By Nicholas Jason Lopez
One night, while in a hospital bed in Glendale, Calif., Eddie Olguin decided to cut ties with the life he knew in Los Angeles and all of its associated demons and soon relocated to Rome, Italy.
Just like that, his synthpop indie solo project Ender Bender was born, as the multi-instrumentalist producer followed his heart on the pursuit of happiness.
In late Spring 2020, Ender Bender’s debut EP ‘EQ’ was released, which spawned the singles “Star Killer’ and “Honey Lavender Girl.”
Now, he has released a new single entitled “Bewildered And In Love.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with him about the new single and more.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about indie pop?
Ender Bender – One of the things I like about it is that it’s usually very “frésa.” If you speak Mexican Spanish, then you’re familiar with this term. It is the equivalent of 80’s “preppy.” There’s a certain polished “hooky” quality to it. It can sometimes get heavy without ever turning up the distortion. I’m also attracted to the combination of retro production elements with modern ones. It really falls into what I aim for with Ender Bender. I actually wanted to, shamelessly, call this project Frésa, even though I sing in English, but I figured in the United States, it just sounded like an interesting foreign word – until I realized that “fresa,” in Italian, means “sander” or “milling machine,” so… I didn’t want to get perplexed looks from the locals.
Music Bugle – Looking back on your career so far, how would you say it has gone?
Ender Bender – Like an insane rollercoaster ride with both bright euphoric highs and dark panic-worthy lows. (Laughs) The truth is, that I’ve been very fortunate to live a great life. Never a dull moment. It often felt like a potential Brett Easton Ellis novel. The part about the highs and lows is actually true, but it’s part of the ride as an artist, especially, having lived in LA, but in a place as such and living at a certain speed, one starts to gradually collect demons.
Music Bugle – How has the move from LA to Rome fueled your creativity?
Ender Bender – Completely different energy here in Rome – in Italy/Europe in general. No scenes or scenesters. The energy just feels more positive – especially now with all the absurd shit happening in the U.S.. I feel a certain purity to the energy here. The rich history of the place is nearly palpable. There’s a certain sense of humility amongst artists, which is refreshing. My move was a total reset in my life and it all happened so serendipitously. It was as if love, the past and the future all came calling at once. The doors were kicked wide open for my creative flow. It also alienated me from all the musicians I knew in LA, which forced me to truly work in a solo capacity.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your new single “Bewildered And In Love”?
Ender Bender – I had just put out my debut EP for Ender Bender, this was only a three months ago. The EP was my first real foray into producing, so it was mainly a learning experience. There is so much I’ve learned since, so putting out another song right away gave me the sense of redeeming some of the things I wish I would’ve done differently on the EP, but that’s the cool thing about music and production. One never stops growing and learning. In other words, this single was basically taking the next step. As to where the EP spoke about personal experiences, such as my move to Rome and it was an ode to the bands I liked as a child, the new stuff I’m working on – including this new single – has a more universal message and it is geared more towards placement for film/tv/commercials, etc.. For most of my musical career, I loved rehearsing and performing live. That’s where I used to find my bliss, but I’ve turned into a studio geek. I now enjoy the writing and recording process much more.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Ender Bender – That’s a tough one because I would love to talk to some younger and newer artists who are doing some great stuff production-wise, such as Kevin Parker, The Weeknd or Pierrick Devin – the latter who produced, what I feel is, the most perfect pop-rock album of the last 20 years. However, why fuck around with this? The person I would really love to talk to is John Lennon. One of my favorite songwriters who is a legend and pretty much a god. Although, it wouldn’t hurt talking to Bono to get some singing tips…
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ender Bender – Well, when things were really hairy here in Italy, it was emotionally exhausting because we were the second nation to get hit very hard and the virus was basically still a mystery at that point, but it also created a sense of unification and as a nation, everyone rallied together to beat – or at least get past – what was happening. That was uplifting. Obviously, the threat is still very real, but here, it feels like we got through that initial hellish spike. However, I used the lockdown as an opportunity to literally lock myself in my studio and just keep working and learning more about production and began working on this new single “Bewildered And In Love.”
Music Bugle – What made you want to become a musician?
Ender Bender – As a child, my dream was to either be a musician or professional basketball player and it became apparent, fairly quickly, which one would be more realistic to pursue. (Laughs) I’ve always loved music. I used to hold piano concertos in my head when I was six-seven years old – before I knew anything about music – and the music was always original. Then, at eight years old, when my mother remarried, her husband had a piano in his house and I began tinkering with it. I never became a good piano player. I don’t even consider myself a piano player whatsoever, but it allowed me to start messing with the musical ideas that swirled around my head. Whatever music theory I learned at that time from basic piano lessons, I still use to this day – although I can’t really read music, so… go figure. My mother then bought me a drum set for my 12th birthday – much to our neighbors’ chagrin, so I started playing in garage bands, either playing drums, singing or often both. I began playing at large/popular venues, mainly in Orange County at first, straight out of high school and the aforementioned rollercoaster ride officially commenced; taking breaks at different points in my life to pursue other interests, but music has always been my true constant and my true love.
Music Bugle – What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
Ender Bender – Mainly to “place” some songs and to put myself on the radar of some good licensing companies. If the opportunity to play live again presented itself, I would gladly take it, but it would have to be worth the preparation and time.
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about you as a person, away from music?
Ender Bender – That I’m a dreamer but more importantly, also a hard worker. Dreaming alone accomplishes nothing. That I work, every single day, at being a good person. That I deal only in positivity and unconditional love. I have no time for negativity and hatred. Unconditional love is the only answer for proper human evolution.
Music Bugle – What advice would you give younger musicians in your genre?
Ender Bender – My advice for younger musicians in any genre is to work hard, be patient and it is super important to be disciplined. Always look for the signs the universe sends you because you want to make sure you don’t miss the real opportunities. The most important piece of advice is to not become jaded and to remain positive. Don’t let the industry, the city, the scene, the haters, etc., taint you. The moment you no longer find joy in doing this, walk away.