Bandless and budless: Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless on touring Australia under the influence of nostalgia

By Luke Buckler
Unbelievably Bad Contributor


Isaiah Mitchell is arguably the catalyst for the heavy psych renaissance; a man whose effigy is scorched into the cerebellum of any self-respecting freaked-out longhaired shredder from Traralgon to Tilburg. From his often mind-warping work in the incredible Earthless, to the low key stuff he’s done with Golden Void, Howlin’ Rain, and various other one-offs and side projects, the bloke is a legitimate modern guitar god. He’s a super sweet dude, too. He’ll teach you to play (read on for his contact details) and won’t hoover up all your buds.

Isaiah is in Australia for his Under the Influence tour, backed by Melbourne’s Seedy Jeezus, and hitting a town potentially close to you.

Have you done ‘Under the Influence’ shows before? How did the idea come up?
Not necessarily like the way we approached this, I haven’t. I love playing other people’s music, but to do a tour consisting of playing only other people’s music is new for me. Lex, who’s bringing me over and plays guitar in Seedy Jeezus, hit me up to see if I’d want to tour Australia but mainly play songs that I grew up with, and that inspired me to do what I do in regards to playing guitar. It sounded like fun, so I said why not?

What stuff will you be playing in Australia – any Earthless, or is it different?
I won’t be playing any Earthless stuff. We’ll be playing songs I’ve written and songs by other artists that mean something to me. If people are expecting an Earthless-styled show they won’t be getting that.

Are you working on any recordings at the moment? What do you have coming up?
I’m working on recording a first full-length solo record. Outside of that there’s gigs and tours on the horizon for Earthless and Golden Void.

Are you still giving guitar lessons?
I still give guitar lessons so if anyone is interested feel free to email me at Always accepting new students with any experience and desire to learn.

How did you miss out on participating in the Heavy Blanket/Earthless collab? Have you had the chance to play with J Mascis and Graham Clise again?
I had already confirmed a tour with Howlin’ Rain, and I couldn’t back out. It sucks when schedules conflict but luckily Graham was there to fill in for me. Earthless had J come on stage with us in 2009 maybe at South by Southwest in Austin Texas. There’s some YouTube footage of that gig. So much guitar, haha!! J invited us to join the stage with him in Boston opening for Sleep a few years ago. Always a good time sharing the stage with J. He’s awesome. I just hung out with Graham in Las Vegas. We’ve only played together on our side project called Dusty Skull. I sang and he played guitar though. He’s one of my favorite players out there.

Mario Rubalcaba said in an interview with Noisey that the members of Earthless “don’t smoke weed at all”. Does it bother you that the culture that culture that surrounds your chosen genres of music is kinda of intertwined with weed culture?
No, we really don’t smoke weed. I mean, VERY rarely and VERY little, if and when. It doesn’t bother me that people think that. I can see where they’re coming from, but it gets goofy to me sometimes. It’s just not my cup of tea.

What’s the most elaborate bong set up you’ve ever seen?
I’ve seen bongs you wouldn’t believe. Blown glass bubblers with 38 chambers in honor of Wu Tang and crazy colors. Some pretty impressive head shops here in California. But I know there’s someone out there right now about to up the ante on the most amazing bong.

Do you guys get asked about weed a lot?



Sep 22 – The Tote, Melbourne
Sep 23 – The Tote, Melbourne
Sep 24 -Beer Deluxe, Wagga Wagga
Sep 25 -Phoenix Bar, Canberra
Sep 26 – Beetle Bar, Brisbane
Sep 27 – Tyms, Brisbane
Sep 29 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Sep 30 – Imperial Hotel, Sydney
Oct 01 – The Barwon Club, Geelong

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