After Austin show, Cloud Cult announces plans for live acoustic albumPublished 11:34am Saturday, September 21, 2013
Band will perform warm-up concert in Rochester before recording dates
After Cloud Cult’s rousing performance at Austin’s Marcusen Park last month, the popular Minnesota band is keeping its word in taking things down a notch.
The band, which features Austin native Shannon Frid-Rubin on violin, recently announced plans to record a live album at The Southern Theatre in Minneapolis on Dec. 6, 7 and 8 — an idea the band discussed before the Aug. 24 concert in Austin. But before that, the band will return to the area for a warm-up acoustic set at the Rochester Art Center on Dec. 5.
Before Cloud Cult’s concert with Martin Zellar during the Austin ArtWorks Festival, the group performed in Seattle at Camp Long Environmental Learning Center, where they played an acoustic set that the band was still buzzing about before Saturday’s show.
“It sort of felt like it opened up a new realm for us,” frontman Craig Minowa said in August. “It’s a totally different kind of the show that we can offer, and I think we all got energized by that.”
Minowa discussed the idea of recording a live acoustic album in August, and now the band is looking to release such an album by early next year. The Herald contacted Minowa to ask about the band’s latest venture.
ADH: What led the band to pick the Southern Theatre as the venue to record the album?
Minowa: We were looking for a relatively small theater-type setting to give the recording a more intimate feel. It is also a very historical theater, so that age resonates in the space. With the upcoming acoustic tour, our plan is to pick venues that have not been our traditional stops.
ADH: What excites you and the band most about recording a live acoustic album?
Minowa: There’s a new kind of spiritual rooting that happens when the volume goes down, and the majority of the gear gets unplugged. There is an organic and personal connection with band members when we all sit down next to each other and hear each others instruments without amplification. I think if we take this acoustic set to larger stages, it may negate that sort of connection, so we are trying to choose smaller venues that will allow us to connect with each other and the crowd in a way that we haven’t been able to do on the larger amplified stages. We will still continue to do the full blown electric Cloud Cult shows, but this will be something new to add to the mix.
ADH: When you performed in Austin, the band was coming off its acoustic performance at Camp Long Environmental Learning Center in Seattle. Was that the show that first inspired the live album?
Minowa: We’ve been working on a totally acoustic set for two and a half years. It started when we had a show at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. But that show was hybrid, and was half acoustic and half electric. We pulled together our first short unplugged acoustic set for the memorial service of the the three little girls who passed away in River Falls last Fall, and that created a deep connection and renewed meaning with us all. But Seattle was the first full fledged acoustic set, and it was amazing to have an opportunity to be that close to the fans and to have all the layers of separation stripped away.
ADH: Will the Dec. 5 acoustic show in Rochester and the acoustic album be completely different than Cloud Cult’s Austin performance last month, or are any of songs the band played in Austin that will be similar to the acoustic set?
Minowa: Yes, the acoustic set is totally different from the set we did in Austin with the exception of two songs.
ADH: Will the album feature only previously released songs or will there will be new material on the album?
Minowa: The acoustic show and album takes songs from most of our last 10 studio albums. Many of them are revamped in the acoustic chamber orchestra format.
ADH: When will tickets be available for the concerts in December and how much will they be?
Minowa: They will be available in less than two weeks. I’m not sure yet what the ticket price will be, but given the venue is intimate, and it’s our first live album in Cloud Cult’s 15 year history, it will be a little higher ticket price than normal.
ADH: When do you plan to release the live album?
Minowa: We hope to release it by early February.