Cloudkicker is Ben Sharp’s solo outlet, fusing progressive metal with subtle ambience, all in a do-it-yourself fashion. He’s released four EPs and four full-lengths with much acclaim from fans and reviewers alike. Sharp has recently announced his upcoming effort which he hopes to have prepared for a fall release.
Sharp took some time away from his work to speak with us briefly about how he got started as Cloudkicker and what we can expect on the new album. Read through and enjoy!
How did Cloudkicker come to be?
After doing the band thing most of my teens, I started writing music on my own in 2005 and it basically morphed from like a mellow nearly-electronic thing into songs that would become The Discovery. I moved away from Los Angeles around the time that I also discovered the EZDrummer program which is when I realized that maybe I don’t have to have anyone else to make band music. I recorded that album and it’s been gathering steam since.
Where is the name derived from?
Kit Cloudkicker from that show Tale Spin. I used to watch it every day.
Are you involved with any other projects?
You recently announced your next release. Can you reveal an album title yet?
I have all the titles and everything, but I want to let them steep for a couple more weeks before I commit.
For fans that didn’t get a chance to read your announcement, how will the next album differ from your previous releases?
Imagine drawing a line between The Discovery and Beacons and extrapolating that trend out a bit farther. Then mix in some mid-90s arena-shoegaze.
What inspired the new direction on Loop and Let Yourself Be Huge?
I didn’t want to try and do Beacons 2 so instead I did something completely different.
What is your personal favorite record you’ve released?
I’m incredibly proud of Beacons and it set a standard of honesty for me. If I can make something with as much of myself in it as I did with that release then I should probably scrap it and start over. But I was thinking that way about The Map is Not the Territory as I was writing Beacons. I’m trying to say that I don’t really believe in the concept of “a favorite” but I do think that as far as quality goes I’ve been going uphill pretty steadily and I would like to continue to.
For all the tech nerds out there, what’s your gear consist of?
Well all the things I’ve used up until this point are listed on my blag. For the new thing though, the family includes a Telecaster, Jazz Bass, Big Muff Pi pedal, and a Line 6 Pod X3.
How do you feel about fans pirating your music?
I think “pirating” is a pretty bogus buzzword. People aren’t murdering other people to listen to music I make. They’re just listening to it and sharing it with their friends, and I do the same thing so I don’t see a problem.
Any plans to tour or play select shows in the near future?
What’s your next big goal for Cloudkicker?
This new release thing. From now until I’m done I’ll basically be spending all my free time on it.
Written and conducted by: Brian Lion