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Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Thursday 1st March, 2012 8:28AM

Ahead of South by Southwest later this month, we are catching up with some of the bands we think will generate a bit of buzz at the 2012 event. Cloud Nothings have been around for a couple of years and have just released their third studio album, Attack on Memory, on Carpark Records. We caught up with Dylan Baldi to talk about the new album, what the band have been up to and what they are planning on achieving in 2012.

How did Cloud Nothings begin?

It started when I was in college two years ago. I was bored with school and looking for a way to use music as an excuse to drop out, so I made my first album and started the band.

What drew you to the sound you have been exploring?

The first album I made consisted of the first songs I ever wrote, and the self-titled album was the next 11 songs that I wrote, and so on. I haven't consciously been trying to write differently for each record, it's just a natural continuation of my improvement as a writer, I think. Hopefully the next album sounds different and even better.

You garnered a quick following via the 'blogosphere' and the internet more generally. What are your thoughts on the internet as a tool for getting music out there? Do you think it's a positive / negative eventuation for the industry?

The internet is a great tool for getting your music heard, yeah. Hard to complain about being able to find and listen to pretty much any song ever made. Though I don't really use the internet too much on a day to day basis, especially for music. I still prefer records and actual physical copies of music for some reason.

As I understand it you're from Ohio? Tell me a little bit about the creative scene in that city. What's the sound like there - is there even a 'sound' to speak of?

I'm from Cleveland, Ohio, yeah. There isn't really a "sound" that ties together Cleveland bands. There are (and always have been) a lot of good punk and hardcore bands in Cleveland, but there's also a bunch of great pop bands and electronic musicians and pretty much anything else. The scene here just tends to be sort of insular, or just consists of music that is more niche type stuff that doesn't reach too wide of an audience, like hardcore.

You released Attack on Memory recently. Tell me a little bit about writing and record that album.

I was just trying to write better songs. I'd gotten sick of sticking to the same formula for writing a song - I was stuck in a rut making the same song over and over for a little while. So I decided to try and make some stuff that was a complete 180 from the previous material, while still bearing some resemblance to what people have grown to expect from Cloud Nothings.

Reflecting on the finished album, Attack on Memory, how would you describe it?

Dark and honest. The lyrical and musical content is generally pretty bleak, but it's an accurate depiction of how I was feeling at the time I wrote the record.

Tell us a little bit about your inspiration more generally.

I'm just inspired by music that I really like. When I hear a song that I think is great, I tend to get excited and immediately need to go and write my own music. Bands that have had that effect on me lately are Husker Du, Wipers, The Raincoats, and The Pop Group.

What is the beginning point of a song for you? How does the creative / songwriting process start and develop?

I usually start with a guitar part, though for some songs on Attack On Memory I started with a piano. Then I just kind of mess around until I find something that inspires me, or that I think sounds good. It's a really natural process for me. If a song takes more than 30 minutes to start taking shape, I usually can it and start something new.

What are your plans for 2012?

Pretty much non-stop touring and hopefully recording some new material.