A year on from the release of their latest LP Life Without Sound, Cloud Nothings are looking to the future. Scott Martin had a chat with founding member Dylan Baldi about their ever-evolving sound, their process in the studio and a highly anticipated upcoming Australian tour.
Over the years Cloud Nothing’s sound has changed and evolved quite a bit. Attack on Memory was certainly powerful and A shift from Dylan’s previous solo work. while in Life Without Sound it seems like you guys were going for a slightly ‘lighter’ sound. What made you want to experiment with a variety of different styles over the years?
I just don’t feel like there’s much point to writing the same type of song over and over. It seems more fun to always be trying something new. I get kind of a personal head rush when I make something that works in a way that I haven’t tried before, so I guess it’s just selfish really.
YOUR LYRICS often seem quite self-reflective and honest – ‘Stay Useless’ AND ‘Enter Entirely’ CERTAINLY come to mind. is lyric writing a therapeutic process or do you write to match the sound of the band?
I think it changes from album to album. For the most recent record it was definitely a way for me to sort through what was going on in my life, but Attack On Memory and Here & Nowhere Else were very much about other people and trying to encompass a range of things that I didn’t personally go through. Just sort of what I saw people doing and saying out in the world. And then we have two other records where I really don’t know what the lyrics are about. They’re just a bunch of words.
How did it feel to be recording new music with THE BAND after working with Wavves for No Life for Me. Did your process change at all after this experience?
My process got more insular, where I would have a totally finished song and show up to the band and we’d just learn it, rather than jam on it too much like we’ve done in the past. It was similar to the way we approached making our very first batch of songs. We’ve been working on new stuff and playing as a band a lot more often than we did for Life Without Sound…I’m excited about it. I think we’re making a really interesting record, with maybe some of my favourite songs we’ve worked on so far.
Songs like ‘Wasted Days’, ‘Realize My Fate’ and ‘Pattern Walks’ are quite long and seem to be reserved for quite late in the track-list. Why do you place tracks where you do? and do you enjoy producing and playing longer tracks?
Well ‘Wasted Days’ is the second track, actually, which is pretty insane. Long tunes are fun because it’s about giving things room to breathe without getting boring. It’s easy to make a fast, short song that isn’t boring, but to make a long, drawn-out thing and keep it interesting the whole way through is always a good challenge. Plus I like jamming. It’d be a sad day when bands don’t get to have their Hawkwind moments.
A few months ago, you released ‘Relief’ as part of a compilation album which benefited the Heart and Stroke Foundation. What does ‘Relief’ and this foundation mean to you as a group and can we expect more charity tracks in the future?
I had Relief sitting around for awhile as a little demo, and I knew I was never going to make it into a finished song, and the title seemed to fit the compilation’s theme. If a charity comp hits me up and I happen to have something lying around, I like to give them a song. But if they hit me up while I’m working on a record, I’ll be like…”I need these songs for the record, sorry” and just donate to the charity myself or buy a copy of the comp when it gets released.
You’re coming to Australia soon! It’s been a while since your last time Down Under. Did you enjoy your previous time in Oz? How have things changed gig wise since Meredith music festival in 2014?
I love going to Australia. We almost didn’t get to come this year, which would have been very, very sad. We need to go there to get away from the bleak Ohio winter. I don’t know if the gigs have changed much…there’s some new songs now. And the old songs sound better now that we’re a 4 piece instead of a trio. We’re still a loud, fast band. The gigs will be fun.
You just played a run of shows in Europe with emo kings ‘The Hotelier’ and before that you were playing with ‘Japandroids’ in the US. What is it like touring with other well-known bands and who would be your dream touring partners for the Australian shows?
It’s fun touring with any band, and every tour has its own flavor. The Japandroids tour was salted caramel. But yeah, dream touring partner in Australia is a hard question for me. Most of my favorite bands and musicians are from Australia. I’d say it’d be a tour where AC/DC headlines, we play before them, and Oren Ambarchi starts the show. Or we just don’t play at all and X takes our spot.
Your most recent album ‘Life Without Sound’ was released in January 2017. Could the Australian tour see the premiere of some new music?
I hope so. We just have to finish it first!
Fans are already eagerly awaiting the next album! What can audiences expect in terms of your next full-length release?
It’s shaping up to be moodier. Good for grey skies and being depressed. Which I guess really doesn’t make it too different from any of our other records.
Cloud Nothings tour Australia in February.
Thursday 22nd Feb – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
Friday 23rd Feb – Unibar, Wollongong
Saturday 24th Feb – Max Watts, Melbourne
Sunday 25th Feb – Badlands Bar, Perth
Tuesday 27th Feb – The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets from www.davidroywilliams.com