One good idea
Known as the 'Father of drone' and pioneer of the drone/doom genre, Seattle native Dylan Carlson has been playing music under the moniker of Earth for over twenty years. A man who's personal demons were made public, Carlson overcame his challenges to make music his first priority once again. The music of Earth is as intuitive and insightful as the man behind it, reflecting a multitude of influences from ancient lore to literature. A hard-working, prolific musician, Carlson has collaborated with many artists over the span of his career, including his surrogate protégé Sunn O))) and while he might not be a fan of back beat, Carlson can definitely 'do rock n' roll'.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started trying to write my own stuff when I first started playing music, I grew up with lots of music. But it was hearing AC/DC at 11 years of age that made me want to do rock n' roll. Lots of hard rock/metal and classic rock, then heard X and the Gun Club and the other 'punk' or hardcore or whatever they call it now. I started going to all ages shows at 15 or 16 and realized I could do rock n' roll.
I won't go in to the first two bands, the first one only played one show. The second one was described as Flipper meets Cinderella. For Earth it was a lot of metal, Velvet Underground, and King Crimson. Oh and I got my first guitar right before my 16th birthday.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
That one is more for other people to decide I guess. For me, I guess it was coming up with my one good idea (repetition of a riff) and realising its many permutations. Getting on and off drugs, the albums Hex and the current ones, though I also like Bees as well, I guess they are all important moments.
What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?
Finding good musicians without kids who are down to tour as much as I want to tour, health issues, expenses. Compositionally nothing really.
What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
A riff or chord.
How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
Don't separate them, mostly do the first one.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?
I mostly focus on the sound part. Since I am playing live in many different and different kinds of venues, the space thing doesn't really come in to it for me. I guess that's more of a residency or art world concern.