The Obelisk Questionnaire: Mike DiTullio from Harvest of Ash

Mik DiTullio from Harvest of Ash

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Mike DiTullio from Harvest of Ash

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I currently play drums in Harvest of Ash out of Salt Lake City. I started the band with our guitarist/vocalist shortly after I moved to SLC in 2018. We released a record last year that was recorded by Andy Patterson and have another record written. We’re looking for a new bassist and second guitarist to record this material soon.

Over the past 20 years I moved around the country quite a bit, mainly for work, but also in pursuit of a music community that I could connect with outside of the NYC/NJ area, where I’m from. Right after college I got a bit more serious about playing music (notably, perhaps for your readers), playing in an early incarnation of Maegashira in 2004 in NJ, before the band had a name. [Funny, because it was the drummer who ended up naming the band. -Ed.]).

As it is for many people, music has served as an escape and refuge throughout my life and something I’ve always pursued seriously. It’s also introduced me to some of my closest friends over the years. SLC has a powerful music community with a lot of interesting bands; a few heavier bands of note being The Otolith, Eagle Twin, Form of Rocket, Hemwick, Swarmer, I Hear Sirens, Iceburn, Hibernaut, NARC, RILE, Cult Leader. I feel privileged to see them play regularly.

Describe your first musical memory.

Listening to records on my parents’ record player at a very young age. “The Sensational Guitars of Dan & Dale: Batman and Robin,” “Captain Kangaroo” and “Sesame Street: Born to Add.” I still own these three records. Years later I discovered that ‘Dan & Dale’ was a record made by members of the Sun Ra Arkestra and the Blues Project. Heavy stuff for a four year old.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Seeing Soundgarden for the first time in 2011. I had tickets in 1996 but the show was cancelled and then they broke up six months later (that’d be my worst musical memory). Matt Cameron is my biggest inspiration as a drummer. I was lucky enough to meet him back in 2001 and talk music for a few minutes and he’s the nicest dude.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

I have a career working with rescue animals, and while I try to maintain the belief that people are inherently good, that belief is tested regularly.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I think most artists are in constant pursuit of a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. For me, artistic progression also encourages empathy, open-mindedness and is a way to connect with others genuinely.

How do you define success?

Trying something new. Going outside your comfort zone. Pursuing your interests. Creating something out of nothing simply to experience the process without being motivated by money or praise. Contributing something positive to the world.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

All eight episodes of the Rings of Power.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’ve been contributing some guitar riffs for Harvest of Ash’s newer material, but I’d like to put together more complete songs either for the band or a solo-project.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Simply put, art should evoke some type of emotion. Art should challenge us and bring people together at the same time.

I also like this quote by Jean-Michel Basquiat:

“Art is how we decorate space;
Music is how we decorate time.”

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Hiking, paddle boarding, skating, camping, and kayaking in Utah this Summer.

Harvest of Ash, Ache and Impulse (2022)

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