Exploring Endless Midnight's Eclectic Queer Punk Show

By Leo Romance | December 13 2023

ID: Naomi, a tall white young woman with brown hair and glasses, of Endless Midnight performing. She wears a black shirt and pants with a Darth Vader pattern. Her hair obscures her face as she sings into the microphone. End ID.

Naomi Niemiec is the frontwoman of the New Jersey based post-hardcore, experimental industrial punk one-woman show that is Endless Midnight. Having just released a new EP, titled This.Is.Not.Your.Body via Static Ritual Recordings, and fresh off a show at Flemington DIY, I had the opportunity of speaking with her about all things Endless Midnight.

Texas is Forever: Your latest EP was released via Static Ritual Recordings, whereas your previous albums were independent. What was the production process like working with a label as opposed to staying solo?

Naomi: I mean, the process of making the EP itself was really the exact same as the previous work with everything being self produced initially with me recording all instruments in my basement. There definitely was experimentation with new production techniques on my own prior to the final Static Ritual mix. I had a completed, somewhat more lofi (similar to Have You Repented? but heavier), mix ready before I decided to contact Static Ritual. From that point the final mix and mastering was done on Adaline from Static Ritual's end. She completed the mix and master and contributed a bit to making the sound a bit heavier and noisier with her production choices, most of which I feel ended up sounding cool. After that she made physicals for the EP and put it out on Bandcamp and from there I put the EP onto streaming services so it was mostly my usual process with more steps I guess.

Texas is Forever: Endless Midnight is your current musical project, but could you tell me about your prior musical history? Have you been in other bands?

Naomi: I’ve technically had a few projects before Endless Midnight, but most of them were basically just prototype versions of Endless Midnight. There was initially a spooky little kinda-horrible, emo-y, folk-punky project I had called Necrophobia, [it wasn’t] very good, but the original versions of Repent and The Rain date back to this era. It was mostly still a solo project, but I tried to make it work as a band, but I ended up doing everything on my own. I tried to do a band again called Dressed For a Funeral that was basically the same thing, but now I had an electric guitar and distortion. It was a failed attempt at some sort of surface level industrial rock Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson style, and the project didn't go far at all. Then there was original Endless Midnight which was like a shitty alt rock/indie pop kinda thing, based mostly around clean and acoustic guitars and like all clean vocals, and I could not sing at this point so they weren't even good clean vocals. The line up was originally me and my ex but then we broke up so that fell apart but I kept the project. This era is the origin for early versions of Changes and Nothing from Have You Repented?. It also featured some songs that were basically just me questioning my gender before coming out which is funny.

Texas is Forever: Your songs touch frequently on gender and sexuality, especially on This.Is.Not.My.Body. What has your experience been like as a trans person in the hardcore scene, and how has that influenced your music?

Naomi: Being a trans person in the hardcore scene is definitely an interesting experience. It’s obviously a scene traditionally viewed as more masculine, especially on the metalcore side of things where I’m more active. A lot of it is kind of hard to say because a lot of the main hardcore scene has never really been that connected with my music, and I’ve mostly had to find a more niche audience. Finding other trans artists has helped, for example, shout out to WORMMOTHER because she’s lovely and definitely helped me feel a bit more welcome in the scene. Prior to being involved in the scene, I hadn’t had a ton of experience with queerness so a lot of my experience has occurred simultaneously with becoming more active in hardcore. I’ll pull up to hardcore shows dressed like a total tranny and crowdkill all the cis dudes and have fun- and if anyone has a problem with that, they can fuck off. And I’ll probably kick them in the face. But overall, it’s a complicated relationship between queerness and the hardcore scene, in my opinion.

Texas is Forever: I love your attitude and confidence. What else would you say inspires your lyricism?

