About Dylan Carlson
Perhaps best known as the lead guitarist and singer of influential drone doom group Earth, Dylan Carlson would go on to have a fruitful solo career. Born in Seattle, Washington, Carlson first became interested in music at the age of 15 after hearing bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and he would later cite the Melvins as a major influence. Having spent much of his youth traveling, as (his father worked for the Department of Defense), Carlson formed Earth in 1989 after meeting Greg Babior, Slim Moon, Joe Preston, and Dave Harwell in Olympia, Washington. The group's debut record, Earth 2, was released in 1993 via Sub Pop, at the height of the grunge explosion. Although at the time the music was in distinct opposition to grunge, it would later be regarded as instrumental in the development of drone music. As purveyors of low-frequency heavy riffs and slow-motion distorted repetition, Carlson himself referred to their sound as ambient-metal. During this period, he was roommates with Kurt Cobain, and in 1998 following the Nirvana frontman's death he appeared in the Nick Broomfield documentary Kurt & Courtney, which investigated the theory that Cobain had been murdered. Carlson later expressed his regret at being featured in the film.
After their third album, Pentastar: In the Style of Demons, which was released in 1996, Earth took an extended break in large part due to Carlson's personal problems, including heroin addiction. Earth returned in 2005 with Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method, which expanded the group's doom origins to include country influences. While continuing to record with Earth, Carlson began to sow the seeds of his solo project, which he'd record under the name Drcarlsonalbion. In 2012, he released La Strega & the Cunning Man in the Smoke. The record contained six cover versions of traditional folk and contemporary songs, including his own version of PJ Harvey's "Last Living Rose." Embracing his Anglophile tendencies along with his British/Scottish heritage, Carlson turned again to the U.K. for Edward Kelly Blues. The album's A-side comprised field recordings made around Waterloo Station and the Thames at the Southbank. The second side featured Carlson on guitar and vocals, and Robert Roth on Mellotron.
Continuing to work at a prolific rate, he looked to America to inspire his next record. Gold was originally the score to a film that charted the journey of German immigrants to the Northwest during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century. He followed that record with Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion (with Coleman Grey) in 2016, which delved into English folklore. The 2017 collaborative record Concrete Desert paired Earth with British experimental electronic artist the Bug, aka Kevin Martin, and that same year Earth also released a live album recorded at Jack White's Third Man Studios in Nashville. In 2018, Carlson returned to American influences for his first record under his own name. An avid historian, he was inspired by the history of Texas and Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain for the five-track Conquistador. ~ Bekki Bemrose
BORNMarch 12, 1968