Alex Runk vocals Justin Wantz guitar/vocals Greg Hildebrand guitar Paul Stager bass Logan Summey drums
There's a certain level of excitement that permeates the room when the members of AN EARLY ENDING take the stage. It's palpable, almost physically moving the crowd. The remarkable thing is the source of the energy – it’s not the crowd, it's AN EARLY ENDING, ramping up the crowd through what seems like a sheer force of will before they even hit the first chorus. It's the type of thing that could make one a millionaire overnight if there were a way to bottle and sell it ... and it's coming from a group of kids who have only recently graduated high school.
For vocalist Alex Runk, there's no bottled secret - its all just a part of what AN EARLY ENDING does. "We're young and have so much energy in us," he says. "This is just who we are, and I think that energy and sincerity comes through in our music and our shows."
That energy and sincerity is what has propelled the Harrisburg-based band to become the latest torchbearer in the PA metal-scene that's also spawned bands like AUGUST BURNS RED. The things they’ve accomplished in their brief existence read like a checklist of things most bands only aspire to. Endorsements from Dean Guitars, DDrum and Peavey? Check. Performances at the 2008 Summerfest (the ‘World’s Largest Music Festival’) and the 2008 MOBfest (1 of only 6 performers chosen from a pool of over 400)? Check. Sharing the stage with some of underground metal’s current heavyweights, such as AS I LAY DYING, AUGUST BURNS RED, HASTE THE DAY, EVERGREEN TERRACE and MISERY SIGNALS? Check.
It's obvious that AN EARLY ENDING has something special going on, and nowhere is that on better display than the band's self-titled debut EP, a searing, explosive offering full of razor-sharp guitars, room-shaking drums and - brace yourself - actual melody.
While AN EARLY ENDING eschew the current vocal trend of guttural barked verses and melodic sing-song choruses that has permeated the metalcore scene of late, so too do they recognize some validity to the approach. As with everything they do, AN EARLY ENDING take the juxtaposed vocal approach and make it their own, with Runk's vocals soaring at times when others might take the easy approach, and returning to aggressive form when others might deign to add a melodic angle.
"There are lots of bands out there right now playing music in the same general style as us," Runk explains, "but if you listen closely, I feel that we’re actually bringing something quite different. If I had to compare us to someone, it would have to be '80s hair metal mixed with a band like SAOSIN."
If it seems like an odd combo, that’s because it is. While it might sound like a strange statement when hearing the growl that opens up the record, the comparison becomes strikingly apropos when Runk opens up his pipes halfway through the track, and even more so on tracks like “Saints And Sinners” and “Angels,” where his smooth-as-silk voice weaves in and out of the fierce chugging of guitarists Justin Wantz and Greg Hildebrand and the heavy-as-a-ton-of-lead rhythms laid down by bassist Paul Stager and drummer Logan Summey.
As with everything they do, AN EARLY ENDING lace their album with a healthy dose of that probably-should-be-patented energy and sincerity. While it may not be entirely clear how these teens tap into something so strong, one thing is clear – there’s big things ahead for this band. Forgive the pun, but there’ll be no early ending for AN EARLY ENDING’s career.
When child hood friends Logan Summey (drums) and Alex Runk (vocals), first dreamed up having a band in 2004 they certainly never thought they would get to play with their heroes in Haste the Day twice in one year. After all, they were just freshmen in High School at the time, and it was not even so long ago that they managed to recruit Justin Wantz (Guitar), Greg Hildabrand (Guitar), and Paul Stager (Bass). Despite their relative youthfulness An Early Ending has moved forward, earning the title of Harrisburg’s undisputed heavyweight champions of metal. They find themselves constantly on tap for shows from Philly to Pittsburgh and consistently being called upon to help support bands such as Haste The Day, August Burns Red, Calico Systems, As I Lay Dying and From A Second Story Window. How could they have realized the trajectory of their ascent? In all likelihood, they just woke up one morning, late for school after playing the Trocadero and realized that their once fledgling project had taken on a life of its own, one which has the potential to be more than just a cool way to steal girls from the football team.
As 2008 moves forward, the boys from An Early Ending are preparing for a number of firsts: their first official release, their first summer tour, and their first record deal. This is the future of these young phenoms, most of whom aren’t old enough to have a voice recognized by this country; that hardly matters though, the fans in the audience are hearing An Early Ending loud and clear.
Alex Runk - Vocals
Logan Summey - Drums
Justin Wantz- Guitar/ Back up Vocals
Greg Hildebrand- Guitar
Paul Stager - Bass
Band Of The Month
[+ Show ]
BAND OF THE MONTH: An Early Ending By Eric Scicchitano Managing Editor The crusty curmudgeon of a...BAND OF THE MONTH: An Early Ending
By Eric Scicchitano
The crusty curmudgeon of a high school guidance counselor would never approve of this.
Put down the guitar son and pick up a real trade. Join the service, become a man. The rock n roll lifestyle is no way to live.