Naomi: It definitely depends on the track but generally all my music is a bit personal, while I also try to have a storytelling aspect to it. Most of This.Is.Not.My.Body. was written as a more personal album with the songs generally just dealing with personal issues with gender dysphoria and mental illness, but on something like Have You Repented?, or the upcoming second Endless Midnight album, there's a greater focus on storytelling. Both of those albums are more conceptual and also feature a greater amount of religious themes as well as more anti-capitalist themes in the second album. Much of the first album was written before I came out as trans and it doesn't deal with really any trans themes but deals heavily with Catholic themes and religious trauma, while also having its own little storyline inspired by classic gothic horror as well as more modern horror and comic books such as Hellblazer and other fun stories incorporated with personal traumas, experiences with mental illness and BPD, and whatever other concepts I felt like putting into my art at the time.

Texas is Forever: Let’s talk venues. You just had a show at Flemington DIY, how did it go?

Naomi: It was kinda a mess but had good energy. I bled at the end. Definitely my sloppiest show in a while, crazy fucking energy though.

Texas is Forever: Can you tell me about your favorite venue to play?

Naomi: Hmm, I don’t know, like, The Meatlocker is a bit more fun but I kinda hate the venue itself because the sound system isn’t good really, but the energy there is great. This venue [Flemington DIY] is great because they actually support the artists and shit. I think technically you’re not supposed to mosh there… too bad.

Texas is Forever: When it comes to venues, do you value the crowd's energy or the venue’s tech/support more as a performer?

Naomi: I mean, I feel like both is important so it'd be ideal to have something in the middle, like, both sound good and have good energy, but energy is a bit more fun and gets the live show vibe and people actually enjoy it definitely, whereas just sounding good with a dead crowd is a bit boring.

Texas is Forever: Building on our topic of live shows, have you ever played a show out of state?
Naomi: I haven’t yet, but I plan to play at least in New York and Pennsylvania soon.

Texas is Forever: If you ever had the opportunity to go on a multi-state tour, would you?
Naomi: Yeah, I plan to do some small touring in the near future whenever I can.
Texas is Forever: Awesome. What’s your dream tour lineup?
Naomi: Realistically, still kind of unlikely though, I’d love to play with Foreign Hands, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, and WristMeetRazor on a show. Highly unlikely, but it would be sick to have Underoath and Asking Alexandria co-headlining and then be opening that show.

Texas is Forever: That would be really sick. You mentioned you might have a full band soon, are there any details you can share on that?
Naomi: Hmm, well I had a drummer for this show, Joey Ferraro, and we definitely need to practice more, but she's a good fit at least. Otherwise, I might have more potential band members soon. I’m kind of bad at having a band.
Texas is Forever: Oh god, me too. They’re hard to keep together. I heard that you plan to release a concept album next year, how’s that going?
Naomi: I’m kinda not sure when it’ll actually be finished but one song is at least kind of finished and was performed today, and the rest is written lyrically.

Texas is Forever: Is the lyric writing experience significantly different when working on a full concept album as opposed to your other songs?
Naomi: Hmm, well, the first album was also a concept album but the process was weird with the concept not being well defined at first, and then for a bit I was gonna not do a concept album but then got back on the idea of a concept album and…The EP wasn’t written very conceptually so that was a lot different. Razorblade, Is This Hell, and The Rain kinda all just existed for some kinda EP and then I re-recorded Tranny Whore and Body In The Shower based on the demo versions, but with more of a post hardcore vibe.

Texas is Forever: As we go into the new year, what are your goals for 2024, music or otherwise?
Naomi: Hopefully play as many shows as possible and try to finish the second album and tour a bit.

You can catch Endless Midnight at the Meatlocker tomorrow (12/14) in Montclair, New Jersey, Flemington DIY on Jan. 6 in Flemington, New Jersey, and on Feb. 10 at Silver Stream Studio also in Montclair. You can find Naomi on Instagram at @endless_midnight and @thanksfornothingluv. You can purchase the latest EP, This Is Not My Body, on Bandcamp via Static Ritual Records. Thank you to Naomi for taking the time to speak with me and letting me give the world a glimpse of the real NJ hardcore scene!