Who is Clouds And Thorns? Coming seemingly out of nowhere a few weeks ago with the scorching summery single ‘Everything Is Possible Now’, this mysterious folk-popster has now just released their debut EP, which is set to take over your car stereos for the next few months. Now here’s you chance to pull back the thorns and see through the clouds with this exclusive interview with a very exciting artist!
Hello! Please give your name and role in Clouds And Thorns. Tell me a little bit about yourself too!
I’m Rich Andruska. Well, let’s just say I don’t know how to play nice with the other kids... so, I do everything. Writing, performing all the instruments, programming, producing, mixing, mastering… and also all of the singing… all those crowds of voices are just me recording the same part and harmonies like a hundred times. I’m like one of those old-timey cheesy one-man-bands… but on steroids.
Hey Rich! Haha I love that description… seriously impressed that you do everything in C&T. Kudos to you! So when did you first know you wanted to make music?
The “make” part is a hard question to answer… I started because I really only wanted to learn to play the bass line from Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” and be done with it. I sucked, so it took a while. Then slowly, somehow playing just became part of who I was as a person. Everything else just followed.
That’s brilliant and kind of crazy seeing where you are now! Amazing. Can you describe your Clouds And Thorns sound for someone who’s never heard it before?
“Clouds And Thorns” is really only a small part of what I do. I’m a music whore… I’ll do anything. I love any music or even just sounds and try to incorporate it into a composition. “Clouds” seemed like a coherent body of work with recurring musical, lyrical, vocal vibes. It was just songs I’ve done that had a certain glue holding them together… Also, at this place and time it felt like me… But also something much, much larger that needed to be sent out into the world. As usual. I’m off on a tangent and used way more than 3 words. Ha! If it has to be 3 then: Sunny uplifting folk.
That’s a great attitude to have! I can certainly relate to that – I adore music but I guess I just channel it in a different way to you! Anyway, I know that many of my viewers love the optimistic vibe that runs throughout your C&T songs. Are there any particular inspirations for this?
Yes there are two truly big ones. First, is finally finding my way in this world… having a happy loving life with a wife and daughter… two things I never expected to happen and are just amazing…
For the second, I have to tell a story. I was in a hard rock band called “pete.” that was on Warner Brothers Records. We made some aggressive and angsty music. So one day I went to see Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and there was a part in the movie where there’s an interview with a tank gunner. This guy was a frightening caricature of a soldier. Just pumped up to kill human beings. In the middle of his rant, he says the best music to kill people to was this Ozzfest sampler that we had a song on. This was a flashbulb memory moment for me… I’m not sure what that exact feeling was, but it was like someone poured hot water over me. I was immediately faced with what I put out to the world. I was reckless… I was selfish. I was making the world worse. I don’t know how many profound moments of clarity I’ll ever have in this life, but that was surely a life-changing one.
Wow. What a story! That definitely sounds like a big part of why Clouds And Thorns feels so joyous. It’s really lovely that your family is an inspiration too!
So the debut Clouds And Thorns came out just yesterday , which will be promoted heavily on alexrainbirdMusic over the next few months. Do you have a favourite song out of these tracks? Which is the ideal one to check out for readers who haven’t heard it yet to best introduce them to your sound?
That’s hard. I think what’s right up the gut as far as what this EP is stylistically is the song ‘Home’. It has all the epic crowd vocals and fun & unique combos of instruments that I love. It’s a little slower but I think it has a warm sunny feel that is a good introduction to what I do.
Great choice, ‘Home’ is one of my favourites too! Which other bands/albums are you really into right now?
I’m always into Radiohead…. so the latest record is always floating around. Ray LaMontagne always as well. Lately though… Sleeping At Last is amazing… Jack Garratt is cool and diverse musically… Dustin Tebbutt… Randall Kent… Your artist Michael Barrow & the Tourists is very recently inspiring. Also, I produce and write for other artists so I’m always listening to stuff that’s like the songs I’m working on. So right now lots of radio pop hits that I wouldn’t sound like a cool indie artist if I said I was listening to them. LOL.
Haha! Those are some great picks though – from Sleeping At Last to Michael Barrow, I love them all. Now as we begin to wrap up the interview, what are your plans for the rest of 2017? Can we look forward to more Clouds And Thorns releases in the future!?
I’m just going to go with the flow as usual. If I have time away from working on other artist’s music, I work on things that interest me personally. I write pieces of a dozen or more songs a day. So there’s never a shortage of things to record. Hopefully there’s a lot of interest in this EP and that will inspire me to finish more music that could be called “Clouds And Thorns”. As sunny as I feel, there’s a ton of darker songs as well right now… More thorns than clouds. Something more stripped down and raw that I feel coming. I also want to do something that could be huge radio-wise for an artist. Writing or producing. Perhaps it’s just the ego in me, but I think I want to compete with the big radio acts and get on that level to prove I can do it. Plus it would help to pay the bills.
That’s sounds so exciting Rich! Well I’ll be here for you when you need me! Very excited to see how this C&T performs over the summer. Finally, any last words?
Yeah, I just hope that these songs make people feel good. Life can be crazy busy, or tragic, or sad, or hopefully great… I want to be the soundtrack for all of that. I want this music to help people get through the hard and also to help celebrate to wondrous. I want music to do for others what it has always done for me. I want it to be that spark of magic that I feel when I hear something great.
I’m certain that it will be! I LOVE what you’re doing and what you stand for, and I can guarantee that your music will stay with me for a long time! All the best Rich and thank you!
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