cloud cult

Six Crucial Questions for Cloud Cult’s Craig Minowa

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Cloud Cult is an interesting band. There are elements of traditional rock and roll, but give them a couple of seconds and it is clear that something else, something more is going on. You know what? Stop what you are doing, and watch this:

Bandleader Craig Minowa (guitar, vocals) pushes Cloud Cult into unexpected areas like carbon offsets, film production, sustainable farming, to say nothing of having painters creating visual art on stage during their shows.

Interested? You should be.

Minowa was gracious enough to respond to NewsWhistle’s “Six Crucial Questions” series.

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cloud cult 2Craig Minowa (fourth from left), with Cloud Cult

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1. What is your earliest musical memory? 

The living room in our house growing up is where we spent most of our time as a family, and we didn’t have a TV in there. The centerpiece was a piano, and my mom would play all of the time. I remember times when I was really young where she would play requested favorites from us kids, and my sisters and I would dance around. I think it distilled a lifelong feeling in me that you can make your own entertainment, and you can also sculpt your own mood by what you choose to create.

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2. What has been your most embarrassing musical moment?

We were playing a festival in Denver, and our set was right after the Dead Milkmen, which was a band I loved when I was growing up. At side stage, Conor Oberst, another hero of mine, was setting up. And we were surrounded by the gear of Modest Mouse, who was going to be playing later. We felt pretty honored to be in this lineup. It was incredibly hot on stage, so our computer gear started to fry even before we were supposed to start performing. We have backup systems for that kind of disaster, but even the backup systems were overheated. Vocals, keyboards, and guitars all run through the computers for different kinds of effects, so if the computers are down, we literally cannot perform. So we’re standing in front of a few thousand people with no way to perform. By some kind of miracle or luck, the computers started up just as we were supposed to start playing, so we were able to do the set.

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3. What do you like and dislike about touring?

I like getting to meet our supporters face to face and hearing some of their life stories. It brings new hope to me about humanity and about how good people can be. My least favorite thing is when I have to be away from family. Fortunately, we have taken our kids on most of our tours.

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4. What is your favorite record store, anywhere in the world?

Driftless Books in Viroqua, Wisconsin. It’s technically a book store, but they have a floor full of very old records that they don’t even have on display, and they do music shows there and are starting up a recording studio. There’s no ego around there, just good people trying to do something good for the community.

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5. Other than your own music, what is your favorite song or album of all-time? Why?

Mozart’s Requiem. Our first son, Kaidin, had a collection of albums, and he’d choose one each night before bed to listen to as he fell asleep. He chose Mozart’s Requiem the night he passed away. Whenever I hear it now, it brings me to a very deep place, and I feel like I can almost feel Kaidin just a few steps ahead of me.

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6. You wake up in a seedy Berlin hotel room with no recollection of the past 96 hours. Who is your first call?

I’d call my wife Connie. She knows me better than anyone, so if went off the deep end, she’d probably be somewhere nearby with a safety net, and I’d do the same for her.

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Cloud Cult is on tour right now, and the Seeker soundtrack (and everything else) is available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and hey, probably at the merch table at shows. Get out there.

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PHOTO CREDITS

Images of Cloud Cult Courtesy of Photographer Graham Tolbert

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Other Six Crucial Questions:

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