Being a 19-year-old is tough, yet somehow CLOUD NOTHING’s Dylan Baldi makes it seem easy. Equipped with a laid-back persona, high praises from the music community haven’t phased him or his intention to mix indie rock with punk and pop. Before his gig at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, the young singer-songwriter reflected on writing about strangers and whether his group is still a one-man band.
Because it’s a vague topic, is Cloud Nothings a band or a solo project?
I think of it more as a band now. When it started off it was a solo project because it was just me, but now that I’ve started touring with these guys and with the new record coming out, I’ve thought of it all in terms of “will it sound good with a live band?”. Even though I still record everything, I definitely think the name belongs to a band now.
How did you recruit the other three members?
I recruited them a couple of weeks after I made the MySpace page for Cloud Nothings because we immediately had an offer for a show in New York. It was a huge gig that I wanted to do but I couldn’t do it by myself so I just grabbed a couple of my friends from Cleveland.
Will you ever consider making the group official or would you rather be seen as “Dylan & Friends”?
(Laughs) Yeah, we’re a band. It’s official. We’re official now, you can say that.
Do you find it tough trying to get others to play material from your recordings or is it a natural fit?
It’s pretty natural. They all listen to the same kind of stuff as me. The first time we played a song it sounded good and right now I think it works well.
“I’m not very angst-y, in case you haven’t noticed. I feel like I should be feeling some kind of pressure, but I’m not.”
Is there a reason you keep songwriting as a personal project?
I like knowing that if someone writes a bad review of our album that it’s all my fault (laughs). Or if someone says something good, I like that too. It’s kind of weird, even narcissistic, but I don’t care. That’s the main reason. If we get the chance to do another album I’ll probably use the whole band.
How pleased are you with your upcoming debut album?
I think I’m pleased with it. I don’t know if people who liked Turning On will necessarily attach themselves to it quickly, or at all. It’s a lot different. I think I’m happy with it though. It sounds the way I wanted it to sound.
Because of that sound, several publications have categorized you as a “buzz artist”; do you deserve such a title?
(Laughs) Well we’re getting a lot of buzz, so sure.
Would you instead rather be known as a mysterious figure on the Internet or are you ok with having your name and face out there in the public spotlight?
You can have my name and face out there. I don’t want to be mysterious, either way it’s totally fine.
Does your teenage state-of-mind help you ignore everything that occurs outside recording and touring?
I’m still in touch with everything, I’m not very angst-y, in case you haven’t noticed. I feel like I should be feeling some kind of pressure, but I’m not. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but I’m definitely pretty relaxed about it. Whatever happens, happens.
Why is it you write about people you barely know and not about events that occur in your life?
It’s fun for me to make up a story about someone I don’t really know because everyone I know would look at the album and be like, “I think this is about me!”. It’s really not that bad but I have more fun making up stories and stuff.
So you’re taking creativity to a whole new level?
Yes, it’s the next level of creativity (laughs).
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