In Tune with the Earth: An interview with Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa

An interview with Craig Minowa of the eco-conscious indie band Cloud Cult

| March 2007

Rock stars. Some time in the last decade, the ever-unpredictable rebels stopped smashing guitars and started cleaning up after themselves. And not just in their hotel rooms -- this new breed is treading lightly on the planet.

Perhaps you've considered the toll our beloved music industry takes on the environment, with its plastic packaging and intercontinental tours. Cloud Cult certainly has. The innovative indie band, based from an organic hobby farm in northern Minnesota, produces music through the self-created label Earthology Records. Though no one buys Cloud Cult albums just because of their eco-conscious bent, it's refreshing when a talented group not only sings about the value of earth and life, but backs up those lyrics with some respectful production moves. Seemingly small things like recycling plastic CD cases, offsetting emissions, and supporting renewable energy all show Cloud Cult's consideration for the planet. In an interview with bandleader Craig Minowa explains the messages behind the band's music and their environmental ways.

How would you describe Cloud Cult, musically speaking?

That's always a tough one. We generally get categorized as college indie rock, and that's a very large genre of sounds, but it tends to be a little more experimental than mainstream music. We don't adhere to any single genre, so if you're listening to an album track by track it can change a lot. You can be in the midst of a song that somebody would consider straight-up folk, and then go to something that seems more rock, and then go into something that's almost techno. It kinda flops all over the place. We don't want to get pigeon-holed as a single genre because that would get boring.

Are there lyrical themes?

Definitely. There seems to be a progression with the lyrics. With each album they seem to be evolving more and more in a philosophical, spiritual analysis. Not in a preachy sense, but more in trying to understand what it all means and really taking a hard look at mortality. And trying to put value on the short time that we have here on the planet, trying to understand or at least pontificate about what happens after we leave here.