BANDSPEAK, BOSTON/NE BANDS, Interview

ZURICH CLOUD MOTORS. Interviewed!

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I played a show at the Flywheel in Easthampton with Zurich Cloud Motors just before the shit hit the fans. I was excited to play with them again soon.. and then the world stopped turning. I was fortunate enough to talk to singer Stevie about music and a world in ruin.

Question:
Who is in the band and what sounds they make?

Stevie:
Brandon is the drummer, Corey is the bassist, Tony is the visual projectionist, I’m the guitarist/vocalist.

Q:
How did the band get started and where?

Stevie:
I wrote some songs then had the chance in 2017 to incubate them with a bassist named Jeff. He had toured with some bands back in the ’90s such as The Problematics and, given his experience, Jeff was easily able to push me as a musician when I needed it and that left a lasting impact on our sound. A few months later, when I was an audio engineer at State Street Pub in Indianapolis, I ended up convincing the cook there, Derek, and my roommate, Amanda, to perform those songs with me at our first gig. It was at a zine fair and free market combo that a friend Kelsey organized. She is a prolific zine writer/illustrator who has been featured in Vulcher, The Heartland Underground, and many more so it was an honor to have her book our first gig. Brandon, Corey, and Tony joined the band ahead of our US/Canada tour in 2019, plus a growing list of temp/session musicians have been sweet enough to join forces over the years and ply their trade.

Q:
Where did the name come from?

Stevie:
It came to me during a visit to the sculpture park Storm King Art Center. Highly recommended now that I’ve noticed they are back open for the season. That landscape always inspires me and it’s super well curated.

Q:
How have you kept busy during the plague?

Tony:
Volunteering to run food to homeless encampments, spoon carving, and pushing myself in new screen printing techniques I haven’t experimented in yet.

Corey:
I’ve mostly just been riding around the city on my bike when it’s dead or just playing my bass. I like riding around and watching an abandoned city.

Brandon: I spent most of the pandemic between two cities, Indianapolis and Louisville. Until recently, my studio space was in Indianapolis where I worked on a lot of recordings during the pandemic.

Stevie:
We worked remotely on a record called “ZCM” that’s been picked up by Bancroft Records. Should be out in autumn 2021, I’m really happy with this one and feel thankful to have it be our first appearance on vinyl. My partner and I also both started witnessing ghosts, which led to us utilizing our A/V equipment to investigate New England’s thriving spirit realm. She’s producing a video series which we are trying to get on public access TV soon under the name The Haunted Network.

Q:
What bands were members in before, if any? Any other side projects currently?

Corey:
I’m in three right now. Coma Ghost, Starjuice, and Grilth.

Brandon:
I’ve been in a lot of shitty bands, a few good ones. DATA UNKNOWN is DATA UNKNOWN.

Tony:
It’s been a long time. I was a songwriter, singer, bassist, and drug user for Ground Control.

Stevie:
Low Toner, Glöve, Blank Coast, a few others.

Q:
What does everyone do for work?

Tony:
Hustle my balls off, audiovisual work, and sell my shit.

Corey:
I’m in the dish pit.

Stevie:
This is my second year cooking for a pay-what-you-want food truck.

Brandon:
Not applicable.

Q:
Any unusual or bizarre hobbies or stories you can share that won’t get you arrested?

Corey:
That’s a hard one. I do like urban exploring shit, like I’ll go into abandoned buildings in Buffalo and stuff. I’ve went to a bunch of abandoned mental hospitals, churches, and factories. There’s silos and a lot of factories around here that are falling apart and they’re cool.

Tony:
Stevie and I met through couch surfing years ago, hung out a few times since. Then he asked me to do a music video. That led to him asking me to do projections on tour. I collaged video for the whole set.

Brandon:
I smoked mugwort around a fire in the middle of an Amish community.

Stevie:
Haha, I can’t believe we actually did that! We can be so silly sometimes. So I found a bag of mugwort my ex-roommate left in the cupboard and I didn’t want it to just go to waste. This was right before we were having our post-quarantine reunion in the middle of nowhere so I figured I’d look up if there were any ritualistic uses for the plant. Sure enough, like what the hell isn’t sacred these days? I let the band know we had to do the ceremony. There’s so many treasured stories among this band… chaos magic stirs the cauldron of our ethos. Live laugh love am I right? Most bizarre might be the day we played Bisbee, Arizona though, or maybe the weekender we played in the Okanagan. Oh, and we played at both Tubby’s and Tubby Dog on that tour too, maybe that’s a bizarre hobby… I don’t know, you decide.

Q:
I’ll leave that up to the readers. Check out Zurich Cloud Motors before darkness falls for another 16 months.

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