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Earth’s Dylan Carlson Hopes He Has Grown as a Person and Musician

Joseph P. Traina

There’s always been stark, contrasting ideas present in the music of Earth, from something as minuscule as song titles to the now-released full-length ‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1.’

“I always have my ear out for those type of oppositional things,” guitarist Dylan Carlson told Noisecreep when asked about where the delightfully-conflicting title came from. He credited bassist Karl Blau for the album’s namesake. “I told him I was going to steal it,” he laughed.

But these titles have more than just a tongue-in-cheek aesthetic. They’re minor stabs at what most of western society had adapted to in everyday life. “I always thought the pernicious influence of Greek philosophers in our culture have really trapped ourselves in this either/or kind of quandaries: black/white, up/down, good or evil,” the guitarist reasoned. “All those things that seem to cause problems in human life, but I’ve always loved when those kind of things come into conflict and create a third path, a third way out.”

He laughed before returning to his more stoic tone, saying, “I don’t know if I’m just getting old and curmudgeonly, but I have a decreasing tolerance for monotheisms. So that might have something to do with it, too.

“I look back at the first record, and at that time I was reading a lot of gnosticism and stuff like that — a lot of dualism and stuff like that. I definitely have an interest in religion, but I guess I’m not a joiner,” he joked.

This interests go well beyond the bounds of hobbies or muses for his art. Carlson knows that expanding his horizons in one realm will help in others. “Hopefully as I grow as a musician, I’ll grow as a person — hopefully. Some people think you can only work on one or the other.” He admitted to hoping fans have seen him grow over the years.

The discussion of human development for a musician begs an interesting question: Do albums represent a certain point in the artist’s life? Futhermore, which Earth recording does Carlson look back on the most fondly? “I like them all. They all have their charm,” he said, pausing solemnly, “or that thing to them when they are done that is unique to them. I think ['Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1'] was the most enjoyable to do.

“I know it’s not a very popular Earth album but, ‘Phase 3′ has a certain thing to it that I like. The fact that it even got put out or done was kind of amazing, considering the time and all the stuff that happened outside of the record I was going through.”


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