Following the release of their latest video for “Overgrown,” and their newest EP, Tongue Tied, out March 3 through Solid State Records, South Dakota-based metalcore band Earth Groans are joining us for a little chit-chat about their work, lyrics, pushing themselves to do new things, and more.
Since their explosive debut with the Renovate EP in 2017, Earth Groans has steadily gained momentum in the heavy music scene, with notable releases such as Rahab, Prettiest of Things, Waste, and The Body.
Their latest offering promises to be their most refined yet, thanks to the guidance of producer Ryan Leitru [For Today].
In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Earth Groans to talk about their journey, the new EP, and what the future holds for the band.
The new EP “Tongue Tied” by Earth Groans was released on Friday, March 3. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the title and how it connects to the themes explored in the EP?
“Tongue Tied” is a common expression for not being able to speak or not being able to find the words to vocalize. I was literally born tongue tied with an excess of skin under my tongue and if not altered I would have had an extensive speech impediment. This metaphor has been a common theme in my life. I haven’t always felt like I was able to relate or communicate to the people around me. Through music I’ve found a voice to communicate what’s in my heart. A common theme throughout the EP is using your voice for good.
Earth Groans has gained a devoted fan base since the release of their debut EP “Renovate” in 2017. What sets your take on this style apart from other heavy bands, and how has your sound evolved with each subsequent release?
I think our sound is a little more “techy” than just a standard heavy band. We mess around with a more “off time” feel. Over time we have added more and more structure to our sound. As much as I love the unstructured technique, bringing in structure has reigned in some of the craziness. I think it casts a little broader net.
The video for Earth Groans’ latest single, “Overgrown,” was filmed in a DIY venue and an abandoned cinema. Can you talk about the significance of these locations and how they tie into the band’s overall aesthetic?
The whole feeling we wanted to portray is the feeling of being abandoned and alone. Almost like a prisoner. We wanted the listener/watcher to feel the anxiety of being held captive and caged.
Frontman Jeremy Schaeffer has described music as his “voice” and a means of finding his true calling. How has music helped Jeremy overcome personal challenges, and what message does he hope to convey through Earth Groans’ music?
I think having a voice is a large part of leaving a legacy. A voice can be a calling. A voice can be a purpose to carry on and fight the good fight.
Some of our songs are the actual process of me working through hard things. In a way they are part of the healing. I hope others can relate and also heal along with them.
I hope our listeners can walk away with positivity, inspiration or hope in their heart.
Earth Groans has been compared to bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Norma Jean, and August Burns Red. How do these bands influence the band’s sound, and what other artists do you draw inspiration from?
I’ve always liked the organized chaotic sound and feel. It’s the tension and release feeling. A lot like a horror or thriller movie, the tension builds and releases. It keeps you on your toes. I also like to incorporate a heavy modern sound, similar to bands like The Acacia Strain or Knocked Loose.
With each EP, Earth Groans has gained more attention from the heavy music community and critics alike. How does the band approach songwriting and recording, and what challenges have you faced while producing this new offering?
I think the hardest thing (I think most musicians can agree) is not putting out the same record over and over again. We are constantly striving to push ourselves to do new things. I (Jeremy) write everything, so at times it can be hard to be objective. This is one reason why we hired Ryan Leitru to help with this record.
You have collaborated with producer Ryan Leitru on their latest EP. What was the creative process like working with him, and how did he help you shape your sound for this release?
Ryan is really good at offering an objective view. He really helped us reign in our “craziness” while keeping a unique sound. So it’s still the Earth Groans sound but packaged a little neater.
Earth Groans has performed at several music festivals and toured extensively throughout the United States and Brazil. How has the band’s live show evolved over time, and what can fans expect from your upcoming tour dates?
We actually haven’t toured Brazil, not yet anyway. Our performance has gotten tighter and our energy has increased on stage. I’m a firm believer in giving 110%. I pour it all out on the stage. We have a lot of fun, and I hope our fans do too!