The band TOMORROWZ END just simultaneously released a colossal 40 songs across 4 albums, titled 'TETRALOGY Part I' volumes 1-4. Louder Than The Music spoke to the band's Nathaniel to find out how a cancer diagnosis led to to the inspiration for his music. Find out more about this multimedia band...
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about the band and how you got involved in making music?
I would love to! Hello my name is Nathaniel. I am the founder/creator of the Christian Art Music Project Tomorrowz End. I portray the "t" character in this project. And to understand what Tomorrowz End is, first I must give a brief backstory of how it came to be. When i was 17 I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. The day I was diagnosed I sat on my parents' couch beside my Grandmother and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. Before this day however, I was already into music. It was my favorite thing to take part in. I loved listening to it as well as playing it. The first time I ever saw Eddie Van Halen do "Eruption" on a live concert and have both hands on the fretboard of the guitar, I was hooked and I knew I wanted to play guitar. Then I saw live performances of Guns N' Roses and Bon Jovi. I was hooked by their vocal strength and power and knew I wanted to try and sing.
So, throughout junior high and high school, I had garage bands that were very far from Christian beliefs and practices as I was not a follower of Christ. Fast forward to my cancer diagnoses, I realized after I accepted Christ, I needed to use my talents and creativity to spread the Good News of Christ, and this is the genesis of Tomorrowz End. However, being a new Christian, I had not learned enough and was not mature enough to get out of my own way and just let God lead. Also, during this time, I had many complications from the Chemotherapies, and I truly did not know what my future held.
So, fast forward again, and we are now at 2015. I felt a calling on my heart that it was now or never. I came off some of the medications my doctors had me on, and decided I was going to give it my all and try and get this project up and going. And looking at the world in 2015, I noticed we, as a culture, are now a very visual culture. We consume many hours of content a week on streaming hubs like Netflix, Hulu, and everywhere else, not to mention how everybody is on their phone searching through FaceBook, Instagram, and just the internet itself. And as I noticed this, I realized I am a very visual person myself, and I can understand things a lot better if I hear it and see it. So, I knew if we were to make any impact and wanted the opportunity to reach as many people as possible, Tomorrowz End needed to have a visual element that helps us tell the parable, or story, we seek to tell. Jesus taught a lot in parables. In His time, some parables involved farming and other things that people related to at the time so they could understand a deeper meaning. Well, in today's time, we wanted to do our parable with things that people relate to in today's language, so to speak. Comic book movies are the dominant form of entertainment at movie theaters, so, I created the characters in the Tomorrowz End project to show something bigger than just people in a band.
I wanted to use an idea and characters that portray a Biblical message in music, videos, comic books, and other media. This is why Tomorrowz End is labeled as a Christian Art Music Project or C.A.M.P. for short. So in 2016, we focused on the music side of things and traveled to 22 states honing our craft, performing many shows over 3 years, and meeting some great people along the way. Then, we spent the next 2 years recording our 40 song 4 part album and recording our 21 episode Music Video Serial. After this, the pandemic happened, and since most places were closed down we had an opportunity to focus on getting the comic books drawn and printed.
Tell us about your series of albums, 'TETRALOGY Part I', and what the inspiration behind them was?
The inspiration was to make something as immersive and as big as possible to tell the story we wanted to tell.
Which is your favorite track on the albums and why?
To answer this question, I will give you my favorite for each separate cd or section.
On Volume 1, my favorite song is "Death Will Find You." The reason is, this song is about the realization that no matter what you do, no matter if you are rich or poor, no matter what color you are, or no matter if you are male or female, Death will find us all. So, we all need to ask ourselves, "Am I ready to meet Christ if I were to die today."
Also, from a musical standpoint, this song is interesting to me as it takes the listener on a journey. It starts off with just an acoustic guitar, and then by the 2nd verse you have synth parts along with an electric percussion beat which then morphs into real live recorded drums and electric distorted guitars by the final chorus.
On Volume 2, I would have to say "A Jesus Frankenstein" would be my favorite track. It is really just an evolution of the term coined in the late 60's and early 70's, "A Jesus Freak." It simply means, if you are a Christian in today's time and try and live by Biblical principles and beliefs, and if we simply try and walk as Christ walked, the world is going to look at us as if we are a monster, and in many cases treat us that way as well. This song is making the listener aware of this fact and telling the listener to embrace it. For it is better for the world to look at us like a monster than for us to conform to an Anti-Christ world. Musically, this song stands out to me, as it starts off with a pipe organ to convey the mood of the song and also features some other eerie sounds that compliment the Frankenstein theme.
