In the last couple of years, End It have emerged as one of the more exciting and popular bands in the hardcore community today. The Baltimore quintet have worked the road hard, appearing at everything from small VFW hall shows to some of the biggest hardcore festivals in the US and Europe.
End It's superb Unpleasant Living EP landed on my Best Hardcore Records of 2022 list on this very website. Their sound has bounce to it yet still drives forward with speed and a general grit that falls in line with the East Coast hardcore tradition they were raised on.
One of the aspects of the End It stylistic approach that instantly won me over is Akil Godsey's maniacal vocals. No one else sounds like my man. Everything he delivers is clear but absolutely unhinged, you know, because he means it.
With all of the touring, and End It's popularity continuing to rise, I spoke to Akil about how his life has changed in the last couple of years. I appreciated his candid answers and his thoughts on all of the online hardcore complainers.
It’s been a great couple of years for End It, and I’m curious on how that has changed your life. I’m sure it’s a blessing and a curse in the sense that you’re happy that the band is doing well but it’s also tough to manage that with your work and person life back in Baltimore.
It’s been great for a majority of the time. As you know, I got a kid in Baltimore and I’m currently 2 years in with a very special person (Ms.Ashley). We keep getting offers and better opportunities and I would be a fool not to take them but I’m also in my 30s and growing as a human.
I find myself longing for a little bit of financial stability cause punk rock don’t pay the bills and I know the child is going to need me more as she gets older. People seem to think that as your children become more independent they need you less and that can’t be farther from the truth. I’m her safety net for life.
At the rate we’re going I’m gonna end up living with her before she’s able to live with me [laughs].
Do you find that it’s hard to say no to opportunities End It is offered at times even though they aren’t always easy to pull off because you’re worried of missing out? “If we don’t take this, maybe we won’t be offered something like it next time." I mean that in the logistical sense of things.
Yessir! Constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place on taking advantage of our time in the spotlight and going to work back home. I’m currently working counter at a tattoo shop with intentions of learning how to pierce so thankfully I have that and I’m excited to pursue a new career.
Me, personally, I could care less if we say no and then we don’t get the offer again cause I don’t function in that space. I’ve turned down numerous offers for things in life and I still end up on top cause I’m just good like that but the dudes don’t have the same faith as I do so I can’t fault them for not believing me when I say “everything is gonna be alright.”
Outside of the actual performances, what are some of the best aspects of touring from your experiences so far?
Getting the fuck out of Baltimore City and making genuine friendships with people that it extends beyond myself. I’ve met people that I know for a fact would assist my friends and family if they were in close proximity to them abroad.
Love going BNB to another city and being able to let my guard down and be a tourist to a certain extent cause I’m overtly observant and never comfortable anywhere I go but taking a stroll through a small German village where everyone is saying “allo” and smiling while the sun is shining and I’m here to play a style of music I deeply care for is badass.
Have there been certain cities/regions that you’ve yourself thinking, “Yeah, I can see myself living here.”?
The UK for sure cause it’s similar enough to America that I could make it work. I could definitely see myself living in Amsterdam as well. I love you can buy beer and wine everywhere. I’m slowly getting off the alcohol but at this moment it’s awesome.
You can’t buy beer/liquor in Maryland on Sundays unless you go to certain spots but in Europe they don’t care. I got stuck on a random train platform in Germany a few days ago and walked to a lidl and copped a bottle of wine. Makes the day go by quicker.
The last time I saw you, we talked about how annoyed with both get about all of the complaining people do about hardcore on social media. I would love to get your thoughts on that here, for the record.
Buncha bitch-made lame motherfuckers who earnestly think their feelings and opinions matter. No one fucking cares about you or who you are. Half of them don’t even like hardcore and the other half don’t like themselves. They’re two years into their three year tour and feel entitled to condemn and exclude behaviors that have literally created the thing they claim to be about.
Hardcore is only 40-years-old and very recently being accepted in the mainstream so there’s always going to be growing pains but at its very core it’s about living outside of society. That means some of the things that happen aren’t socially acceptable…because that’s the point. We choose to exist like this. People tend to forget that they can actually go do something else.
With End It’s popularity right now, I feel like the band’s next release is a pivotal one. Do you feel that kind of pressure, or do you just keep moving forward and not think that analytically about such things?
Oh, I know people are patiently waiting for our full length. I don’t feel pressure to put out something amazing because we’re just going to make a hardcore album like we always do.
I’m personally concerned with retaining the anger while maturing the message because I wrote all this other stuff at a very wild moment in my life and I’m currently calming down in some regards. Gotta think about tomorrow since I didn’t kill myself.
What’s the plan for End It now that a new year is upon us? Also, can we expect even more road work from the band once the new music is out? Are things gonna ramp up next year?
We got some pretty big tours planned for 2024 and we’re going to tour on the full length. I’m thinking we got at least another 2-3 years of constant touring/travel ahead of us. I wanna get married and have another child so we’re gonna hit it real hard while we can.
You’re known for your a cappella renditions of classic pop, rock, and R&B songs on stage right before End It starts playing. I’ve seen you do stuff like “What a Fool Believes” and “Hey Jealousy” recently. When can we expect the Akil Godsey Sings the Hits album?
[Laughs] At the pace I’m going, you’ll probably end up with a lecture series before a cover album [laughs]. There’s gonna be some clean vocals on the full length, though.
Unpleasant Living is available now via Flatspot Records.
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