Exclusive: Ben Sharp (Cloudkicker) Interview

If you are unaware of who Cloudkicker is, then you must
have been living under a rock for the majority of 2010. The guy
(yes a one-man project) self-released a full length album, and EP
and a single all in 2010 alone. Not only is his music absolutely
mind blowing (making not only mine, but a load of other peoples
year end lists), but Ben gives his music away for absolutely free.
You can purchase CDs, vinyls and t-shirts if you wish, but if you
just want some killer instru-metal tunes, head over to Cloudkicker’s
BandCamp
page and get educated. I recently interviewed
Ben Sharp himself in order to learn a few things about the man
behind the music. Read on to learn how Cloudkicker makes Ben
nostalgic, how Ben has no intention of playing
live and what records Ben liked in 2010. The first thing I wonder when it comes to
strictly instrumental band is how song titles are decided upon.
When you have lyrics, it’s a little easier to come up with a title.
How did you come up with some of your song titles?
For
me it’s just whatever fits with how the music makes me feel. If I
can use song titles to direct people’s imagination in a way that I
think best associates with the mood the music creates, I go with
that. Initially, why did you
choose to make Cloudkicker an all instrumental
project?
Because I don’t have anything that important
to say, I would rather create an atmosphere that invites an
individual experience than whine about things that make me feel
bad. You have stated many times
that you are a hobbyist when it comes to your music. Do you think
you would ever inquire into a recording contract and try to make
more money off of it?
Nope. Just the idea that I would
do something purely for the sake of adding a digit to my bank
account pisses me off. If I ever arrive at that point I will have
seriously fucked up. Just seeing how easy it has been to release
Beacons and handle everything that has come with it makes me
realize what a joke it would be to try and get signed by some bogus
label. For what? I’ve had a few label reps explain to me the
benefits of signing with them and it always leaves me scratching my
head wondering what the big deal is. Since the pressing of vinyls and t-shirts
going on sale on your BandCamp page, how have sales
been?
Pretty great. I’ve made back all the costs
associated with the production of Beacons, I’ve made back the costs
of making the shirts, I bought myself new monitors, and I’ve made
enough to fund at least one more release. What more could I have
asked for? I am sure you have
been asked this before, but the name Cloudkicker is a reference to
the Tail Spin character, am I right? If so, why was this name
chosen?
It’s just a little slice of nostalgia for me,
plus it has a nice ring to it. http://bandcamp.com/files/39/00/3900496000-1.jpg” alt=”” width=”221″ height=”221″ /> In 2010, you released not one but two
albums. You also did a song right before the year ended, “You and
Yours.” What is in store for you in 2011?
Honestly I
have no idea. I haven’t written anything that I would like to
explore enough to base an album or EP off of yet. I think I’m just
now getting to a point where I can shake off Beacons and try new
things. Your music has been
considered djent to some. Me, personally see it more as progressive
instru-metal. How would you describe the Cloudkicker
sound?
Who cares. It’s music, let’s just leave it at
that. Have there been any bands
lately that serve influence on the sound of
Cloudkicker?
Lots of bands that people who listen to
metal all the time will hate. I’ve been listening to things like
The Appleseed Cast, Mogwai, The Books, Iron and Wine, Jose Gonzales
and Sufjan Stevens. I play the Air, Philip Glass, Tycho, Four Tet,
and Caribou Pandora stations all the time. Basically anything
but metal. You played a single show with an actual
band, right? Have you tried to put anything together since
then?
Nah. Did you
listen to many records in 2010? If so, where there any that stood
out to you?
As far as first impressions of 2010
releases go The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens, Go by Jonsi, and
Valley of Smoke by Intronaut blew me away.

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One comment on “Exclusive: Ben Sharp (Cloudkicker) Interview

  1. I have so much more respect to him now. Age of Adz is absolutely beautiful and certainly something that I wouldn’t have anticipated that the mastermind behind Cloudkicker even listened to.

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