(FAQ) Version NINE - June 2002
The faq, section by section:
A1. How can I tell if this is the latest version?
The best bet would be to download it from the official site. This is the only website to which I am responsible for updating the faq. I am not responsible for any other sites having older versions. If you do find a site using an older version, then send them an e-mail about it, not me.
A2. Can I use excerpts of this document on my web page?
Of course you can! As long as you don't change it or sell it or do anything stupid with it. You don't have to ask permission, but it'd be nice if you e-mailed me just to say you were going to quote from it or use it in some way.
A3. Who maintains it? Are you a member of the band, their management or their record company?
My name is Matthew Coleman. I maintained and updated this faq. I must stress I was not a member of the band, their management or their record company. I am a fan of their music and do this out of the goodness of my heart. I have endeavoured to make sure that the information in this document is as accurate as it possibly can be. If you find any mistakes or inaccuracies or have any suggestions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A4. Why are there no images and fancy stuff?
This is the best way to keep the file size down and keep it simple. I could load it with huge graphics and crap like that, but if you want to see cd artwork and stuff, the best place to go is to the official site. This is the faq, not a gallery!
B1. Where can I find stuff out about earthtone9 on the 'net?
There are various sites where you can find information, tour news, tabs and various other stuff. Here is a list of them, starting with the official one:
www.earthtone9.com - Official site run by Ms Karla Sopp. In my opinion, this is the best earthtone9 site on the World Wide Web. It has everything you could possibly need from a band site, including news, bio, pics, tabs, the lot. Enjoy!
www.rigbyszone.co.uk - This is a great site with some exclusive mp3s on it. It also has a useful, up-to-date news section.
www.blowsmymind.co.uk - Fansite run by Gareth Rose. The design is a bit ropey, but the content is good.
C1. What's the name about?
et9 get their name from the Helmet song 'In the Meantime' from 1992's 'Meantime'.
Here are the lyrics:
Earth tone suits you
According to one source, the frequency that the Earth naturally vibrates at is 9hz, but this has never been verified by a member of the band..
C2. I've never heard earthtone9 before. What do they sound like and who are they influenced by?
I am not going to insult the band by comparing them to any other. Their influences are (in the words of Joe himself):
"Tool, Alice in Chains, Helmet, Metallica, The Police, a bit of Monster Magnet and some others I can't remember...". He later told me that Faith No More was one of them.
C3. Who were the members of the band?
At the end, the band consisted of: Owen Packard (guitars), Joe Roberts (guitars), Karl Middleton (vocals), Dave Anderson (bass)and Alex Baker on drums.
C4. Has there ever been anyone else in the band?
Yes. Longtime drummer Simon Hutchby left the band in July 2001 due to musical and personal difficulties. He became Vex Red's drum tech for a while and now is drumming in the band ninedenine. He is still suspected to be a big et9 fan, however. Richie Mills (formerly of Sunna) played a couple of gigs for them back in August 2001 just after Simon left.
Also, in 1999 Joe left the band. During this time, guitarist Simon Johnson was drafted in to write material for 'off kilter enhancement'. Joe rejoined the band prior to recording the album.
The band has also had two other bassists. Graeme Watts played bass on 'lo-def...' and 'off kilter...', while Dave played bass on 'hi-point'. Owen himself played bass on 'arc'tan'gent'. When Graeme left et9, they originally brought in Jamie Floate to play bass for them, but he only ended up playing a handful of gigs for them. Although he is credited on 'arc'tan'gent', he never actually played on it.
et9 also originally employed Iron Monkey's sticksman, Justin, before Si joined the band. He also recorded the band's first demo, which incidentally makes up four songs of 'lo-def(inition) discord'. Those songs are 'withered', '3rd ripple in (wove)', 'lo-def(inition) discord' and 'vitriolic hsf'. He was a permanent member, but decided to concentrate on Iron Monkey when they were signed to Earache Records.
C5. Has anyone guested on any et9 recordings?
There has been a couple. Ishmael Lewis (Liberty37) contributed vocals and lyrics to 'p.r.d chaos' and 'yellow fever' from 2000's 'arc'tan'gent'. Gemma Seddon (ex-Chasm) also played drums on 'ni9e' from the same album. On one show from the recent European tour with Fear Factory, their vocalist Burton C Bell joined the band for one song, guesting on 'p.r.d chaos'.
