One day, Anna asked me to write about Dear Cloud. As I am a very big fan of them, I was super duper excited. So, I decided to contact Dear Cloud and had an interview. They just released their 3rd album, Bright Lights, last month. An album that has been definitely awaited by the legions of 구름들 ("clouds", a word used for their fans) anywhere. Nine (vocal), Yongrin (guitar), Elang (bass), Junga (keyboard), and Kwangsuk (drum) welcomed me and two friends of mine, Indri and Rain, at their base camp in Hongdae just before they had their regular practice session.
Elang: We have been doing very well. Before the release of the EP, Take the Air, and the album, Nine, Junga and I travelled together and Yongrin participated in producing Park Jiyoon's 7th album.
The sound in this new album is better than the previous albums. One thing that also makes the new album special is the mastering that was done in UK by the same engineers who had worked with Weezer, Björk, and Groove Armada. We also fell satisfied with the result.
Is there any particular influence during the making of the 3rd album?
We are big fans of Damien Rice, Travis, Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Coldplay. We got so many influences from them. Yet for the new album, we got a lot of influences from Coldplay, especially their album Viva La Vida. That particular album features a lot of strings in the sound, which also inspires us to feature string in the songs in our new album. We also got the influence from Jónsi and Sigur Rós.
Where does your inspiration usually come from?
We usually get the inspiration from the experience of having relationships, like any kind of relationships. We just make music as a part of our life. All of us contribute to the writing of the songs.
Yongrin: Before I wrote a song for Park Jiyoon, I already liked her music. The album itself is actually a result of collaboration among several other musicians like Lucid Fall and Kim Jong Wan of Nell. When I made a song for her, I did not really think that I should make a different song from what I usually write for Dear Cloud. I just felt that the song I wrote was suitable for her.
Has anyone written music for other artists too?
No, we have not. Except from Yongrin, we all just contributed to the songs for Dear Cloud.
What is the best part of performing on stage? Is there any special experience?
The best thing when we play on stage is the connection that we have with the audience. We feel connected to them, especially when they sing together with us. It has also become the reason why we are doing music; we are able to connect with the people. We had a very surprising moment when one of our fans just suddenly did a b-boy dance in front of us when we played Ice Fortress. It was somehow shocking but we felt very amused seeing him.
How do you see yourself as a band in comparison to others inside and outside of Hongdae? Do you feel that you are getting bigger or do you still feel just the same?
We feel that we are getting more well-known. However, as some of people said, we are kind of in the border. As these days people are slowly getting to know more about the indie scenes as a result of them trying to find out other kinds of music outside KPop. They come to know more about indie music and they come to know about us as well.
Then, are you planning to move on to bigger venues or do you prefer the more intimate format even though many fans are left out? Do you want to move out of the Hongdae scene or do you prefer to keep things the way you are?
We literally live around Hongdae and we do not have any plan to move out from here actually, haha. Though we do play in a lot of bigger venues, we still want to keep performing in Hongdae. We do want to get our music more recognized but we know that to make it very popular like KPopis impossible. However, when we get the chance to perform on television like in Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook, we do feel very excited!
First of all, for now, we want to concentrate in promoting the 3rd album, Bright Lights. When we were looking for the concept of this album, we thought about the concept of transferring the message of hope and we came with the name bright lights. We want the album to be a bright light for people who listens to it.
What is your dream or something that you have not yet achieved so far? Do you have any particular musician that you want to have collaboration with?
Junga: And Sigur Rós. I envy them for their performance on stage.
Nine: Not too long ago, we had a performance with our friends, Mate and Walrus in Sangsang Madang. We really had a great time performing together on stage at that time. So having collaboration with them in the future will be fun. We also performed with Monni several times already, so to have collaboration with them will also be good.
Last question, how can you describe Dear Cloud in 5 words?
Nine: …. It is difficult, pass.
Kwangsuk: … Nine's first. Haha
Nine: OK, Live
Kwangsuk: Hmm… Rockstar!
It was such a great time that I had with Dear Cloud! I came to know each of the members better during the interview. At the end of the interview, they also left a shout out to all the fans through their facebook fan page, to thank all who have been supporting them and to give a lot of love to Bright Lights:
Dear Cloud has been dominating my playlist ever since I knew them three years ago. Since I have been waiting for their new album for quite a while, I am really happy that they finally released an album that could become another soundtrack for my life. Strings in the new album are just lovely. I really love listening to the title track, because it always makes me feel happy when I am listening to it. I believe that they can be one of the representations of modern rock and brit-pop in Korean indie scene.
So, have you listened to Bright Lights today?
Credits: Thanks to Rain for the pictures and Indri for recording the interview! And my lovely, Anna, definitely! Congratulations for the BIG day!