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Earthless was formed in San Diego in 2001. The trio, consisting of members Mario Rubalcaba (Drums), Isaiah Mitchell (Guitars) and Mike Eginton (Bass), play heavy instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese blues-rock. The band released their third LP, From the Ages, in 2013 on Tee Pee Records. Our friend Ryan Muldoon at Revolt of the Apes has compiled a list of 10 questions, answered by Rubalcaba, for Earthless in anticipation of their APF 2014 performance.
Can you think of a band that you’ve grown to appreciate only relatively recently, after many years of either not â€œgettingâ€ it, or simply ignoring its existence? What do you think is different about you today that allows you to appreciate that music, in a way that you couldn’t â€“ or just didn’t â€“ previously?
Deerhunter. The last couple lp’s have some really great songs on them. I can’t say I know or like everything but the songs I like- I REALLY like them. I never ignored them but I guess it just took some listens to sink in. I love when that happens. I’m stoked to have seen them play somewhat recently as well.
Can you recall the first time in your life you can remember that not only are you a musically-minded person, but your approach to music might be slightly out-of-step from the norm? Not that the music you made necessarily sounded different, but that you may just think about it differently? Or do you feel that is even the case?
I can’t say that I have ever thought about it that deeply. Being a drummer primarily, I just have always tried to be as open as possible to hearing & trying new things, new sounds or “types” of music. I just always hope that I can bring something to the table creatively & help out with makin’ it super tasty! Music is like a meal, & you want a meal to be super tasty right?
How has writing and performing music with Earthless impacted your life, apart from strictly music-related ways? Has music caused you do think differently about other aspects of your life, that you find notable?
Hmm… I use the appreciation that I have for Earthless’ special musical chemistry & try to apply it to my everyday life & relationships that I have. If you have a great chemistry with someone, try not to take it for granted. I really just try to be in the moment. I feel so lucky to have a band with Mike & Isaiah. How can it be so easy? We get along pretty well & have a mutual respect for each other as people & of course as players. I just try to be appreciative for life in general. I’m really lucky to be able to play drums in bands & meet people & travel & get to play rad festivals like this Austin Psych fest. Seriously! So stoked!
There’s an energy-rich sense of fully controlled chaos that strikes us throughout â€œFrom the Ages,â€ which leads us to ask how the album’s title translates to the music for you, personally? Is it proper to think of what Earthless does as something timeless, or perhaps music completely unburdened by constraints of time?
After that song (“from the ages”) came together, it struck me as this piece of music that was coming from a time of ancient beings. It felt caveman, it felt egyptian… Dinosauric pyramids… I would hope that our music is timeless for people. We just do what we do.
What can you tell us about the origin of the shortest song on the album, â€œEquus Octoberâ€? Can you think of a long song that you love, from a band that most people wouldn’t immediately think of as having many long songs?
“Equus October” was originally a part of something else but we kept coming to a halt & never completed the piece. We liked that 1st initial part though & would always play around with it. Come studio time we just thought that we should record it & maybe it might sound cool or give us other ideas. Once we added to it, we started to like it as a interlude into the “From The Ages” song.
What music have you been listening to lately? Do you have any recommendations for us? If push comes to shove, what is your favorite Can song of all-time and why?
Tame Impala, new Warpaint lp. Been digging The Sound too, the band before The Sound was called The Outsiders & they had a great punk Saints-y thing going in 77′ when everything was just punk fashion. Always love some Hawkwind. Fave Can? Mother Sky.
It is so tuneful & catchy yet it goes off into some other worldly territory. Can def took the roads less travelled.
In recent interviews and press it’s been mentioned that the band doesn’t partake in psychedelic substances. What are your thoughts on the genesis of psychedelic rock in the 1960s, and the place or role of mind altering substances in in art and music.
I love that people would totally just give their whole minds to a substance & create something out of that mind state. It’s great to look back on what has been done under those influences. Some are better than other’s & there are some that surely could not have been created without the aid of these substances. We aren’t anti at all… the place & the role just belongs to others at the moment. We will just be hangin’ out & drinkin’ our coffee… look’n for some BBQ…
How did you first hear about Austin Psych Fest? Are there any bands in particular that you are excited about having the chance to see play while there?
heard about it a few years ago. Always good bands & good vibes it seems…
A lot of bands I wanna see but LOOP is a big one for me! Never thought they would get back together again so, nice surprise!
Carl Sagan â€“ who we believe was the original guitarist in Earthless â€“ said the following: â€œThe Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.â€ Your thoughts?
Whoa! I can’t really comment on that right now! Sounds heavy!
What’s next for Earthless?
We are just trying to play as much as we can under the schedules that each of us have. Between other bands, family & just life stuff, scheduling can be tricky. We def wanna get out there more though & we are really looking forward to getting back to Austin & being a part of the whole fest. Thanks for having us!
Catch Earthless at APF 2014 May 2 – 4. Tickets and camping passes are available for purchase HERE.