Youre signed with a label? Youre endorsed by a renowned guitar company? Nonsense. Get with the program.
And cut that damn hair!
OK, so the counselor and his advice is imaginary, if not dated and clich, but the accomplishments achieved by the five young men who make up An Early Ending are very real.
The Harrisburg teens signed with Decadent Suite Records in August, found a new manager in Harrisburg music vet Rick Gadd, and inked an endorsement deal with Dean Guitars around the same time. They work hard offstage, play fierce on stage and have made many strides toward putting an early end to any anonymity even if two of its members still have homework to do, literally.
An Early Ending Shinbones band of the month.
The current lineup that is An Early Ending was cemented in October 2006 after it went through its second dissension of the year. Enter bassist Paul Stager, 19, and guitarist Greg Hildebrand, 17, who along with Justin Wantz, 17, guitar/vocals; lead vox Alex Runk, 18, and drummer Logan Summey, 19, fill out a tight, heavy-metal crew who may not always fit the part.
See, where many bands feel a need to dress the part of metal, An Early Ending dress their age in a style updated by the generation in which they grew up.
No black leather, no makeup. All music.
Thats a huge thing when we go to a show, Summey said of their appearance, more American Eagle than American Badass.
When play we play death metal crowds ... they think youre some weird wussy emo kids. Them we get on stage and tear it up and theyre like, Oh God, we didnt expect that.
Expectations may be high for An Early Ending, which is currently writing its latest EP, tentatively titled Bloodlines. Jason Drayer of Progressive Studio is scheduled to produce and master their work, which could be recorded in January. Asked what one major difference will be on this record that prior music theyve put out, Runk said Drayer will put a lot of time into perfecting it. And the band will probably be spending a lot more money this time around, he said with a chuckle.
Expect six to seven tracks, Runk said. And expect a bit more mellowed sound.
What Makes Me Breath is the latest single and can be heard at the groups MySpace page. Runk said the upcoming EP would sound more like this single. Mellow? Not quite.
Mix Iron Maiden guitar riffs with the thumping, frenetic percussion of Slipknot and add a small dose of more modern rock, and thats essentially Runks description of a bit more mellow. Plus, how mellow can a group of teens be?
Theres still heavy stuff in it, he said. Exactly.
One can learn a lot at that age,/B>
They may sound more like seasoned musicians now, but there was a time when An Early Endings sound was, well, rough.
Pretty much when we started, we sounded like a terrible garage cover band, Runk said of their start in 2004, when theyd cover bands like Blink 182 and Green Day.
And then they got serious. We were like, Hey, lets make a real band and try to do something.
When they tried to be more professional in their musical endeavors, Summey said at least one former band member couldnt make it work. Drinking and drugs got to the kid at a young age, and it forced him out of the band.
Dude, we dont put up with that, he said. Hes a great guy but he went down hill last year.
Growing up fast
The band is a bit limited in booking shows since Hildebrand and Wantz are still in high school. But the experience, at least for one band member, has forced them to mature faster.
Youre put out there everyday. You have to be somebody instead of just acting like a little kid, Runk said of expanding An Early Endings horizons.
Theyre all business on stage, but off stage theyre reminded quite often of just how old they truly are.
Just a few months removed from graduation, Runk said of the group, Its really cool being in high school with an endorsement, getting signed to a record label and having a manager.
Check out An Early Ending at MySpace, /anearlyendingband, or visit the bands main Web site at www.anearlyendingband.com.
35 - 40 Minutes All Originals
There are no upcoming dates at this time.