C6. Has anyone from et9 guested on anyone else's recordings?
Yes. Karl has provided guest vocals on a track called 'Unhinged' from the debut album by Landmine Spring, 'Elephantine'.
Also when supporting Soulfly on their European tour (late 2000), Karl guested on the song 'Pain' from Soulfly's 2000 album 'Primitive'. He sang Grady Avenell from Will Haven's part. He also sang Tom Araya's (Slayer) part on the song 'Terrorist'.
Karl also went onstage during LostProphet's Ozzfest set in May 2002 and sang 'five is a four letter word' with them.
Although not technically 'guesting', Joe helped to produce G.oetia F.etish 19.93's debut album, and I think this is worthy of a mention.
C7. How old are they?
et9's ages range from mid-twenties to early-thirties. Due to huge public demand (well, just Joe really), here are the band's dates of birth:
Don't forget to send them a birthday card ;)
C8. What's with the weird song titles?
Joe gave me an insight on the cryptic song titles:
"As you are by now aware, the song titles have very little to do with the lyrics or possible subject matter of the songs. Karl is very conscious of not putting any definite 'message' or view across in songs generally, and prefers to leave them open to speculation or subjective translation. The song titles are just a reinforcement of that sentiment."
Well there you have it. Make your own interpretations. I have.
C9. Had any of them been in bands before?
Joe, Owen, Graeme Watts and Richie Mills (formerly of Sunna, now drumming with et9) all used to be in a band called Warp Spasm, and Karl joined them when they became Blastcage. Also in Blastcage was Dave Malpass, now in Onedice. Karl was also in a band with stand-in et9 guitarist Simon Johnson that was called My Red Lung, amongst others, before becoming Chuamo Bridge. Dave was in a band called Saltburn.
C10. What did et9used to do for a living before they hit the dizzy heights of rock stardom (ahem)?
They have had an array of jobs, but the main ones are listed below:
C11. Where can I buy t-shirts, cds, past their sell-by-date condoms etc?!
The best place for merchandise would be to visit the mail order service from Copro Records.
I'm sure they will still sell et9 stuff for a long while.
C12. Any other interesting trivia/titbits/useless facts I should be aware of?
None of the band eat meat. Dave and Oz are both vegetarian. Karl and Joe are both vegan. Contrary to popular rumour, none of the band were ever straightedge. However, due to a ferocious debate (argument) one night, two of them went from being beer-swilling carnivores to vegetarians, and the rest went from teetotal vegetarians to beer-swilling vegan/vegetarians. Joe and Karl also regularly argue with each other about honey
C13. What equipment did they use?
Owen's main guitar was a Les Paul standard (using a Boss GT-3 effects unit) and backup was an old Peavey Vandenburg. Joe used a Les Paul Studio and an Ibanez RG540. They both tuned to straight C. They also both used Peavey 5150 amps and standard Marshall cabs.
C14. What are their favourite bands?
Owen's favourite bands are: Tool; Helmet; A Perfect Circle; Hundred Reasons; Lost Prophets; The Police; Carcass and Faith No More. Joe's personal faves are: Helmet; Pitchshifter; Foo Fighters and the Manic Street Preachers.
C15. Where and when did et9 play their first and last shows?
Their first was in Newcastle at the Trillians, sometime in 1997. Their last was at the Highbury Garage in London on April 14th 2002, in front of a sold-out crowd.
C16. What were their favourite gigs?
I'm sure it goes without saying that the Garage show would have been their favourite, and probably their least favourite, as well.
C17. Did the band make a living from their music or were they still employed?
They were full time musos for two years, but didn't make a living. They simply existed on the very borders of poverty!
C18. If they could have toured with any band, who would it have been?
Owen's ideal choice of tour partner would have been either Tool or Metallica. Joe would've wailed with Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters if he were given the chance.
D1. So tell me, what have et9 put out?
To date, earthtone9 have released three full-length albums and two EPs since 1998, with a DVD penned for an autumn 2002 release. They are:
D2. Have they released them on vinyl or cassette?
