Archive for the ‘Golden Void’ Category

Interview: Earthless

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Earthless weave dreams. Reaching the limits of what three human beings can achieve with a guitar, a bass and a set of drums, the California trio have carved a sonic palette the size of the Mojave desert with blistering guitars, inimitable grooves and an allegiance to the might of the riff. Here, on the week of their upcoming Australia tour with Elder, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell talks intuition, religion and playing on the fly.

Matthew Tomich: Earthless has been operating for almost a decade and a half now with the same three members, which is a pretty rare feat. How have you guys kept it together so well over the years?

Isaiah Mitchell: I don’t know. We just kind of do stuff on our own terms, I guess. Not overdoing it. If we can’t do something, we won’t do it. We all got along before we were in a band – Mike and Mario were friends and I was good friends with Mike. I knew Mario – we all came from the same town and knew each other. It’s easy. They’re easy going guys. I think the three of us are easy going for the most part, about playing music and everything. No assholes in the band or anything like that.

MT: Does the dynamic still kind of evolve now you’ve been playing together so long? Do you still find ways to surprise each other?

IM: It seems like there’s clearly the same formula to everything in the past couple of albums. I think we’re just getting better at listening to each other. I think we’re getting a lot more dynamic about feeling what each other’s going to do. I’d say that’s definitely it – being a little bit more intuitive with how someone’s going to react to something someone else does.

MT: I’ve read you talk about intuition a lot. How long did it take to come to that level where you felt you could read each other well and allow yourself to improve in a live setting from that?

IM: I think it happened pretty quick. They’re great musicians, so if you’re a good musician, you can play by feeling instead of being extremely mathematical about it. That stuff is already there and finding like-minded people that maybe come from the same place – it came pretty quick. It wasn’t this difficult thing, which is why we keep doing what we’re doing. I don’t know. When I hear other bands that do that, it’s like I really like that band because I can tell they’re kind of getting into the jazz a little or something, I don’t know, just being intuitive. Not saying we’re exactly like that, but just that feel and intuitiveness.

MT: Do you reach that similar level of intuition with the other players in Golden Void or any of your other projects?

IM: Yeah. I’d say so because the drummer and I, we were in our very first band together. I know him really well. In junior high school we were in bands, so I know him pretty damn good. I know what he’s going to think about. You can communicate with a look, and if you work something out in a practice space, same with Earthless – OK we’ll go this long, then do this fill to move to the next part, this riff to move to the next part – I feel like we gel really well and we take our live performance on a little trip sometimes.

MT: Does that mean you guys don’t really put together strict set lists? Do you kind of leave a lot of room to feel how the set’s going so you have different directions you can take it?

IM: Yeah, sure. We do that. Are you talking about Golden Void?

MT: With Earthless, mainly.

IM: Yeah, of course. We know what we’re always doing. We talk about it beforehand but there’ll be times when we do something – if we’re in the middle of a part that we know is going to be a long, drawn out section where we’re mainly improvising — that’s always spontaneous and we don’t talk about that. Sometimes we’ve taken it to really weird places, which is awesome. It’s invigorating. Sometimes we kind of stick to what we’re used to and somewhat planned out. It just depends on the night.

MT: I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about the link between spirituality and music and how certain genres – usually the ones that break away from the pop song structure like doom metal or post-rock or psych – work to fill this psychic void that non-religious people have. What’s your experience with religion and faith – did you have a religious upbringing?

IM: Not really. My parents are groovy, I know that much. They were brought up going to Catholic church or some Christian church or whatever. One of the two. They didn’t force it on me. It’s something that I was just by myself a little drawn towards and interested in. I got really into Buddhism for a long time, meditating and all that. I definitely spent a good portion of my youth really involved in that. Playing music and being involved in religion and mediation and all that, it really goes hand in hand.

MT: Are you still practising that – do you still consider yourself a practitioner of a particular belief or faith system?

IM: I mean, I don’t know. A lot of it is just golden rule kind of stuff. Just treat people great. Treat them vas you’d like to be treated. But no, I don’t really immerse myself in reading religious texts all the time. Actually, more so Native American ideas and the spirituality of that, I’m really into that lately, so I guess that counts. But just trying to be more in harmony with the Earth and yourself. It’s just like a daily thing. I don’t really think about it too much all the time unless I’m reading about it.

MT: The reason I ask is because in the live footage I’ve seen of you guys, there’s that sense of something ephemeral going on – you’re locked into some kind of immaterial groove and you’re not just playing music but conjuring it. I know that sounds kind of cheesy but do you know what I mean? Does that reflect how it feels for you?

IM: Yeah. There are times when it feels like I’ve gone to a different place. I might not be feeling very good – I might be upset or I might be sick or I might be in pain or whatever, and then you go play music, play a show, even rehearsal — it all stops. All that stuff stops. You’re just in the moment and you don’t feel any of that pain any more. But as soon as you stop you’re like, “oh shit, here I am again. There it is.” So it definitely takes that stuff away for me.

MT: What’s the status on a new Earthless album? Are there songs in the works? Is there a rough timeline for anything?

