It would take someone who isn’t legal drinking age to release 2012’s best collection of bummer jams, of course. As Cloud Nothings, Dylan Baldi has cornered the market on bad vibes as screamed inside a trash can. We caught up with him at the Pitchfork Music Festival to discuss dropping out of school, and why he decided to grow such a gnarly beard.
Was it daunting to open up the day?
None more than usual. I wanted to play well. It’s always weird to play during the day when there’s sun out but it started raining and worked out.
Your record is called Attack on Memory, but it’s definitely a throwback in terms of sound. Why were you pulled toward that ‘90s sound?
Honestly, I was pulled more toward the sound of The Wipers and bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s, but I think that’s what people in the ‘90s were also pulling from. So I just came up with a similar kind of thing.
I noticed you’re sporting a beard these days. Could you talk about it?
You want me to talk about it?
I’m not 21 yet, and sometimes the beard makes me look older if I go somewhere. And also I’m just fucking lazy. So it’s easier not to shave than shave.
Wait, you’re not 21 but you’re drinking that beer?
Uh… [slips cup behind back]
Are you in school at all right now?
No, not now. I went to college at Case Western for a little bit and realized immediately that I hated it. So I decided to start a band and still have something to do, and not just be a total loser. I was studying saxophone. It was pretty wild. But I didn’t like it.
Have they ever asked you to come back and play a show, like a spring festival or something?
I don’t think anyone there really cares about the band. No, not at Case. If they had a festival, I didn’t know about it. But we’re not playing it.
If you could inhabit anyone’s body for a day, who would you pick?
Like, dead or alive? But when they were alive? Maybe, like, Katy Perry. I’m so mad I haven’t seen her new movie yet.