Not that I am aware of.
D3. Do the band have any videos?
Yes. 'tat twam asi' from 2000's 'arc'tan'gent' album. The video was made under the 'Nomad Pictures' name, and was directed by Stuart Brereton, and edited by Stuart himself with Kathy from Splice. Mike Crawford was the On-Line editor. It has not yet been commercially released, although there are promo copies to be found If you look outside and you see a blue moon, you might see it on MTV2 every now and again. Don't hold your breath, however
Also, a video for 'amnesia' has been made (also directed by stuart brereton, using footage from various shows in 2002) and is on the 'omega' EP.
D4. Have they released any different versions in the US or Japan?
All three ofearthtone9's albums were released in America in Spring 2002. Some say this might have been too late. I would be forced to agree.
D5. Any live bootlegs?
Yes. Rigsby recorded and put together a bootleg of earthtone9's headlining set at the Stratford Civic Hall in July 2001. Unfortunately, this was a numbered, limited edition, so it is no longer available.
Also, David Calder recorded their set when they supported Biohazard in October 2001. This is called the 'Scunthorpe School Disco Tapes'. Alas, I think this was also limited edition (I did not even get one myself!).
If you visit www.rigbyszone.co.uk there are mp3s from et9's performance for the Total Rock Radio Festival. Also on Flathead's site, there are live recordings of four of their songs from the Witchwood, Manchester (date unknown).
You can find mp3s of the London Astoria set (supporting Fear Factory) that were broadcast on the Radio One Rock Show at www.myoptika.co.uk. There is also a more recent recording of the charity show the band did at the Stratford Civic Hall. You can find these at www.rigsbyszone.co.uk/earthtone9.
D6. Any et9 songs knocking about on any compilation or magazine cds anywhere?
Yes, quite a few. Here are the ones I'm aware of:
*This is the 'hi-point' version.
If you find any more, just give me a shout. Also, if you know when Organ 6 was eleased, then give me a shout.
D7. Any rare/unreleased/remixed et9 songs?
There is a remix of '0...0...0...' that was produced by Nomad. You can also download this at [earthtone9|evolution].
D8. Did they record any demos before recording 'lo-def '?
D9. Are there any promotional copies of the albums available?
There are promo copies of the albums, but they're not available as such. Trawl used cd shops. You never know, you may get lucky!
D10. I can't find earthtone9's cds anywhere! What can I do??
Once again, visit the online mailorder service from Copro Records. They have all the earthtone9 releases.
E1. When was it released?
24th August 1998
E2. What's that on the front cover?
It appears to be popped bubble wrap over a blue background. No, I don't know what it's meant to represent (if anything).
E3. What's the weird writing on the front cover?
It's the phonetic spelling for 'lo-def(inition) discord'.
E4. Who's who in the photo on the back cover?
From left to right: Graeme, Si, Oz, Karl, Joe.
E5. What's that distorted picture in the cd booklet of?
It's the inside of a microwave, so I've been told.
E6. Who designed the artwork?
Karl designed the artwork for the album sleeve.
E7. Any other interesting facts about the album?
Yes. This album is basically just an amalgamation of et9's first three demos. The first demo contained 'withered', '3rd ripple in (wove)', 'lo-def(inition) discord' and 'vitriolic hsf'. On the second demo were '2:00:00', 'intonegrateattached' and 'cracked hands, dry face'. The third demo included 'leadfoot', 'sand (spiral/prophet)' and 'ever you say'. The most interesting thing is that they didn't even re-record them. They just stuck them together. Now that's impressive.
F1. When was it released?
19th July 1999.
F2. Whose is that house on the front?
I don't know, and nor do et9. Apparently Mörat knows. Watch this space
F3. What's that grey stuff on the back of the booklet?
It is in fact packaging material from a microphone box. I see a worrying trend with packaging material going on
F4. Who's who in the photo?
(left to right): Joe, Graeme, Oz, Karl and Si.
F5. What a strange dog. Who does it belong to and why does it crop up so much in this booklet?
