February 11, 2016
By LUKE TAYLOR
"The marriage between visuals and music is such an intimate one," says Cloud Cult front man Craig Minowa. "Each brings out flavors in the other that doesn't happen when they're just standing on their own."
Cloud Cult have long married visuals and music in their live shows, which feature onstage painting by Scott West and Connie Minowa. But the band members have long envisaged a filmic synergy; in fact, the band's 2001 debut album, Who Killed Puck?, actually began as a film treatment. In the CD's liner notes, Craig Minowa even described Who Killed Puck? as a film soundtrack without a movie.
But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. On Cloud Cult's new album,The Seeker, the cinematic vision has at last been realized. "The past [albums'] storylines were such that they were complicated enough that there was really no way to turn that into a film, although it was always a dream of ours," Craig says. "But this one, it felt like it was doable."
Craig Minowa approached several film companies with his storyline, and ended up hiring longtime friend and collaborator Jeff D. Johnson and his Motion 117 Productions to turn The Seeker into a film. The cast materialized shortly thereafter. "We ended up scoring some really good Hollywood actors, namely Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother and Alex McKenna from What Women Want," Craig says. "That just blew our minds — just really good people who essentially volunteered to come out here and spend three weeks on set filming it."
The film version of The Seeker has already enjoyed some preview screenings, including one that took place on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, and it has been accessible in serial format to All Access subscribers. "The whole plan with it was to kind of release it song by song and film chapter by film chapter over the course of several months," Craig explains. "In that way, everyone can kind of spend some intimate time with each song."
The Seeker, Cloud Cult's tenth full-length studio album, hits shelves on Feb. 12. During Cloud Cult's upcoming tour in support of the album, shows will feature the band playing The Seeker from beginning to end while the film is projected behind them. The tour includes a March 11 show at Grandma's Sports Garden in Duluth, Minn., and a March 12 performance at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.
Listen to the audio player above to hear Craig Minowa describe his entire vision for The Seeker, including its genesis as a film as well as the album's deeper philosophical underpinnings.