10 minutes with legendary Noisemonger of the PNW, Jack Endino

Thanks to the very cool Mr. Mick Cotgageorge (The STUNTMEN) and well-known Seattle drummer, the man behind The Basement Sessions series and super great guy Mr. John Graziadei (Johnny G) I got to sit down with Jack Endino and Johnny G in Jacks studio to talk about all things music including Jack Endino’s Earthworm and The Basement Sessions.

In 1985, Jack co-founded influential Grunge band Skin Yard playing guitar with Matt Cameron on drums until he left for Soundgarden. In early 1986, Skin Yard contributed two songs to C/Z Records’ legendary compilation Deep Six. Later in 1986,

Endino left his basement recording studio to found Reciprocal Recording where he would go on to produce, engineer, and mix Skin Yard’s 1987 debut self-titled album. In 1988, he recorded Nirvana’s debut album Bleach in a mere 30 hours for $606.17.

Nirvana’s “Bleach” 1989

When asked about his fees and structure Jack said “If I really want to record a band I will make it work for them. But I’m not a charity (laughs)”

Known for his unique stripped-down style that would develop into the underlying sound of the early Grunge movement, Jack became a highly sought after producer in the Pacific North West. Working with bands like Soundgarden, Green River, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, L7, The Gits, 7 Year Bitch, The Fartz, Supersuckers, Fitz of Depression, The STUNTMEN Malfunkshun, TAD, The Accüsed, Willard, ZEKE and Australian band Spiderbait.

Jack Endino & Johnny G.

Wardy – It is a very impressive discography too, is it over 500 now?

Jack –  It is over 500 now, albums and Eps

Johnny G – WOW

Jack – There are a few repeat offenders in there, some bands you do multiple records for. Think I did 3 Mudhoney records, 8 Grannies records. That’s a band you should get into if you haven’t, The Grannies.

Johnny G – What about that band that used my drums, Windhand?

Jack – Oh yeah, Windhand, they are great. I have done 2 records for them, the new one Eternal Return should be out about now and it is super cool. Gas Huffer, I did 3 records for and Valient Thorr I have done 2.

Johnny G – Valient Thorr, just so you guys know, Immortalizer is one of the best fucking rock records ever. It has got everything on it.

Wardy – So how did Jack Endinos Earthworm evolve from an album to a band and how strong was the connection to the Basement Sessions?

Jack – Earthworm was kinda like the house band for the Basement Sessions. Generally, our bass player Sam with Johnny on drums made up the rhythm section for whoever showed up at that week’s BBQ. Sometimes I played bass.

Johnny G – Jack would always sprinkle his awesome on it. Impersonating Jacks voice “I am going to throw some guitar on that”.

Jack – Sometimes you just need a guitar solo or backing vocal.

Johnny G – It was awesome.

Jacks solo career is comparatively sparse when held up against his work behind the scenes and with the many bands he has played in but it is certainly worth the wait. From his first release, 1989s Angle of Attack it was obvious Jacks talent reached beyond the desk, hitting us with a magnificent mix of Prog/Punk underlined with that dirty Grunge guitar we have come to expect. This was followed up by Endino’s Earthworm in 1993 and again we were treated to an aural attack of our senses from not only a master of production but songwriting and composition.

Wardy – The Basement Sessions series of double albums. Fantastic stuff and a really deep look into the Seattle music culture. We have volumes 1 to 4, how are 5 & 6 shaping up?

Johnny G – 5 & 6 is pretty much about half done right?

Jack – Yep, half done is fair

Johnny G – So, that isn’t far away, with any luck. We are working on an Endino solo record that hasn’t been released yet. That might come out soon.

Jack – It is an unfinished solo record that I have been working on for about a decade (laughs). My last record took 13 years to finish so I am sort of on schedule actually.

Wardy – Johnny, how did you come to Seattle and what was it like meeting Jack for the first time?

Johnny G – I came to Seattle with $100 in my pocket and stayed on my friend’s couch for like a month. Jack changed my life, he really did.  He is a mentor to me.
I always pushed the envelope and was always like, why can’t we do that? Jack is kinda the same and together we became a force to be reckoned with and I just started soaking up everything I could. When Jack joined Kandi Coded I was like a giggly school girl, I was like “Aggghhhh, I can’t believe Jack Endino is in my fucking band”

Wardy – Jack, thank you so much for your time, the gifts and everything

Jack – Thank you guys for coming all the way to Seattle for our music and have a safe trip home, you certainly have some stuff to take back with you.

Lot of goodies I received from Jack Endino & Johnny G.

I cannot thank Mick Cotgageorge, Johnny G and Clint Brice enough for laying the foundation for this opportunity and Jack Endino for his time.