Eye On Springfield with Graham & Ben from Endless Swarm

eye on springfield

Endless Swarm are a powerviolence/grind band with a lot of noise tendencies from Edinburgh, Scotland. I was introduced to them by Ross McKendrick based on their song ‘Hollow Victory’ having a sample of Troy McClure starting it out. I immediately fell in love with the band and reached out for an interview. And then their drummer parted ways with the band. This interview would have been up a long time ago, but losing a drummer right around the time of entering the studio creates a huge upheaval. But here we are and the interview is done and I’m really excited to share it. Endless Swarm are an incredible band and should be checked out but everyone reading this. They just released their new 7″ entitled Pointless Existence and already have a split with Pavel Chekov set for release by the end of the year.
Huge thanks to Garham and Ben for taking the time to answer these questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons?

Graham – The Simpsons was always on BBC2 at 6 o’ clock, Monday – Friday here in the UK. I always sat down and had dinner with my family and that’s what was on while we ate. I fell in love with it at a pretty young age and a remember going through a phase where everything I owned had ‘El Barto” written on it and my pencil case, lunchbox and folders were all Simpsons memorabilia.

Ben – Like most 90’s kids in the UK, I used to watch The Simpsons on BBC2 during the week. I instantly found myself caught up in the huge world of Springfield and all the characters living in it. It was a cartoon on at dinner time so it was always felt like a bit of a bonus after all the kids TV programmes had finished earlier. I used to spend ages sketching all of the characters so I can probably credit that in some way to my love of drawing, too. Also, my older brother owned the “Do The Bartman” single so I can remember hearing that a lot.

There is a pretty large and diverse cast of characters on the show. Is there a character you see yourself in, for better or for worse?

Graham – Growing up it had to be Bart. I had that rebellious streak and I always found myself getting in to trouble for various reasons. I also had a pretty dorky mate who I guess you could compare to Millhouse in some respects (Scott, if you’re reading this I’m sorry). Another big part of my youth was skateboarding, which may well have stemmed from my love for The Simpsons. Furthermore, my relationship with my sister was very similar to Lisa and Bart’s as my sister was always very successful at school and always made me look bad!

Ben – As much as I’d like to say Bart (I did use to skateboard a lot when I was younger) I’d probably have to say the social awkwardness of Milhouse. That, and the fact I used to wear a pretty ridiculous pair of bright red glasses for years.

Who is your favorite character?

Graham – That’s tough! For me it’s either Bart or Otto Mann.

Ben – It’s pretty hard to pick just one. I’d have to go with either Otto or Moe. They’re always entertaining in any episode. You can’t forget Disco Stu though.

How is the show perceived in Scotland? Is it a beloved as it is (or was) in America?

Graham – Yeah it’s extremely popular over here, shops still sell shirts with Bart on it and it’s always on TV. Although it’s still ongoing, I’d say you have people who appreciate it nostalgically too.

Last Scotland question (I swear). Is Groundskeeper Willie a popular character there?

Graham – Yeah for sure, he was actually used during the Independence Referendum and was backing an independent Scotland which was really cool.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

Graham – I’ve managed to boil it down to a few, so my favourite episodes are 1) Homer eats the chilli and trips out 2) Bart tries to find Santa’s Little Helper 3) Homer skates the canyon gap. There’s a bunch more but these were all the ones that stick out in my head. I was always a huge fan of the Treehouse Of Horrors episodes too.

Ben – There’s far too many to choose from. The ones that have always stuck in my mind are the X-Files episode, the one where Homer hallucinates in the desert after eating the peppers and one that Homer gains a load of weight in order to work from home. Also, the episode that Troy Mclure marries Selma. Mainly just for “Dr Zaius.”

The Simpsons has had a lot of great guest stars in their time. Who is your favorite?

Ben – Probably just anytime Kelsey Grammer is in it as Sideshow Bob or Danny DeVito as Homer’s brother.

Music-wise it has to be the Ramones singing happy birthday to Mr. Burns or The Smashing Pumpkins at Hullabalooza.

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the Simpsons?

Ben – King Diamond. He’s already that ridiculous and over the top as a character that it almost seems like he was purposely written for the show.

One of my first real big exposures to things like vegetarianism was through Lisa Simpsons. Has the show ever introduced you to an idea that changed the way you view things?

Ben – I can’t say the The Simpsons has had that big of an impact on how I view things in life. I’ve always admired how well the writers managed to make the programme appeal to all ages and still include such a wide range of issues though.

Do you still watch the new episodes? If not, do you remember what made you stop?

Graham – I haven’t watched any new episodes in a number of years which is a shame but it wasn’t something I decided to do it just kind of happened. Not having TV is a large contribution to that and with life getting busier I just don’t have as much time as I’d like to keep up with The Simpsons!

Ben – I don’t still watch new episodes. I think I stopped watching around season 10. We were always several seasons behind over here unless you had Sky TV channels, which I didn’t, so I was never that up to date with them to begin with. I’ve watched the odd newer episode now and again but I just feel that they lack a lot of the clever writing that the earlier episodes had.

Finally, how would you like to see the show end?

Ben – I don’t really have an idea story-wise but I really think that they should have ended it all with a movie. It took them so long to actually put one out yet I don’t feel like it had as much of an impact as it could have had. It felt like just watching a slightly episode.

Graham – I hadn’t really thought about it but after reading over these questions I thought I’d have a look on the internet and read over other peoples ideas on how the show should end. I must admit that the idea of having a full season of ‘last episodes’, parodying other famous last episodes and having Bart and Lisa growing up for example. That could be fun!


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