By Poppy Tohill
After the critical acclaim for their debut album 'Bliss Release' the four piece Australian alternative rock band, Cloud Control are back with the release of an impressive second studio album 'Dream Cave.'
I caught up with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Alister Wright on the phone last week, prior to the bands Australian leg of their international 'Dream Cave Tour.'
Beginning with a bit of history about you guys, how did you all meet and decide to form Cloud Control and is there a story behind the band name?
We all knew each other from high school and Heidi roped us all in together to enter a band competition, which we then lost. But that was about six years ago now, and since then we just kept playing together. We rehearsed at night and for about a year we never played in public, and then eventually we slowly began to start playing gigs in Sydney, and then we just started playing more and more. All of us were at uni at this stage so it just slowly built up over time really. As for the name, I should make up a story but really it doesn't mean anything, we just thought it sounded cool (laughs).
Your second album 'Dream Cave' was released just a few weeks ago now, would you say it is quite different to your previous album?
I think lyrically it is pretty similar. The songs are mainly about new experiences, girls and anxiety, but then feeling like that's all okay. I think the sound of it is a little bit different, this time round because we cut loose a bit more. On the first album we made the decision to just record as much as we could live and do it onto tape. But this time we just freed ourselves up and we used a lot more on computers and that kind of thing, which we've always been really into, but yeah we're kind of like 'anything goes' and whatever the song needed we tried to give.
How did the name 'Dream Cave' come about for the album?
It just came from the song really and we just decided to name it after our favourite song. We did try other names as well, but that was the only one that seemed to really link everything together.
How did the writing and recording process for 'Dream Cave' differ from that of 'Bliss Release?
The writing was definitely different because when we wrote and recorded 'Bliss Release' we were all at uni or working, but this time around when we were writing we pretty much had nothing to do for a whole year so we were just chilling out. We travelled around a bit too and wrote in different places. The recording wasn't that different. I mean last time we recorded in Jeremy's parents house, with a guy called Liam and that was really cool. Then we moved to Liam's parents house, where Liam's dad would always be there making is cups of tea and hanging out. This time around we had another producer Barney as well as Liam, and we just all hung out, so it was all quite chilled out. The main difference would be that this time we were just in a studio and living for two months solid with no contact to the outside world. Where as last time it was spread out over about 9 months, and we'd just come in after work or uni and work on the album.
Which track on the album was the hardest to write?
I don't think there were any for me that were hard emotionally, I feel pretty comfortable singing all of them. I feel like they're all pretty real. I mean 'Scar' was pretty tricky and we re-worked that a few times, but 'Happy Birthday' as well because we wern't sure if we should write a song called that.
I've watched the video for your new single 'Scar' about ten times now, It's incredible! How was filming the video in Iceland and who those that particular location?
Oh awesome, thanks! A really good friend of mine in England called Dave works on movies and he had just come back from filming in Iceland and brought the idea to the band of going there to shoot a music video and we were really into it, so we just rolled with it. The scenery there is ridiculous it's really, really nice!
So you've got quite a big touring schedule on the cards at the moment, how was your recent tour in the States?
The States tour was cool. I really liked it. The people were great and the shows went well, but yeah, we just want to spend more time there, because we were only there for a couple of weeks.
Which was your favourite place you played in the States?
I'm going to have to roll with a tie between Seattle and Portland!
What are your plans once the 'International Dream Cave' tour has finished?
I don't have any plans (laughs), oh wait... My girlfriend and I have actually just moved into a new place in London, but I haven't seen it yet, so I am going to go and check out the house. I feel really bad because she's there by herself, but I'm looking forward to going back there and just chilling out a bit.
Aside from opening for Weezer in New Zealand earlier this year, does Cloud Control have any plans to tour New Zealand in the near future?
Yeah! I'm not sure when but I think there is talk of us going over there to play a festival in New Zealand, but I'm not sure which one. So I hope that happens, and I imagine if we do that we'd play some kind of side shows as well. But it's definitely on the cards!
Wicked! What can New Zealand fans expect from a Cloud Control concert, when you guys do make it over here?
We just try chill out with the audience as much as possible. I try and imagine that we're playing at someone's house or in a lounge room and just talk to everyone and have a cool time. I really like playing shows and I just try and make sure that everyone else likes it as well.