Words from Joe:
"The dog was originally part of the house photo, and permission was asked from the woman who owned the dog (unknown by us, but known by Mörat) if we could use the image. Sadly, the dog recently died and the lady made contact to request a copy of the album, so she could have a permanent record of the dog's feature on the cd. The dog was used as a recurring motif as we just thought it was cool!"
F6. My cd doesn't start straight away. What is that noise?
During the recording sessions, they put a 4-track tape in a machine and set it playing backwards by mistake, decided that the sound was pretty cool, and decided to put it on as an intro.
F7. Doesn't 'shalom' mean 'peace' in Arabic? What does the rest mean?
'Uru Shalom Har Meggeddon' literally translated means 'Foundation of peace at Mount Meggeddon'. Here is some information about Mt Meggeddon:
"Standing on Mt Meggeddon, across the Jezreel valley one can see the city of Nazareth where Jesus grew up. When Jesus and his parents moved to Nazareth, Tel Megiddo had already been home to approximately twenty different periods of habitation built on top of the preceding layers. Countless battles have been fought in the valley below, the final battle foretold in Revelation 16:16 takes the name of this ancient mound or 'har' in Hebrew giving us then har Meggeddon (Armageddon)."
earthtone9 spell 'Meggeddon' 'Meggidon' but let's not that spoil the song eh? If of course if I'm wrong (as I well could be) and the spelling is wrong, do tell me.
F8. How do you pronounce '0...0...0...'?
It is meant to be pronounced 'three zeroes'.
F9. Isn't 'enertia' meant to be spelt 'inertia'?
I think you'll find there's a small thing called 'artistic licence'.
F10. Does 'simon says' refer to their former drummer Simon, and if so, why?
No it doesn't. It actually refers to Simon Johnson, who stood in for Joe during the 'off kilter ' period. It's an inside joke.
G1. When was it released?
April 10th, 2000, while the guys were on tour.
G2. What is 'four in four, three-twothousand', which is in the booklet, supposed to represent?
et9 achieved the feat of completing four songs in four days during March 2000 for the ep.
G3. Who are Shihad?
Shihad are from New Zealand. They are based in Melbourne, Australia, and have four albums. They started off sounding industrial; influences like Ministry, Skeptics and Bailter Space. Now they sound more metal-pop, influences like Radiohead. They have recently changed their name to Pacifier, due to pressure from the media and the industry following the September 11th World Trade Centre attacks.
G4. What's that weird illustration above the 'compact disc' information in the booklet?
It seems that it is a medical drawing of the inner ear.
G5. 'vitriolic hsf2000'. That sounds familiar ?
'vitriolic hsf' is a song that is on 'lo-def...'. This version is a re-working of it. I asked Joe exactly why they chose to re-record this song, and he gave me these comments:
"As is so often the case with our songs, they never feel truly finished until they have had a good live airing, and as time went on, 'vitriolic' developed like any other, adding a harmony here, a 'stop' there, slightly different picking etc We preferred the new 'vitriolic'so much more, and wanted to update it on record "
G6. Who produced this one?
Dave Chang. An interesting fact about it is that the aforementioned Mr Chang had precisely three and a half days to make it sound good. You can tell. ;)
G7. Why did they use that Shihad song anyway? They had plenty of good new ones
Here are their reasons, straight from the horse's (well Oz's) mouth:
"Well, we really needed to record that ep in a hurry and we didn't want to use more than two new songs, so we needed a cover. We didn't want anything too obvious and I had this old Shihadalbum that I loved. I played the guys 'You Again' and it got instant approval! I love Shihad (even in their more indie incarnation now). I don't think we did the song justice - but fuck it."
H1. When was it released?
September 25th 2000.
H2. Who's who in the back page of the booklet?
Top (left to right): Gemma Seddon, Dave, Joe, Karl, Jamie
H3. What about the picture in the middle of the booklet?
Clockwise from left: Karl, Oz, Si, Jamie Floate, Ishmael, Joe, Gemma Seddon, Dave.
H4. Who designed the artwork?
Ian Field-Richards @ bluemonkey came up with the concept, origination and design. If you want to contact bluemonkey then phone 0589 708972 or e-mail: email@example.com.
H5. Is 'tat twam asi' in a foreign language?
