Earthling Society is a brilliant newish band from England who sail the wild and deep seas of modern prog-rock. They have released two discs: “Albion” and this year’s, “Plastic Jesus and the Third Eye Blind” both of which display an eclectic virtuosity while examining such difficult topics as religions role in our lives and the destruction of the environment. Their long, dub-inflected and psychedelic songs are rich in texture, meaning and dynamics. It has been my pleasure to be in contact with a couple members of the band and in particular singer and guitarist, Fred Laird. His enthusiasm and passion for music, important issues and life shine through with each mail we’ve exchanged and it is my pleasure to present a short e-mail interview we recently conducted. To all readers, do yourself a favor, go out and get these two amazing discs. As you listen, falling down the mystic rabbit hole of sound, you’ll be glad you did.

1) How did the band come about?

Myself and Dave (bass) had been playing in a band for a few years unsuccessfuly trying to combine psych with punk rock and got pissed off with it totally. Then we met Jon (drums) in Dave’s local pub. He’d used to be in a prog rock band called ‘Isis’ that supported Genesis and VDGG when they played up North in the 70’s. He’d played in various bands but had not done anything for a few years. We got together for a jam and it started to develop from there. After about 3/4 months Jon said he wanted to start doing something in a kind of Ozrics style and call it ‘Earthling society’ and thats what we became. (editors note: for those not in the know “Ozrics” refers to the GREAT band Ozric Tentacles)

2) What are your musical influences and what current music do you listen to?

Can, Funkadelic, Ash ra Tempel, Cosmic Jokers, Klaus Schulze, Julian Cope, Blue cheer, Flower travellin’ band, Pere Ubu, Ozrics, Hawkwind, Brainticket Floyd, Camel and the 13th floor elevators (Roky is my all time favourite artist) Magma, Faust. Todd Rundgren and others…
Current music, well there’s not much to go at really. Queens of the stone age, Monster Magnet, Some Radiohead, Royal Trux, Comets on fire and Terminal Lovers’ superb ‘Drama pit and loan’ album which in my opinion is one of the finest rock albums of recent years.

3) What are your thoughts on the relationship between the current political scene and art/music

From a musical point of view nobody’s saying much, in fact they are saying fuck all. Im not saying we are revolutionaries but i think if you’ve got a vehicle to say something valid rather than telling everyone about last nights fuck the you should use it. However, i wouldnt like to ram lyrical politics down anyone’s throats, we are not prog rock Billy Braggs or Chumbawumba, We have seen things that we don’t like and we want to tell people that. There are some great bands especially in the USA like The Comets on Fire who get referred to MC5 or the Elevators but you arent given any clues to what they are singing about. Are they political? I dont know. Maybe they dont want to go down that road of wire taps and bugging devices. Me? im having my phone tapped right now!!!!