Cloud (aka Tyler Taormina and friends) returns with his new album Plays With Fire on Audio Antihero this month, its the follow up to 2013’s epic Comfort Songs.
Spanning nine songs and 32 minutes it deftly merges wide-eyed naïveté and meditations over a tapestry of homespun soundscapes. We sent Cloud aka Tyler 20 Questions, read his answers below;
Hi, how are you today and what’s the weather like?
Hey, it’s a pretty hectic day for me. This past two weeks have been wild.
Where did the name Cloud come from?
When I was younger I fell in love with one of my closest friends and her childhood nickname was Cloud. I stole it from her without ever telling.
How do most of your songs start life? A piano part? A chord? Or melody?
Always as a melody that comes when I’m not thinking about writing songs or anything at all. Just automatically in the day.
Have you ever been starstruck?
Yes I have. When I was a little kid I was starstruck all the time. Every show I went to from local bands in town to touring bands like The Movielife or Good Charlotte, they all struck me.
The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?
No comment haha.
Do you have any pets?
No I do not. I feel like me becoming a pet owner will be the mark of a completely new chapter in my life, one that feels very far from me right now.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
I honestly have no idea. I can only picture a garden or a sanctuary of some sort where I’d spend my time, far from the cities. Maybe I would take up being a monk? Or I could try to own an independent movie theater in some small city. Who knows.
What’s your favourite book?
I don’t really have a single favorite. Also I’d find it too hard to separate the non-fiction from the fiction. I do love The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
What were you like at school?
I had a ton of levity in me back then. Everyone in my school was friends and I was quite vibrant in the community. I really got along with everyone and was probably incessantly smiling. I’m not being sarcastic although I realize it may seem that way.
What’s the music scene like back home?
To me, it doesn’t get better than what that music scene was. It was for all the right reasons. It felt like everyone had led secret lives being contextualized in the uber conservative landscape of Long Island. It was the ultimate escape and somehow, the music was amazing. So much better than what you may expect from young teenagers and early 20 somethings of the suburbs.
Best gig you’ve played so far?
I don’t know about best but one that really sticks out is when my old band Adam & Naive opened for Atlas Sound a few weeks before the “‘My Sharona’ incident.” It was a surreal show and Bradford Cox sat on the stage for a 40 minute duration not playing any music, just talking about his feelings and about seeing our band play. So weird.
What’s your favourite song?
I could never answer that definitively. But one of them is “Herido De Sombras” by Ibrahim Ferrer.
What do you listen to in your tour van?
In my car I listen to CD’s like Arthur Russell, Gangstarr, Old Table and Husker Du. On my phone I listen to long interviews with film directors
What were your favourite artists growing up?
I had a ton. One of them was Fenix TX another was Northstar.
Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
Yeesh. I don’t know. People tell me I look like Adam Driver. I like him.
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
My breakdown: Stream is for discovering new music. Download is for music you would be so upset you couldn’t listen to if the internet was out. CD is for super high quality listens and/or instances where you don’t want to be using your phone. Vinyl is for slowing down and hanging around the house.
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Lush’s cover of “I Have the Moon” is up there.
Tell us about your recent release?
It’s been years in the making. It’s called Plays with Fire and is about living with the fire that drive humankind. Sometimes they keep you nice and warm and other times they burn you alive. It’s the shortest record I’ve done so far and the highest production quality so far. Probably because it was mixed by Nolan Eley who is a low-key genius of our time.
Any hopes for 2018?
I hope that the magic will continue to brighten our worlds!
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to cast Natalia Lafourcade in a movie.