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Pic by Carson Lund

INTERVIEW: Cloud

Hi Tyler, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you. I’ve been quite well. 

Can you talk to us more about your song “Wildfire”?

The first lyrics sums it up, “Every flame wants to be a wildfire.”  I think the same concept is happening on a global systemic level.  So I consider this ballooning of humanity and my own day to day and how I can see evidence of these behaviors in my restlessness. I wanted the song to erupt in an enormous flame. My friend Nolan plays guitar on it. He’s really great.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

Not that I know of.  But it’s interesting that in its release, we live in the wake of devastating wildfires here in California. My friend’s home was destroyed. 

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

What an interesting question because it was my first time on set having an all out panic attack.  I’ve been on set many times as director but never had this experience before.  Luckily, it proved to be a merciful experience because no one on set even realized it. Thank god. It was a ton of fun though, Josh Levy the cinematographer and Carson Lund the editor are great friends of mine and we got to have fun creating images that we found really evocative and immersive. I love the rhythmicality Carson created with the edit. What a genius. 

The single comes off your new album Plays With Fire – what’s the story behind the title?

I realize that this is going to sound not at all the way I mean it— But I’ve been coming to understand on a deep level our relationship with drugs. I’m not a drug user. I’m far too sensitive to the effects and use becomes abuse very quickly for me, so I’ve learned to step back. But “drugs” are also more abstract than how we call them. I think in Comfort Songs I began exploring the effects of love as a sort of egoic drug that can’t really sustain itself. Now I’ve learned that drugs are simply the ways in which we cope with the fires that drive us.  We try to mediate them all the time. This album is about that mediating process. Growing too hungry for love or too apathetic for work. The “real world” is such a series of games. Plays with Fire documents my participation. 

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was careful. I wrote this one over a span of three years so entire relationships and passion projects and jobs had been erected and disintegrated in its course. I wrote 20 songs and recorded them all in a month stint in Long Island several Decembers ago.  I decided to choose the 9 that best articulated what I wanted to say and had my great friend Nolan who I mentioned earlier do the mixing. 

What role does LA play in your writing?

I can’t tell if you if it does. I don’t think it does. But I guess the only logical answer is that some of my collaborators live here. So since they, for me, are apart of the LA landscape, they’ve influenced my writing greatly!

How has Yo La Tengo and Leonard Cohen influence your music?

Well YLT are very particular about tone and their recorded aesthetics. I wanted to be a bit more this way, so there was some experimenting in the recording space.  Also, I wanted to homage their record cover for I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One because for the first time, Cloud has made a collection of songs type record, rather than a flowing narrative.  I feel like Yo La Tengo gave me permission to create an album that is an assortment of sounds.  Leonard Cohen is more of a spiritual advisor. 

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Through intense self reflection. 

Any plans to hit the road?

Not at the moment. Hopefully some shows soon though.

What else is happening next in Cloud´s world?

I have a follow up EP on the way. It has a fun title and another music video I’m really proud of.

Wildfire Music Video: https://youtu.be/KA_32DnBh3s

Free Wildfire Single: Bandcamp / Soundcloud /  Spotify

Links: Bandcamp / Spotify / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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