Cloud Nothings started out as the one-man recording project of musician Dylan Baldi and his early work was crudely recorded in his Cleveland basement. As a result of this process, his sound was rough and immediate, quickly finding an online following among the lo-fi-inclined. What followed was an unexpected breakthrough, 2012′s Attack on Memory, an album that very loudly announced the arrival of Cloud Nothings as the sound of more than just Baldi; writing with and for his longtime touring band – drummer Jayson Gerycz, bassist TJ Duke and since departed guitarist Joe Boyer.
The highly anticipated follow-up, Here and Nowhere Else, was released in April this year to critical acclaim. Here and Nowhere Else is the sound of Baldi further realizing his potential not just as a collaborative bandleader but a singer as well. As Cloud Nothings are back in Japan for a second time for Hostess Weekender, we grabbed Dylan for a very quick chat ahead of their appearance on June 22nd.
This is your second time back at Hostess Weekender; tell us about your experiences here last time.
We played two years ago, and it was great. It’s crazy to go completely across the world and still have a roomful of people who know the lyrics to the songs and are excited to see you.
What were the three things that surprised you when you came to Japan?
There are Denny’s restaurants in Japan, the food at Lawson stores is actually pretty good and I genuinely had no idea where I was or how to get around anywhere. I needed someone who spoke Japanese with me at all times.
What can the fans expect that is different this time round?
We’re louder, we play faster, and we’ve gotten better. It’ll be a good show.
How do you feel the new album has been received by the press and fans?
I’m happy with the way it’s been received. I’m glad anyone likes it, so to have the majority of press and fans be excited about it is a huge bonus.
Which track means the most to you and why?
“Now Hear In”; just because I worked on it the longest before it became a good song. I had the main guitar part in my head for a really long time, but didn’t manage to make it into anything until a month or so before recording the album.
Is there pressure associated with being such a prolific young act?
The only pressure I feel is pressure that I create myself, so I try not to think about it and just keep doing what we’re doing. If I don’t feel pressure, then someone else certainly can’t make me feel pressure.
Do you worry about burning out?
Not right now. I’m sure it’ll happen, and when it does I’ll just do something else.
What’s the first thing you will do when you touch down in Tokyo?
Go to Denny’s.
Cloud Nothings appear at the Hostess Weekender on Sunday 22nd June alongside acts such as Cat Power and Joan As Police Woman. For more information and tickets please visit the Hostess website.
Words: Mark Birtles
Translation: Sanae Shiromoto
June 7, 2014