Like many of the most important figures to emerge in the foggier, drearier strains of grunge, metal, and post-rock, Dylan Carlson is a Seattle native. In the late ’80s, Carlson founded the band Earth, which first achieved a surge of recognition with its 1992 debut album for Sub Pop, Earth 2. Carlson’s work with Earth in the ’90s helped define and establish the drone style of rock, which slowed down the fury of metal and married it with the tonal interests of minimalism. As the mastermind and backbone of Earth, Carlson has come to be seen as the father of drone. With more than 15 albums to his name, he has spent three decades exploring the sonic potentials of his guitar. In recent years, Carlson has also incorporated influences from traditional folk music into his work while also collaborating with fellow experimentalists such as Kevin “The Bug” Martin.
Speaking at the Red Bull Studios Berlin as part of the 2017 CTM Festival, Carlson looked back on Earth’s beginnings, the trials and tribulations of being an experimental metal band, and the worlds of sounds that techniques such as oblique motion opened up.