Sunn0))) talk about Earth and the robes (link courtesy Matthew Jones)
Meanwhile, Sebastian Roberts provides more of the Earth backstory:
Following the release of "Earth 2", Dylan Carson was left standing as the band's sole member. While working on the third album by himself, his close friend & former collaborator Kurt Cobain killed himself - with the shotgun that Carson had given him as a present. Needless to say, Carson was thoroughly rattled. He gave one more half-hearted attempt at playing music (the rote stoner-rock "Pentasonic", '96) and then disappeared into the aether.
Once Earth finally emerged on record for the first time in nine years, Carson had stripped his sound of the tidal distortion, leaving the barest sinew of minimalist American Gothic rock thumbed out of a Telecaster. This new Ennio Morricone-via-David Lynch sound stands in obvious contrast to the molasses-truck-in-an-earthquake groan of "Earth 2", but when you consider that both records were masterminded by a big, scary, trigger-happy redneck raised on death metal in the lonelier corners of the Pacific Northwest... it makes sense.
It was thanks in no small part to O'Malley & Anderson's encouragement that Carson eventually came out of hiding. From putting out Earth's new albums on their Southern Lord label to routinely bringing Carson & Co. on the road, the SunnO))) dudes are his most avid patrons. That Earth opens for their progeny is simple economics: between their buzzed-about label, numerous other undergroundbreaking projects (Khanate, Burning Witch), and semi-constant touring, SunnO))) are just more popular amongst the hipoisie & semi-interested indie toe-dippers. Pitchfork, naturally, can take a lot of credit for that.