IM: Yeah. Last time we got together, we had to record something for a Vans surf video so we ended up writing a few songs for that. But we had a bunch of leftover stuff that we didn’t use for that. Last time we rehearsed, which was maybe a month or so ago, we were focusing more on that. I feel like we probably have half a side of a record, more or less, started. We just have to hone and tighten stuff up. We’ve got stuff in the works.

MT: Will you be playing any of that newer, unreleased stuff while you’re over here?

IM: I don’t think so, but you never know. We might play something new. It’s hard to say. I think it was two times ago when we were in Australia, we did an in-store at Tym’s Guitars in Brisbane. We were waiting for Mario – he was out in the back or something – and I just started to jam and he got on the drums and that’s how he opened the set and we thought that was really awesome. It was something totally brand new and we just played that for the rest of the tour and that became “Uluru Rock” which we recorded. Stuff like that happens – we just start doing something out of the blue and that becomes a new song right there. But I mean, that’s quite possible that that’ll happen again. But yeah, nothing planned. Nothing planned right now.

Earthless and Elder hit Australia next week on the following dates:

Thursday October 22 — The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
w/ Puck
Friday October 23 — The Corner, Melbourne
w/ Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene
Saturday October 24 — Newtown Social Club, Sydney
w/ Hawkmoth
Sunday October 25 — Hermann’s Bar, Sydney
Monday October 26 — Crowbar, Brisbane
w/ Hobo Magic

Tickets are on sale now through, Oztix and venue outlets.

Noiseweek: Sunn O))), Golden Void, John Carpenter, JAMC and more

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


A friendly reminder that Le Guess Who? in the Netherlands boasts the best festival line-up of the year. Deerhunter, Swervedriver, A Place to Bury Strangers, METZ, Blanck Mass, Lightning Bolt, Total Control; a Constellation Records-curated stage with Ought and Last Ex, and a Sunn O)))-curated stage with OM, Chelsea Wolfe, Magma, Julia Holter and Goatsnake. Ugh.

Speaking of which, Sunn O))) just announced their next LP: Kannon Kommeth, out through Southern Lord on December 4.

Per Pitchfork, director John Carpenter will be making his live debut at next year’s ATP Iceland in July.

SBS News mistakenly flashed a picture of music vlogger Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop during their reportage on Chris Mercer, the gunman responsible for the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. More at Noisey.

Lush are reuniting to play their first show in almost two decades.

In other reunion news, per a recent Time Out New York interview, the Jesus and Mary Chain are working on their first new record in 17 years.

Pitchfork Radio will begin its first broadcast this Monday from Willy’s Detroit.

True Widow’s first two records, I.N.O. and As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth, are now available on Bandcamp.


Something on the outside: Cold Chisel reconsidered | The Monthly

“Someone somewhere in Australia is listening to a Cold Chisel song right now. Perhaps it’s you, tarrying with the ever-present ‘Khe Sanh’, or with ‘Choirgirl’, ‘Cheap Wine’, ‘Breakfast at Sweethearts’ or ‘Forever Now’. Maybe, without even needing to tune the radio to the nearest Classic Hits station or dig out the records, you can hear those songs in your head, like I can hear them, as if each were a part of some interior musical script learnt off by heart so long ago now that you can’t recall a time when you didn’t know it. What can I tell you about Cold Chisel that you don’t already know?”

Dissonant Joy: A Guide to Europe’s Punk Foremothers | Pitchfork

“Early punk histories tend to focus on New York and London, with hardly any credit given to the movement’s mainland European acts—and even less so when the creative forces behind those bands were women. Additionally, the continental identities of relatively celebrated female UK punk cornerstones like the Slits or the Raincoats are often overlooked. So while many of these European punks didn’t necessarily wield a significant amount of cultural influence, their lack of careerist ambition to appoint themselves as the faces of a scene is actually what distinguishes them.
A bona fide embrace of amateurism linked many of these groups; for them, punk’s anything-goes ethos wasn’t just a line to tote about while quietly cultivating expertise undercover. For most of their male peers, punk underscored natural freedoms, but the style’s sense of possibility offered these women a sense of liberation that was more radical, and they committed to exploring punk’s limits with dissonant joy.”

An Excerpt from the Memoir and Cookbook Red Velvet Underground by Freda Love Smith (the Blake Babies, Antenna) | The Talkhouse

“Being a musician on tour was the life experience that shattered my uptightness and helped me embrace a more flexible diet. Touring in a band presents a host of particular challenges: how to stay stable in constantly shifting surroundings; how to stay sane in often-crazy circumstances; how to stay civil in the close quarters of a van with four other humans; how to stay healthy in booze– and smoke-filled bars — and on the slim pickings of truck-stop food.”


A Swarm of the Sun — Deliver Us From Our Dreams

Caspian and Mogwai meet in a starry sky in this cut from Swedish duo A Swarm of the Sun. Taken from the sessions of their latest record The Rifts, this is the kind of thing you want to listen to from the window seat of transcontinental plane journey, when you’re bleary-eyed and trying to determine if the sun is rising or setting behind the horizon.


Golden Void — Burbank’s Dream

Is this real life or a video game? The Isaiah Mitchell-led Golden Void favour cheesy vistas and visual blending to accompany the bluesy Burbank’s Dream. It’s like a Windows Media Player visualisation come to life, but somehow it works. The track is taken from the group’s second record, Berkana, out now through Thrill Jockey.