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New Album: Earth Tongue

Last edited: 06.08.19 | Comment? | By











‘New Album’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest release. Up next is Gussie from Earth Tongue, whose latest album ‘Floating Being’ has been getting rave reviews locally and overseas, including making a BBC Radio 6 Best of 2019 So Far list.


When/where was the new album recorded?
Floating Being came to fruition in a few different places. We started off in Melbourne with our friend Fabian Shaw in his home studio, where he’s got a great tape machine recording set up. Then it was back home to Wellington where we recorded some snatches of vocals, percussion and synths. We were living in Berlin for a few months in 2018, and so recorded bits and pieces there. Following that, we were lucky to spend two days with our friend Pat Stewart at the music conservatory in Den Haag. ‘The Dome’ was recorded there, and Pat also contributed some lovely keys in that track. Once we got back to Wellington, we finished it all off over a few days at Blue Barn Studio with James Goldsmith. I believe we were the last band to record there before the building was demolished. A true honour!

Who produced/engineered the album? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
Well as you can see above we worked with a few different recording engineers, but it was mixed in the end by James Goldsmith. Some songs were so straightforward to record, and we were able to smash them out pretty quickly. Some songs went through lots of different changes and re-writes in the studio, and a couple didn’t have any vocals when we recorded them. I guess we could have sat those songs until they were fully realised, but I think the fact that they were so fresh makes for pretty interesting recordings.

How did the songwriting happen? Are there any overall themes within the songs/album?
We write really collaboratively. Most of the song writing happens in our rehearsal studio, ‘cause we like to be loud. Although, I do like writing riffs on acoustic guitar and then seeing if they translate once they’re fuzz-ified. There’s some pretty silly themes in the album – single cellular organisms gaining a life of their own and thinking profoundly, opening portals to alternate realities, insatiable sapiens dissolving into mush…that sort of carry on!

Were you going for a different sound/approach on this album?
We’re a rock band, but we didn’t want to sound like a shiny, high-production creature. Our favourite recordings are 1970s psych and prog rock – bands like Captain Beyond, Billy Cox’s Nitro Function, Ironclaw and Coven. There’s a lot of current bands that are nailing that sound too. I like really dry, warm fuzz, compressed drums and toms that sound like ice cream containers! We stayed away from too much reverb and embraced the distortion that comes with recording drums to tape.

Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
Recording to tape was crucial to capturing the sound we wanted. It was cool to hear how you can use simple EQ on an old desk to achieve so many different drum sounds. There were no room mics used to record the drums, only close mics. The result really smacks you in the face. A few different vintage pedals were used too. There’s plenty of Russian Big Muff on the record as well as the ‘Royal’ fuzz wah – the most punishing fuzz I’ve been lucky to use. Then there’s the electro-harmonix “smallstone” phaser and of course heaps of Hot Cake.

Is there a particular single/track that you feel captures the essence of the album?
Microscopic God has got all the classic ET elements! We’re singing in unison to wacky time signatures and there’s some classic Ezra drum fills in there too. It’s my favourite to play live.

Is there a physical copy available? If not which digital platforms is it available on?
Yes, we have vinyl and CDs. We’re currently sold out of physical copies but you can get it on vinyl from RPM and Slowboat. You can purchase it digitally through our Bandcamp or stream through your fave streaming platform. [Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, ]

Are you working on a video/videos for any of the songs? Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
Hell yeah! We have a video for the song Probing the New Reality in the works. That will be out this month. Keep your eyes peeled for a NZ tour announcement too. Here’s a secret… it’s in December!

Posted in: GeneralInterviewsNew Album

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