In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its widely discussed report on the status and future of climate change and efforts to halt the warming. The document — produced as part of the system confronting global warming that produced the 2015 Paris climate accord — outlines the desperate need for an “unprecedented” shift in global society before it’s too late. Without cutting off temperature increases, the world will change — to put it mildly.
Humanity stands on the brink, carrying the only barely metaphorical, crushing weight of the world on its back. Gillian Carter, an at times wildly furious noisy Florida punk band, operates in this space, distilling and examining what the hell is going on via their 2018 full length, …This Earth Shaped Tomb. Will this earth prove humanity’s tomb?
Maybe. In the meantime, what’s clear remains that this earth has already proven the too early tomb for large swaths of civilization. The very foundation of the “Western world” some hold so dear rests upon the bones of untold millions of people. Human social ecosystems vanished under the weight of conquest, and they still vanish via modern conquest wrought by interests like drug pushers.
Gillian Carter vocalist Logan Rivera explains: “What drove the record would have to be the unwanted realization of how incredibly horrible humans have been to each other since the beginning of time. Everyone ‘knows’ how crappy people are and can be, but going through history and watching the terrible evolution of humanity’s hatred over time is saddening — and for a lack of better words, shitty. The songs chronicle the incredible lust for money the pharmaceutical industry has at the cost of a human life, the greed early settlers had in the name of religion during the start of what would be America, and the dark heart of man.”
Explorations of these grim themes fit together well in the framework of Gillian Carter’s noisy punk, Rivera finds.
“There is nothing quiet about life,” the singer quips. “Silence can be deafening in itself. I’ve been told that all music is noise anyway. The noise acts as another piece to the painting.”
As for this particular painting, …This Earth Shaped Tomb began to come together during the writing process for the band’s previous record, Dreams of Suffocation, Rivera says. The brushstrokes the band delivers via their work match the themes down to the specifics, as he explains it, with lower and lower tunings scattered all over the place as one makes their way through the release.
Sadness and disgust — which Rivera describes as emotionally sitting at the core of the band’s work — remain chaotic emotions anyway, right? Gillian Carter taps into importance and relevance here.
Going forward, Rivera’s definition of relevance doesn’t hinge on obvious success. They’re not aiming to become the next big arena pop act here (obviously).
“I’ve already been working on material for a new release,” he says. “It’s something I’ve been working on for quite some time. With this current release much like past releases as far as accomplishing anything, I just look at it as another piece. I don’t look at what we do in terms of success anymore. I haven’t since Dreams of Suffocation and that record came from the subject matter of ‘looking for success in the arts or trying to turn something you love doing into profit.’ In making that record I realized why i started doing this band and got my head straight. I always say if anyone gets what we’re doing and can relate with the songs then that’s dope and truly means a lot, but I will continue doing the band for myself no matter what anyone thinks.”
Photo via Matt Valler
Listen to …This Earth Shaped Tomb below, via Spotify.