You might know Karl Middleton as the current vocalist of earthtone9 and Blackstorm or from his past work with Twin Zero, The Blueprint, or This Is Menace. However you may have heard him, one fact remains: the man is a powerhouse behind the mic. Over the years, Middleton has continually delivered impassioned vocals for a number of the UK’s finest underground heavy acts and he recently took some time to chat with Pop!Blerd about the return of earthtone9:
Why was now the right time for earthtone9 to return?
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR HAS BEEN BEING ABLE TO PUT THE DISAGREEMENTS OF THE PAST BEHIND US AND BECOMING A FUNCTIONING CREATIVE UNIT AGAIN. AS SOON AS WE REKINDLED OUR FRIENDSHIPS, IT WAS PRETTY MUCH INEVITABLE THAT WE WOULD WORK ON NEW MUSIC AT SOME POINT AS IT IS THE BEDROCK OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS.
What sets IV apart from your previous releases?
APART FROM THE LENGTH OF TIME?? HAHA. THE STRENGTH OF THE SONGWRITING AND THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL I THINK. WE WERE VERY FOCUSED ON MAKING THIS THE BEST ET9 ALBUM YET. THIS IS BASICALLY A FANCLUB RELEASE, FANS FINANCED THIS WE FELT THAT WE HAD TO HONOUR THAT TRUST.
This is earthtone9’s second Pledge campaign following the successful For Cause & Consequence release, what appealed to you about utilizing this format again and how do you see this as a tool for bands/artists going forward?
IT’S AN AMAZING MEDIUM FOR ESTABLISHED ARTISTS AND BANDS. THE ABILITY TO CONTACT, INVOLVE AND WORK DIRECTLY WITH YOUR FANS IS A TOTAL GAME CHANGER. I THINK THAT MORE BANDS WILL USE ‘FAN-FUNDING’ IN THE FUTURE.
Is there a favorite all around track from IV?
AT THE MOMENT, IT CHANGES EVERY TIME I LISTEN TO THE ALBUM. WE ARE ALL REALLY HAPPY THAT WE’VE MANAGED TO SAY TRUE TO THE BAND’S MUSICAL IDENTITY WHILST INTRODUCING NEW ELEMENTS TO OUR SOUND.
I GUESS IT’S A TOSS UP BETWEEN “SEA OF BLADES”, “OUR LAST SUNRISE”, “OCCAM’S RAZOR” AND “HARSH LIGHT” IN TERMS OF AN ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE BUT I LOVE ALL OF THE SONGS OR THEY WOULDN’T HAVE MADE IT ON TO THE ALBUM.
What are your touring plans following the release of IV?
YES, WE HAVE PLANS IN THE PIPELINE. WE WANT TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND PLAYING LIVE IS A REALLY ENJOYABLE WAY TO DO THIS.
Are there any plans to tour the States?
NOTHING CONCRETE BUT OUR BOOKING AGENT IS EXPLORING POSSIBILITIES. WE HAVEN’T HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY THE USA BEFORE AND IT’S AN AMBITION TO PLAY IN THE US.
Can you talk a little about the various projects the e9 members have been or are involved in (This Is Menace, The Blueprint, Twin Zero, etc) and where they stand today?
THIS IS MENACE FINISHED A WHILE AGO, AND THE BLUEPRINT IS STILL ON HOLD, THERE’S AN ALBUM’S WORTH OF GREAT MATERIAL BUT IT’S 8 YEARS OLD NOW. I’M NOT SURE IF WE’LL EVER FINISH IT. NEVER SAY NEVER THOUGH, YOU KNOW.
TWIN ZERO HAS AN ALBUM WRITTEN AND I WORK ON VOCALS FOR IT WHENEVER I HAVE TIME. IT’S KILLER, IF I WASN’T IN THE BAND I’D BE A FAN OF IT. HOPEFULLY WE’LL FINISH THE ALBUM SOON.
I AM ALSO IN A BAND CALLED BLACKSTORM, CHECK IT OUT AT www.facebook.com/blackstormuk
What is it like being in earthtone9 in 2013 versus when the band began?
IT TAKES A LOT LONGER TO GET THINGS DONE NOW BUT IT’S MORE FUN. THIS IS OUR PASSION AND WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO HAVE FANS THAT CONTINUE TO TAKE AN INTEREST IN AND SUPPORT ET9.
What is your proudest moment being in e9 so far (music, performance, etc)?
IV IS A HUGE HIGH POINT CREATIVELY AND OUR COME BACK SHOW AT SONISPHERE IN 2010 WAS AMAZING. OUR 2000 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SOULFLY WAS ALSO VERY MEMORABLE. IF YOU’D TOLD THE 17 YEAR OLD ME THAT HE’D TOUR WITH MAX CAVALERA ONE DAY, HE WOULD HAVE LAUGHED AT YOU IN DISBELIEF.
Why should people pay attention now and do you think that IV is the best representation of earthtone9 for new listeners?
SIMPLE DUDE, WE’VE MADE AN AWESOME ALBUM. IF YOU ARE A FAN OF HEAVY ROCK/METAL MUSIC, GIVE IT A LISTEN. YOU MIGHT LOVE IT.YEAH, I THINK IT’S THE BEST INTRODUCTION FOR NEW FANS, BUT I WOULD SAY THAT WOULDN’T I? 🙂
IV is out now. If you don’t have it already, grab a copy here