SURFING MAGAZINE: HOW DID EARTHLESS COME TOGETHER?
Mario Rubalcaba: Well, we’re all from the Encinitas area so we met there. Mike, the bass player, and I met just from shopping at Lou’s Records for years and Isaiah works at a local guitar shop.
HOW DID YOU GUYS DECIDE WHAT KIND OF BAND YOU WOULD BE?
Well before we ever played music together it was more noticing that we all had the same influences. We all loved Zeppelin, Hendrix and Sabbath, so early on we’d throw the idea around about a band with those three elements mixed up. The first time we practiced, we just fused covers of those bands together and that set the formula for what we’re still doing.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO’S NEVER HEARD YOU?
Let’s see…I’d call it heavy, psychedelic endurance rock. [laughs] If you’ve got an hour, and you’ve got patience and you feel like taking a trip somewhere, you’ll be into it. It’s not for the impatient though.
WHAT IS YOUR LIVE SHOW LIKE?
It’s real spontaneous. It’s a mix of structure and improvisation. Every live show is never the same, but there are parts where there is structure and it’s very open to being improvised on. We can have a structured rock riff that goes for eight times, but then we can trail off into a lead solo for however long we want, depending on the mood. Then there’s always the communication between us looking at each other on stage or whatever to figure out when we want to go back to the structured part. The free form part can go on for three or four minutes, but it’s gone on for half an hour before. It just depends on what the drums or guitars are doing. But it’s always grounded by the bass — that keeps the whole thing together.
SO IS YOUR LIVE SHOW THE BEST WAY TO SEE YOU?
Oh yeah, I would definitely say we’re a live band. For us, we’re insistent on having our recording available on vinyl because when you record on analog or tape, your time constraints are set at like 24 minutes tops because that’s what you can fit on the side of the tape. That’s a lot harder to do than just go off and play. It’s also harder to capture the mood of a live show if you consider yourself a live band. When you have to focus on the recording in a studio you lose that live feeling — it just isn’t the same.