The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






Guitar virtuoso Isaiah Mitchell is always an interesting guy to talk to. As the guitarist for Earthless and a few other bands and projects which keeps him busy, his music is an amazing example of pure creativity and talent. His solo tour in Australia earlier in the year was mind blowing stuff and everyone who saw it will tell you the same. He is returning again this year right before the new year with Earthless to put on another face melting tour so we caught up with Isaiah again to discuss the tour and the band's latest album "From The Ages".



Andrew: Hi hows it going?


Isaiah: Good man how are you?


Andrew: Yeah good thanks! I'm not sure if you remember but we actually spoke earlier this year in regards to your solo tour in Australia.


Isaiah: Yeah I do actually, there's been a couple of people that were like 'we just talked!' and I was like 'Oh yeah!' It's great, I'm glad it's the same people.


Andrew: How was the solo tour anyway?


Isaiah: It was fun! I mean some of the shows weren't very well attended but I guess that was kinda expected but some of them were really fun. The ones that we did with the band, Nick (Allbrook) from Pond and Tame Impala, it was awesome!


Andrew: Any highlights or memorable moments at all?


Isaiah: The Melbourne shows were a lot of fun and just getting to hang out. It was kind of a mellow tour so it wasn't super work, work, work; hurry, hurry, hurry. Playing in Fremantle was great and just getting to hang out with some buddies over there but that was a fun show in Fremantle.




Andrew: Yeah I saw that show in Fremantle and I was blown away, it was amazing! I actually asked you after the show how much of it was improvised and you said something like 70% or 80% of the show which I could not believe. Was that the best show on the tour?



Isaiah: That was a lot of fun. But also getting to have Joe come up there and make a bunch of crazy noises with his device and then having Scum Of The Earth open, I didn't know Joe Ryan could play the guitar like that. It was a very pleasant surprise, it was just a fun night, good times.



Andrew: Well you are coming back at the end of the month, this time with Earthless. What can we expect at these shows?



Isaiah: A lot of loud music, what you've been expecting before. I think we'll be playing a little bit different stuff but I don't know. I don't think we've really got anything up our sleeve, just the same loud rock n roll and just having a good time doing it with the same attitude as before.



Andrew: Will you be playing much off the new album as well?



Isaiah: Yeah we'll be playing a lot of the new album, or primarily just the new album.



Andrew: I noticed on your tour schedule that you will be playing a show on new year's eve in Melbourne. Are you playing before midnight or right into the new year?



Isaiah: I think we're playing right at midnight. I could be wrong and I thought I saw the schedule but I think we're going to be the first band in the new year. I'm not certain but I think that's the case.



Andrew: It's certaintly an interesting way to celebrate the new year. Have you done new year's eve shows before?



Isaiah: Yeah our first time over there in 2010 we played two new year's shows in Melbourne. And the first one we played I think in St. Kilda or something and then we played a show where we played right when the ball dropped or whatever and that was great because we got to play with Kim Salmon and his project. That was a real treat because we all really idolize that guy so that was quite awesome.



Andrew: And this time you are touring with a band called The Shrine. I can't say I know them at all but they must be good if they are opening for you guys. Can you tell us a bit about them?



Isaiah: Yeah they are good buddies, they are younger guys and they have just been kicking some serious butt. Just workaholics, constantly touring and blowing minds. They're pretty hardcore like skate punks, skate metal kind of band. They are some of the most positive people you will ever meet and their work ethic is unbelievable and they bring it every night. They're fun and they just put rock n roll right in your face, they got that skateboarder mentality. Just high on life, really fun guys and their music proves that. You'll hear who they are in their music, they're fun guys and really lighthearted just trying to have a good time. They're good people, you'll dig it.



Andrew: Have you guys toured with them before?



Isaiah: I've toured with them before in another band I played in called Howlin' Rain. That was my first meeting of them and just instantly were like you guys are cool, you guys are awesome, my kind of people and they are. They are just solid, happy people, they're great and fun. They're going to bring a lot of laughs to the tour.



Andrew: I just wanted to talk a bit about the new album "From The Ages". Can you tell us a bit about how the album came together?



