Interview: Druid Cloak
Posted in Interviews
More otherworldly offerings from Druid Cloak. And this one has an extra dose of soul.
Druid Cloak’s been creepin’ on the come up for months now. Having grown up with a steady diet of rap and fantasy fiction, his music lies somewhere between those two seemingly opposing forces. After his first release on Kastle’s Symbols label, Druid Cloak has kinda been releasing singles and remixes non stop and it doesn’t look like he’s about to. Read on to learn more about the ever-elusive man behind the cloak.
I know that your previous project referenced fantasy literature. And Druid Cloak seems to come from the same place of origin. Can you tell me a bit about that world as an inspiration?
Basically, I’ve always been kind of like, not only a literature nerd but also just into general, surreal, whether it be landscapes or just visuals. Obviously, fantasy literature and graphic novels, anything that kind of lets me escape in a safe way. I’m also really into gaming, like Warcraft and Guild Wars.
I’m just really interested in the lore aspect, creating that story almost out of nothing. They can be vast, really detailed and crazy.
Have you ever thought about doing a soundtrack for games?
Oh, absolutely. It would be amazing to score a game or a movie or short film. Anything like that would be absolutely fantastic. I love the combination of mediums. Experimentation is one of the main points behind Druid Cloak, so trying everything is basically what I’m going to be doing.
I read in an interview on Gotta Dance Dirty that you actually have a little girl and another on the way. I interviewed Mala this past summer and one of the things that we talked about how fatherhood has changed the way that he thought about music and now his son is really into playing with his hardware and hearing different sounds – and he’s really young too. I was curious if or how fatherhood changed the way that you think about music.
Absolutely. I think it’s given me more drive than anything. I have my wife, who’s a full supporter of what I do and I know is a very lucky thing to have. But yeah, I kinda look at it like, if I don’t do what I love then what kind of example am I setting for my daughter and my next child? So I feel that it’s really the only option is to work hard so that I can solidify a spot where I’m just doing what I love full time. That’s the angle I’m at. I would say it’s because of my family.
I think I read somewhere that you want to do a live setup. Have you had the opportunity to do that yet?
Mainly my shows are just basic DJing right now. I definitely, at some point, want to get the live show started because I’ve been in bands and I can play a few instruments, well enough to play my songs. But investing in all of the gear takes a lot. Right now I’m making the tunes and trying to get the fan base and trying to get my sound out there now.
So what is your studio setup like? Do you produce with Ableton, Logic, how do you actually work and what’s your process?
I produce on Ableton exclusively. Really just using an APC 40 to help me work around my projects. I don’t even use a midi keyboard anymore to experiment with chords. I just kind of write them how I feel. I mean, my next piece of gear will definitely be a synthesizer and I’ll try to include more analog sounds for experimentation. But yeah, right now it’s totally Ableton, laptop and an APC 40.
So you’re starting a label of your own now called Apothecary Compositions. Tell me more about what’s coming up for that.
I’m working with the same designer who did my website and stuff like that. Working with the art. I kind of want to get it in a solid direction, which I think we kind of nailed. I only have the first release lined up and being worked on right now which is going to be from 813, out of Russia.
I love 813.
He’s great. And I just found out he’s a firefighter, which is super interesting.
Yeah, most producers I talk to kind of lead a double life. They have a day job and then the go home and make music and play shows at night.
Yeah, you just gotta find the time to get your fix.
I’m curious, what kind of stuff are you listening to right now?
Something that’s been on repeat is Cashmere Cat. And I’m still listening to the Body High catalogue all the time. The new Floyd Campbell mixtape that came out is blowing my mind and I’ve been listening to it all day. And I honestly listen to Kastle all the time. I listen to it because he’s got an awesome way that he structures his songs and I like to study the tracks.
Do you still go back to rap music a lot?
Oh, all the time. I really wanna work with some emcees in the future. I really like Joey Badass. I think he’s wonderful. Him and A$AP are two of my favorites. But yeah, definitely if I can get my hands on any tracks from up-and-comers, I try to at least listen to them and see what they’re about.