Black Cloud :: A change in atmosphere


by Gil Carroll

Black Cloud is a five piece explosively beautiful instrumental band from Winnipeg that defy what it means to be a young rock band. Stylus was excited to have them perform at the 25th anniversary show in September, and was not disappointed by the three guitar onslaught. Our assistant editor had the chance to sit down in a Wolseley home with Adrian Schroeder, Brett Ticzon, and Darin Rudd who all play guitar.

Stylus: How did Black Cloud form?
Darin Rudd: Last year I had just moved to Winnipeg from Selkirk and was playing guitar in The Siffers. I got a text from Adrian that said “Do you like post-rock? I responded “Well yes, a lot.”
Adrian Schroeder: At the same time, me and Brett were looking to start a new band because Paincave, was in the process of going on hiatus when Nich [Paincave’s principal songwriter and now Black Cloud bass player] moved to Montreal. Then Nich moved back right away, but whatever.

Stylus: What were the early stages of the band like?
AS: Our first practices we were figuring out direction.  It could have gone a lot more metal or progressive, or mathy.
Brett Tizcon: Our first show was with Naysa and Kieran West at the Rose N Bee. It went pretty well.
DR: It was our first and last show ever that we used bows on our guitars.
AS: We stopped because it’s pretentious, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Which we don’t.

Stylus: Your songs are generally well over seven minutes, what is your songwriting process like?
AS: well we primarily use E and A.
DR: We just figure out some parts and bring them to the others in Adrian’s basement.
BT: Songs are written by jamming a part over and over until we find something we like. We all figure out parts ourselves and bring them forward and then we jam it for around half an hour until we have parts we like.

Stylus: How is Black Cloud different from other bands you have played in?
AS: It’s a lot easier to write songs and everyone is pretty confident in their instrument. It’s different than Paincave because the songs don’t have structure, these songs just go on until we make eye contact or go by musical cues. It works well. It’s a lot easier to write songs because you don’t need to worry about writing bridges, verses, and choruses. There is less thinking and more feel, you are free to improvise and do your own thing.
DR: It’s not just one person writing the music we all have our fingers in it. It is a lot more communal and everyone has a say in the songs.
BT: I can think less while playing and just feel it.

Stylus: What are your plans for recording?
AS: We will record drums and guitar and synth together because we can’t do it in separate sections or the traditional studio recording because everything is so much based on what other people are doing. We will probably add some background stuff and experiment while recording. We’d like to have the songs blend together and write some interludes.
BT: Definitely willing to do some experimenting with layering.

Stylus: Who are your greatest musical influences?
BT: This Will Destroy You. And I just realized that a lot of my leads sound like the leads in A Great Big Pile of Leaves.
AS: Brett sounds like Buckethead, bluesy and gritty. I like post-rock and shoegaze and jazz fusion mixed with the punk rock volume and intensity with some musicianship thrown in. It’s more about the attitude than the actual music for me. My guitar style is like playing drums on the guitar.
DR: There is one interview I read when I was 15 with Dean Ween from Ween. Dean said “Don’t think about the guitar like a guitar, think about it the same way a trumpet player or sax player would do it, or play like a rapper would rhyme.” I try to just make it sound like not a guitar most of the time.  You don’t have to play all the way through or solo all the time you can just find where it fits in best. We are not a shred band, we don’t need to do that. Were not Iron Maiden, we don’t want to have so much going on.
BT:  Not yet.

Check out Black Cloud live at the Good Will Social Club this Friday, January 16th with guests Palm Trees and Slow Spirit. $10 at the door with a free EP for the first 20 people through the door.