For my latest interview, I got together with my good friend Dylan Baldi from Cloud Nothings and asked him a few questions regarding the past, present, and future of his awesome Cleveland pop project! Jump for the full interview.
The Noise Is: About a month ago, you got back from a bunch of dates with Wavves, including a Northside Fest date in Brooklyn also playing with DOM. How did the tour go as a whole?
Dylan Baldi: The tour was great. Nothing but good shows, the Brooklyn date being a highlight for sure. Also got a stuffed cat in Canada that was named “Santa Paws,” so yeah, good tour.
TNI: Did Cloud Nothings seemingly begin like your past projects (Neon Tongues, Cat Killer, Ponyta), or did something feel unique about it?
DB: It began the same as the old ones. I actually thought the songs weren’t quite as strong as the ones in the other projects, but that’s more or less been proven wrong.
TNI: So the story goes that you had the choice between your mandatory school project, or playing with Woods and Real Estate at Market Hotel in Brooklyn NY. What was going through your mind when you eventually chose to play the show?
DB: I was just excited that I got to play my own songs in front of a crowd of people who I could probably be friends with instead of playing songs from Indiana Jones in a school band with people who literally had nothing in common with me.
TNI: How and when did you record your debut album, Turning On, and would you change anything about right now if you could?
DB: I recorded it in 4 days, in two weekends home from school. I would probably spend a bit more time on the lyrics if I could have, but I’m definitely still proud of it overall.
TNI: Were there any bands in particular you were listening to while recording that were heavy influences on the album?
DB: In my first semester of school, I listened to Julian Lynch’s CD-rs a lot, as well as stuff like Vibes and Beach Fossils. Basically a lot of music that is lo-fi in nature, but where the style of recording is used to create an atmosphere instead of just noise.
TNI: Turning On was originally released on CD and cassette from Bridgetown Records, and on vinyl from Speakertree Records. How did both of those come together so quickly?
DB: Kevin from bridgetown emailed me right after I put up “Hey Cool Kid” on the MySpace and asked if I wanted to release something, so I said “sure.” I didn’t have anything else recorded, so I went and made the album on weekends home from school. Then Blair, who owns Speakertree, emailed me and asked if he could release it on vinyl. It’s really just been people reaching out to me, it’s really nice to know that people like your music that much.
TNI: The great press started rolling in early and hasn’t really stopped since. Was there a certain point where you thought, “Woah.”
DB: Haven’t had much time to stop and think about stuff like that! (laughs)
TNI: Your recently released 7” for “Didn’t You” sports a much cleaner but same catchy pop sound. What was your main motivation behind the change from fuzzy to clean on the 7” and possibly for the future?
DB: I just like the energy that a clean recording can produce. It’s a different type of energy than you get from a lo-fi recording, and I think I prefer it.
TNI: I saw an acoustic video for a song from your next album, whats the turntable looking like for the release?
DB: Most likely early 2011.
TNI: First record/CD/tape you bought?
DB: I really don’t remember, probably something by They Might Be Giants.
TNI: Favorite 90’s Nickelodeon show?
DB: Rocko’s Modern Life forever.
TNI: Favorite current Cleveland band?
DB: Swindlella, there’s something life-affirming in hearing someone drum that fast.
TNI: Favorite venue you’ve played?
DB: The bigger the better, honestly. We played the Bowery Ballroom in New York, wonderful sound and the vibe was great. Probably my favorite so far.
TNI: And of course, favorite Pokemon?
TNI: Lastly, anything lined up for the rest of the summer and into fall?
DB: Nothing for sure yet, just recording for the full length and touring on and off. Trying to keep my ear to the ground while still writing my own stuff, pretty much occupies all my time these days.