By Darryl Maraj
Although the band has only been in existence for about two years, Cloud Caverns is quickly and quietly raising the standard of music on Long Island. By seamlessly blending the musical styles of Indie Rock and Folk music, along with outstanding storytelling, Brandon Peterson and Dan Bouza are on their way to greatness. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brandon and Dan and I found out that they’re not only great musicians, but really great guys too.
Even though Cloud Caverns is relatively new, Brandon and Dan have been writing together since their days at East Islip High School. Each of them were in different bands at the time. However, they would periodically meet up just to jam. Nothing was really taken seriously, but they bonded over shared musical interests. They were briefly separated when Dan went to the Crane School of Music in SUNY Potsdam, where he majored in Music Business with a concentration in classical guitar, while Brandon spent some time at Five Towns College also for music business as well as audio engineering. Once the duo reunited, they continued in their noncommittal jams, until one day, they realized that they may have stumbled upon something brilliant. They decided to get more serious about the music they were making together, and Cloud Caverns was born.
As previously mentioned, Cloud Caverns, typically is a mix of folk and Indie rock. They noted that some of the main influences on this group were Tom Waits, Iron & Wine and As Tall as Lions. However, one of the main musical philosophies of the band is experimentation with sounds. Brandon, being the main songwriter, will bring a basic sketch of a song. Then the partners go to work finding what the song needs. Does it need horns? Does is need strings? Does it need a drum? Does it need a drum with a can resting on the head? Does it need a drum with a can filled with pennies resting one the head? You get the idea; the process these two go through to make their vision of a song a reality is extremely time and energy consuming. But, based on the way they talk about the process, they love every minute of it.
Monday, June 30th will mark the very first live performance of Cloud Caverns! They’re going to be playing for the SPARKBOOM After Party of the Huntington Cinema Arts Centre’s viewing of the Documentary “Mistaken for Strangers” following Indie Rock band, The National. They both were extremely excited for three reasons. 1) It’s their first live performance with this band. Cloud Caverns’ natural habitat is in the studio but, they’re no strangers to playing live. Dan currently plays in a Bluegrass band called Three Suits and a Mandolin, and Brandon plays in rock band, Hotel of the Laughing Tree (who will actually be playing with Cloud Caverns that night on stage!). But, Cloud Caverns is immensely enthusiastic to play the music from their premier album, Gypsy Loft, to a live audience. 2) They’re big fans of The National! They feel honored to follow up a film about one of their favorite bands. And 3) These guys are really excited to be working with SPARKBOOM. The guys said they’re “happy to be a part of… an organization that is working to jump-start the art community on Long Island.”
So, don’t forget, Cloud Caverns will be making a scene, on Monday, June 30th, 9:30 PM, at the Cinema Arts Center, right after the screening of “Mistaken for Strangers” at 7:30 PM. RSVP here via FB / Purchase tickets. Don’t miss out!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Darryl Maraj graduated from Five Towns College with a degree in Music Education. At Five Towns, he worked with the great vocal professional and renowned educator, Stephen C. Pagano in jazz, classical, Broadway and pop styles of singing. Currently, Darryl splits his time between his job at the Islip School District, his church- where he is the Music Coordinator, and his band, Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When taking a break from music, Darryl likes to draw, play video games and attempt cooking.