Interview: Cloud Castle Lake’s Slow Burning “Bonfire”

Dublin’s Cloud Castle Lake create soundscapes as breathtaking and howling as Ireland’s coastal cliffs. The four piece is readying to release their debut LP this spring along with a North America headlining tour.

Their latest single “Bonfire” is a mystical seven-minute oeuvre inspired by an old Irish/Welsh myth.  Adding to the ballad’s mystique is the echoing siren-like vocals of choral singers in the background.  The quartet bring their etherial sounds to The Hotel Cafe tonight grab your tickets here and make your way to Hollywood for 8PM.

Cloud Castle phoned in from their home of Dublin to chat with Culture Collide about the city, the music scene, and their anticipation for the tour and the release of their debut album. Read on and see tour dates below.

Culture Collide: What’s the most exciting part of touring?
Cloud Castle Lake: Anytime that we play a few shows in a row, we get into a nice flow and we really enjoy playing a lot more by the end. That’s one aspect. We’re looking forward to playing some new cities, as we’ve never been to Chicago or Boston.

Is there anything you want to make time to do while in those cities?
CCL: I’ve had a serious craving for deep dish pizza so I’m going to try to do that in Chicago.

What inspired the track “Bonfire”?
CCL: I read about this old Irish myth about how warring tribes would have hidden names, and if you found out the name of your enemies tribes you would defeat them. They would use animals to obscure the name. It was a convoluted idea that grew into a more modern day Rumpelstiltskin idea about keeping secrets.

Bonfires are a pretty big here in Ireland around Halloween. A lot of kids will collect as much wood as they can to try and build the biggest bonfire that they can in their neighborhood. It’s a really fun time of year because the whole family will get together, light a bonfire and set off some fireworks.

What’s the music scene like in Dublin?
CCL: It’s quite diverse. There’s no one sort of style in the scene. There’s a lot of folk music but then there’s also rock bands inspired by American and English rock bands, there’s a classical music scene as well, and a small jazz scene, so it’s fun having that eclectic mixture. Plus everyone knows each other so it’s very easy to find people to work.

Where do you like to go when you want to see a show or have a pint with friends?
CCL: The Olympia Theatre is pretty good, it’s a pretty famous place. I’ve seen some great shows there. There’s a place called Whelan’s as well which gets a lot of bands touring through, it’s more of a pub venue and a good place to go for a pint.

The meaning behind your band name is about discerning the mystique from reality. How do you stay grounded? How do you advise others to stay grounded?
CCL: Music itself is a way for us to refocus and stay grounded. Getting together, playing together, listening to music together is our fulcrum and going out for pints which is a lot of fun. Dancing, and talking to people about the issues. Our view of America at the moment is probably quite different I’m guessing, to many people living in America. Our media is quite informed on fake news so I think there is a different perspective here then there is in America I’m guessing.

How are you going to celebrate the LP the day of the release?
CCL: We’ll hopefully try to organize a show in town and get all our friends involved. We did that before with the EP and it was really fun night.

Favorite song on the LP?
CCL: “Malingerer” which is the title track from the album. It’s the song that feels most like us.

Look out for the release of Cloud Castle Lake’s debut LP this Spring and catch them on their North American tour:

01/29 – Hotel Café – Los Angeles, CA
01/30 – Brick and Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
02/01 – Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
02/05 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
02/06 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY