NB: The following was sent to Bido Lito! Second Class after weeks of chasing Mother Earth around for info. We know at least 60% of it to be untrue …
Bido Lito!: Mother Earth?
Mother Earth: We started life on the Isle of Man. There’s little-to-nothing going for the city of Douglas aside from a constant in-flow of warm winds and an abundance of crayfish tails. The venues are operated by tax-avoiding aristocratic motorcycle enthusiasts, and the Island’s other bands are stuck in a curious courtship with the U.S. ExPat line-dancing movement. In a flash of the seasons, the Mother Earth boys broke out of their Irish Sea time-loop and drafted in a third-cousin to stand ‘pon the left-hand-side, ripping on a friend’s Telecaster copy. And the rest, depending on which old myth you pay attention to, is recent ancient history.
BL!: How’s work on your album?
ME: We think of our tracks like rocks. We’re squashing down layer upon layer of ideas into each piece to create something solid and long-lasting. The record, as it will be, is currently in the form of our expanding/contracting ‘live set’. Our brainwaves for tracks tend to appear in lumps of two or three at a time, like shards of pumice-stone. It’s like this: a timeless fossil of a musical idea will be compacted under heaps of impermeable dirt, but we’ll sift through that and clean it up for presentation purposes. Once this process has been completed several times, you have a set of things that you’d like to ‘show and tell’. The ‘show’ aspect is obviously the playing of this material in a gig setting. The ‘tell’ part is documenting these things once you’re content with them, and is a little more intricate and complex. Like that scene in Jurassic Park – Mother Earth needs to be both the skeleton of the dinosaur in the lobby AND the live T-Rex that stomps through and demolishes everything in the way. It can be difficult, but with time & effort it becomes a song and dance.
BL!: How’s the Croxteth lodge ‘scene’ developing?
ME: Scenes are inevitable aren’t they? The notion of a scene will prevail, at the very least. They exist in and out of music because, out of convenience or otherwise, people tend to pigeon-hole what they know and what they don’t into genres, sub-genres, anti-genres, sub-quarks and the like. We are power-step, igneous-riff and conglomerate-rock, feel free to call us and what we do whatever you want if it helps you. We want to do just that.
The thing is that we crash-landed here really – put our anklebones in & intruded on a peat bog party. We put word out on a few web forums, months back, and received an offer from a bird keeper with a basement space. When we got in the gaff it was so tidy. People were coming & going, playing on a spoken-word record here, laying down a dubplate there. Everyone kept busy, and the ‘lights out at eleven’ rule really helped productivity. We’ve since shacked up in a refurb’d (en suite) changing room and the tectonic plates are really shifting along nicely. That said, the underlying theme of a Lodge being a place where old pals have bundled together in aid of a shared distaste for boredom can only be a handy environs to exist in. We wouldn’t like to give ourselves a grand title, because it’s just that. Back at the ranch you’re just as likely to hear Ce Ce Peniston as you are a bit of the Webber.
BL!: Where does Mother Earth come from?
ME: Many pillars of the Manx community are VAT-dodgers so there’s a tendency on the Island to ‘Google-proof’ the name of your company or firm, to throw off the Scotland Yard sniffers. So really we’re just taking the mickey out of that tendency, following suit with a band name that Black Sabbath traded under for a fortnight.
BL!: Is Liverpool better now than in the past? Was it any good then?
ME: When we arrived it was completely overwhelming, shocking and arresting – and now it’s even more so. Evolution takes a long time, so not too surprisingly we’re living in a time within which you can draw a lot of comparisons, because really, not that much has changed. Liverpool has a good scene and there’s a lot of variety but it’s been that way for a while, not all too surprisingly.
Over on the Island, there’s a gated amount of musical knowledge that gets shared. We were all pretty well versed on the tried-and-tested bunch – Cream, Rush, all that lot aren’t a secret. It was only when we got to these shores that we realised Mersey Beat had upped and left, the British Invasion had become a two-way war of attrition, and the decades had been unkind to yesteryear’s Power Trios. We had to ‘jack in’ to 30-odd years’ worth of sonic cavorting. Like in the film The Fifth Element where Leeloo gets up-to-speed with the history of human civilisation in a flash. And I can tell you, our revision sessions were not pretty. One dawn Jacob sat bolt upright behind the kit and memorably uttered, “I know kung fu.”
The tools for documenting musical goings-on (posh computers, retro-fit digi-cams, the information superhighway), are all too prevalent, but they didn’t used to be. Scenes are more extensive and looked at, as is the term. Time will tell if they really existed.