Angels of Darkness + An interview with Dylan Carlson of Earth
Our conversation began with Dylan talking about getting the tour plans together in support of Earth’s upcoming album “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I”
TBR: So the new record is fucking outstanding. I hate to say something like “best yet” but certainly first among equals. It’s very definitely Earth, but there’s clearly a progression. Did you find it a challenge to go deeper this time or was it a pretty inspired session from the get go?
DC: This one actually went really easy. We prepared for the recording session by doing a two-week tour with the lineup. That’s how we worked out most of the songs – except “Old Black”, which has been hanging around since 2009, and the title track.
We did this album live in the studio. We all set up in the big room and set up a few isolation baffles and then a really nice room mic to get the room sound, but yeah… this one went really well. We got a lot done, hence the eventual sequel coming out. We did it all at the same time. The last song, the title track, was completely improvised. Hit the tape, we started playing and there’s no overdubs – we just recorded it.
With “Father Midnight”, I did the solo during the live session rather than going back and overdubbing it like I had previously done. So yeah, it was very funky and productive recording session. It went by really smooth.
TBR: If I understand correctly, the lineup has changed a bit since the recording of the last album. Can you talk a bit about each of the personalities in the band and how that dynamic has evolved during the recording of “Angels…”
DC: I mean, every time we go the studio it seems like there’s a possibility for lineup changes just because (it’s tough) finding good musicians who may have other commitments. I’m hoping the current lineup will stay the same for awhile Don McGreevy has gone back to his solo stuff he came to do that tour and do the record so we have a new Bass Player Angelina Baldoz. To me, Earth is becoming more of a group thing, you know, like a collective thing. I’m trying to make it less of my show whereas in the past, it’s always been me and whoever I could get to play with me whereas now… It’s always been (a band) but I’d like to have it be like more of a band.
TBR: You’ve obviously really got things defined in terms of the sound and direction. You basically almost, I don’t want to say created a new genre or a new sound because I don’t think that would be accurate, but I think you really nailed down a unique sound.
Do you think that you may look for that kind of challenge again in the future? To clear the slate and set your mind to going at something that’s completely new and different again or are you really feeling that you enjoy working in the way that you are now?
DC: I have sort of a grand scheme to do a solo record at some point, which will hopefully be… something a little different.
I mean, there’s certain things that need to be there for Earth to be Earth. Like you know, the slower tempos the longer songs. I think there’s a little bit of wiggle room in that for change and growth. If I was going to do something really radically different, I would probably rather start another band to do it. I don’t think it would really be fair to just because I’m there to call it Earth. If there’s certain things that aren’t there, to me… Earth is a certain vibe and a certain way we do things so there’s still room for much growth and different instrumentation, but it definitely needs certain things to me to be Earth. So if I was to do something radically different, I would probably start another project.