Life Without Sound -
A Chat With Cloud Nothings
Words and interview by James Lynch
Thursday 24th January, 2017

It’s been a huge 2017 for Cleveland punks Cloud Nothings. In January they released their fifth album Life Without Sound - a record packed with classic Cloud Nothing’s hooks and frontman Dylan Baldi’s distinct introspective lyrics, however this time around a layer of abrasiveness has been traded for a more polished sound - and since then it’s been non-stop gigs. To kick of 2018, the boys are heading down to Australia for a run of shows in late February, and ahead of the tour, we spoke with Dylan to chat the new album, their intense year and his thoughts on Australia.
Cloud Nothings are back in Australia for the third time this February. How are you feeling ahead of the shows?

Feeling good. It’s really cold where I am now so I’ve just been sitting inside, making music and reading and eating. Standard Ohio winter hibernation activities.

Looking back, each of your past trips to Australia have been during our summer and this one is no different - seems pretty suss I reckon. Do you guys have much time off and are you looking forward to doing anything outside of the shows?

I hate winter, so it’s pretty great to be able to hop over to the other side of the world and be warm for a week. I’d tour Australia for a month every winter if I could. We don’t really have any time off, so this time around will basically be a tour of Australian airports more than anything. But at least we’ll be warm.

Life Without Sound came out almost twelve months ago now and you’ve spent almost all of the 2017 on tour. How’d you survive the year?

I don’t know, but I hope the earth is still around next year so I can answer the same question about 2018.

After a solid year of playing the album, how are the songs feeling now? Are you itching to move on to the next album or do things still feel fresh?

We’re actually in the middle of working on some new stuff now. Got a few songs done, and we’re talking about making a record soon. The Life Without Sound songs finally feel well-integrated into the set. It takes about a year for them to stop feeling like ‘new’ songs and to just feel like songs.

While Life Without Sound doesn’t necessarily feel like a departure from the sounds of previous albums, it does feel like a bit of an evolution. Compared to the last few albums, there’s a handful more lighter moments on this record plus a really strong focus on melody, although you haven’t exactly lost the brutality of the last releases. Was it a conscious decision to keep evolving or did it come about naturally?

It was a lot of the producer’s doing, I think. We didn’t really change anything about the way we played. He just recorded it and mixed it in a way that kind of took away the raw energy we have when we just get in a room and play. I think the next record will sound a little more like a live show.

At Trouble Juice, we work really hard to showcase all the great music coming out of Australia, and especially Melbourne. Since you’ve been over here a few times now, do you have any favourite Australian acts you’d like to recommend?

Oh, too many to count. There’s this book that Hozac put out, called ‘Noise In My Head’, that has a lot of interviews with a bunch of Australian bands. Pretty much every band in that book is amazing. And then there’s Oren Ambarchi, who is a total genius. And AC/DC. And then if I include New Zealand, which I’m often inclined to do, that adds the Dead C and the whole Xpressway Records roster. So much good music in your part of the world!

After this tour wraps up, you’ve got a few more dates back in America and then things seem to stop for a moment. What’s 2018 looking like for Cloud Nothings?

We’re staying indoors in Cleveland and making new music. I’d love for an album to come out later this year, but that’s up to the record label gods. We’ll see what happens.

Cloud Nothings will be in Australia from the 22nd to the 27th of February, and be sure to check out their latest album Life Without Sound in the meantime.

Cloud Nothings - Australian Tour Dates
Thursday 22nd Feb – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
Friday 23rd Feb – Unibar, Wollongong
Saturday 24th Feb – Max Watts, Melbourne
Sunday 25th Feb – Badlands Bar, Perth
Tuesday 27th Feb – The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets from