Shaky Knees 2021 – Interview with Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings

Out supporting their latest record, The Shadow I Remember, we had a chance to speak with Cloud Nothing’s singer and songwriter, Dylan Baldi last Saturday at the Shaky Knees festival here in town. They put on a great show and it was great to chat with him for a few minutes.

 

Atlanta Music Guide – John McNicholas

So your latest record, The Shadow I Remember, when did you record and write that? To me it feels almost like the first post-COVID record.

 

Cloud Nothings – Dylan Baldi

We did it pre-COVID actually, we finished it in February of 2020. Yeah, and we went home and that was it. Nothing else.

 

AMG

And just sat on it for a while to see what would happen?

 

Dylan  

Yeah, it just didn’t come out for a year, because what’s the point? We like to tour. I mean, it’s hard to do that with everything.

 

AMG  

What was that like, sitting on that record for so long?

 

Dylan  

Um, it was fine, but it was weird because we started putting out a lot of other music online that was newer, essentially. So the timeline got real warped and confusing for a minute, but now we’re back up to current reality. Yeah, so everything’s good. 

 

AMG  

Your website has the 10th anniversary of Turning On, it’s like new stuff, old stuff.

 

Dylan  

Yeah! Middle stuff. Everything. It’s all coming at once. Time has been demolished.

 

AMG  

What was it like revisiting a 10-year-old record in the middle of everything that was going on? 

 

Dylan  

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve listened to that record here and there throughout the last 10 years… But yeah, it’s funny, it just feels like a different person wrote it, you know, so it’s funny to hear that stuff.

 

AMG  

The first cut, “Oslo” on the new record, it starts with the lyrics:

 

“The world I know has gone away

An outline of my own decay

The body’s broke and the blood is warm

Is this the end of the life I’ve known?”

 

The first time I heard it, it just felt exactly like what was happening right now and to hear that you’d actually worked on it before, it just felt so perfect. So I played that song, like, 10 times in a row the first time I heard it. Oh, my gosh, oh, my… 

 

(laughs)

 

Dylan  

He knew! Yeah, no, no, that’s about a movie. That song actually comes from a movie called Oslo, August, and then like a date that I can never remember. (Oslo, August 31st) But it’s like a Norwegian movie, and it’s really depressing. Um, it’s about like, an ex-junkie who gets clean and comes out of rehab and just tries to have a life again and just can’t get it together and ends up dying. Yeah. Spoiler alert. So, the song is literally about that and then it turns out that’s somehow an allegory for life.

 

AMG 

When I first listened to the new record, I thought it felt a little bit different. It felt like eavesdropping on a band in a practice room, bashing things out, and then I saw that Steve Albini was the producer. It’s very intimate. What was that like, working with him, and did you really just bash it out in the room?

 

Dylan  

Yeah, we did it almost too fast. I think we kept him there really late the last day. I felt bad. But yeah, we kind of just played it until it sounded good. Everything. 

 

AMG  

When the new record came out last February, at that time, did you do anything to celebrate its release?

 

Dylan  

We did a live stream show from a venue in Cleveland called The Bookshop. But we had  recorded that already, so it was like, you know, we just broadcasted it. I guess that was it because there wasn’t much else to do. 

 

AMG  

Was that just a little strange to think like, here’s our new baby out in the world?

 

Dylan  

Yeah, I guess you know, usually we just go on tour when a record comes out but this just came out. We didn’t go anywhere.

 

AMG  

Speaking of touring, what do you have coming up?

 

Dylan  

Yeah, we have like a month after this. Pretty much.

 

AMG  

Where are you headed?

 

Dylan  

We’re going on a cruise. The Coheed and Cambria Cruise which will be interesting, and then we go West, then up, and then back to Ohio.

 

I just want to say, earlier today we watched Songs for Kids do their thing, and I just think that is great, and I really liked what they’re doing.

 

AMG  

Josh and that crew are amazing. They do it every year. Tim (Tim Sweetwater – Shaky Knees creator) is nice enough to have them play at least twice on the big stage every year and sometimes a bigger band will play with them.

 

Dylan 

They had a big band, well, it was 8 people or so on ukuleles. Well, yeah, I like that. If you can throw that in there somewhere. A pitch for them.  

 

Links:

Website – http://www.cloudnothings.com

By John McNicholas

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