Interview by Helena Markos
END TRAIN has been heavily involved in the free parties scene for years, playing 250+ bpm distorted hardcore industrial during timeless sets. Whether he is playing with four decks and his sampler or his 2 hour live set with synths and a coffee machine, his music stretches the boundaries of techno with melancholic melodies and fast paced drums. Together with FLAMINIA he founded Ways to Die Records and METEMPSYCHOSIS to promote techno in various shapes and form from industrial to deep and broken.
We had the beautiful coincidence to meet Joseph in our last year’s event in Bristol, where we hosted FLAMINIA and her fantastic hybrid performance. These guys have something very powerful. The vibrations they transmit through their music and acts are of a unique kind. Together with their London “gang” they are building something very strong and worthwhile to be shared. End Train is also the co-creator, together with Ossa di Mare, of the very positive and inspiring blog “Be bad until your are good” that we highly recommend.
Joseph is an example of an artist who makes his art lifestyle and vice versa. For him, it is all about mindful sounds combined with a meaninful purpose, leading to beautiful connections and a fulfilling life. Today Joseph is doing an open and honest sharing that utterly resonates with us. We very much looking forward to seeing his next steps and collaborations.
“There is something about abandoned factories that connects with people in a deep, tribal and guttural manner. Techno encapsulate the essence of this connection by helping cold machines create their own soul that in turn, connects to humans”. End Train.
T.O.P: Hi Joseph! First of all, we are very happy to have the opportunity to host an interview with you on our platform. Would you tell us few things about your journey into electronic music and how did it start?
Hey, thank you for having me! Really happy to do this interview. Onto your question: I think when I was very young my father took me to a discotheque on a hot summer night. I was 9 at that time but still remember quite well. We went to this place (ok I admit, it was actually more like a bar than a club) and I heard this dj playing electronic dance music to people dancing and having fun. I was sold! By age 12 I became a PR – basically the guy who brings bunch of friends to every party – for an afternoon club in Rome. I think from that time, I got a chronic Saturday night fever and basically went to clubs pretty much every single weekend of my life.
T.O.P: We know you are the mind behind two striking record labels, Ways to Die records and Metempsychosis (together with Flaminia). Metempsychosis, is a label inspired by special connections between people. We have been very attracted to this concept, as we share the same idea, too. Tell us few things about the label’s vision and how you experience it through the music.
Happy to hear you guys share the same feeling about connections. For Flaminia and me, music has always meant connecting deeply with people, and now we have this utopian project that allows us to use music as a tool for people to connect with themselves and with others. The vision is to eventually see millions of people inspired by the label music, stories, experiences and artists, so that they feel connected with who they really are and with others. We will go places to make it happen!
T.O.P: Your recent collaboration with Khemia records shows a great deal of your talent, as you show it through “The Night Does Not End”, a relentless industrial swirling, which sounds like a heavy statement. How do you feel about this release? What’s the connection/story behind it?
Glad that you ask about it. I feel great since Khemia is the label connected to Kaos, an institution underground techno party that has been running for 16 years. I love this party and feel connected to this scene. Lee, the mind behind Kaos and Khemia, is one of the best promoters you could ever meet and has been supporting me since I had my first gigs in London. I feel humbled, grateful ad excited to be part of Khemia’s journey. I wrote “The Night Does Not End” in the summer of 2017, while preparing for the memorable first Judgement Hall party (you may never heard about it, it’s secret and mysterious). I played the track live during the set and Lee from Khemia really liked it. Some time later we spoke about releasing it. I was so happy as it happened in such an hearth felt and genuine way.
T.O.P: Is there any specific experience/moment or person that you consider as a milestone in your career so far?
There is one artist who has been inspiring me deeply and he had accepted to do a remix for one of my tracks. He unfortunately had to cancel for personal reasons, but only the fact the he liked me work, meant the world to me!
Our Metempsychosis showcase at Tresor in Dec 2017, is definitely a milestone and a day I will always remember. I feel blessed that my first gig in Berlin, and in Tresor, was a showcase of my label together with some of my closest friends Flaminia and Rick and Alessandro from Tapefeed. It was almost unbelievable to be playing our music until morning in that club. It’s fun how sometimes ‘unbelievable’ things just happen!
T.O.P: In a post-rave era, what is your perception on dark electronic music? Do you feel is our way to reflect the socio-political situation in the world today or to process our dark side of the psyche?
Good question, I think is more the latter. Techno and also other dark / energetic music have been around forever, independently from the specific socio-political context and I think it’s something that many of us need. Sometimes it is a great way to let the energy flow and channel anger and negative emotions into something that does not hurt anyone. That said, I think it varies from person to person and from time to time. I do consider techno not necessarily “dark” and actually for me it has a very positive energy.
T.O.P: We also know that together with Ossa di Mare (Metempsychosis) you co-created a very positive and inspirational blog, that aims to motivate its followers towards achieving their self-fulfillment. Reading its content so far, we see that there is an amazing link between your experience as producer and your personal development. How did the realisation of the importance of “finding your why” set off your creativity?
Frank (1/2 of Ossa Di Mare) and I are both producers and our experiences as producers are big part of our lives, that’s why the link is naturally tight! I started my conscious why research after a live gig, when I got moved from the compliments of a person. I realised I had to figure what drives me across every aspect of my life and music is a huge part of it. I do what I do to help people connect with themselves and with others and take action toward the life they want, so that they feel fulfilled and bring positive value to the rest of the world.
Knowing your why is like finding a powerful compass that is always there within you. Not only it gives you a direction and a sense of inner confidence, but also it allows you to choose more clearly where to go. When making music, I now use it to stay true to my inner direction. For example, if I somehow feel doubtful on playing a certain gig, releasing a track, making a certain track, I can immediately check whether this is in line with my purpose. If not, I drop it, if yes I go for it.
T.O.P: Do you have any upcoming plans, showcases or collaborations?
1) Just released my track Thrill on Argentian label Terra Furia. I connected with Distant, who is also on the same Khemia vinyl and runs Terra Furia, and we decided to go for this track for a VA that includes a lot of interesting stuff. You can check it here.
2) To keep people connected after the weekend, I and some other dj friends have started Spotify playlists that take what people play during parties in London to the online world. We update the playlists regularly so during the week you can listen and listen again to what made the party thick last time!
3) And also, currently planning an experience in London jointly organised by Metempsychosis and Tales… more info soon 🙂
T.O.P: As an artist based in London, what are your views on the electronic music scene in the UK today? Do you think there is a damaging side to the current Brexit situation or this could possibly fire a series of interesting reactions?
I will talk about London and the techno scene as it’s what I am the closest to. I love the scene over here because we are a bunch of friends supporting each other really like a family. Very often the first people to come and last ones to go to a party are the other djs, promoters and label owners. It’s incredibly diverse, open minded and inspiringly buzzing.
I think it’s still early to talk about Brexit effects, as it will really depend on the final political deal. It would be very detrimental to the scene if Europeans were to have issues to come to or stay in UK. It would be a big shame as it cuts out talent and invaluable contribution to any scene. However, I prefer to think there would be positive effects anyways such as more cities in Europe seeing their scenes flourish, or people using music even more to find their connections when new geographical boundaries emerge.
T.O.P: Psychofonia is a method of treating migraine through soundwaves; Which album/tune would you suggest as mind/soul healer?
Beautiful! The first the comes to mind is the “Ambient Black Magic” by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement. If you are looking for your soul to be transported into a rainforest and healed by the sounds of nature, look no further than “Jungle Is A Shapeshifter” on this album.