INTERVIEW: Earthless guitarist Isaiah MItchell talks Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

Interview by Andrew Massie


There’s an ancient Japanese legend in which a horde of demons, ghosts and other terrifying ghouls descend upon the sleeping villages once a year. Known as Hyakki Yagyō, or the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, one version of the tale states that anyone who witnesses this otherworldly procession will die instantly—or be carried off by the creatures of the night. As a result, the villagers hide in their homes, lest they become victims of these supernatural invaders.

Such is the inspiration for the latest album from EARTHLESS. Titled “Night Parade of One Hundred Demons” and out January 28th via Nuclear Blast, the latest release from the San Diego psychedelic rockers is a return to what they do best – full blown instrumental rock containing epic tracks including the title track alone which clocks at over 40 minutes long! We talk to guitarist Isaiah Mitchell about the latest release and where the concept of the story comes from.


On the inspiration for the new album Night Parade of One Hundred Demons:

Isaiah: Well we just started writing the record, no thoughts, no ideas. We were just in the room playing for the first time in months and months so we just started playing and this music started coming out and we all had the same feeling of like, this sounds like the Japanese bands that we loved and that were the catalyst for Earthless. There was just something about the music that was coming out of us at that time that was like, this definitely feels like Japanese that are of our influences. So it was like ok this is cool, so we just developed the music more and more and I would say somewhere half way in between of us working on the songs at our leisurely pace, Mike [Egington, bass] came in and him and his son were going through Japanese folklore books because his son is very much into the Japanese folk tales and all that and Mike the bass player came in and was like, Hey what about this Night Parade Of One Hundred Demons’ and told us this story and it was like, that fits the music of where our music is at right now. And what it forced us to do is like, ‘Ok lets paint a music picture of the whole process’. So it turned into us writing the music into ok now let’s tell a story, here’s where we’re going to jump on. Are you in search of a good site to gamble on? If it’s true, check out this review on Royal Panda casino brought to you by casino specialists. They discuss all advantages and disadvantages of Royal Panda casino.

On writing an album around a story:

Isaiah: So the gear shifted halfway through so we start telling this story of this really peaceful village at sundown, everything is nice, everyone is having dinner and it’s beautiful serene imagery, very peaceful. Very major key musically, very happy and then all of a sudden, boom! The demon show up and that’s when the minor key and very dark kind of evil sounding music begins and then just starts musically explaining the rest of the story, going into town and people being very afraid, then marching down the street in their precession and just all hell breaking loose and I think everyone dies at the end, to me it sounds like everyone dies at the end. So it was fun to kind of latch on to an actual folklore story and kind of start composing to that, the music was already well started but it added something to everyone’s excitement of the song. It started to make more sense in a way that we had never really written before, we had never written a story that was composed to this idea. It was a fun process and something that we are very happy with.

In comparison to the previous album Black Heaven which was a little different for the band:

Isaiah: For me, and it’s something I discussed with the guys and was like I wanted nothing more than to…whatever the record that’s going to follow Black Heaven, I wanted to go back to our old selves. I want to do like the first two records which is one song a side on a record, all instrumental, no vocals, nothing and a lot of interplay. A lot of room for openness and improvisation and we just did that and they were onboard too, I think they may have wanted the same thing. That to me is what Earthless is, those first couple of records I think are our essence, that’s us and as time progresses it’s still us but we got more into doing something, breaking away from that just for the sake of doing something different and challenging ourselves for the sake of having fun and writing and playing music


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Earthless - Night Parade of One Hundred Demons