Interview with Earthless: Cosmic Nodding

Define ‘cosmic nodding.’

That’s a term that I came up with because when the 3 of us are playing, we feed off of eye contact in a certain way. Once we leave that structured riff of the song, its kind of up to either Isaiah or me us to sort of give a look of where or what to go into next. So we have this eye contact that I dubbed the ‘cosmic nod’ and it’s just kind of a wink or a little nod as to like ‘alright in another 8 minutes we’ll head back into the structure zone,’ so that’s where that comes from.

How do you come up with song titles with no lyrics?

Aw man, they’re always a last minute affair. A couple of them have been nods to bands that we like. Like ‘Flower Traveling Man’ is an obvious nod to Flower Traveling Band. And there’s another song on the other side of that record called “Lost in the Cold Sun” and Cold Sun was a very obscure Texas ’60s psychedelic band that we like a lot, so we just kind of add on to things that we’re into. On the Roadburn record I just literally made up those song titles because we had to come up with something—’From the Ages’ is just a song that felt archaic and cave man and sort of ancient.

Primarily rooted in psychedelic rock, what do you think of the metal association Earthless seems to get?

Its heavy and its hard and obviously with the lead guitar aspect of it, its kind of easy for that genre to fall into it. It just has a heaviness in parts of it that makes it easy to embrace I guess, without having it fall into demonic growling. I like all sorts of stuff, so if I was a metalhead I would probably check into it too.

How does Earthless work live vs. recorded?

Live its always different. There’s never a repeat show or performance. There’s always gonna be some little element that’s gonna be different about it. There’s a couple of key riffs that we seem to circulate around, and we’ll always trail off into this field of experimenting. Isaiah will be going off on a tangent and I’ll be playing off of him, or I’ll change it into a different direction and then we just kind of wing it from there and hope for the best I guess (laughs). But it’s a little bit more difficult when you get into the recording studio because a lot of that gets lost and it’s hard to sometimes capture that same energy that’s apparent when you’re playing live. So we just try to capture it to the best of our ability and if we’re happy with the way it sounds and the feel of it then we just kind of go with that.

Is something like last year’s Live At Roadburn more of what you guys are going for in terms of that?

Yeah Live At Roadburn was basically an accidental thing in a really cool way. We played that festival to a much larger crowd than we were anticipating to, and when we got back home from that trip we heard the recordings and we were like whoa, that was a really memorable show and the recordings came out really good. I just thought that is the most honest representation of an Earthless song that you’re gonna get on a record. If people don’t like it then they might not want to come to our show (laughs).

With some songs nearing an hour in length on Roadburn what can people expect to see on your tour with Witch?

Well it’ll definitely be a little bit shorter because we’ll be playing the middle slot. Our set times are pretty consistent to 45 minutes to an hour, so they can expect pretty much an hours worth of head-throbbing, face-slashing music. We look forward to coming out to the East Coast, we don’t make it there too often so we’re gonna give it our all.

Earthless play NYC’s Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Feb. 25 and Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park on Feb. 27. For more info, visit