By John Showalter
Musicians and concertgoers alike unexpectedly found their plans disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Artists and venues have been facing a situation that is unprecedented for most people. As the old saying goes, however, necessity is the mother of invention. Artists and their supporters have been endlessly creative in finding ways to overcome these daunting circumstances. Take Zander Ness, for example, who isn’t about to let a global health crisis keep him from pursuing his passion. He just had to get creative.
Ever since childhood, Ness has been passionate about his craft. “I really started paying attention to music around eight years old and got my first drum kit from my mom for my tenth birthday, trying to follow along with everything I was listening to at the time, which was mostly rock and metal,” Ness said. “I didn’t start writing music of my own until I was about fifteen years old, messing around with a borrowed electric guitar.”
Ness has been involved in the local music scene for 20+ years. The first band he played drums for was a two-piece grunge rock act called Bliss back in 2001 when he was twelve years old. After their first show at All Star Bowl in Moorhead they performed a handful of other local shows. During junior high and high school he played drums in several metal bands, such as Green Fog Vigilante and Her Seduction, as well as expanding to playing guitar in some other projects, which presented the opportunity to play at larger shows and tour regionally. In 2007 he started a group called Host which did multiple national tours and toured with the Fargo band Battlefields in 2009.
“In late 2009 after Host dissolved I moved out of state trying to grow musically and start something new with a variety of different musicians I had met while touring,” said Ness. “While living in Chicago, I recorded an entire studio album with a few other musicians but it was never released. After a long and frustrating time, I ultimately went on a long hiatus from music and moved back to Fargo in 2011.”
Enditall is Ness’s newest musical project. It started as a solo project in March 2019, although some of the songs and ideas came from material he had written as far back as 2008. “I reworked some old stuff along with new material with the intent of making an album, not necessarily a band.” He said he would describe the band’s music as alternative rock or dark alternative. “The music has a darker and somewhat heavier sound than the typical alt-rock band but I don’t think it quite qualifies as metal, so I stick with the rock tag.” He cited among his influences the seminal grunge band Nirvana as well as his peers and other local bands.
In fall 2019, Ness approached his old friend Neal Stein (Gorgatron, among others) to record his first EP, “Never Feel Again”, which is also the name of the first track on the album. “Neal did an excellent job engineering the whole album and we worked a lot together on the production/post-production. The album was finished digitally released on May 23, 2020. Though originally a solo project, Ness decided he wanted to perform live and enlisted his longtime friend Matthew Johnson to play drums and Jake Martin to perform bass.
Around this time was when Ness’s newest project would face its first roadblock. “With the timeline of the band’s progress, COVID-19 couldn’t have come at a worse time,” said Ness. “Between March and May 2020, we had eight concerts canceled, including what would have been our first performance as well as the “Never Feel Again” album release show with Disappear Forever, The Electric Blankets, and El Supremo.” This change in plans wasn’t enough to keep Ness down, however. On April 11th, he was able to perform a concert via internet live stream for Livewire with the band El Supremo, as well as a limited capacity show in August at the Aquarium with El Supremo, Deterioration (from Minneapolis), and Gorgatron. “Since the digital release, I have independently packaged CD copies along with other merchandise and am currently planning a physical release event for the near future,” said Ness. “There will also be vinyl LP copies of ‘Never Feel Again’ available courtesy of Royalty Holdings out of Wisconsin, which hasn’t been announced until now.”
“Overall, COVID-19 just pushed plans back a bit and forced some different ways of thinking,” said Ness. Merchandise will be available at the local record shows, and all of the music and merchandise can be found at www.bandcamp.com/enditallofficial and www.facebook.com/enditallofficial. It’s obvious that even with an ongoing pandemic and contrary to their name, Enditall is just getting started.
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