Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Earth is a Man: Having Fun in this Life with Friends

SOTW catches up with the opening band for Delicate Steve performing this Thursday @ Subterranean.

According to its members, the name is google-able. The Earth is a Man may not only translate to an ambiguous connotation, but it is also the name of a 20th century surrealist painting by Matta exhibited in the modern wing of the Art Institute in Chicago. The band consists of not one man, but four: Maxwell Allison (bass and acoustic guitars, omnichord), Paul Birhanu (drums), Doug Kaplan (electric guitar), and Zach Robinson (electric and acoustic guitars). After its inception at Northwestern University, The Earth is a Man eventually played the well-known Chicago venues Subterranean, Bottom Lounge, Reggie’s, Double Door, and the Underground Lounge.

Their repertoire typifies the genres that they each enjoy with Tortoise, Cluster, and Brian Eno as main influences. There is a constant debate and discussion on categorizing their sound as they are evolving their compositions into louder, more metal-y noises. They currently describe themselves as heavy post rock with a mild math element. “We’re not one of those bands that claim to have ‘our own sound.’ We actually like sub-genres and categorizing everything.”

The band released their debut album last February on Bandcamp. Their fan base continues to expand as evidenced by a steady stream of downloads. A couple months ago they were featured as a staff pick on the site’s home page. The band gained notoriety when they were given the opportunity to collaborate with Adult Swim’s Tim Heidecker. Tim posted on Twitter looking for someone in Chicago to help him record a Bob Dylan cover. The Earth is a Man tweeted him back and shortly after Tim was in Max and Doug's basement for 8 hours recording “All the Tired Horses”. The song was later played on LA’s NPR station.

As for future projects, the band wants to maintain the same aesthetic and create more experimental music in terms of song structure. “We want more loud noises, more looping, more technical risks, more funk, and overall more complexity.” They are currently undergoing a heavy writing stage and focusing on a new EP expected to be released this fall.

The Earth is a Man will be playing with Delicate Steve and Noumenon at Subterranean this Thursday July 12. {Buy tickets here!}

Just like their music, they leave us on a good note with their flawless motto: “Having fun in this life with friends.” 

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