Then I go to the studio here in America and then send those tracks back to Brazil where they mix. We then master either in the USA or Brazil, depending on the situation.
OTH!: Taking that question one step further: That geographic gap can’t make writing new music an easy process. Do you find your geographic distances to be much of a hindrance and, if so, how do you cope/deal with it?
Relentless: Endrah would not exist without the internet because it has enabled us to become a band and to actually thrive with these scenarios of geographic distances. I do go to Brazil on average once per year- typically for tours, since I tend to record my vocals in America. Generally speaking, we have made it work as the guys have been very patient with my situation and I’ve been patient with theirs, and we communicate very frequently through Facebook Messenger and emails. We don’t use the phone so much anymore, as it costs money, and it’s cheaper that way but we do Skype if we need to and, y’know, video chats and stuff if we need to. Otherwise, how we communicate is typically through messages via the group messenger situation.
OTH!: It’s been a while since you and the rest of Endrah have hit the road. You recently released a YouTube update stating that you plan on embarking on a new tour this May. Will this be an international tour (will it coincide with any US or UK tours) or is this more of a South America jaunt?
Relentless: This tour in May will just be in Brazil as a headlining tour. We’re gonna headline a few festivals and some club shows as well. We have offers on the table right now for USA tours with some major bands, and we’ve seen some European (including UK) tours with major bands. We’ve also gotten offers in Central America, the rest of South America, Canada, Mexico… Lots of options for us in Russia, too, but those deals have not been perfect yet, so we’re focusing on Brazil for the moment. Rest assured, we will be spreading to the rest of the world as soon as possible for live shows.
OTH!: Speaking of further down the road, what’s the rest of 2016 looking like for Endrah? Will we be seeing even more music past the release of the EP; perhaps some music videos?
Relentless: Yes, we plan to release a lyric video and at least one to two- maybe 3- other videos of some kind this year. We are also looking into more tours and we’re also going to most likely record some other projects as well with other bands as a collaboration. That’s gonna be really cool. We haven’t announced that yet, but [there’s] some pretty cool and original ideas. We definitely plan on working harder and more frequently with everything to do with Endrah now.
OTH!: Alright, I always like to end my interviews with something a bit more silly. Let’s say all Hell breaks loose worldwide. And, for convenience’s sake, let’s say you’re in Brazil with the rest of your bandmates. The streets are filled with rioters and people are going absolutely ape-shit. It becomes clear that anyone and anything is at the mercy of anyone or anything. Armed with only a tray of taquitos, a spork, a brick, a van, and a tomahawk, you set out to join in the fray and wreak utter havoc. But, you don’t have to be alone in your quest to wreck shit- the stipulations being that you can only take one person with you and it has to be someone from your band. My question is this: which one of your bandmates do you take with you to stand at your side as you take on the masses of hysteria?
Relentless: Covero. We have already gotten int a street fight before where 5 guys jumped me, Covero, and TJ,and let’s just say that Endrah beat the shit out of these five guys with no problems for us.
Covero is an MMA fighter with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I know I can trust him with my life and he’ll protect me and I’ll do the same for him!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me! Before I let you go, is there anything else you’d like to add?
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