We had the pleasure of chatting to bassist and vocalist Jeremy Kelshaw (aka The Undertaker) of Sydney’s own up-and-coming indie-pop group Cloud Control, ahead of their upcoming European tour. We caught up with him over the phone while he was sitting at a café in Byron Bay. Here’s how it went down:
‘The Undertaker’. How’d that name come about?
I had been traveling on a lot of flights over a period of two years and my bass case finally gave out and died. I had to get on a plane the next day so I had to frantically run around trying to find another one, and I couldn’t find a thing. Finally, I got to this shop and they had a one-size-fits-all case that pretty much looked like a giant coffin. I had no choice but to buy the massive case which was even lined with purple satin material just like a coffin. We could actually lay down in there and close it up. So that is pretty much where that came from and the name just stuck I guess.
How does a brother/sister combo affect the dynamics of the band?
Umm yeah, it’s good and bad (laughs). Mostly good, 99% good. Ulrich our drummer and Heidi our keyboardist, they bring out the best in each other. They have their own little thing going on sometimes like all siblings do I suppose. They play up sometimes too leaving Al and I looking at each other wondering what the hell just happened. But yeah, I think it’s definitely a good thing – brings kind of a close dynamic.
Was it difficult as a band deciding which tracks would feature on your debut album ‘Bliss Release’?
Basically we wanted the album to tell a story and the tracks that we had written and had been playing actually did that already. It was just a matter of putting them into an order that flowed.
Who writes majority of the lyrics?
Probably Al, he does the largest share of the songwriting, but we all chip in. There’s lyrics on the album that Al and I wrote together, there’s lyrics that Ulrich and Heidi have written together and that kinda thing. We are all really looking forward to writing the next album at some stage, when we have more time to sit down, get the juices flowing, see where the creative process takes us and dictates where we go.
Tonight you’re playing a sold out gig in Brisbane. Nervous about that?
Not at all, we are really looking forward to it. We have that gig tonight, then our last show is in Coolangatta tomorrow night and then it’s off to the UK for the next leg of our touring. We are doing some shows with Tame Impala and The Temper Trap as well, so that’s going to be pretty awesome. We’re also supporting Local Natives for a few shows while we’re over there. Don’t really know much about those guys yet but we have heard a lot of positive things – so they should be some fun shows!
How do you feel about the word ‘hipster’? Would you agree that Cloud Control have quite a large ‘hipster’ following?
So like guys with beards in oversized, baggy clothing? I guess to some extent… Although I’m constantly surprised by the different types of people in the audience at our gig. Like, there’d be people of all ages – anywhere from 16 to early forties. It’s generally a pretty diverse turn-out.
Lastly, the opening lyrics to ‘Nothing in the Water We Can’t Fight’: Mother Ganga take me higher. What does it mean?
When we were in India we witnessed a local sea burial where they laid the dead on a raft and sent it out to sea along the River Ganges. Basically it talks about being taken by a higher power – it’s something we can’t fight and need to accept.
Cloud Control are playing shows across Ireland and the UK over the coming weeks to promote their debut LP Bliss Release – supporting fellow Aussies Temper Trap, Tame Impala and LA’s Local Natives along the way.
We’ll leave you with the video for Cloud Control’s third single from Bliss Release titled ‘Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight’. Film clip directed by art duo Greedy Hen GreedyHen.com: