Majical Cloudz Takes Its Shot
By Kyle Eustice
Photo courtesy of Biz3 Publicity
When Majical Cloudz was presented with the opportunity to open for 17-year-old pop princess du jour, Lorde, on her current North American tour, they jumped at the chance. After all, Majical Cloudz was handpicked by Lorde and as a more obscure Canadian outfit; it was more like a magical blessing for the duo. Comprised of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto, Majical Cloudz released their first album for Matador in 2013. Titled Impersonator, the album delivers slow, emotional electronic soundscapes peppered with the melancholic voice of Welsh. With tracks like “Childhood’s End” and “Bugs Don’t Buzz,” it makes perfect sense Lorde would be drawn to their sound; they are eerily similar. According to an interview with Billboard, Welsh felt Lorde’s act coincided with his “interests and aesthetic preferences.” As the last leg of the tour inches closer to Omaha, Welsh took a few moments to talk about touring and his definition of success.
Shout Omaha (Kyle Eustice): What’s the music scene like in Canada compared to the United States?
Devon Welsh: I’m not sure. There are so many different music scenes in both countries. Canada has a much smaller population, so there are also less people making music. There are all kinds of music scenes happening across Canada.
How did you initially catch the attention of Matador?
I think they came to a show we played in NYC in January 2013.
What kind of messages are you trying to get to your audiences lately?
On this particular tour, most people will never have heard of our music before, so appearing onstage and playing our music is enough of a message. We don’t really like to tell anyone what to do. I think we just try to be true to ourselves.
Does it ever seem overwhelming to get attention as a group when there is a seemingly endless sea of artists out there?
We aren’t really worried about what other artists are doing. We have a point of view and a certain set of aesthetic ideas that we enjoy, and we are happy sharing that with whoever is interested. For that reason, I don’t think we have ever felt overwhelmed trying to get anyone’s attention.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I write songs mostly on keyboards but occasionally on someone’s piano or guitar if I happen to be around one. I like to borrow instruments so I never get to comfortable with any certain keyboard or synthesizer. I write alone, not at any specific time of day. I just work as much as I can.
How does it feel when you’re performing in front of a crowd?
It can feel many different ways depending on how I’m feeling that night, what kind of crowd it is, where we are, etc.
Was there more pressure on you when making Impersonator since it was your first for Matador and more or less the dreaded sophomore album?
To us, Impersonator felt like a first record because it involved an entirely different approach than what went into anything previously released as Majical Cloudz.
We finished that record before we ever had plans to release it, so there was no pressure going into it.
How do you define “success?”
Not having to defer your dreams but instead having the opportunity to focus your life on accomplishing your dreams. Actually accomplishing your dreams is beside the point. Success is having the opportunity to make an attempt.
Do you have a philosophy on life?
Anything I think about life I’ve just figured out by making mistakes so it’s not a very coherent one.
Majical Cloudz with Lorde, September 27, at Stir’s Concert Cove, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs, 8 p.m. Tickets are $55. Visit www.harrahscouncilbluffs.com for more information.