'tat twam asi' is a yogic term that means the ultimate sense of enlightenment. The literal translation is 'thou art art' and it refers to the answer to the great existential question - 'Why are we here?'.
'tat twam asi' is also a central textual theme in Herman Hesse's 'Steppenwolf'. In this it represents self-discovery and intellectual transcendence.
H6. That doesn't sound like our Karl singing on the verse to 'p.r.d. chaos' and the whole of 'yellow fever'. Who is it?
That is Ishmael Lewis singing. He is in the band Liberty37.
H7. How did he get involved?
et9 and L37 were on tour together and they just got on well together. I think that's it really. et9 thought he was a great singer and wanted him to sing on the album. Incidentally he wrote they lyrics to 'yellow fever', as well.
H8. What is that weird voice box thing saying at the beginning of 'star damage for beginners'?
It says: "The only way out was to fuck their way out."
This would be consistent with the lyrical content of the song. It is also sung to the tune of the death march.
H9. Who produced this excellent piece of work?
It was produced, engineered and mixed by Andy Sneap at Philia Studios, Henley-on-Thames and Backstage, Ripley.
J1. 'i hate corn nuts'? what does this mean?
This is the title that earthtone9 have given to the collection of songs that they recently recorded at the Fallout Shelter, courtesy of Island Records. The track listing is: amnesia; (house of) leaves; revelation. Although they have recently revised this list and swapped the last two songs around. The title itself doesn't mean anything, as far as I am aware.
J2. New songs?! Wow! Where can I get hold of this cd?
You can't. It has not been released. The band tried to use it to gain interest from major record labels. Obviously, this did not bear fruit, but these three tracks now all appear on the 'omega' EP.
J3. The song titles aren't as obtuse as previous offerings. Why is this?
It is open to interpretation. Maybe the band, due to the fact that the actual music moved away from their previous styles, decided that the song titles should change to reflect this also.
J4. Are you sure this is earthtone9? It doesn't sound much like them
Anyone with ears can tell that the band evolved and changed over the short time they were together.the change from 'arc'tan'gent' to ' corn nuts' was quite staggering, however. This was the direction that certain members of the band wanted to go in, but unfortunately not everyone shared the same vision..
K1. When was this released?
This was released on April 8th, although you could buy it at their shows from April 4th.
K2. Why has Dave got a Hitler-esque moustache in one of the photos?
He was dared to do it by Karl. Oh the hilarity... ;)
(Sorry there aren't many questions in this section, but the extensive liner notes pretty much cover everything. I don't know who took all the photos, sorry.)
Whether this will materialise or not is anyone's guess. The only information I have at this time is that it is set for an Autumn 2002 release and will feature one whole live set from their last show, plus lots of other stuff. I have no idea what will be on it, to be honest.
U1. I've never heard of these bands. Who are they?
Warp Spasm and Blastcage are previous guises of earthtone9. Warp Spasm originally were comprised of Owen (guitar); Graeme Watts (bass); Richie Mills (drums); and Jimmy Johnson (vocals). They released an album in 1993 called 'Beyond the Parameters of Resolution'. A year later Joe joined the band and they released an EP called 'Cranial Shift'. Jimmy Johnson then left the band.
Warp Spasm then became Blastcage and they recorded the 'Caged' demo with Richie on vocals. Then Dave Malpass (now vocalist of Onedice) and Ólan Parkinson (drums) joined and they released one EP called 'The Anasazi Factor' in 1996.
Both Dave and Ólan left to be replaced by Karl Middleton and Simon Hutchby. The rest - as they say - is history.
U2. Where can I find the aforementioned releases?
Ooh dear. If you can find them then you'll be extremely lucky. All of these releases are very, very rare. However, you can download some of both Warp Spasm and Blastcage's material in mp3 format at www.myoptika.co.uk.
V1. Where can I find out where et9 are playing in the near future?
err, they're not. they broke up. get wid da program eh?!
V2. Did they change any of their songs when they play them live?
They tagged on an extra part to the end of 'p.r.d chaos'. This lasted for approx (pardon the pun) thirty seconds, and has Karl shouting "raging fucking speedhorn". This is obviously a tribute to the band that have played many shows with et9.
V3. How many times did I see earthtone9?
