Interview: Cloud Control
Published on November 26th, 2010 | Jonny Abrams
Reverb-drenched harmonies slathered lovingly over sweetly psychedelic, shade-dwelling folk pop ditties: if that sounds appetising to you then check out the embedded videos below. Nearing the end of their first UK tour and with lauded debut album Bliss Release set for, er, release on these shores in early 2011, Australia’s Cloud Control could be set for big things if there’s an ounce of justice left in this vapid ol’ pop world of ours.
Rocksucker caught up with Cloud Control bassist Jeremy Kelshaw to discuss their relationship with label mates The Temper Trap, The X-Files, Sunday roasts and the strange story applied to the genesis of the band…
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
We get this question but nobody really knows. Obviously there are the sixties influences but it’s a hard one because, as soon as you start putting melodies in songs, people call it sixties! But that’s ok. Also, our recording techniques are kind of old school – we recorded straight to eight-track tape and went from there so there’s definitely the warmth there that people associate with recordings from that era. We’re all very varied in terms of what we listen to so it’s not like we go out there to make something that sounds like X, Y or Z – it’s just what happens when we get together. It’s a bit of a melting pot so people often give us labels which are very varied and we don’t reject any of those labels. We just take them as they come and do what we can, I guess. I didn’t really answer your question!
It’s an answer of sorts. Now, is it true that you all met at an audition for Pirates of Penzance?
(Laughs) What’s true on the internet these days? Who knows? No, it’s funny that that’s still going around. About five years ago, we needed a press release and we didn’t have a label or a manager or anything so we decided to make up something that sounded pretty ridiculous and, you know what, it’s still getting quoted these days!
It’s a good story.
It is a good story. So, you know, I’ll neither confirm nor deny it. Put it that way.
And the mystery goes on. Oh and I’ll take the same answer for my next question, which was going to be: did any of you get a part? Instead, I’ll move swiftly on to: how do you get on with your label mates The Temper Trap? I spoke to Lorenzo about the Ashes in 2009…
Ah, good, good. We actually met them for the first time in London, which is pretty funny. They’re really great guys and we get on like a house on fire. We hung out with them in Dublin, which was great – they’re just quality boys loving the life of touring round the world in a great rock band. It’s good times, that’s for sure! Yeah, they’re fun guys.
Has it been at all unsettling getting wrenched away from Australia to go and tour on the other side of the world?
Well, we’re going home in a week or so. It’s been the longest stint we’ve done on the road away from home. Next year is when it could well become unsettling but hopefully not. We’ll be on the move next year from March to coincide with the new album when it gets released. It’s hard being away from friends and family and things like that but it’s also very worthwhile – being on the road is great fun, it’s really interesting and you meet lots of new people so there are definitely rewards. It can be hard but it’s so rewarding at the same time.
How have you enjoyed your time in the UK? Any particular favourite or least favourite places and/or moments?
I have definitely enjoyed coming to the UK. Favourite moments…we had a Sunday roast at a traditional north English pub on the way back from Glasgow and that was pretty good. We all stumbled out of there with food coma, fell into the van and fell asleep for about three hours. It was amazing, massive Yorkie puds and all that. We’re all foodies so if you talk about favourite moments then it often comes back to food. That’s the way we roll! We also had lunch at The River Café the other day, near Craven Cottage, and that was something very special.
Your blog says you’ve been watching a lot of The X-Files on the road. Which is your favourite episode?
My favourite is when they go to the Arctic and they all get cabin fever and you don’t know who’s good and who’s bad, who’s infected and who’s not. But a group favourite is any episode featuring Tooms, the guy who can squeeze through any hole. I watched them all years ago but the others hadn’t seen it. It’s great ‘late night in the tour van’ material.
Finally, could you name us – in no particular order and bearing in mind they could change from day to day, hour to hour – your top three albums of all time?
Blur – Parklife. Muse – Origin of Symmetry. And I’d say Goldfrapp’s first album [Felt Mountain] – the one before she went pop. What was she thinking? Argh. She was hot, man! Then, all of a sudden, she went pop on us. Are people buying it here?
Oh yes, of course. Even though all of her songs sound like electro versions of ‘Spirit in the Sky’ now.
Actually I’ll go top four and put Portishead – Dummy in there as well.