On Volume 3, it is "Arkangel." The reason for this is, it is all about understanding that even if we have strayed away from Christ, if we will repent again, we can turn back to Christ and He will use us for His glory. We just have to be obedient and turn back to Christ and His ways, and leave our ways behind. The music stands out in this song for me personally, as it starts off with an intro of electric guitar doing a solo section of notes, then moves into a more melancholy sound by the 1st verse. Also, there is a synth part that repeats and is played 3 times within the song, but each time it is played over a different part of the song and it still works. This is different than the normal structure where every verse/chorus has to be exactly the same.
On Volume 4, "Ani Ohev(et) Otkha" is my favorite. This title means "I Love You" in Hebrew. This song has a person in the verses asking God, "How can we show Him we Love Him?" And the chorus gives the answer that is more simple than we may think. We simply need to do what He asked us to do. Like Jesus said in JOHN 14:15, "If you love Me you will keep My Commandments." And this is the song that shows us that most of the time we make things too complicated and that we simply need to do what He asked us to do. Musically, on this track, I personally love how it starts off with electronica, to then morph into an almost punk beat and styling, and how every instrument in this song has there on point at which they stand out.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
We feel our music is geared toward 2 different types of people. Type 1: would be people that have turned away from Christ because the scandals or hypocrisy they have came across in their life and therefore they have made the judgement that Christianity is false because the people they have met are false. So, our hope is that these people, if they listen to the lyrics of our music or watch our videos, think about it differently and just judge Christ and His message on Christ Himself. Because, people will always let you down, but Christ Himself, His word, and His ways will never let you down.
Type 2: would be people that are on the other end of the spectrum who may believe there is a Christ and that He did indeed die for their sins, but they do not have a relationship with Him. We hope these people would re-evaluate their life and see if the life they lead honor God or if they only live for themselves, for anyone of us who call ourselves a believer and follower of Christ must always remember that sometimes the only Jesus some will ever see is the Jesus that is present in the life that we lead.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Tomorrowz End is very hard to describe, sound wise. The best thing I can tell others is to sample a few of our songs before you think you can pin us down on one specific sound. The reason I say this is because we have some songs that have electronica elements while others have a southern almost western country flavor to them. Then on the other hand, some songs are more in the line of a ballad, while others are straight up rockers and even have a punk flavor. Influences range from everywhere really. From 80's hair metal, to 90's grunge, to 2000 era new rock, to more modern stylings, with everything from country music to orchestral compositions and movie scores thrown in. We did our absolute best to make these 40 songs as immersive and different as we could while still keeping the sound of what we wanted to portray. I would also tell anyone reading this that the best way to sample our stuff is with headphones or ear buds to hear all the nuances and extra flavors we put in each song to make them as layered and interesting as possible which sometimes you can only hear through headphones or earbuds.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would say for me personally, it would be Danny Elfman. He went from a rock musician to doing film scores. And I myself, have always been captivated by the way he uses an orchestra to get a distinct sound. Many times you can hear just a few bars of music he does in a film score and even though you have never heard it you can still tell it is a "Danny Elfman" piece.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
If anyone is moved by the lyrics, the videos, or the comic books, and it raises their curiosity about what the Bible says and influences them to either get back into the Bible or to pick it up for the first time, and it rekindles their relationship or it starts one anew with Jesus Christ, then, we in my eyes are a success. Even if we never sale any physical copies of our art or merchandise, that doesn't matter to me. What matters is the reason we are doing this in the first place, which is to hopefully make everyone who listens, watches, or reads any of our stuff think about their relationship with Christ and further their relationship so that it becomes the focal point of their life, not just a one day a week meet and greet.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy. The reason I choose this is because as within each song are multilayered parts and they have many different musicians over a vast amount of years contribute to this project, and it is a very unique sound hearing all these styles and elements crash together to form something quite distinct from other things within the rock genre, in my opinion.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Guns N' Roses - Estranged. It is a multifaceted track with many different changes and cool melodies throughout. It is almost a couple of different songs in one, so, it's my pick.
What does the next year hold for you?
We have a lot of things planned for next year. But, before we get there, we still have a lot left for this year. By the end of this year
all 4 Acts of our 21 Episode Video Serial will be available on our YouTube channel, all 4 comic books will be released, as well as a boardgame that is meant to compliment the themes of our albums will also be completed and available. Once this phase is completed, it will bring us to next year which will consist of a stop motion project, and then we will be gearing up for live performances as we are developing a live show that will be worthy of people's time and hopefully something they won't soon forget. Not to mention some other surprises we will reveal along the way!