Michael Grant of Endeverafter

Los Angeles-based combo Endeverafter harks back to the days when bands played hard, drank hard, and often had a hard time steering clear of overnight stints in the slammer. Michael Grant, the prime mover behind the quartet, has a blues-inflected wail that carries traces of Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, not to mention Axl Rose—influences that’ve already endeared the band to contemporaries as varied as Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Trapt, and Fuel, all of whom they’ve shared stages with in recent months. Endeverafter’s excellent debut album, Kiss or Kill, hits stores this month. Though it’s Endeverafter’s first full-length effort, Grant says it’s been a long time coming. “I’ve become much more in tune with the songwriting craft,” he says. “I got a lot of aggression out during the era when I was in all those death metal bands. There’s still aggression here, but it’s more sexual, more sensual—and that’s a lot more fun than fighting any day.”

In a nutshell, how would you describe the band’s sound?

It feels like the party you were at back in the day. You can’t help but have a good time. And today, I want to bring that feeling to kids who don’t know what the hell that is because of music’s current woe-is-me state. That’s the thing, we just want people to have a good time listening to it, like I have a great time listening to Zeppelin records, as deep as they are.

There’s more going on here than just blues-rock, though.

Thanks. I think we all have a lot of influences. I love Cheap Trick, but we also have a progressive edge, from bands like Dream Theater, Marillion, that kind of thing. And while I like to sit down and listen to a 20-minute opus from time to time, I don’t think that’s something I want to be out there doing all the time. Then again, there’s part of me who likes the idea of being grandiose and standing up there on the top of the mountain doing a solo, you know?

EndeverafterWas it difficult to get a group of musicians willing and able to put those elements together?

It took quite a bit of effort. For the longest time, I’d get these guys who’d be half into it but would still have this emo attachment, or who’d still want to play hardcore as part of the mix. I needed to find a bunch of guys who were really into great songwriting in the classic sense. If I scaled down my dreams, it could’ve happened a lot more quickly, I suppose.

Why did you start playing Gibsons?

All of my favorite guitarists played Les Pauls, Jimmy Page being No. 1, obviously. So I always had the image of the rock god solely playing a Les Paul—like what else could you play? So I started saving up my pennies early on to buy one when I was a waiter making nothing. Right now, I play a Les Paul Classic, a Les Paul Supreme, and a Les Paul Custom. The Classic is a cherry Sunburst; it’s my favorite because it’s so Page-y, and the Alpine White Custom is so beautiful.

Are those your songwriting guitars?

I actually write just about all my songs on my acoustic, a Songwriter Deluxe, the cutaway version. I take it with me everywhere I go. It’s in my hotel room right now—not just because I’m always hoping a song will come along, but because it’s kind of like a security blanket.