|Jul 5, 2010 Monday||TBA||The Loft||Lansing, MI, US|
|Jul 2, 2010 Friday||3:00 PM||Summerfest||Milwaukee, US|
|Jun 28, 2010 Monday||6:00 PM||mad maggie's||Elgin, IL, US|
|Jun 27, 2010 Sunday||6:00 PM||The Clearing||Owosso, MI, US|
|Jun 26, 2010 Saturday||6:00 PM||The Loft||Hilbish, IN, US|
|Jun 25, 2010 Friday||6:00 PM||Main Strreet Bar and Grill||Toledo, OH, US|
|Jun 24, 2010 Thursday||6:00 PM||Sikora Post||Tonawanda, NY, US|
|Jun 23, 2010 Wednesday||4:00 PM||Newport Music Hall||Columbus, OH, US|
|Jun 21, 2010 Monday||6:00 PM||Willowbrook Baptist Church||Huntsville, AL, US|
|Jun 20, 2010 Sunday||6:00 PM||The Abby||Memphis, TN, US|
|Jun 19, 2010 Saturday||6:00 PM||The Village||Little Rock, AK, US|
|Jun 18, 2010 Friday||6:00 PM||The Era||Clarksville, TN, US|
|Jun 17, 2010 Thursday||6:00 PM||First and Cedar||Cookeville, TN, US|
|Jun 16, 2010 Wednesday||6:00 PM||Crosspoint Wesleyan Church||Lynchburg, VA, US|
|Jun 15, 2010 Tuesday||6:00 PM||Hangar 84||Vineland, NJ, US|
|Jun 14, 2010 Monday||4:00 PM||Championship Bar and Grill||Trenton, NJ, US|
|Jul 11, 2009 Saturday||12:00 AM||The Fest||Witchita, KS, US|
|Jun 27, 2009 Saturday||12:00 PM||The Orpheum||Tampa, FL, US|
|Jun 26, 2009 Friday||12:00 PM||The Refuge||Macon, GA, US|
|Jun 20, 2009 Saturday||7:00 PM||Waterstreet Music Hall||Rochester, NY, US|
|Jun 17, 2009 Wednesday||6:00 PM||The EI N GEE||New London, CT, US|
|Jun 13, 2009 Saturday||6:00 PM||IMATTER FEST w/ Devil Wears Prada||Elmira, NY, US|
|Jun 2, 2009 Tuesday||5:00 PM||Bulldog Cafe||Louisville, KY, US|
|Jun 1, 2009 Monday||12:00 PM||Sacred Grounds||Ocean City, NJ, US|
|May 30, 2009 Saturday||6:00 PM||Championship||Lemoyne, PA, US|
|May 9, 2009 Saturday||6:00 PM||Techroom||Uniontown, PA, US|
|Apr 17, 2009 Friday||7:00 PM||LAUNCH MUSIC CONFERENCE||Lancaster, Pa, PA, US|
|Apr 13, 2009 Monday||3:00 PM||The Rink||Malamoras, PA, US|
|Apr 4, 2009 Saturday||7:00 PM||Roller Rooster||Pottsville, PA, US|
|Mar 30, 2009 Monday||12:00 AM||w/ A Day To Remember||State College, PA, US|
|Mar 28, 2009 Saturday||12:00 PM||Getty Rec. Center||Gettysburg, PA, US|
|Mar 17, 2009 Tuesday||7:00 PM||The Coliseum||Camp Hill, PA, US|
|Mar 6, 2009 Friday||7:00 PM||Cumberland Valley High School||Mechanicsburg, PA, US|
|Feb 28, 2009 Saturday||8:00 PM||Champion Ship||Lemoyne, PA, US|
|Feb 28, 2009 Saturday||4:00 PM||Hot Topic||Camp Hill, PA, US|
|Feb 20, 2009 Friday||7:00 PM||Northern High School||Dillsburg, PA, US|
|Feb 13, 2009 Friday||10:00 PM||Spy Club||Harrisburg, PA, US|
|Jan 9, 2009 Friday||7:00 PM||Water Street Music Hall||Rochester, NY, US|
|Dec 28, 2008 Sunday||6:00 PM||Chameleon Club w/ August Burns Red||Lancaster, PA, US|
|Dec 12, 2008 Friday||TBA||Street Road Bar and Grill||Bensalem, PA, US|
|Dec 6, 2008 Saturday||TBA||Slamfest||Norwalk, CT, US|
|Dec 5, 2008 Friday||TBA||The Subculture||Glassport, PA, US|
|Nov 29, 2008 Saturday||10:00 PM||Smalls (21+)||York, PA, US|
|Nov 26, 2008 Wednesday||6:00 PM||Championship||Lemoyne, PA, US|
|Nov 22, 2008 Saturday||6:00 PM||Ramshead Live (All-Ages)||Baltimore, MD, US|
|Nov 14, 2008 Friday||7:00 PM||Water Street Music Hall (ALL-AGES)||Rochester, NY, US|
|Nov 8, 2008 Saturday||6:00 PM||Mirmar Theatre||Milwaukee, PA, US|
|Nov 2, 2008 Sunday||12:00 PM||Dragonfly Club||Harrisburg, PA, US|
|Sep 27, 2008 Saturday||10:20 PM||Rusty Rudder||Dewey Beach, DE, US|
|Sep 20, 2008 Saturday||12:00 PM||Championship||Lemoyne, PA, US|
|Sep 13, 2008 Saturday||1:00 PM||Slam Fest||Norwalk, CT, US|
|Sep 12, 2008 Friday||7:00 PM||Waterstreet Music Hall||Rochester, NY, US|
|Jul 18, 2008 Friday||10:00 PM||Gulliftys (21+)||Harrisburg, PA, US|
|Jul 17, 2008 Thursday||9:00 PM||8X10||Baltimore, MD, US|
|Jul 12, 2008 Saturday||8:00 PM||Friendly Fire||Bridgeport, IL, US|
|Jul 6, 2008 Sunday||4:00 PM||Summerfest||Milwaukee, WI, US|
|May 20, 2008 Tuesday||6:00 PM||Chameleon Club w/ As I Lay Dying||Lancaster, PA, US|
|Apr 25, 2008 Friday||10:00 PM||Smalls w/ The Underwater||York, PA, US|
|Apr 18, 2008 Friday||7:00 PM||The Mudd Puddle||Frederick, PA, US|
|Apr 11, 2008 Friday||8:00 PM||Penn State Harrisburg||Middletown, PA, US|