2004_10_artscloudroom.jpgA few weeks ago someone told Gothamist about this band called The Cloud Room. We went to their site, gave them a listen...and immediately asked them if they'd like to play at our show coming up in November. They couldn't do it this time around...but we still love them. They give the 80's pop resurgence we're hearing from so many bands right now a bit of a darker edge. A thickly lined beat and dreamy vocals over the typical wall of strum makes them stand under a bit of a different light than the other bands we've seen lately. Lucky for us they're about to go into the studio to record an album, and until you can put them on your iPod we suggest you catch them live (details below).

The Cloud Room are Jason Pharr (drums), J (vocals, guitar), Benjamin Nugent (keys), John Petro (bass). This week J took some time to answer Gothamist's questions...

Let's get this out of the way, where did you band name originate? And if you had to change it to something else what would it be?

In the 1930’s, the Chrysler Building’s top floor was a speakeasy where members would meet in secret and engage in illicit activities. It was called the Cloud Club. But that’s all Mickey Mouse Club-sounding, you know? Also, when I was a kid, I got locked in a room that was covered entirely in cloud wallpaper. I started wondering if it was heaven and got freaked out.

If I had to change the name, I’d probably go with “Meat Bullet”. On CSI, some guy froze beef into the shape of a bullet and shot someone with it.

What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?

I moved from California to NYC to work with that filmmaker Hal Hartley. The day I arrived, I visited the office and they informed me that they had filled the spot with some NYU kid. Yes, I’m bitter.

What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?

Getting punched randomly on the street, two separate times, without actually getting mugged or anything. They just punched my head and walked off.

What is your favorite place to drink in NYC? What’s the best night of the week to go out in the city?

Zablozki’s on North 6th. Because of the anticipation of the weekend-- Thursday.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?

People are more appreciative of live music outside of NYC because it isn’t nearly as saturated with bands. At least in Pittsburgh, they were clapping…before even hearing us.

Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?

The Velvet Underground created NY rock-- In terms of actual sound, of theme, and of the look. So, like New York Dolls, The Ramones, The Strokes and other NY bands, that’s just an inherent trait in our band’s DNA.

Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action:

“You know you’ve made it when….”
…people are making you a part of their bodies with a tattoo of your band name.

“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when….”
…God says, “Dude, enough already.”

“I’ll never forget the first time I….”
…was recognized on the street as the singer of Fountains of Wayne.

“I’ll never forget the first time [insert another band member’s name here]….”
…a bandmate-to-remain-unnamed got a phone call from his girl saying she wanted to make love immediately. He walked back to us and said the only thing he could think of: “I gotta go. My dog’s puking.”

And finally, lets have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you’ve got no discernable feelings, make something up that won’t embarrass you in the morning):


My rock ‘n roll before I liked rock ‘n roll.


More like Jazz.


Justin’s way better.

Bridge & Tunnel

Cool Architecture.

The Darkness

Guilty displeasure.

Times Square

How many people are duped each year into visiting Time Square in Weehawken?

Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws

Smoking is going to be obsolete in 20 years.

Questions inspired by movies...

If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)

I just saw Reality Bites for the first time recently.

What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)

Everyone thought the Beta Band would be huge after High Fidelity, but now they’re breaking up. Too bad.

A few quickies on the music tip:

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?

That’s too hard.

If you released a 7” what would you put on the cover?

A compact disc.

What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?

The Arcade Fire -- “Funeral”.

You can catch the Cloud Room during CMJ on Thursday October 14th @ Pianos [Ludlow/Rivington]
@ 5 pm (with free cocktails! that's not another band, although it would be a good name, it's just stating that free booze will be dispersed at this free show).

Listen to the Cloud Room here (check out their song Hey Now Now, you'll be convinced).