-Interview- Who On Earth (1/5/23)

Who On Earth talks about their groove oriented sound, upcoming plans and much more.


From: New Jersey
Sounds like: Rock/Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Who On Earth" and is there any meaning behind it?

Who on Earth was formed by me and Coosh, our lead singer. We were playing in cover and tribute bands performing other artists music for years and decided that it was time to write our own songs. We weren’t hearing any new music that offered good groove and melody. So much of what we were hearing was very similar and the time was right to create our own music. We felt that the hard rock of the 80s and 90s desperately needed to be brought back but with a modern production and sound.

I came up with the name after an extensive (and frustrating) search to find a name that wasn’t taken. I was shocked that it was available so maybe it was destined for us to use. The name Who on Earth is essentially the beginning of an open-ended question that people can fill in as they wish and one that allows us a big umbrella of what we can write about and what genres we can explore. “Who on earth will finally do something to protect our environment?” “Who on earth will stand up for the little guy that is getting screwed daily by the combination of inflation and low wage growth?” But most importantly from the perspective of the band, “Who on earth will bring back the good hard rock music of old with its catchy choruses, solid musicianship, thoughtful lyrics and yes…the guitar solo? Well, we hope that our music will answer that question!

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

We really want people to be moved by the music especially the hard groove that’s in most of our songs. At the same time, we want people to be stimulated, disturbed, or intrigued (or all of the above) by the lyrics. We feel that lyrical content is critical and if we get the music and lyrics to be original and thought provoking then we’ve done what we set out to do.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Man, we’ve been compared to so many bands which is indicative of how our many influences have shone through. Part of the reason for that is that all 10 songs are very different from each other. You get whiffs of Alice in Chains, Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sabbath, Maiden, Anthrax and more. Coosh’s vocals have been compared to Tate, Halford, Rob Zombie. I mean it’s all over the map which again is because every song is unique and Coosh’s voice is unique. Bottom line is we have been called “throwback” and we’re totally fine with that label. If you like 80s metal and 90s hard rock we’re your band!

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

If I can dream a little dream here I would say Maiden would be my #1. I mean, I would just want to hang out with them all day, every day. I grew up them (and Eddie of course) and Steve Harris is why I picked up the bass so touring with them would be incredible. I would probably annoy them and get us kicked off the tour though. Ha. Second would be Rival Sons. Coosh and I love them, and we could watch Jay Buchanan sing all day long man and their band is just amazing. Third would be Godsmack. I think we would be a great opener for them, and I am a huge fan of everything Sully has done throughout his entire career.

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

Covid had a big impact on the recording of ‘BLAME.’ We were constantly delayed, sometimes for weeks at a time due to contracted cases and direct contact with afflicted people. But in hindsight, the impact turned out to be positive because it gave us intervals of time in between sessions to sit with the songs as they were progressing which led to some important fine tuning and layering that I don’t think we would have done if not for the forced delays. Luckily, we are in full gig mode now and the world has opened up so thankfully we weren’t hurt by it all that much as a band.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock/Metal?

Here's where I usually get myself into trouble. I think a lot of rock/metal lacks melody and groove. It’s gotten shallow and lazy as far as creativity both musically and lyrically. Tune down, scream your verses as loudly as you can, glide into a softer chorus, rinse and repeat. Talk about how much the world sucks and how nobody loves you and tell us that you’re pissed off and having a bad day. Man, it’s so old. But it can get you airplay, festival shows and a tour with other similar sounding bands. And that is because certain radio programs have influenced how artists make music. If you don’t fit the formula or you’re not an established band releasing a new album, then it will be very difficult to be discovered. There are very few platforms on satellite or traditional rock radio for new, independent bands in hard rock. One of the best albums of the year was Ozzy’s latest and it is exactly what Ozzy has done his entire career. Write great songs with melody and musicianship and he proved that it still works. It sells so its what a lot of people still want!

7. What's the current music scene like there in New Jersey?

Here in NJ many of the smaller local venues that hosted original bands never returned after the devastation of the COVID lockdowns. In addition, cover and tribute bands are what people want to see these days and that’s where many of the talented musicians end up because they can make some money and actually play to a crowd. We’re going to continue to do everything we can to try to change that. We have some incredible local original bands here and we will continue to partner with them to put on our own shows and give the scene a good kick in the ass! Promoters are struggling as well. We need to work together so that we can all get our beaks wet and do our thing.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

I wouldn’t know, we haven’t gotten any! Ha. Unfortunately, I think bands have accepted the reality that money can only be made by touring these days, but inflation is having something to say about that isn’t it? You end up giving your music away for free, hope you can build enough of a following that you can draw a crowd or get picked up for a tour and then rely on selling merchandise. I don’t think anyone is getting rich except for Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and maybe the RHCP. Oh and Metallica. Thank God we’re not in this for the money!

9. What’s next for Who On Earth?

Right now, it’s all about promoting the album which came out on 10/28/22. We ultimately want to have a video, whether it be lyric, live or narrative, for every song and we have a few in the pipeline that we will dribble out. We are also looking to gig as much as we can because our live show really brings out the harder edge of our songs and that is where you really build your following in a real way. We are constantly writing and probably have enough material for album #2! We want to be a band that puts out a new album every year. Like in the old days!

10. Any shoutouts?

First and foremost, I need to mention and thank Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob) or as we call him “The Maestro.” Not only has he become a good friend, but he also produced, mixed, engineered and mastered ‘BLAME’ at his Sonic Stomp Studio in NY, NY. He was the guest guitarist on the album and did just a mind-blowing job on every song. It’s truly amazing how he can play any and every style and always knows the exact feel of the song. It’s not surprising as he was the principal writer in Adrenaline Mob. Mike helped and continues to help this band with solid advice and friendship. We can’t thank him enough. Other than that, a huge shout out to God, our families and friends and for rock and metal! Thank you FTD! This was fun to write.