Earthless

Posted: May 6th, 2009
"Sonic, rock, power."

Interview by Eddie Solis

In the deepest parts of Southern California, the San Diego area to be exact, lays a psychedelic throne currently occupied by a trio called Earthless. The sound is directed towards a kraut-rock feel, adapting psychedelic guitar solos to a steady pulsing rhythm reminiscent of John Paul Jones and John Bonham. The guitar work is precise as well as creative. The rhythm section is great. A live show is the band’s strongest scenario. They are very heartfelt in their live delivery. Witness them live and you will be assaulted with high volume and heavy, serious riffs, as well as a stunning display from the band to do some great improvisation. The best thing about seeing Earthless play live is that it doesn’t stop. It just keeps going and going and going. No pauses, no bullshit, and no frills. Drummer Mario Rubalcaba’s also been around the world many times as the drummer for Rocket from the Crypt. We caught up with Mario a few days right after he and the rest of the band had returned from South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

How long has Earthless existed?
For about five years now.

How did you meet the band members?
Through mutual friends. We all had many things in common. We all liked scrappy garage, Japanese psychedelic music. We were into doing a heavy kraut rock band. Mike, our bassist, knew the guitarist Isaiah from his old band, Lions of Judah.

The first time you guys jammed, what did you play?
“Iron Man” and “Rock ’n’ Roll” from Led Zeppelin. The second time it was all original riffs and material.

How long were you guys together before you played a live show?
We jammed five times, then played a show. It was about three months. It was at the Casbah in San Diego. We didn’t have much focus back then. We didn’t have a name. Mike came up with Earthless. At that time I was in Rocket from the Crypt, so we had a hard time getting together. Back then it was 80-percent improvisation when we showed up to rehearse or play a show.

What is your first release?
The Sonic Prayer LP on Gravity Records. Then we put out a live 10 inch called Sonic Prayer Jams also on Gravity. Then the Tee Pee release is out May 8, titled Rhythm from a Cosmic Sky.

What’s the writing process? Do you ever play the same thing more than once?
Yes, but there is really no writing process. That is our writing process.

What bands inspire Earthless to write and play live?
ZZ Top, Thin Lizzy, the Ground Hogs, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Flower Traveling Band, and Blues Creation.

Talk about your record store.
That was an idea that came about because Mike and I are big music buyers. Also, there 
are no stores in San Diego that were keeping up on real underground stuff. So a childhood 
friend of mind named Jeff wanted to do it 
with Mike and I, and it worked out. It’s been 
two years now, and we’re carrying more obscure oriented stuff.

When and where did you start skateboarding?
In 1983 out of Vista, CA.

How did you get sponsored by Alva?
I had two friends that rode for Alva, and we skated vert together. I went to a contest in 
Las Vegas, and Dave Duncan was judging it. Then he approached me.

How long were you pro?
For five years.

How did you meet John from Rocket from the Crypt?
They were from my hometown. When I found 
out that the original drummer was quitting, my friend Paul said to call John. I never followed up on it, and I saw the guitarist at a party in San Diego. He then had John send me demos. I auditioned, and it sparked.

What kind of drums do you play?
Ludwigs. Twenty-four-inch kicks, 14-inch rack, and a 16-inch floor tom. Ludwig snare as well.

If you had to use three words to describe Earthless, what words would it be?

Sonic, rock, power.

Download Earthless albums or songs from the iTunes store here or check out their myspace for upcoming shows.
  • Jereme Rogers’ “AIW" Music Video

    Jereme Rogers’ “AIW" Music Video
    J Rog kicks off his latest sonic adventure with this video. Check it and then stream the whole album. The contact barrier has been broken!
  • Pink Mexico's "Buzz Kill" Music Video

    Pink Mexico's "Buzz Kill" Music Video
    Take a stroll around NYC in Pink Mexico's new video for "Buzz Kill."
  • Kool Keith Interview

    Kool Keith Interview
    Kool Keith don’t give a shit. He’s the death metal of hip-hop. Sam Hitz hit him up for an interview outside of a recent gig.
  • Psycho Las Vegas

    Psycho Las Vegas
    If Vegas in August wasn’t hot enough to melt your brain already, Psycho Las Vegas will surely get the job done. It’s three days of old and new psych, metal, and rock ‘n’ roll, August 26-28.
  • Habitat x Animal Collective

    Habitat x Animal Collective
    Habitat teamed up with the band Animal Collective to release three new boards and a tee shirt. Check it out.
  • Turnstile Interview

    Turnstile Interview
    The tight-knit Turnstile crew took some time to talk before a recent gig in San Francisco. Check it out.
  • Hank Wood and the Hammerheads Interview

    Hank Wood and the Hammerheads Interview
    Cowbells, keyboards and ‘tude. Hank Wood and the Hammerheads took a minute to talk about city living, their music and Internet haters.
  • Sam Vincent Foundation Benefit Show

    Sam Vincent Foundation Benefit Show
    Come out for a night of killer music and support a good cause.
  • Burger Boogaloo 2016 Photos

    Burger Boogaloo 2016 Photos
    Burger Records took over Mosswood park in Oakland, CA, for their annual Boogaloo. The line-up was stacked, the sun was out and good times were had. Check out some photos here.
  • Napalm Death Interview

    Napalm Death Interview
    We caught up with Barney of Napalm Death before a recent gig at The Casbah in San Diego.