By Chris Bryson
On a slightly chilly 420 evening Stylus sat down in the patio of the Handsome Daughter with members of Black Cloud to discuss time on the road, their upcoming album, and inspirations along the way.
The show of the evening, aptly titled “Too Stoned to Sing,” to commemorate the festive spirit of the day, featured Black Cloud along with all-instrumental contemporaries Odd Outfit and Civvie. Each band, however varied in sound, felt momentous in effect.
With the upcoming release of their new album, Void, Black Cloud have been developing and refining their post-rock/post-metal sound. Darin Rudd, who plays guitar and synth for the band, says that “the first EP was kind of just us feeling out having three guitar players, having a bass player and drums. And it was like three songs but it was still 35 minutes long.”
Adrian Schroeder, another guitarist in the band, says that “even our last album had quite a few of those more I guess standard post-rock, kind of crescendo build songs.” But with this new album he says that it’s “kind of more aggressive, more pummeling. It’s much louder. It hits its peaks quick and there’s more of them. It doesn’t just have one build, there’s multiple. It’s more structured and more put together.”
Obvious influences as stated by Rudd and the band’s website are This Will Destroy You and Explosions In The Sky. But Schroeder says that for himself The Ramones, although not stylistically similar, have held an importance for him with regard to how he views their music and their approach to musical creation.
“That’s the only band that I really think had a longevity and legitimacy and never really lost what it was supposed to be,” says Schroeder. “Everyone knows who The Ramones are now but they didn’t really achieve the success that like The Offspring were achieving at the same time. But they didn’t really seem to care. They just kept doing exactly what they were wanting to do.”
Local producer, mixer, and recording engineer J Riley Hill recorded the new album in two days.
“We record everything at once,” says Schroeder. “The way that Black Cloud sounds on the record should, if we don’t suck that show, should be the exact way that we sound live.” When asked why they take this route, Schroeder chimes in saying “being in punk bands,” and the rest follow up his response with “and MONEY, money money money,” resounding in band unison.
Rudd says one of the benefits of recording together is that “it forces you to make decisions, where bands will sit on albums for years, and then they lose tracks or they add. Or they make Chinese Democracy.”
But even with this new album just coming out, the band is already coming up with new ideas and new stuff to do for the next one.
The band goes into discussion about how one of their show promoters once asked them if they could spot him money for beer when they were the ones on tour.
Rudd – talking about the show – says “it was interesting, like that show the opening band played like a police scanner, you heard everything going on in London, and then they had porn going in the background and they just played one note and played with their effects the whole time. It was crazy. It wasn’t… it wasn’t, good. It wasn’t a good show,” everyone laughs a little, “But we have a good story.”
Brett Ticzon, third guitarist for the band chimes in saying that “it was worth it in the end. I would have rather have done that than like, an okay show.”
Seemingly always positive, times like those are the kinds that bring bands closer together, and Black Cloud seem to be loving what they do.
Void comes out May 26th at the Handsome Daughter, from which the band will embark on their Eastern Canada tour.
5/26 Winnipeg, MB- Handsome Daughter
6/01 ThunderBay, ON- Apollo
6/02 Sarnia, ON- Refined Fool
6/03 London, ON- Foam Doam
6/05 Charlottetown, PEI- Baba’s
6/08 Halifax, NS- The Seahorse
6/09 Fredericton, NB- The Capital
6/10 Montreal, QC- Barfly
6/11 Toronto, ON- The Handlebar
6/12 Hamilton, ON- The Casbah
6/13 Peterborough, ON- The Garnet