Although this isn't strictly an earthtone9 related question, I do get asked this. The answer is nineteen times.
As well as doing numerous gigs with them, their singer (Ishmael Lewis) also made appearances on 'p.r.d chaos' and 'yellow fever' from 'arc'tan'gent'.
Sunna's former drummer Richie Mills used to be in a band called Warp Spasm with Joe, Owen and Graeme Watts. He also played two shows with et9 just after Simon Hutchby left.
Dave Malpass from Onedice used to be a member of Blastcage.
et9 have done a whole host of gigs with this Welsh crew. Also as mentioned before, Karl performed live with them one on occasion (See C5).
W5. Hundred Reasons?
Another band that Oz has made et9 fans aware of through the official site.
Pitchshifter are a band that et9 have toured with extensively throughout the UK and mainland Europe. They have been extremely kind to et9 by lending them amps, electricity etc when things (invariably) go wrong on tour for them.
Karl sang Grady Avenell from Will Haven's part on their song 'Pain' when et9 toured Europe with them. He also sang Tom Araya's (Slayer) part on 'Terrorist'.
et9 covered Shihad's song 'You Again' for the 'hi-point' ep.
W9. There is no question.
W10. Poland, Switzerland and Norway?
During 2000, they had problems getting into these countries to play gigs. Fortunately, this was sorted for 2001 and they managed to play there.
Karl, Joe and Dave all still live there. Other than that, not much.
W12. Forever Until October?
A band that played quite a few shows with et9, including the last ever show at the Highbury Garage.
W13. Fear Factory?
When et9 toured Europe with them, their vocalist, Burton C Bell, joined the band onstage for one show, guesting on the song 'p.r.d chaos'.
The band had originally cancelled all gigs in June 2001. They agreed to play the Civic Hall in Stratford-Upon-Avon due to the fact the proceeds went to charity. The organisers ended up making a loss. Ho hum, such is life.
X1. Are any members of the band embarking on future musical ventures?
Karl is currently shouting with Nottingham's favourite supergroup, The Blueprint. They played their first ever gig in Derby at the Victoria Inn on June 4th and have five songs finished. Karl expects something to be released by the end of this summer. The band also includes Matt Grundy and Mark Clayden (ex-Pitchshifter and current respectively), and Chris Billam and Will Burchell from Consumed. You can visit their official website at www.the-blueprint.net.
Owen has recently put together a side project called standing dead centre, which also includes Ishmael Lewis and Dave Anderson on vocals and bass respectively. Completing the line-up is Richie Mills on drums. For a short time Owen posted a couple of mp3 demos of songs called 'space between the trees' and 'cowboy song for lovers' on the et9 messageboard. They also recorded another track for that demo.
Joe is currently writing and demoing his own solo material with a view to recruiting his own band.
Alex continues to work with Leroy from the Prodigy's solo material and also he has started work with ex-members of Pulkas on a new band.
Simon Hutchby is now the drummer in ninedenine.
There is none. The band is dead.
www.skratchthesurface.co.uk - for the extract with Owen about 'you again'.
Kabir Akhtar (firstname.lastname@example.org) for my adaptation of his faq format.
Special thanks to Karla Sopp, webmaster at www.earthtone9.com, for hosting the faq and also unwittingly letting me pinch info from the site.
I always like to hear feedback, whether good or bad. Just e-mail me to the address above.
I have had help from a stupendously large amount of people with the et9 faq, which without their help would have been merely skin and bones. I am indebted to them and wish to offer the sincerest of thanks for all their help. Me being the idiot I am, I haven't kept a note of who helped me with what, but those that helped me know who they are, and I am very, very grateful indeed. Thank you.
As the band are no more, it seems a little futile to keep going with this, as most questions will relate to new endeavours. (this is about earthtone9, remember!) So, it is with sadness and a touch of regret that I bring this faq to a close. There will be no more updates. This is it, folks. Thank you and goodnight.
But of course, I cannot forget to give special thanks to Joe, Karl, Dave, Owen, Alex, Simon H, Richie, Graeme, Simon J, Justin and Jamie. Without these mere mortals, our lives would be much poorer.
EARTHTONE9, WE SALUTE YOU!