Grzegorz of Strange Clouds on the Band’s Unique Sound and Playing in the Polish Underground Rock Scene

Grzegorz of Strange Clouds on the Band’s Unique Sound and Playing in the Polish Underground Rock Scene

Some songs are composed for the pure purpose of entertainment and easy listening, a catchy melody or lyric that sloshes in our head for a day or two until it evaporates on its own or gets drowned out by a more infectious tune. While there’s nothing wrong with a good old bubblegum song, sometimes the heart wants just what the soul needs — music that is immersive, emotionally stimulating and thought provoking. This is the type of music four college friends: Grzegorz, Cezary, Kajetan and Lukasz set off to make when they formed their band Strange Clouds in Poznan, Poland. Creating a raw, genuinely unique and truly striking sound that can be described as a brew of grunge, psychedelic and progressive rock, they have gone on to become bona fide members of the burgeoning Polish underground rock scene and are gaining popularity outside of it as well — a progression that will carry on as new fans from around the world are exposed to their talent.

Strange Clouds have entered Soundeon’s Talent Unleashed Contest with the goal to raise the necessary funds to record their next album and to find new fans. We had a chance to chat with Grzegorz about the band’s unique sound, creative influences, performing live and the increasing role technology will play in the future of music.

Soundeon: How did Strange Clouds come into being and who are the members?

Grzegorz: The band consists of myself, Cezary, Kajetan and Lukasz. Long story short, we formed the band during our college days in Poznan. We all left our hometown bands and were looking for new ones to join. Cezary met Kajetan by chance at some band rehearsal and Katejan found Lukasz through Facebook. Then Lukasz approached me at the university and invited me to jam.

S: Who came up with the name?

G: We all did. It was during a collaborative brainstorm session, we had strange ideas and our heads were in the clouds so to speak. Now I think Ichi Clouds would also be a cool name.

S: Name some of your musical influences.

G: We all have different musical tastes but one thing that we have in common is an appreciation for Pink Floyd. We also like alt-J, Atoms for Peace, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Mark Lanegan, Warpaint and Fire!

S: How would you describe your musical style?

G: It’s eclectic guitar music, a patchwork of counter-culture. We knit grunge with hard, psychedelic and progressive subgenres of rock. We also want to weave electronic elements into our new album.

S: The melodies in your songs are accented by emotive, resonant lyrics. Do the lyrics ever precede the music when you compose the song?

G: It happens but it’s not a rule. Lukasz writes most of the lyrics while composing the pieces.

S: Do you always write in English?

G: Yes. It works well for us. It’s easier than writing in Polish and it suits our style better. We have been exposed to English lyrics all our lives.

S: What would you like both fans and those unfamiliar with your band to recognize about the music of Strange Clouds?

G: Our curiosity of the world and that music is a way of contemplating or feeling the mysteries of the universe.

S: Which one of your songs would you recommend new listeners to listen to?

G: That’s a hard choice, but I’d recommend “Jupiter.”

S: Your main audience base, who listens to you guys?

G: We play a lot of shows for fans of psychedelic and stoner rock. We are part of the Polish underground scene and had the opportunity to play with many big names of that community and bands from abroad. But I think we reach a wider audience on the Internet like fans of Pink Floyd and their children.

S: What are some of the places that you like to perform at?

G: We perform at different clubs around Poland and maybe I shouldn’t say this but we have a strange fate following us: many of the places that we love playing at are getting closed down. Our favorite was “Black Moon” in Wrocław but unfortunately, the venue stopped organizing concerts and split into rehearsal spaces. Our number two spot, “Ze Pe Te” in Krakow is going to be demolished soon.

S: That really sucks but there’s got to be some optimism on the horizon, right?

G: We played a great concert at a place called “U Bazyla” and now they’re renovating it to expand the space. It’s already the best club in Poznań. Also, we’ve recently played at the Red Smoke Festival in Pleszew and loved it. Next time we hope to play on the main stage.

S: Your craziest concert experience?

G: One time we played an open-air concert with other bands from our rehearsal space and a storm came but people were still dancing in the rain. The police had to come to shut us down. There was also a time when Kajetan tripped over a mic stand during a performance and fell on the drum set. We continued to play despite the total wreckage on stage.

S: Nerves performing live, is stage fright ever an issue?

G: We’re all well accustomed to performing live. Fortunately, we’ve never been paralyzed by stage fright but a bit of anxiety certainly surfaces before getting on stage. But if it goes well, it turns into excitement after a few songs. That thrill is what drives us.

S: What are the biggest obstacles that you face as musicians today?

G: Lack of time and funds. We have to work day jobs to make a living. Sometimes we feel like we’re working two separate jobs.

S: What is most important to you as musicians?

G: Creative freedom in expressing our thoughts and feelings.

S: Your plans for the near future?

G: Release a new album, shoot a few music videos, and play more festivals outside of Poland.

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