Cloud Cult Following

Kate Getty raps with the man behind the (cloud) cult.

Talked on the phone with Craig Minowa. He blew me away, first off, with just how simply Fargo his voice was. (Minne-so-ta.) I choked back giggles and totally had a chat with the Cloud Cult lead singer-songwriter, the decent, peaceful man behind this up-and-coming indie band (and Earthology Records, a nonprofit label recycling a shit-ton of jewel cases and greening all energy used during the recording process), these hippy-dippy kids with thick accents, coming to Austin for their South by Southwest "comin'-ups", with their new album, art on the stage, and a whole heap of love. Love, love, love.

Read the whole thing. This is just part one. We'll post part two this week. Craig kicks ass. Like, as a person, man. See him and the rest of the CC kids at the ol' South by, and dance like a happy hippie hippo with longnecks and all the damn pellets.

Craig Minowa … and whatnot. Part one.

Craig Minowa (Lead Singer of Cloud Cult): Hi.
Gay Place (the hairier one): Hello, Craig. I hear you are doing interview after interview, so thanks for your time. I hope it's not too taxing
(And this is where that accent totally kicks in.)
CM: No, it's totally okay.

GP: So, the band is listed as you; your wife, Connie; Dan; Scott; and Matthew, but I picture the band as your baby. You know, Earthology as kind of a Craig Minowa thing. Is that off?
CM: Well, yeah. Cloud Cult started as being as studio project. So with Who Killed Puck?, there was never really any intention of having a touring band. I spent four years on that album, and it ended up getting some interest from folks out there and whatnot, and then the same thing was they lived out on the farm, and I was just writing and recording for the love of writing and recording.

GP: While you were doing lots of other things? Or were you still pursuing your degree in environmental science?
CM: No, this was after I had received my degree, working in the environmental field, and in the evening doing music. Then, my friends talked me into doing something with the They Live on the Sun album, pushing it to radio and whatnot. So I thought, okay, well, I'll do that then. And, it ended up getting some really good play and some really good buzz. So I thought, well, maybe we need to have a touring band then, and that's when we really started adding people on and whatnot.

GP: You had many different occupations [among the list a stint as Barney the big purple dino at kids' birthdays]. Is this your favorite job yet? With Earthology's stance as an environmental and philosophical movement, are you finding your own? The new album feels like that; compared to your past albums, this one really sounds like you are more confident in the sound and the process. Do you feel like you are?
CM: Well, yeah. Environmental work and music are my two favorite career things to be doing and farming. I like to do all three of those. It's kinda nice to have a balance of them. Music is definitely one of those things that if I don't get enough of it in, I start to feel, uh, a little unhealthy. It's something I have to do, and even if I wasn't able to do it on a career level, I would still continue to do it.

GP: Where did you get the idea for Earthology Records and greening all of the energy that you use?
CM: Well, that started with Who Killed Puck? When I finished that, I realized that there weren't any environmental manufacturing companies out there that made CDs in an environmentally friendly way or as environmentally friendly as I needed it to be.

to be continued

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Music, Craig Minowa, SXSW, Cloud Cult

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