Outside Gallery 5, which is one of the newest music venues in Richmond, bassist Paul McDonald and vocalist/guitarist Justin Stuit talked with us after opening for a special Tuesday night show featuring PRAWN, SPECIAL EXPLOSION, NIGHT IDEA, and HERRO SUGAR. The rest of the band includes Mitch Clem on the guitar and Miles Blunt on the drums. Together they form the enigmatic local four-piece known as FIGHT CLOUD. Inspired by bands like CIRCA SURVIVE, MINUS THE BEAR, and local friends NIGHT IDEA, the band has crafted their own variety of music, which they describe as “Math Rock/Tween-Wave”.

We will start out with Richmond. How is the music scene in Richmond, and how does FIGHT CLOUD fit into it?

Justin: We play what we wanna play (laughs). That sounds ridiculous. We actually started into this genre because of Richmond. We came down here and heard some buddies of ours, well now they are buddies of ours. Anyways, they are in this band called NIGHT IDEA. We were blown away at the timing and all the “sporadicness”, the controlled chaos. We fell in love, I guess. CIRCA SURVIVE was kinda the first band that gave us that that sort of influence.

Speaking of NIGHT IDEA, in early January 2014 you guys went on tour together. Why did you decide to go on tour with them?

Paul: We went with NIGHT IDEA and toured the Southeast.

Justin: We love them, that’s how we decided.

Paul: Mutual love.

Justin: We played in Arlington together this last summer in the beginning of their tour. They stayed at Mitch’s dad’s house with us. There we formulated the idea to go on tour. Joey [Anderson of NIGHT IDEA] is captain initiative and made it happen. I helped him as much as I could but he did most of the scheduling. Kim with…

Paul: Hot Mess Booking.

Justin: Yeah, Hot Mess.

Paul: She helped us so much, got us so many shows. It was great.

Where did you go? What states?

Paul: We started here in Richmond on New Year’s Eve at the RNH house. That went spectacularly. And then we had another Richmond show the night before we left.

Justin: We went down to Georgia and Florida. “The Florgia tour” (laughs).

How did it help being with NIGHT IDEA while on tour?

Justin: Everywhere we went we had people to hang with.

Paul: Having four other people to hang with was a big help.

Would you recommend it to other bands?

Paul: Absolutely, it’s definitely the best decision we ever made when it came to touring.

Paul, you are the newest member of FIGHT CLOUD. How did you all start playing together?

Paul: Back in high school, my old band used to play shows with FIGHT CLOUD. They are three years older than me and my old mates. We became friends during that time. They went off to VCU and started playing here. When Pat (old bassist) left the band, they knew I could play bass so they called me up. I was going to VCU so it worked out pretty well. Here I am now, playing with them. It is so much fun. Every show is a new experience.

Justin, you had a little drama before the tour. I heard that you burnt your hand.

Justin: I got stuck in a fire. It sucked. I still had to go on tour. There was no way I could have bailed. At first, I was a little skeptical. You know, see my palm and finger tips without skin. I was kinda freakin out because I still had a lot of pain goin on. My doctor told me that I shouldn’t go on tour, but I went anyways.

Paul: Justin was a trooper.

I know there is probably several things coming up for FIGHT CLOUD. Is there anything that you are willing to share?

Justin: I don’t think we have said this yet. We have a little split goin on with some familiar musicians. Whom may or may not be playing right now, while we are talking. It is with HOUDAN THE MYSTIC, and it really is gonna be a good time. They are incredible. They kick ass.

Anything else you want to say?

Justin: Thanks for reading [this interview]. You can download Simple Structures at Like us on Facebook. If you enjoy the music, come to our shows. Stay posted. New stuff will be out soon. Stay patient my friends.

For more updates on FIGHT CLOUD, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

Dan Zimmerman

Born in Knoxville, Tenn., Dan is currently a resident of Salem, Va. He really digs experimental, math, post, and progressive interpretations of rock music. He loves the intimacy of house shows in Richmond. Besides music, Dan is a physical activity promoter, indoor climber, runner, and employee at Parkway Brewing Company.

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