Story by Jarrod Hayslette
Local Boone punk celebs and dear friends of the Collective, Earth Mover, have been weaving airy, atmospheric soundscapes all their own for the last year around North Carolina. In lieu of their four day mini tour down through the Southeast, I got to sit down and chat with the band about the forthcoming shows, plans for new music, and their affinity for hip-hop.
To start, I’ll get everyone to say their name and what they do.
John: Height or alphabetical?
Morgan: Height for sure.
Mike: I’m Mike, I play guitar.
Keith: I’m Keith, I play guitar.
Morgan: I’m Morgan, I play bass.
John: I’m John, I play guitar.
Jay: Hi, I’m Jay, and I play drums.
So you guys are about to start a little four day run of shows through the Southeast, hitting some places you’ve never been to before.
John: Yes! Very excited about these next couple days. We’ve never been south of Charlotte up to this point. The Drunken Unicorn is where we’re playing in Atlanta, which we’re stoked on. It’s a cool venue that’s been around for years.
So you’ve had some downtime these last couple weeks during the holidays while school has been out. Has it been nice to have more free time for Earth Mover related things?
Jay: Yes (laughs).
Jay: We were planning on recording for the first week or two of break but we had a few equipment malfunctions so we’re gonna try and get some stuff recorded after we get back.
So just demoing new tracks out at the house?
Mike: Yeah! We’ve got the basement rigged up and it sounds good down there so we’re gonna try and record these new songs in-house to begin with.
So these new songs that you guys are demoing, is there a game-plan for these? Just demoing them because you’ve had them written for a while or is this in preparation for a forthcoming release?
John: Yeah! Up to this point, we’ve been spending money recording our songs and then having that same person master them. So this time around we’re going to record these songs in-house to save money and then send them to be mastered professionally. If everything works out, we would love to press the album and release it sometime this year!
So will that be a 7’ release?
John: Well, we have nine songs written and kind of demoed at this point, so we’re shooting for a full length!
That rules! I didn’t realize there was so much new material ready.
John: Yes sir! A proper 12’ is what we’re aiming for.
So Earth Mover just played the Milestone in Charlotte for the first time last month, how was that?
Keith: I thought it was cool! I was sick, which was a bummer, but it was a fun night.
So any forthcoming plans for shows in the Boone/high-country region? I know that you guys are rooted pretty closely to all the musical happenings and shows going on up there.
Morgan: We have a show coming up in a couple weeks at Black Cat with our friends From Bears, who are another Boone band. It’s their EP release show so we’re stoked to play with them.
It’s cool that it seems like there are, as long as you keep your ear to the ground, a decent amount of cool local shows and house shows going on in Boone, which might come as a surprise to some people who live in town?
Morgan: At this point, Boone only has one real “venue” for shows, but a lot of people have been opening up their homes and having house shows which has given kids on campus a chance to have an alternative to the frat party circuit on the weekend.
So, to anyone who might be unfamiliar with Earth Mover, how would you describe your sound?
John: It’s a mismatch. It’s washy, atmospheric stuff essentially over heavy pop songs. That’s where the three guitars come into play big. Two guitars will be playing actual rhythm parts while the third is playing some sort of airy lead.
Mike: It’s pretty frat. (laughs)
John: Yeah, it’s pretty frat.
Mike: Sonically, I think we run the full spectrum
Yeah, I mean, you’ve all been in various other bands together and draw from a variety of influences so it really is the sum of its parts when it comes to Earth Mover’s sound.
John: We all have a lot of common taste but then individually we tend to draw from different places.
Mike: Jay listens to a lot of hip-hop.
John: Jay is easily the biggest hip-hop fan, I’m probably second behind him.
Jay: It’s because they have cool drums in hip-hop.
John: Jay is definitely rhythmically inclined by hip-hop.
So you’re doing this little four day run, where would you like to try and hit next? I know you’re all either in school or working or doing both during the year, but is the Midwest next for summer? Back up to New England?
Mike: I think at this point we’re down to go anywhere that people would like to have us play. Whatever we can afford to do. We’d definitely like to get back up to New England.
John: Time and money are the biggest factors, figuring out when we all have a break from school and work and planning it out. I’d love to get down to Texas, Austin specifically. I’d also love to get up to Chicago sooner than later.
So the Columbia show of the upcoming run isn’t happening anymore unfortunately, but now you’re playing here!
John: We’re playing at your house!
And that will be the first time, so that will be very cool.
John: Yeah, it will be a lot of fun. A personal Jarrod concert!