Interview: Diseased Earth
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Travis (vocals): i don't think there was one defining moment that got me into music. It's just something I gravitated towards.
Paul (Guitar): I think if we were not a band, we would all be in pro wrestling stable, Akin to the four horseman or NWO (pre-Wolf Pac split)
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Travis: well by career, im a tattoo artist, so always being creative and thinking of new ideas and designs. I also like to read a lot, so i pull a lot of influence from what i'm currently reading to when it comes to new lyrics and such
Joe (bassist): i really dont stop playing music, as i am in several different bands, spanning several different genres
How long has your band been around?
Travis: we've been around since 2014, in some form. Joe and myself are the only original members left,but as members have left and we added new members, the music and vibe of the band has changed and shifted and i think our current form is probably our best sounding and most in tune lineup.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Clayton (drums): we're based out of the Shenandoah valley in Virginia. Virginia has a rich and very diverse music scene. Some great bands have come out of our area such as Helgamite, Earthling, Crab Action, Krode, and Heemeyer
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Travis: Joe is the one who came up with the name and it was the one we all liked the best. To me, it means that humanity has infected this planet and we are killing it from the inside-out, with all our pollution,destruction of natural resources, and just the other crazy stuff we as humans do to ourselves and the planet.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Travis: some of my favorites have been the two times we got to open for Crowbar. Those were great shows. Dirty south fest in NC was a fun time. Never really had any bad shows per say, i will say playing at Skatopia in the middle of a heat wave was not fun. It was so humid and hot, i kept feeling like i was going to pass out the entire time we were playing.
Joe: I think the worst show would have been when our original drummer completely forgot a drum fill lead in and just stared at the guitarist, as he kept playing the guitar part over and over,trying to get him to remember the fill. I also broke a string and the replacement one i was given was the top string from a 7 string set and was way bigger than i was used to playing.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Travis: my favorite place to play is probably The Golden Pony in Harrisonburg. I love that venue. The sound is amazing, the staff are incredible, and they have been very kind to us. As far as where I want to play, I don't care where, I just want to get back to playing shows. I miss that energy of a live crowd.
Joe: I second the Pony as well. I also miss some of the DIY stuff we had at Bricks in Staunton. It wasn't always pretty, but it was something we built ourselves and that made it special.
Clayton: IX art park in Charlottesville, VA was a fun time. The Milestone in NC was another great venue we got to play at filled with some amazing history.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Travis: any show that we could play with any of our homies, we've made some amazing friends along the way. As far as bigger bands, I'd love to play with some bands like goatsblood, circle of dead children, soilent green. I'd love to be able to get over to Europe and get on something like Wacken open air festival
Clayton: i'd love to do a mixed genre bill with someone like snoop dogg or three 6 mafia. It's always a blast seeing how crowds can be receptive of different genres.
Joe: i'd love to get to play with either of Matt Pike's band, Sleep or High on Fire.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Travis: Just play, it doesn't matter if it's good or bad. Just play and have fun with it.
Clayton: Have fun and don't take it too serious
Joe: just play music, not enough people starting bands nowadays, just do what feels right.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Paul: id tell my younger self to tune down that guitar, dont be afraid of those dirty riffs.
Clayton: Play faster and more often.
Joe: Buy all the peavy gear you can
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Travis: all of our songs have meaning to me, because each of them from a lyrical stand point are written at a specific point in time and it's a reminder of what i was thinking and feeling at that time.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Travis: i mean, i dunno if i could pick a favorite, i love playing all our songs so much. As far as most requested, it would probably have to be “Staunton is a cesspool” or “Willow Tree”. These are older songs and we very rarely play them anymore. We try and keep things fresh and constantly rotate songs in and out of the set.
Joe: "Staunton is a cesspool" was always a popular one, mostly because it mentioned our hometown in the name. "Vermin King" is one ive always enjoyed playing as well.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Paul: Joe and myself usually bring the riffs and sometimes they don't get used, so we end up jamming and just placing things together. The good thing about everyone in this band is there are no egos and no one gets hurt, if their riff or suggestion doesn't get used.
Joe: There is a lot of back and forth with Paul and myself. Clayton and Travis will sometimes make suggestions, as to structure and what riffs may go together. Its a big collaborative effort between all of us.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Travis: since I write the lyrics, they generally deal with a broad topic of things. Sometimes political and social issues, I.E. things going on in the world at that moment. I'm also an HP Lovecraft fan and have written several songs based on the mythos behind that. Lately, a lot of the songs have been about the death of my father and dealing with grief and the other emotions that come with it.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Joe: Open and honest communication is what we go for so there is rarely a disagreement
Clayton: None of us have an ego so there aren't any issues if someone says a riff isn't up to par, or someone suggests doing something completely different. it's all about what's best for the band.
Paul: Most of the time if there is a disagreement, it's where we are gonna eat while on the road.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Travis: we just released a new single, “Coven of Leeches”, and it sounds amazing, thanks to Buddy Harlow for his amazing job at recording and engineering it. We are planning on working with him again to record more songs. Since shows are currently a no go at the moment, we just stay writing and hope we get to return to the stage sooner than later.