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Interview: Cloud Control


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Now residents in London, Australia’s Cloud Control’s career has hit a sky-ward trajectory of late. Support slots with the likes of Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, The Magic Numbers, The Temper Trap and with winning the Australian Music Prize, it is safe to say people are starting to notice the antipodean alt-rock group’s talents.

Cloud ControlTNS caught up with drummer Ulrich Lenffer…

TNS: You’re music is seen as optimistic by your fans. In previous interviews you have said they come from a place of confusion and frustration. Do you always get surprised by the final product and do all your songs turn out the way you intended them to?

Ulrich Lenffer: “Half the songs might have had tinges of that but they’re definitely not confused or frustrated. We don’t set out for a vibe to a song and you’ll probably have to talk to Al (lead vocalist) in regards to specific songs. He wrote the songs and I suppose it comes from where you’re at and they’re all a pretty standard creative situation.”

TNS: So in that sense do you always figure out what you want by the end or do you just go with the flow?

U: “You really are directed by creative sparks. If it’s coming from a happy place it’s going to be happy and if it’s from a frustrated place it’s going to come from there. We’re generally happy people so we don’t write stuff that’s too dark.”

TNS: You recorded on tapes too. Was this awkward and more difficult to work with than digital methods?

U: “It’s more to do with getting everything right. There’s no editing or post production on drums. You’ve got to put them down correctly and you’ve got to keep going and get them right. The end product is what we wanted.”

TNS: Did the decision to use this method come straight away or gradually?

U: “The guy we worked with was a friend and did everything analogue. We heard a few of his recordings and really love them. It was more by chance I guess than a complete deliberate decision.”

TNS: Are you trying any different methods for your next recordings?

U: “We wrote those songs in a basement so it was quite organic. We didn’t use drum samples or whatever. It depends on the songs and what the vibe is and also budget restrictions. They all get taken into account.”

TNS: You’ve won the Australian Music Prize and you’ve gone quite far as well. Has added more pressure for your next batch of songs?

U: “I don’t think so. It’s a nice accolade and recognition. I don’t feel the pressure to live up to it. It hasn’t added any expectations.”

TNS: Your next UK Tour also looks quite big. Are you nervous and how do you expect that to go?

U: “We’ve done a couple of tours already but we know what to expect. There’ll be some slow shows but we’re looking forward to it and getting back on the road.”

TNS: Is there anything in England you haven’t done yet that you’d like to?

U: “Plenty of stuff. I haven’t seen much in a tourist sense. I haven’t really thought about it. We’ve been too busy at the moment.”

TNS: Are you guys still living in the UK? How does it compare to being back at home?

U: “It’s quite similar. London’s much bigger and much older. In terms of the vibe and the actual physical landscape, it’s quite similar to Sydney. Sydney’s more laid back which is the most obvious difference. “

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