Isaiah: Well the title track "From The Ages" is something we've had written since 2007, maybe 2008 so we had that song for quite some time. And "Violence From The Red Sea" is one of the newer songs that was written and "Uluru Rock" and "Equus October", those are the newest of the bunch which came out of jams. "Uluru Rock" came out of a jam at Tym Guitars instore in Brisbane earlier this year. So we just had the tunes and put a double record together and we had never recorded the title track "From The Ages" in the studio so we just went, alright let's do it! So it turned into a double album really quickly, recorded and mixed and everything in four days more or less. So yeah we just finally found the time to get our riffs together and put it together.



Andrew: That title track is an epic song, 30 minutes long! How long did it actually take to create that song?



Isaiah: Oh man it was so long ago I have no idea. Probably took a couple of weeks to put it together, just mash and take all the riffs and put them together. Make them fit the way we like so it probably didn't take a whole lot of time.



Andrew: I've been listening to that song a lot lately and it's an amazing song so I just wondered how you can put a 30 minute song like that together.



Isaiah: Thank you! Mike Eginton our bass player, he brings in a riff and we work off of that, add more riffs to it that work together. With us it's cool because time is never an issue. We'll just do something until we're happy with it, whichever the length of the songs. We don't really discriminate, we let everything flow how we want it to flow whether it's 5 minutes or whether it's 20 minutes we'll just take it and leave it with that. It's just going with what feels right and when we're ready to make a change, we'll make a change.



Andrew: And just to contrast that, the shortest song "Equus October", I guess you could say that would be the radio single for the album in some wierd way haha!



Isaiah: Haha yeah if there was enough interest for a radio single, yeah it's the short one. But even then it's almost 6 minutes long I guess. That's something Mike had the riff and I think we wanted to kill some time and it probably would of ended up being longer in some way but the crash thing at the ending, the tape actually ran out, it ended abruptly. So we were like oh crap so I thought it would be a good idea to make some sort of crash sound at the end to make it really awkward. We tried it and we all laughed because we thought it was hilarious so we went with it.



Andrew: Haha I guess it's one of those things that you don't really plan for and just roll with whatever happens I guess.



Isaiah: Yeah exactly! And in a way just mixed by itself it didn't seem that interesting, it seemed kind of like a throwaway thing but then we were like let's mix it differently, let's use more room mic's, add reverb and have the reverb get bigger and bigger as the song progresses just to make it sound different and more like a soundscape kind of thing. Just totally different so it's just a little sound snippet. So just having fun in the studio, just breaking things up a little bit.



Andrew: I love the album cover as well. Does the bird represent something?



Isaiah: I don't know, I'd have to ask Alan Forbes the artist. Mike or Mario (Rubalcaba) our drummer and bassist they said 'hey draw a one eyed owl coming down'. I can't remember if that was said. I know Mario asked to put palm trees in there and to also have a wizard guy with a staff and a big one eye so I think there was a little bit of art direction going on but you just give Alan a little bit of art direction and just let him do his thing because he's amazing and he never disappoints. He's one of the absolute best out there, he's so awesome.



Andrew: Do you have any other projects going on at the moment?



Isaiah: Yeah I play in another band called Golden Void and we're playing shows and writing songs right now to make a new record. We're actually playing a benefit for our friend Alan Forbes who did the art for the record cover, he got into a little accident and he needs some help covering some hospital bills so we're doing some stuff for him at a concert this weekend. I play in another band with my wife as well called Harderships and yeah I'm working on a lot of solo stuff, I got an album or two's worth of solo stuff so now it's just putting it in and getting it recorded. (I'm) always doing something but lately I like hunkering down at home and just being creative.



Andrew: And what's next for Earthless in 2014?



Isaiah: There's going to be some more shows and tours, maybe Europe or coast stuff. Start working on another record at some point, it would be the nice thing to do but yeah nothing too crazy. Mario is really busy touring on and off with Hot Snakes or Rocket From The Crypt as well. We go with the flow, we get offers we'll take them usually but yeah just playing and enjoying life but hopefully we go into a new record soon.



Andrew: Well we are looking forward to seeing you guys come over to Australia in a few weeks time, I think they will be amazing. It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you again!



Isaiah: Cheers, like wise!



Isaiah spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe December 6th 2013





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