Interviews: CLOUDY SKIES

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Atmospheric Post-Metal/Dreamgaze band, CLOUDY SKIES from France. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

NICO: We looked for a "perfect" name, a name that represents what you are and that makes sense, and you know that it is a hard task. We made several brainstorm sessions without any success while the solution was just there...Lionel and I have lots in common, especially for music. When we were teens, there was this band named UGLY KID JOE... they really impressed us a lot. This band, like some others of the 90's area, really gave us special energy and the envy to start a music band. By the way, we still listen to them ;) So we looked at the song titles of their discography and agreed that one was exactly the name we were looking for: Cloudy Skies! It is on their second LP "Menace to Sobriety". Beyond the fact the meaning of the name matched with our universe, when you listen to that tune, it also touches you by its sweet melancholy and its obvious heartfelt beauty... in fact it did correspond to the vision we had for our new project.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

NICO: We have been playing "metal" since 1996 but we never stayed in the classic line of "metal". Our curiosity always led us in some unexpected way. Once when we were into Metal/Hardcore we invited a medieval trio band to join us at a rehearsal. This was so cool! So cool that we recorded that for an album. And since, we never stopped exploring. I would say it is a normal evolution for us as we have always loved softer music. Eventually, we just expanded our sound keeping the root of "post-metal", putting less darkness, adding more melancholy, and embellishing it with what was missing according to us: some air! Moreover the Blackened post-metal style we used to play started to be too repetitive. We wanted to add huge "floating" effects, clean voices you can understand, vintage synths... and above all emotion.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

NICO: Lionel and I have known each other for a very long time. I guess since 1993 when we were around 12-13 years old. Conny is our session drummer for recordings but I wish we lived closer to go on with him...We met him when we recorded our 1st Eyes Front North demo in 2009. This guy is as talented as nice... he can play anything with a sensitive touch.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

NICO: I have tons, it is not easyyyyyyyy at all :D . I would say (all genres together): Deafheaven, True Widow, Yob, The War On Drugs, Neil Young, Kurt Vile, Cult Of Luna, Alice In Chains, Tame Impala, All Them Witches, Entombed, Holy Sons, Russian Circles, Vaura, Ben Howard, Chelsea Wolfe, Marissa Nadler, Soft Kill, Astra, Red Sparowes, Swallow The Sun, Amorphis (especially The Pasi Koskinen years), Zombi, Nachtmystium...and of course Ugly Kid Joe :D Lionel and I have a lot of common references ;) I would add Mark Lanegan and Pearl Jam for him.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

NICO: For the music of course it is bands, their music, and their performances. Luckily I am not too far from Paris so I can often go to gigs. I am very attentive to each detail and nourish myself with everything I can. Bands inspire me a lot. Each time I go back home I think of how I can do the same or create something as good as they do. For lyrics and themes, it is Dreams and Journeys. They are the main source of inspiration for me.

6. Where was your last gig?

NICO: Cloudy Skies never performed live. My last show was with my previous band Eyes Front North... November 2019... before covid... damn period. Otherwise, my last concert was Kurt Vile.

7. Where would you like to act?

NICO: in some cool places of course ;) but mostly in human-sized venues where people are coming for a special event and where you can share something with them. In Europe I would love to participate in the Roadburn festival (Tilburg, The Netherlands). I have been there several times and I can say that there is a great atmosphere. It remains familial and you can meet bands!

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

NICO: Deafheaven, True Widow, Chelsea Wolfe, Pencey Sloe for example...

9. Whom not?

NICO: -- none -- it is always a privilege to share a stage with musicians.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

NICO: belonging to a band helps you to fight fright... I never felt frightened when I was with my bands (it is not like playing on your own) But if I can give tips, I would say keep in mind that if people want a show, they will look at a band (not only you), so have pleasure with your bandmates and give the best of you ... a performance is unique.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

NICO: GN'R, Black Sabbath, Alice In Chains, Ugly Kid Joe, Nirvana, Limp Bizkit, Deftones. Each of these bands brought me something special and helped me to shape my style.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

NICO: I don't have fans.

13. What do you think of your fans? 

NICO: if I had some, I would respect them a lot as they are in some way the life of the band... even after a release or a show... they keep the flame up!

14. What do you think of our site? 

NICO: it looks nice and updated but honestly I need to surf more as it is quite new for me.

15. Something to add?

NICO: keep on dreaming :)

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