Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Inquisition: 023.Black Clouds

1. How did you came up with the name of the band? 

It just fit the was a dark period for us musically after our last band broke up. Although, we turned that negative vibe into a positive one by forming this band. 

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

There is a lot of experimenting with sounds and textures to form ideas. That said, there is often a goal in mind, either thematically or conceptually. Justin and Ross flesh it out on guitar, bass, and keys. Then Jimmy comes in with fresh ears and as a band we piece together the full songs with drums. 

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

Influences (as a band) for the most part are soundtracks, movies, and bands like Nine Inch Nails and Sigur Rós...artists who aim to perform on a grander scale. It's all about setting the tone/vibe and creating an actual experience for everyone's ears and eyes. That said, we all listen to a plethora of stuff individually and have a shared admiration for a lot of bands and artists. It would be tough to make a concise list here. 

4. Which is the one album you can’t live without? 

Ross: Either Aimee Mann - "Bachelor no. 2" or These Arms Are Snakes - "Easter". Very different, but both are just perfect and have a huge impact on me. 
Jimmy: Not sure. I guess Ramones - “Ramones” or Queens Of The Stone Age - “Songs For The Deaf” 
Justin: Pretty difficult to choose one, but Sigur Rós - “( )” is a pretty big staple for me. 

5. What’s the first record you've ever bought ? 

Justin: First LP was Iron and Wine - “Sea and the Rhythm” ( I got into vinyl pretty late - only about 5 or 6 years ago). The first ACTUAL album was probably a tape by Green Day or something in the early 90s. 
Jimmy: Wayne's World Soundtrack 
Ross: Tape: Metallica - "And Justice For All" CD: NIN - "Broken" LP: Sunny Day Real Estate - "Rising Tide" 

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with ? 

Nine Inch Nails 

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

YES! Knowing people listen to us in Greece or Russia is pretty crazy. There is no doubt that the internet is a huge part of growing as a band. Blogs, YouTube, bandcamp, and even torrent sites are crucial in reaching those places. 

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like spotify? 

Yes, definitely. Bandcamp really helps smaller artists out namely because of keeping a high percentage of profit from sales. Spotify is also a great service because it instantly puts a band’s music in the hands of anyone with a computer or phone. 

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Still writing the music we want in a way that is fresh and challenging. Also, hopefully working on film scores/soundtracks, movie trailers, and touring in bigger rooms with bands we look up to. 

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era? 

Yes - it totally is. It’s such an important piece to the overall work - especially in our case where we try to thematically blend visuals with the music and don’t use vocals to convey any message. It’s fair to say that artwork is a huge part of steering our writing/creative process. To us, we feel it's just as important today as it was in the analog days. 

11. What is your favorite album cover? 

Jimmy: Probably Radiohead's Kid A.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format? 

Justin: Vinyl is rad because it forces you to be in the album. You have to pull it out of the jacket, and flip it over. It makes you sit, listen, and focus. Digital is great, but in terms of really connecting sometimes vinyl is more engrossing. 
Jimmy: People want something tangible and something that's real. With download cards it also makes sense to buy vinyl because it's only a little bit more than an itunes purchase and you feel like you own something. You can hold it. I prefer digital and vinyl equally. It just depends on the situation at the time. 
Ross: I think playing an iPod in the car, on a treadmill, or walking is a way to give background noise or provide accompaniment to a task or activity. Listening to a record IS the activity. No fast forwarding, doing it to speed up a drive/run. The task is putting the record on, caring for it, collecting it, and listening to it. 

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band? 

Justin: Backstage right before we played the 9:30 Club in DC. It’s kind of a childhood (and even adult) dream as a musician growing up in the area - since it’s just such an iconic venue. So, right before and during our show - was just surreal - like WE ARE ACTUALLY DOING THIS! 
Jimmy: Headlining the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC with our friends opening the show. Dream come true. #1 Bucket list check. 
Ross: We have played some really amazing shows, but I think the first practice together with just the three of us in a room when we made it through our first whole song together as Black Clouds was a pretty refreshing and surreal moment.

Black Clouds recently released their second album "Dreamcation".

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