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With beads of sweat glimmering atop his clean-shaven head and his maniacal eyes simmering, Endo vocalist Gil Bitton halted an explosive set halfway through an appearance at the now-defunct Prop Room to ask this question: "Has anybody seen a gun? Somebody just told me they lost one. Everybody back up so we can find it." The gun was eventually found, nobody was harmed, and the band continued to rage on for the all-ages crowd.

"That was fucked up," Bitton says months after the incident. "That totally goes against everything we do, everything Endo stands for. The whole vibe of Endo is about inner spirituality, peace. We're spiritually aware as human beings. You don't bring a gun to a show where there are people, kids. That pissed me off."

Endo's sound is best described as a pastiche of turbulent guitar screeches (Lou Orenstein), heart-thumping drum beats (Joel Suarez), addictive bass lines (Zelick), and blunt rap vocals. Despite its power-thrash sound, the band wants to express positivity through music.

"In the world we're all wearing masks and need to get in touch with our inner selves," Bitton explains. "If we did, the world would be a better place. We're living in the '90s, it's a hard time. So we're screaming and playing hard -- it's the only way to get the messages across."

Endo is currently at work on its second hardcore offering, a five-song, as-yet-untitled CD slated for a May release. The band's debut, the eight-song Endo, was released in 1996, and its second track, "Hermit," was plucked for inclusion on this year's ZETA Rocks Volume 1 local music compilation. When Bitton brings his roar to a simmer on "Hermit" and raps, "There's more... so much more/To life than this existence/We've got to break the chains, change our ways/From the lost generation," he sums up the band's ultimate goal of finding tranquility in today's world.

Endo will perform Saturday, March 28, along with Maria and the Nocturnals, at the South Beach Pub in Miami Beach. The group will also play at Respectable Street Cafe in West Palm Beach on April 5. And be forewarned: Endo's live shows are a spectacle to behold, especially when Bitton dives into the crowd for a finale.

"I get filled with so much energy when I play. We give it out, they give it back, it overcomes me," admits Bitton. "That kind of connection with an audience is the best experience ever. That's what it's all about.

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Brian Hyman

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