This dynamic post-rock/instrumental trio from Montreal (consisting of Mike Clidaras – guitars, Josh Gould – bass, guitars and Jordan Orsini – drums & percussion) is bursting onto the scene with the release of their debut EP The Long Goodbye available May 31st.
The moment the first track ‘Dreameater‘ starts, it wraps you up in it’s sweet clutches like an old friend. The amazing syncopated tapping guitar work prepares you for what cloudhopper is all about. Listen:
When talking to the band, Michael pointed out “Try to listen to it on speakers with a sub woofer. The bass guitar is very present and important to us, and most headphones tend to take away from that.” (Fortunately for me, I do have a woofer.) So I crank it up a little more and the bass reverberated the rich undertones on each song while the guitar danced with the delay on the upper octaves.
The EP holds strong and steady through the rest of the tracks, I Won’t Be There stars you off light and then by the bridge it’s pounding the daylights out of you. Night City is a perfect tune for cruising through the lighted streets, weaving through the tall buildings. Alyssa thrives on the discordant guitar and tension of the crashing cymbals. The Long Goodbye is a proper catchy send-off for the EP that fades out at the end making you want to put the whole thing on repeat and do it all over again.
Now, lets meet the band!
How did you come up with ‘cloudhopper’, and has it ever changed?
Mike: Our band name has never changed. I came up with “cloudhopper” with the intention of writing dreamy music. I feel that our name suits our sound. It is purposely written with a lower case c and as one word. I’m not quite sure why, I just like it that way. I later found out that “cloudhopper” is a type of hot air balloon, but I had no idea when I thought of the name. I try to focus more on the music rather than over thinking the band name.
How did the band meet?
Mike: Josh and I went to the same high school. We started hanging out the year after we graduated. We met Jordan afterwards through an acquaintance, and tried him out as a drummer when we used to jam different music.
Did you guys go into the band wanting to be ‘instrumental’ or were there ever vocals?
Mike: I had originally started the band as a solo project that was intended to be instrumental. However, once we became a group and wrote a few songs, we decided that Josh and I will be performing vocals to the music following “The Long Goodbye” EP.
What’s the Montreal music scene like, and how do you stand out?
Mike: I would say it’s pretty saturated. Montreal is quite the musical city filled with tons of bands, so it’s pretty difficult to get your name out there. I personally feel like there’s a lot of judgement passed prematurely on music, but there are also a lot of open minded people who will give you time out of their day. Apparently our city is renown for gear being stolen from bands, which is unfortunate. I’m not quite sure if we “stand out” but people at our shows usually tell me we’re different. I’m hoping that’s a good sign! (laughs)
What has been the biggest challenge for the band so far?
Mike: The biggest challenge so far has been finding the time where we are all available to practice on a regular basis. Between our work hours, school hours and other commitments, it’s difficult for us to be in the same place at the same time. Being dedicated musicians, we find a way to make it work. We also face financial challenges. Josh is a guitarist who picked up bass just for cloudhopper, and I have been debating buying a synthesizer and incorporating that into our sound. Unfortunately, quality gear doesn’t come cheap.
What do you hope people to think when they listen to your music?
Mike: I just hope people find it original, and enjoy listening to it.
Josh: That they’ve found something new and interesting that they’ll enjoy listening to, hopefully, enough to share with their friends.
Jordan: I want people to feel engrossed by it; to imagine an environment or situation just by listening to a song.
Who are your musical role models? What inspires you?
Mike: Thrice definitely is my biggest inspiration… I’m just in love with their sound. Sometimes an event in my life, a movie, a story, or piece of visual art can inspire me musically. I guess it depends on where I am mentally in the moment.
Josh: My role models aren’t really particular people, moreso the bands that I really enjoy listening to. I try to draw influence from Architects, Oceana, As Cities Burn and a bunch of others. These bands really get me in a musical mood and fuel my writing.
Jordan: Drummer-wise I’ve always appreciated Matt Greiner from August Burns Red. Nothing inspires me more than listening to a well thought out and put together song and then learning to play it.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
Mike: When I started playing guitar ten years ago, I first got into classic rock. I have always been pretty open minded to music genres, but as a teenager I mainly listened to metal and most of its sub-genres.
Josh: Growing up, I listened to whatever my parents were listening to until I got to high school, where I was really into grunge for a few years. Then, I was introduced to Opeth and I really got into metal and death metal. Eventually, my tastes slowly moved from really heavy to softer stuff, more along the lines of post-hardcore.
Jordan: Growing up i was always fond of blink-182 and still am! They’re a great group of guys that really know how to bring melodies together.
What are some of your favorite bands you are currently listening to?
Mike: Currently, my favorite bands/artists are Thrice, As Cities Burn, Jon Gomm and If These Trees Could Talk.
Josh: Right now, I listen to the Rubberbandits almost every day. They’re a comedic rap duo from Ireland but I find the music is incredibly well done for something that isn’t serious. Other than that, I’ve been listening to Brand New and Letlive. alot.
Jordan:August Burns Red, Veil of Maya, Texas in July and Architects!
What bands/music are you opposed to listening to? Any artists that you really despise?
Mike: I’m not opposed to specific artists or groups, however, I think it’s pretty lame when people hop onto bandwagons of whatever is trendy at the time.
Josh: I don’t despise any particular artists because everyone has their own taste and who am I to judge? But, I am not a fan of dubstep or anything electronic.
Jordan: I’m really open to listening to anything; I may not enjoy certain things but i can always appreciate the creative talent behind someones work.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you have free time besides write music?
Mike: I love drawing and creating graphic art. I am currently working towards becoming a tattoo artist.
Josh: When I’m not writing music, I’m usually playing video games. Right now, I’m hooked on Diablo 3.
Jordan: I never deny the opportunity to crack open a few beers and catch up with some friends.
Any plans for a U.S. tour?
Mike: As much as we would love to go on a U.S. tour, it’s not really an option for us right now. We hope to in the future.