Cloud Cult returns to Philly with feature-length film, "The Seeker."
It's not uncommon for bands to make a documentary to complement one of their albums. What's rare, however, is what the group Cloud Cult did.
The indie-rock/pop band turned their concept album," The Seeker," into a feature-length film, cast with actors and all. The high-quality flick, named after their 2016 album, was officially accepted into a slew of festivals, including Toronto Independent Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival and Split Film Festival.
Cloud Cult will perform with their film at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 27.
"The Seeker" is a story of Grace - a daughter whose idyllic life is turned upside-down by immense tragedy. As she grows older, her cynicism and apathy towards her new reality is challenged by a reminder from the past that sets her on a pilgrimage that will define her.
Cloud Cult frontman Craig Minowa, who founded the band in 1995, discussed how the idea for the flick came about, returning to the City of Brotherly Love, and how he works through the tough times in his career.
What do you remember about your last show in Philly, and what was the experience like?
We were at Prince Theater, which is a beautiful venue. The day was particularly gorgeous, and coming from the cold Midwest, we wanted to take advantage of it, so instead of using the stage, the band was initially in the back alley rehearsing.
How did the idea to turn "The Seeker" into a film come about?
We had been working on the album for about a year and a half when it became clear that it was becoming a narrative storyline. We have wanted to do an album-film combo ever since our 2000 album, "Who Killed Puck." So this seemed like the perfect album to finally make that happen.
Beyond playing more shows, what's something you seek out of life?
I don't think it's as much about the particular thing or career that I'm doing, I think it's more about the intention and attention that we put into any action, whether that's recording a song or spending time helping my kid get ready for school. Personally, I'm constantly seeking a greater connection to the whole. And for myself, there are a few techniques that I'm continually trying to get better at as I get older in order to have a more consistent connection to that bigger thing that is not my self, including mindfulness in even the most mundane actions and practicing awe and appreciation. Some days I'm good at it, and some days I deserve a swift kick in the butt.
What's "Pilgrimage" about?
The concept behind that song is the point in the story where the character finally decides to put the necessary work into making true personal change and not falling for the same emotional habits and mental trappings that we are all so familiar with. People of many different religions and spiritual backgrounds have for thousands of years practiced something called a pilgrimage, which is a self-induced journey of struggle in order to finally be rewarded with a spiritual gift of some kind. The main idea of the song is that the fixation for the spiritual seeker, like so many things in this world, shouldn't be on some assumed final destination, but on this exact moment in the journey. This entire life is a pilgrimage.
How do you work through the moments in your career when you feel stuck?
I typically get stuck when I get too caught up in my head. In those times, I find it most helpful to find quiet places, like the woods, where I can face my inner demons and voices and gradually still the mind. The best songs come from the deep, and if my surface waters are too tumultuous, I'm never going to hear them. If I try to force the music to come, it will just make it worse. I have to be in a state of full surrender.
What's a question you wish more people would ask you?
I wish I'd get asked, "Is there anything you'd like to ask me?" I'd be more interested in interviewing the interviewer than being the interviewee. It's a pretty amazing and hope-building kind of thing to recognize that you could pick just about any random person on the street, and with enough questions, there will be revealed a beautiful being with a compelling life story.