Thundercloud Kid returned in 2018 with a reimagined and reinvigorated sound. Key to this new sound is the stripping back of the group to songwriter Sean Caputi complemented by newcomer Dallas Greene, who brings a stirring boost with her crystalline vocals.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
The band is made up of five characters that exist in the world of our book that we are releasing chapter by chapter on our website: "The Charmingly Odd and Oddly Charming Tales of the Thundercloud Kid." The Seamstress is the lead singer, the Lamplighter does backing vocals and plays rhythm guitar, the Magistrate plays lead guitar, the Reaper plays bass and the Machinist plays drums. In terms of real life, Dallas Greene and I write and record the music together with help from Frank Zanti on drums. We consider Rae Sara, our illustrator, to be a member of the project as well - she's super talented and provides the art for our book and any other material that we need.
For starters, what bands were you part of prior to this project? How long has this project been around?
This is actually the only project I've ever been a part of beyond casual jamming with friends in high school (Theory XYZ shout-out) but Dallas also does her own music on the side of Thundercloud Kid. I started creating for this project and shaping it conceptually in around 2010 and spent at least 4 years writing and recording demos and really learning how music works before assembling a band, playing live shows, releasing songs, etc. I think that was a necessary step in my development because when I listen to some of my earliest demos, I want to throw them in a volcano.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Writing is therapeutic for me so a lot of the lyrics are personal exorcisms and that has not changed and probably will not. We all feel the same things as people and I like to be able to put music and words to those emotions. That being said, all of our songs are written from the perspective of characters in the book so I can take my own feelings and apply them to the storylines that we've created. I've never been interested in songs about politics or songs that have any kind of agenda so I think it's safe to say that thematic music in that regard will never be a part of this project.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
There are a lot of great bands in Buffalo that don't get the national attention that they deserve: Fernway, Marquee Grand, Head North and so many more have been a part of the music community here for a long time and have great stuff. Pentimento is another Buffalo band that we've respected for years and their songwriter Mike Hansen has been in the studio working with us for almost every recording we've done. I think that there's good music under your nose in many cities. The problem is that most people don't take the time and effort to find it and instead listen to whatever "today's hits" are shoved down their throats by pop radio.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Thanks to my parents, I grew up on Tom Petty, the Beatles, and a lot of those "classic rock" bands. The first album that made me want to start my own serious project though was My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade because I had never heard anything like that. I know that the idea of a narrative tying all of the songs on an album together is not something that they pioneered, but it's the first album of that kind that made me understand that music can be so much more than songs about a girl or about high school or whatever. The Black Parade taught me how to create a world and then fill it with music, which is what we try to do with this project.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
We're a pretty low-key group of people. We don't really do anything notable or ritualistic before shows because we don't feel that we need to. The most important thing to us is being honest and connecting with people through the songs so we just go up there and have fun with everyone.
What has been the biggest highlight of you music career so far?
The biggest highlight for me has been being interviewed by Kill The Music, for sure. Beyond that, it's been really awesome to tour and to see people from all over the country who know us through the project. The internet is such a game-changing tool in this industry because it allows us to be everywhere at once and to reach thousands of people around the world. We've played with some pretty big time bands like Waterparks and Metro Station so that's always a cool scene. You find that we're all fighting the same battles and just trying to do what we love most and that's what it all boils down to.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I love Fall Out Boy's first four albums so I would have loved to tour with them in like 2008. The Goo Goo Dolls are also a really big deal in Buffalo so we go see them every time they play a home show and we know their bassist, Robbie Takac, because he owns the studio that we often record in. I certainly wouldn't complain if we could travel around the country with them.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We'd definitely like to thank you for doing what you're doing for music - without passionate publications like you supporting the scene, we'd be destined to have to listen to Cardi B and Bruno Mars for eternity. And then I'd have to throw myself into that volcano.