the AU interview at One Movement: Cloud Control (NSW)

Fresh from recording the video for their first UK single “Meditation Song 2” we have a sit down with Cloud Control‘s bassist Jeremy Kelshaw and drummer Ulrich Lenffer for a quick chat before they perform at the One Movement Festival, Perth.

How was the response to your debut album?

I think it was good, straight up, very positive, and I think people are beginning to get us more, and understand more what we were trying to do with the album, and that kind of showed itself with articles looking deeper into the songs. Before, there were comments like “this album flows well as a whole” and that kind of thing, which is pretty positive.

For me I didn’t have many, or a lot of specific expectations, I guess. So for me it has kind of gone really well I guess; it’s opened doors, it’s been great because we dropped the album and did an album tour straight up, now we are doing a tour for a single, a lot more people know the words to songs that are off the album, but aren’t necessarily
singles.

Do you have a favourite song you like performing?

Erm, I don’t know… “Nothing in the Water” is going down a treat at the moment which is our current single, so that’s a good thing. “Ghost Story”, we always end on “Ghost Story”, it’s like a big thumping beat, and it’s a good way of ending the set on a high.

I don’t play bass in that song, the only song I don’t play bass, which is good.

How do you approach the creative process, how did you write the album?

Pretty mixed, there are tunes on there which are the four of us in the studio thrashing things out. Then there are tunes on there that Al, our front man, would kind of go away and write demos, one minute wonders and come back, and we’d flesh them out and write more parts, and flush out parts, and come at it that way – it was all pretty varied. The finishing process, with the rehearsing… it inevitably draws the strings
together, the whole rehearsing and writing gives a bit of conformity.

Did you aim to go out and write a whole album, or was it just a song at
a time?

It was more a natural progression of having released an EP, and going ‘Oh, what do we do now? Oh yeah, we have a couple of songs’; obviously we were looking to the future, which was the album. It wasn’t a concerted effort, not like we were looking at a huge block, it was more lots of little fragments throughout the year, just writing individual songs. You’d write, and then the polishing process would last a couple of months.

Any songs from the album which haven’t been heard yet, or haven’t been
released?

Well, it’s kind of funny, we have just done a clip for “Meditation Song 2”, which is the first song off the album, and we have done it as the first single for release in the UK. An interesting kind of approach I suppose, to release a fresh new track which hasn’t been released as a single here. So we will see how it goes. I don’t know if it will reach people back here; it’ll hit the blogs and things like that, and it’ll be posted on our MySpace, so people who are into us will find it that way, but it’s not like a formal release. But we’re not sure it’ll get any play. It’s a different sort of style. We are releasing it as the lead single in the UK, but we would never have thought of releasing it here. It’s got that more psychedelic, progressive vibe, whereas I feel like in Australia you need to have a poppy riffy sound to get noticed. It’s called “Meditation Song 2”; it’s got drones and psychedelic guitars, and walls of fuzz.

We had a song on the EP called “Death Cloud” that did well in Australia, we wrote it so long ago that we would put it on, but it wasn’t the same ilk, or same era. It’s a great song, but it didn’t make it on, but it might make it on to the UK release.

You played a few shows in UK last year, how did they go for you?

We have done two two-week like brief encounters with the UK, the last one was in July this year. Yeah, we did Secret Garden Party festival, we did the London Luminaires headline show in collaboration with Black Cab Sessions, which was really cool, and they are such great guys. We did a few satellite shows down to Brighton and Cambridge, that kind of thing. They haven’t been a raving success. But they haven’t been about that, they have been, I would say, they have been raging successes, because the whole point has been to get a label, and to be able to tour the UK properly. Those tours were never really about a real UK tour, they were a chance to meet people and to try and make things happen, and that is happening, so if you look at it like that… We haven’t got any radio play, we were just playing cold to people; it’s about talking to the industry and getting seen.

Who would you say your influences are?

That’s a really hard one. I think the correct answer is no answer; we draw on so much different stuff, whether it is intuitively or purposefully – definitely more intuitively than purposefully. We never really set out to reference any particular thing. We didn’t start to reference an era, a vibe, or anything like that. Everyone has really different tastes in music, and that all comes into it. But every time we answer this question, it’s always the same, it’s about the melody, and you can’t beat a good melody.

Are you looking forward to your set this afternoon/evening?

Well, it just started raining, so hopefully people can withstand the rain. We love coming to Perth, we didn’t get down to Fremantle this time unfortunately. But we love coming here, we ended up at Tiger Tiger last night, a kinda small place, it was cool, it was great.

What do you make of the whole One Movement set up?

It’s hard being an artist, we have kind of just flown in and flying out, we haven’t really had enough time to soak it all up. I am always a touch sceptical of these kinds of things, is it a conference or is it a music festival, and if it’s both is it neither? But I don’t know, Greg our manager is here, he’s doing the business and meeting a lot of people, and he’s saying a lot of positive things, so we can only go on what other people have been saying about that side of it. But for us, we’ll find out in a couple of hours if it’s stopped raining. It’s similar to the Great Escape (in Brighton) I guess as well, but with more people, a similar approach, and even that’s less uniform, any place with a liquor licence opens up to host bands, it’s like 300 bands in 30 venues over 3 days.

Anyone you are particularly looking forward to seeing at all?

We saw Richard in Your Mind last night which was great, we saw The Jezebels from the side of stage. I think Dan Sultan is playing tonight as well; I would like to see him.

Is he here?

Yeah, I think he is in our dressing room after us.

We’ll leave him a note.

Being on tour we haven’t really heard much about the festival, we don’t know what times people are playing. Definitely go and see Dan Sultan. But we are on the midnight flight out of here, we hate doing that kind of thing, but it’s more out of necessity. It’s been great to be part of it though, got some cool bands and great line up.

Any plans for the future?

UK, next year is the plan. So we are going to be living over there for a while and touring around the UK. Do the UK and European festival circuit hopefully. Just have to see what happens.

An album?

Yeah, if we have time. Probably try and incorporate the touring with writing.

There seems to be a lot of Australian bands moving over Europe way, with the likes of The Panics and Dukes of Windsor…

Economies of scale, it’s great to go there, but the move is coming from a place of, you know, ‘we want to do this full time’. Just going to have to make some sacrifices to make it happen. 

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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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