“The weather in Melbourne was crazy!”
A quarter of a century into their career, Washington-based heavy/drone band Earth are visiting Australia for just the second time, with their first tour being only a year and a half or so ago.
Main man Dylan Carlson’s first thought when asked if he had any standout memories of the 2012 trip was that of the southern city’s changeable climate. However, a few other memorable and important things did happen on that debut jaunt.
“It was really hard to dress for, I think everyone thinks that Australia is always going to be sunny and warm,” he laughs. “And then there were lots of airports because you have to fly everywhere. But then we saw some old Australian cars, which were good to see. And actually, one of the new songs on the latest record was written in Perth, so that was important. We had a really good time on that tour.”
Carlson and the band return to our shores this month, and he promises a show that emphasises the doomy dredginess of Earth’s sound even more than their records do.
“I think, unlike a lot of bands, where they play faster live, sometimes our songs sort of slow down a bit live,” he says. “And then they’re usually a little longer than the album version. We’re touring as a trio again, a power trio. It gives us a little more room to step out.”
Following Earth’s 2012 release, Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II, they’re preparing to unleash Primitive And Deadly in the second half of this year. Carlson gives us a taste of what to expect.
“The new album is definitely more hard rock than the previous albums have been,” he says. “It’s somewhat of a return to form, I guess, in a lot of ways. It had some vocals, which will not be with us live unfortunately, so it’ll be all instrumental versions.”
Carlson adds that despite Earth now having a very extensive back catalogue, they’ll be focusing strongly on the latest material on their upcoming Aussie tour.
“The bulk of the live set will be the new record,” he says. “We only do a couple of older songs; we’ll just pull out a few jams from the past.”
Carlson founded Earth in 1989, and actually seems a little in denial about how long the band has been around. “I guess it is 25 years now,” he says. “I don’t really think about that too much! It’s kinda funny, because back in the old days if a band had been around for that long it seemed… like, the only bands that lasted that long were Zeppelin, and even they only lasted ten or 12 years, so it’s kinda funny now!”
Carlson prefers to look forward than back, and is enjoying keeping busy creating the next Earth record.
“Yeah, definitely. It kinda comes in waves, depending on what I’m doing at the time. If I have a lot of downtime I write a lot more, although we always seem to come up with stuff during soundchecks too, and practice. There’s always something going on.”
Carlson also likes to stay very active in the live scene, both with the band and without, and the rest of 2014 is looking very hectic for him, with a Japanese tour underway before the Aussie tour, UK and Europe afterwards. Plus possibly more…
“Yeah, we have a short break in July,” he says, “although it looks like I might be doing a solo thing, opening for Wolves [In The Throne Room] in the States. We’ll see if that happens. If not, I’ll have July off – I need it!”