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24 February 2017

[Interview] Stratus Nimbus [USA]

Stratus nimbus cover art
We had the chance to chat with the 'Dowd brothers', Dan and Doug, the two brothers who formed the band "Stratus Nimbus" and released their debut album a few months ago. Here's our little interview:

-Hello and welcome to Downtuned. First of all, give us some info about the band's background just to let people know you better.
-Me and my βrother lost touch for about 12 or so years. We found each other on facebook a few years ago. Him being older than me and being a drummer, I always wanted to play music with my brother. After a short reunion and some jamming we decided to record. We had an original line up of guys we were working with but you know how that goes. So rather than halt the project we proceeded with the help of a handful of talented musicians and friends from all over the world. It was a matter of taking all the pieces and putting them together. We are now currently working on new material and finding permanent members for if we decide to play any shows.

-Is there a big undeground music scene in your place of origin at the moment? How easy or difficult was for you to make your first steps as a band? Was it easy to find an audience for your music in your town?
-In Prescott Valley area their was a very vibrant music scene, it's slowly died over the years. By the time we finished our album a lot of the bars in the area don't do live music anymore. We turned to the internet to find our audience and found that was our best option at the time.

Stratus Nimbus, the Dowd brothers-How did you come up with the name "Stratus Nimbus"? Is there a particular "relationship" between your music and the clouds?
-We grew up in Seattle Washington, so it's kind of a homage to the rain, clouds, and home. Also our self titled album cover is an image of the Fremont Troll, a statue from near the area we grew up. The name kinda hit us randomly not sure how it came about but it stuck.

-Did the members of the band participate in other projects or bands in the past and what kind of music did they play?
-Oh yes all of us have or have had tons of other projects and bands. One noteworthy and crucial member of the project was Tom Davies who played bass and produced the album. He was in "Fu-Manchu" and plays in "The Freeks" and also "Nebula" and "ZANO". Also Dan and Tom Goddard and Luke Shelley and Chris Buskirk all played together in a band called "The Chemical Agenda," Doug played in "24 Robbers" and "The Organically Grown" back home in Seattle. Just a few off the top of my head...

-What were the biggest difficulties that you encountered in producing and releasing your first full-album? Are those difficulties going to affect the way you'll handle things in a future release?
-The biggest difficulty was finding reliable musicians to help us finish the album and stick it out to the end. We ended up recording and producing the album our selves at home over long distance. It took 3 years. Looking back on it, it was hard work but a fun time. We wouldn't change that for the world. But looking forward we would probably do things differently. A full band in a real studio would be nice

-Your album was released almost 5 months ago. What is the feedback that you got so far?

We have received a ton of feedback. Good and bad. Mostly good. Our album lacks a little bit of production quality due to the fact that it was recorded in 5 different states and 3 different countries all on home/amateur equipment.... So that's really the only bad feedback we get is people expect studio quality.  We were going for a grungy lo-fi sound anyway and mostly the feedback has been great. We were really blown away by it actually.

Stratus Nimbus, the Dowd brothers
-How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you yet? Is that the style that defines "Stratus Nimbus" or there's room for experimentation in the future?
We've been labeled everything from psychedelic doom to stoner rock to grunge. I mean we fall into a lot of categories. I say, have a listen and let the music speak for itself. You will hear tons of different rock and metal influence all over the album. We have a sound we like glued down so in the future you can expect songs more to the likes of the ones on our album my brother did the vocals on like "rain jam" and "equality" there is always room for experimentation though. I mean that's how this whole thing started.

-What were the main reasons and influences that made you adopt this music style?

-We grew up listening to and playing grunge rock and stoner rock. Doom kinda found us. We like heavy music.

-How does the whole songwriting process works for you? What are the emotions you want people to receive when they hear your music?
-Our songs tell stories. Good and bad, there is a lot of emotion involved in the songs. A lot of the stories have multiple meanings and can be interpreted differently. It's all a matter of perspective. We try to tell stories people can relate to.

-What are your lyrics about? Are there any themes that you mostly prefer?

The songs go through an emotional roller coaster of good, evil, angry, sad, and uplifting, each song kinda has its own theme but they are all connected in ways too.

-During a gig, is the communication with the crowd important for you? Does the positive feedback from the crowd motivate you to perform with more passion?

-Speaking from personal experience it is very important to have a good energy presence on stage and to interact with the crowd. If you're into it then they are. We look forward to playing our music live someday.

-Are there any "special" bands that you dream to share the stage with?

-Yes fucking "Fu-Manchu" I think it would be a rad show. Also "Brant Bjork" or "Sleep" or "Corrosion of Conformity" or "Conan" I could list bands all day like "Witchfinder General" that would be kille.

-How do you imagine "Stratus Nimbus" in 2026?

-Dead face down in a drained out pool..... joking really. I hope we are still pumping out albums and touring. Who knows. Life is crazy.

-What are your plans for this year? Is it a priority for you to try and participate in gigs outside your country?

-No plans for this year for gigs or a new record. Me and my wife are having a baby in June so for right now we are taking a break and focusing on promoting our album and building our brand. We plan on getting right back to work as soon as things slow down a bit.

-We wish you good luck to whatever you do in the future, the epilogue is yours...
-Thanks for the opportunity and taking the time to ask us some really good questions. We enjoy sharing every bit about what makes us what we are.





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