IN THE SPOTLIGHT: THE EARTH AND I

Q&A with guitarists Dan Siew and Liam Zintz-Kunkel

09 June 2018 by Liselotte `Lilo' Hegt

Recently HeadBangers LifeStyle teamed up with the nice people of ReverbNation to give 5 new promising bands or artists a chance to extra promotion and exposure. We were overwhelmed by the number of bands that submitted their songs. Believe us when we say it was hard to choose because there were many promising bands and artists between them. At the end of the day we received 1250 submissions and reached almost 800.000 people. Now it’s time to put the winners in the spotlight. The fourth band we want to introduce to you is THE EARTH AND I from New York.

The Earth and I started their business somewhere in 2013 and since then the young five-piece is walking its own path through the progressive metal genre, creating enchanting music with great passion. Like many other bands The Earth And I had a few struggles finding the right person behind the microphone, but since female singer Kendyle Wolven stepped in the quest of the last piece of the puzzle seemed to be solved. Kendyle proves herself on the new album `The Candleman and the Curtain’, on which she displays a distinct, striking vocal performance that blends perfect with the occasionally joining cool sounding male screams and growls and the interesting musical canvas. Their music can be described as modern progressive (alternative) rock/metal music, which reminds of a band like Coheed And Cambria. HeadBangers LifeStyle is intrigued and asked guitarists Dan Siew and Liam Zintz-Kunkel a few questions as an introduction to the HBLS readers.



,,We like to experiment with unusual pairings of genres and sounds’’, Dan Siew

The main question is, why should people listen to your music?
Liam: ,,We've been asking that very same question from the beginning. The bloodcurdling vacant stare and glass-shattering scream we're always met with in response has left us truly humbled. We've decided to simply say that we put our all into our music with the focus to make it as unique to us as possible.’’

What do you want to achieve with The Earth And I?
Liam: ,,Hopefully to inspire those who listen to our music the way we're inspired when listening to our favourite artists. But we'll settle for a light spanking.’’

What makes you different from other bands in the genre?
Liam: ,,Probably our tendency to blend various genres throughout our songs and to make sure our music heavily reflects the story we're telling.’’
Dan: ,,Also, we’re a 3-vocalist female-fronted progressive metal concept band. I’d be impressed if you could find another band that fits that exact description.’’

Describe your music in 3 sentences maximum?
Dan: ,,The band tries to write music that takes the listener on a journey, melodically and lyrically. It can be dark, heavy, ambient, upbeat, fun, weird, pensive, and melancholic in equal measure. We like to experiment with unusual pairings of genres and sounds.’’

,,We had our humble beginnings as an environmentally conscious non-profit organization’’Dan Siew
 
You recently released the album `The Candleman and the Curtain’, which seems, if I am correct, an extended version of your release `The Candleman’ in 2017. Can you tell more about your brand new release?
Dan: ,,Originally, we were planning two separate releases: ‘The Candleman’ and then ‘The Curtain’. New listeners don’t always have the attention span to listen to an hour-long record. But we recorded all of the songs at the same time, and ultimately, it’s a singular piece. We wanted to give listeners the full experience as well, if they so choose.’’

How important are the lyrics for the band and what are they standing for?
Dan: ,,‘The Candleman and the Curtain’ is a concept record through and through. The lyrics begin with the story of the Architect, a character who wants to reshape the world. It doesn’t go as planned, leaving the Earth in a state of ruin. The record explores his consequent remorse, apathy, and grief. Though he possesses some divine powers, he is fundamentally human. It also touches on how the rest of humanity reacts to the new hardships that come with the post-apocalyptic environment. We plan to examine that subject further on future records.’’

It seems there is more than only music for this band. Can you tell more about the green and saving the planet lifestyle of The Earth And I?
Dan: ,,We had our humble beginnings as an environmentally conscious non-profit organization. When we realized we were all musicians, we made the unconventional transition to becoming a metal band. If one thing’s sure, we’ll always be progressive.’’

What made you decide to [also] release your songs through platforms like ReverbNation?
Liam: ,,To utilize all the opportunities ReverbNation offers. We’ve gotten a decent amount of interviews and airplay from the service ReverbNation provides, I think it’s an excellent tool, especially for an independent band looking to grow its outreach.’’

How important are social media and the Internet for spreading the name of The Earth And I and how do you use it?
Dan: ,,It can be difficult to stand out on social media. We’ve had the most feedback on reddit, believe it or not. YouTube probably follows that. We try to put out content regularly and devise creative new ways to reach our prospective audience.’’

How and when did you guys meet?
Dan: ,,Nick and I have played in the same bands since high school. We met Liam through a local Facebook group 5 years ago. We met our new singer, who we haven’t officially announced yet, through an Ouija board séance. We’re still not sure if she’s real or a spirit.’’

,,We also go through vocalists faster than Tesseract’’, Dan Siew

How far would you go for success?
Dan: ,,I don’t think we’ve gotten anywhere near close enough to success to know what shape it will take. We have varying priorities, so I’m sure the answer is different for each of us.’’

What drives you as a band?
Dan: ,,It’s the urge to create, to contribute to something bigger than yourself, something beyond the day-to-day.’’

Your biggest achievement so far?
Liam: ,,I think it’s safe to say releasing our album has been our biggest achievement yet, but we’ve got a ways to go before we’ll be happy with our gamerscore.’’
Dan: ,,We also go through vocalists faster than Tesseract. Not exactly the most positive achievement, but...’’



How do you get your live shows?
Liam: 
,,I usually set up our shows by reaching out to other bands we like, then when I have a full line-up I approach venues and find one that will work with us, it’s been much smoother than when we used to approach venues and let them choose the bands.’’

What can people expect when they come to see a The Earth And I live show?
Dan: ,,At the merch table, concert goers can share the secret password with us to acquire their ritual talisman of choice—usually an alchemy jug or ancient scroll. When we take the stage, we invite everyone to participate in a blood sacrifice. Unfortunately, no one has taken us up on the offer yet. But we’ve gotten people to headbang, so it’s a start.’’

What is in the agenda for the band the upcoming months?
Liam: ,,We’re planning to prep some videos for release, and create more content in support of `The Candleman and the Curtain’. We’ve also got something else cooking that we’re pretty excited to put down on the dinner table.’’
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Follow The Earth And I on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Google Play, Itunes, Reverbnation and Bandcamp.