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About End of Fashion

Book Of Lies

You might be thinking that End Of Fashion have been a bit quiet of late...

That's true, but they've been hard at it, working on ‘Book Of Lies', the follow-up to their self-titled debut album of 2005 and encountering quite the journey inside that very process.

End of Fashion's debut rocketed them into prominence on the Australian music scene.  Singles ‘O Yeah' and ‘The Game' embedded the band in the charts and in the hearts of fans across the country, with ‘O Yeah' winning two ARIAs and a nomination for the prestigious APRA ‘Song Of The Year' Award.  Over the next two years, the band toured Australia and overseas doing what they do best - performing live.

By early 2007, it was time for the band to wind down and put serious thought into their follow up record.  Events in singer/guitarist Justin Burford's personal life lead to the songwriter heading to New York for a few months; to get lost in a big city and to some degree, stumble upon inspiration.    
"I had been through quite an emotional upheaval, which was fueling my compulsion to write as much as it was fueling my insecurities. I had to fight the temptation to wither away on my couch watching 'Back to the Future' over and over," laughs Justin. "It was a strange time."
Fortunately the desire to express these conflicted emotions resulted in the kind of soul-searching that lyricists come to thrive upon and work began in earnest once he got home. Justin says if there is a difference between the first End Of Fashion album and the new one, it's that "hopefully I've grown up a bit, I've experienced more.  I'm a bit more cynical.  A bit more aware that not everything is good - but that doesn't mean life isn't good."

In the process of gaining this fresh perspective on their new material, the band invited some outside voices in. By late 2007, Justin was working on vocal arrangements with fellow Perth musician Andy Lawson, of acclaimed WA outfit The Avenues and a respected producer/arranger in his own right.

As Justin turned out fresh song ideas and explored writing on different instruments more extensively, guitarist Rodney Aravena and bassist Tom King worked on the song arrangements.  "The process of making this record was really positive," says Rodney.  "It drew us together as a unit." Original End Of Fashion drummer Mike Hobbs also leant his talents to the recording (drummer at the time Nick Jonsson left to pursue his own projects). "Hobbs is the walking End Of Fashion encyclopedia", laughs Aravena. "Our biggest fan", adds Justin.

While the band's first album was recorded in the US with Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello), End Of Fashion were determined to make this record at home, in Perth. Throughout the recording process they held on to Dennis' words of wisdom, to always "serve the song," but with a mission to make it more personal and more collaborative. One could say it's a return to the band we first saw with their debut EP.
Lawson continued his work, staying on to co-steer with renowned producer, and original collaborator on their first EP, Magoo (Regurgitator, Midnight Oil, Powderfinger) whom the boys respect for his ability to "dirt things up"... amongst other talents.

"What we wanted from Magoo was the personal style he brings and his incredible attention to detail," Rodney says.  "And his sense of quirk," adds Justin.  "We knew we wanted him involved because he would bring his left-field attitude with him.  Which is what we were looking for. He was kind of like our security blanket. If we could get stuff past Magoo, it had to be alright!"
And rather than aim squarely for three-minutes-of-perfection at every turn, End Of Fashion have crafted an album that channels diversity in its entirety. Far from the band simply firing off from Justin's newest chord progression, during the ongoing process, each member helped to add layers and to fashion different parts for each new song.

And so, ‘Book Of Lies' was born.  "Although we were aware of the religious implications, the album's title actually comes from the nickname we gave Magoo's notebook," Justin says. "It just seems to tie it all together." As did Tim Palmer (U2, The Cure, Robert Plant) who mixed the album in Los Angeles, adding a new dimension to the musicality.

The Clash's ‘London Calling' and Bowie's ‘Station To Station' were inspiration points at the time to Rodney for the spirit and energy of the album, and while the pop nous and melodic attentiveness the band displayed on their debut LP makes a signature return, End Of Fashion have crafted an album that is more brutal and angular than the last.

Tracks such as ‘biscit', and ‘Kamikaze' mix this trait with spot-on new wave sensibilities. ‘Bullets', meanwhile, a mesmerising epic, was a litmus test for the band.  The first song they worked on, it changed the most from initial conception to finished composition.
‘Dying For You' was co-written by Justin with Julian Hamilton of The Presets, their respective pop and dance predilections meeting each other somewhere in sound. "It's very Julian," says Justin. "It took a little while to make it an End Of Fashion song. But the two of us working together allowed us both to explore outside our usual genres. I love co-writing for this very reason." Silversun Pickups' ‘Carnavas' served as inspiration to the band for finding the ultimate texture of the song.
The album's first single, ‘Fussy', was actually the last song written. It's a dark song that plays to an up-tempo beat, in which a serial killer ‘talks' to his victim. This reflects the nature of duality that exists in the band and on this record, as Justin explains, "it shows the struggle between the light and dark sides of human personality.... I think these are conflicts we all have inside  ourselves."

It's weird because this album came from, for me, this really dark place," Justin notes. "Yet it's actually an uplifting, melodic, almost spiritual record for us. It was a journey, and we're really proud of it."

Australian Tour

After staring out at a sea of sweaty screaming festival goers and picking up a few rave reviews at the Homebake and Southbound music festivals, End Of Fashion are itching to get local with a tour spanning Fremantle to Hobart, Adelaide to Noosa and more.

Along the way they will be offering up the trumpet wielding infectious 1st single from their album  ‘Book Of Lies' Fussy, their new single Dying For You (written with Julian Hamilton of The Presets) and a stack of hits both old and new.

Since Dying For You hit the radio in December it has already been added across the board at Nova. The brand new video for Dying For You is an energetic performance video based around the ‘Book Of Lies' album artwork and filmed and directed in their hometown of Perth with Steve McCallum.

They are hitting the road with the very talented Melbourne based Oh Mercy supporting. This idiosyncratic and quirky pop act has been embraced in their home town and will be fresh from playing the Laneway Festival. Described as "like a young version of Augie March crossed with The Shins" (Fasterlouder), Oh Mercy's style is consistently difficult to pin down. What is certain is that, while they cite classic rock ‘n' roll and folk influences, the songwriting partnership of Alexander Gow and Thomas Savage creates music unmistakably of their own style.