Message In A Cloud could be one of these bands that might renew out interest on post-rock. Mixing blackgaze, shoegaze and of course post-rock in the same blender, MIAC, are ready to ‘conquer’ the post-rock summit! Their debut album, out in mid June (hopefully!) through Ikaros Records is a ‘must-check out’, but until then Athenian readers, don’t miss their live appearance at Temple Athens, on May 10th! The following is what they shared with Last Day Deaf from a recent “chat”.
Hello Message In A Cloud! Will you be kind enough to introduce the band to our readers?
Hello Christos! Message In A Cloud began as a one-man project by me, Nikos Loukopoulos (ex-nibiru, ex-Immensity (live), Decemberance, Constrictor) in 2014 in Athens, Greece. I had some tracks in my archive and made a two-track, home-recorded demo during the same year , but my real ambition was to hear this music played live by real musicians. So I picked up some already experienced friends in order to form a band: Aggelos Malisovas (from Daylight Misery, Decemberance, Ciccada), George Vasalos (Apparently Dead), Thanasis Politis (Kevel) and Nora Koutsouri (ex-Immensity). The band performed some shows during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and played as an opening act for some foreign bands such as Khara, Sylvaine and Saigon Blue Rain. In the end of 2016, the band started recording its debut album, which will be available very soon in 2018 on vinyl format by Ikaros Records. I would describe Message In A Cloud’s sound as a mixture of post rock, post metal, shoegaze and blackgaze. We have already released two singles from our debut as you know!
‘Apophenia’ is a great taster of your upcoming debut album ‘Anassa‘. Would you like to tell us about this track? In addition, where does the sampling speech come from?
‘Apophenia‘ is a very special track for me, not only for being one of the oldest tracks composed for this project (the second one more specifically, back in 2013), but also because it marked the change of my musical style back then. You know, along with George, we played in a progressive metal band named Inertial Oblivion since our school years. Complexity, technique and polyrythmic grooves used to be our priority on creating tracks. Even though I think our one and only EP (‘Lunar Pace‘) has a rather mellow musical direction, the style sounded a bit “immature” to me. So, I decided to concentrate rather on the feeling than the technical impressing of the listener. ‘Apophenia‘ was a track made for Inertial Oblivion in the beginning! Though, I thought that the other guys would never go along with my new musical perspective and I left the band. You can clearly hear the influence of bands like Alcest, If These Trees Could Talk and Les Discrets in this track. The name means the ability of someone to discern patterns that other’s cannot on things like artifacts or even just images and thoughts. The sampling speech is taken from an interview of William Burroughs talking about art. It can easily found on YouTube.
Have to admit that I am very happy about this interview Nikos. Firstly because Message In A Cloud sound a very interesting band indeed, and secondly because nibiru, your previous musical adventure, was the very first interview for Last Day Deaf! Judging from ‘Apophenia’ & ‘You Used To Die In My Hands‘ seems to me that the post-rock element is much stronger than metal. Please discuss…
Thanks for your kind words Christos! I truly appreciate it! Well, actually I would describe ‘Apophenia‘ and ‘You Used To Die In My Hands‘ a bit “misleading” about the album’s direction. Yes, the post rock element is strong in both tracks, and so it is on the rest of the record. We chose those two because we considered them as the most “easily accessible” for a new listener in order to get into our material.
Would you like to provide us with some info about ‘Anassa‘ then? Will the rest of the album differ from ‘Apophenia’ and ‘You Used To Die In My Hands’? When are you going to release this? The album’s artwork, also, looks really amazing…
You know, there’s much more metal in the album! Some tracks have a much heavier sound and vibe, and even blast-beat sections appear! Bands like Deafheaven, An Autumn For Crippled Children, Isis and some 90s metal heroes like The Gathering have given a defining colour to the way we wanted to sound. On the other side, ‘You Used To Die In My Hands‘, for example, owes much more to acts like Mogwai, Hood and This Will Destroy You. We tried to make a diverse-sounding album, with many elements for the listener to explore! We were about to release the record early this year, but, as it happens to almost every new band, some things delayed the pressing of the vinyl. Nevertheless, we trust our label that by the middle of June, the album will have been released! As about the artwork, yes, we love it too! The illustrator is one of the best known professionals in rock and metal music at this time! His name is Costin Chioreanu and he has worked with many acts we admire like Arcturus, Paradise Lost, Sólstafir, Grave, Oceans Of Slumber and many many more!
How did a solo bedroom project evolve to a 5-member band then?
As I said before, Message In A Cloud came as an idea after leaving my previous band on which I was also the main composer. At that time, I was playing music in other bands like, nibiru and Immensity, but I was the bass player. And bass is not my basic instrument. I had always been a guitarist. My creative contribution to these bands was poor too. I was writing a lot of music in my bedroom, but it couldn’t fit in these bands and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be the leader of a project yet. That’s why the “Message In a Cloud Demo” is a fully home-made recording with computer programmed drums, poor sound and production. I was not sure of what I were about to do with all this stuff written. Mostly Aggelos liked the tracks and persuaded me to start a band! I had a lot of personal problems back then and, in the end, I thought that starting something fully from the beginning would trigger me to rise up and get over them!
On May 10th you are about to perform at Temple Athens. Are you going the rest of ‘Anassa‘ that night?
Yes! Even though we firstly had some other ideas for this performance, we finally decided just to play the album in its entirety. We have had over than a year to perform a gig, so, it will be a great chance for our followers to get a “listening session” of the album and for new people to see who Message In A Cloud is!
What does “post-rock” & in general “instrumental music” mean for Message In A Cloud?
First of all, we both know that post rock is not only just instrumental music. Some of the most essential bands of this genre include vocals to their music, like Talk Talk, Slint, Sigur Rós, A Silver Mt. Zion, Hood, Crippled Black Phoenix etc. During the last 15 years acts like God Is An Astronaut and This Will Destroy you created the “fad” of atmospheric instrumental rock. But I don’t like to characterize every instrumental rock band as post rock. For me post rock is an evolution of 70s and 80s progressive rock, adding much more atmosphere and dynamics. As post-punk took “punk rock”some steps further, post rock is considered to take rock in general some steps further. So, for Message In A Cloud, post rock means experimentation, tasting of limits and musical progress!
Name 5 desert island albums for M.I.A.C.
Les Discrets – ‘Septembre et ses dernieres pensees‘
Deafheaven – ‘Sunbather‘
Isis – ‘Panopticon‘
The Gathering – ‘Mandylion‘
Slowdive – ‘Just For A Day‘
Last words belong to you… Close this one the way you wish!
Thank you Christos for this interview and also everybody who is going to search and discover our music! See you on stage!
Photo credits: Thanasis Spyropoulos