“EARTH MESS WITH TEXAS.”

from http://www.subpop.com/bands/earth/earthbio.html

Earth  formed in olywa. In early 90(?). d. carlson wants to call the band wormwood but compromises
with then members Slim Moon (later to found kill rock stars), and Greg babior. Original lineup 2 guitars, vocals, and the now trendy and de rigeur old analog synths (earth misses out on hipdom by 4 years). TDG becomes revolving bass player and does white noise side project the fragile sphincter with d. carlson. Greg is very caught up in sound proofing the practice space. Greg departs over the rest of the bands ineptitude at jazz improvising over a three note riff. TDG caught up in ascendancy of his band. Move to Seattle. D.carlson meets Dave Harwell at Hard-On’s show. Joe Preston signs on while waiting for his dream to materialize. Slim and D. war over vocals and their place; or lack thereof; in the band. 1st show at Portlands Blue gallery. Last with Slim and vocals. TDG and his bass player are driving
earth. Earth get in wreck at gas station 3 blocks from house. Bass player and the assailant go off to smoke pot while waiting for insurance companies to call back. Not the last time earth’s transport will be hampered by chemical dependancy/abuse. 2nd show in Portland. Earth is Heavy Metal cover band. Set includes ‘Animal Magnetism’ by Scorps, ‘One Track Mind’ by Motorhead
and a handful of Saint Vitus tunes. 3rd show in Olywa. Sets trend of audience participating from the outside. We record in Portland at Smegma Studios with Mike Lastra. The studio is in his house, which is besieged by ‘coons. TDG and Kelly Canary along for vocals. TDG sleeps a lot during sessions. Earth opens for L7 at Vogue. Most of Sub-Pop are in attendance. D.C. behind amps at this point. After show Bruce and John asks Earth to release something. Earth volunteer Portland tapes and sign-on -board. Extra-Capsular Extraction (earth 1) released sometime in ’91. We play our best show as a three piece. 5
people watch us open for Hell-Cows. Next weekend earth blows chunks opening for TDG’s band. Play in Olywa. with Blake Babies. They spend their entire sound check playing riff from Yes’s “Owner of a lonely heart”. During show with Screaming Trees the drum machine first becomes a problem, with Joe repeatedly stepping on the pedal and restarting songs half way through.

Joe’s dream becomes reality. He is asked to join the Melvins. He can’t leave earth fast enough. Dream becomes nightmare when his bitter, money-grubbing ways do not endear him to his employers. The Melvins can him. He takes revenge by bootlegging earth 7in’s. Carl Anala formerly of Hell Cows joins briefly. He departs rapidly. Earth is a two piece. 1992. Earth are interviewed by then up and comer Tabitha Soren for MTV. Dave not realizing who she will become in the near future repeatedly offends her with a knowing and friendly hand on her thigh during each response to a question. Earth is delighted. Last show with the drum machine. MTV is unaccountably filming the show. Earth is opening for a speed metal band so there are plenty of mustaches and long shorty hair do’s . The drum machine gives up the ghost early in the first song. Dave wisely exits the stage. D.C. remains to play an open chord for 35 minutes. Fists and fingers raised the audience chants “you suck” emphatically. Downer use begins in earnest among one half of the band. Earth 2 recorded in august at Avast studios with Stewart Hallerman at the helm. Many consider this record a definitive statement of the drone triumphant. Others merely the inevitable result of the damage downers do to perception of time and duration. Earth plays the Ultra-Lamefest with many other labelmates. Earth only wants to do one song. The powers that be want the band off after 15 minutes. Earth holds on and finishes
the song, all 25 minutes of it. Sometime after the release party Dave decides his life and new interest in gardening would be better off without Earth. Earth is a one piece. Downer use at atrocious, possibly toxic levels in remaining member of band.

Fall of ’93 recording begins on Phase3. D.Carlson, for a variety of sordid reasons, misses the first 2 1/2 days of recording. For these sessions Tommy Hansen (formerly of the Fartz and Crisis Party) plays second guitar. Sub-Pop pull the plug on the sessions. Anger and recriminations follow. Earth’s standing with the Company are at a low-ebb. D.C.’s imminent demise predicted. Ian Dickson leaps into
the breach and stakes job on completion of record. A year later (fall ’94) sessions are booked at the Soundhouse with Scott Benson on the board. Rick Cambern does drums  on one track. Sessions in trouble Ian locks D.C. in isolation booth for 6 hours. Due to a medical emergency the sessions
crash to a halt. D.C.: “_____ went out in the bathroom, Scott won’t keep recording.” Ian: ” How much do we have recorded, is it enough for a record?” D.C.: ” It’s 58 minutes, long enough.” The album is a critical masterpiece (well, at least 2 critics). Phase 3 released April ’95. May of ’95 Paul Smith invites earth to play Disobey night for Blast First and record a live record. When the fax arrives at Sub-Pop they think its a bad joke. Earth is supposed to play for 45 minutes. They play for 26 and 2 english kids play the last 5 minutes of feedback. Ian is now member. Earth is a 2 piece again. The album is mixed at Mute’s Worldwide studios with PK at the helm. Earth mess with Texas. Too much of everything (3 oz. Methamphetamine, 80 valiums, 25 Xanax, riding a white horse). Disaster at Dripping Springs. Redemption (a very wet version) at Emo’s. If they take me back to Texas they wont take me back alive. June Earth play the MacIntosh New Music Seminar. Sub-Pop decides to re-sign earth for 3 more records. February ’96 finds earth with 2 new members, Shawn McElligot on lead guitar and Mike McDaniels on drums. Mike Deming is engineering and playing organ. The recording takes place at Studio .45, which happens to be in the old Colt manufacturing plant in Hartford, Connecticut. Recording and mixing take about 2 weeks. Before the album is released, earth is invited to play Hyperstrings in Austria. It’s a festival of modern guitar (especially non-traditional manipulation) techniques. Other people playing included K.K. Null, E.A.R.(with Sonic Boom), Jim O’Rourke, fellow Seattleites Magnog, and DJ Haswell. The album is released July  23rd. On to the future. Re-mixes of a few songs are in the works. Look for them on Sweet Mother. They should include versions by DJ Nasir, Spooky and Constantine. Coming soon, the franchise.

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock