Kerrang! gets ready for Temples Festival with underground legends Earth.
It’s only a month and a bit until Temples Festival hits Bristol! Gathering together all sorts of weird, wonderful and downright heavy sounds from every dark corner of the underground, it’s the UK’s weightiest gathering bar none. There’s the furious hardcore of Converge, Nails and Trap Them, bong-rattling stoner vibes from Goatsnake, Weedeater, Bongzilla and Sea Bastard, there’s Triptykon, Bolzer, Grave Miasma and Vallenfyre bringing death metal darkness, and then there’s headliners Earth and Sunn O))) bringing loooooooooong droooooning notes.
So, to get us in the mood, we hooked up with Earth frontman Dylan Carlson to chat about Temples, festival etiquette, and dignitaries nicking your passes.
Words: Olly Thomas
Hi Dylan. How are you doing at the moment?
Dylan Carlson: “I’m doing really good. The tour’s being going really well, the album’s been going really well (laughs). And we’re excited, cos we were originally just playing Temples and now it looks like we’re headlining! I’ve heard good things about Temples, and Bristol’s always been a good city for us. And we’re playing on the same day as Voivod! I haven’t seen them since the (mid-80s) War And Pain tour so I’m very excited! I know Converge and Sunn 0))) are the other headliners, and I’m sure there are some other people playing that I like but I haven’t had a chance to look at the (full) line-up yet! (laughs)”
How’s it been playing the new material – has that made a difference to the tour?
“I really like playing the new stuff. I mean, obviously, we’re one of those bands of hoary age that must play the older songs – I’m not going to call them hits, because they weren’t! We always try and put some old songs in the set cos, y’know, I’m a music fan too and when you see someone you’ve wanted to see for a long time, (you don’t want to come away saying) ‘They didn’t play the song I like!’ In fact, I just had that experience with Uriah Heep – it was a great show but they didn’t play Stealin’! But I guess you can’t please everyone all the time.”
It seems like you tour pretty regularly these days. How is touring now compared to back in the ’90s?
“I didn’t really tour in the 90s, because I was… (pauses, then chuckles) not capable of it. We mostly did one-off (shows). There was one disastrous tour of Texas, that I’m surprised we made it out of! So we’ve toured as lot more since we came back, obviously just because I have my shit together, and I love touring. It’s funny, when I first started Earth I was really into the recording bit, not so much the live thing, and now it’s switched places, where I wanna hit the road and play.”
I noticed an England sticker on your guitar. Do you have a particular affinity with Britain?
“Yes, I do. It’s definitely my favourite country and I just married a Londoner and I’m hoping to move over at some point, if Her Majesty’s Government will have me (laughs)!”
The new album’s done really well. How does it feel after so many years of struggle?
“It feels really good. It totally took me by surprise. It wasn’t expected or calculated, you know what I mean? I mean, obviously every dude that starts a rock band has that secret little guy in the back of his head going ‘Yeah, you’re gonna be a rock star’, but luckily I had a reality filter and I knew from the get-go that we were not going to be (stars). But yeah, it’s been a long trip, and it’s been worth it. I’m surprised, and humble, and grateful.”
Do you do anything different for a festival set?
“I think for this one we’re gonna have to (laughs uproariously)! I’m not sure what yet, but I’m thinking of something. Normally, in the past, a festival has just been a date on the tour. I’ve only ever been to Roadburn for an hour! We don’t normally get a chance to hang out with everyone, but this time I think we will.”
Have you had any memorable festival experiences?
“The Roadburn we did in 2011 was really good. And we played Dour festival (in Belgium) and this guy cut in front of us and took our passes – and it turned out it was the Prime Minister of Belgium, which was really weird (laughs)! He just looked like some normal middle aged dude.”
If you had to explain to someone who had never heard Earth before, what to expect from your set at Temples, what would you say?
“I’ve always described Earth as a loud, slow, weird rock and roll band, and that’s pretty much what we do! Although maybe now I’d say loud, slow, weird hard rock or loud, slow, weird heavy metal (laughs)!”