Dive into our chat with Craig Almquist of Cold Fronts where we discuss about touring, artistic choice for their cover art and ultimate band crush.
How did Cold Fronts get its name?
CA — My brother suggested it to me a while ago and it always just stuck. The first batch of Cold Fronts songs were really inspired by seasonal depression so it seemed appropriate. I like the combination of words and the feelings it might evoke. Our sound has been described as summery and I think it’s funny that our band is kind of an antonym for our sound.
You are the last remaining original member of Cold Fronts. Despite the amount of changes you’ve had to go through in the establishment of Cold Fronts, what has kept you from leaving the band yourself?
CA — I started Cold Fronts with the intention of having a consistent line up but things don’t always work out the way you plan. The truth is, after we recorded and toured for our first EP, some band mates quit. The drummer and I decided to keep it going since I was the main songwriter. There was never really a good reason for me to quit. Because of Cold Fronts I’ve gotten to work with some of my favorite bands, record in amazing studios, and travel all over the world. Any job is hard, and any project is going to have setbacks, but I want to see where this thing goes because it’s only getting better.
Both Forever and Forever Whatever have water-themed cover art. What is the meaning behind this artistic choice?
CA — I wanted the look to be consistent with the EP and the full length so we definitely thought about that. Forever EP has this kind of dark picture of me face down in the water with my guitar. I like the juxtaposition of me face down in, dead in the water, and then the words Cold Fronts ‘forever,’ it’s a bit morbid but kind of fitting. Then when we did the ‘forever whatever’ artwork, it took on a different meaning. There’s the ocean which goes on forever, and then I’m in my clothes in the water which adds to the “whatever” aspect. At the time when our EP came out, it felt like our album might never get released so I like how it goes from me drowning, to having my head above water with the future looking a little more bright.
In what moment did you realize that everything was truly coming together and have you had this moment yet?
CA — I probably felt like that when we started recording our record. We had been on tour for almost two months and then went into the studio for another two months so it was starting to feel like a really awesome job. I was able to quit babysitting which was tight. But just because someone gave you money to make a record doesn’t mean that you “made it” or are “successful.” The thing people don’t realize about being in a band is that no one does anything for you, so if you get complacent or lazy, people will notice and your band will suffer.
What has been your favorite location to perform at?
CA — Philadelphia because it’s home, but that’s boring and expected. The most exciting place we played this year was in the UK at The Great Escape Festival. I had never been over seas and had always dreamed of playing a show there. The crowd was really receptive and all the bands were awesome.
Starting out as a local band playing shows in Philly at Rathaus to getting signed by Sire Records and Semour Stein is a huge change. How does encountering people from all over the country that connect with your music make you feel?
CA — I love it. I always try to have music on, and because of that, certain memories or times in your life are defined by what you’re listening to. The very thought of being a part of that on a small scale makes me really happy. Music is the most important thing in my life. I love listening to it, I love playing it, and I love getting to share it with people. The fact that people in Europe or Australia have heard our songs is really amazing.
If you had to describe your recent tour experience in one word, what would it be?
CA — Rowdy.
What is your dream venue to perform at?
CA — The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I was an intern there and it inspired me to start Cold Fronts because I realized I didn’t want to work in an office. With that being said, if you are going to work in an office, this was probably one of the best ones to be in. I was surrounded by writers and comedians which made me realize I wanted to be writing music and performing.
You spend a lot of time on the road together. How does this affect your relationship as a group?
CA — It’s honestly the best. No one get in fights; we all just share music and make each other laugh a lot. We all start get on the same wave length and become this weird little road family.
What is a current band/artist crush that you would love perform with?
CA — Oh man, a literal band crush would have be Haim. I wrote a song about Alana, it’s on our SoundCloud. She heard it and said she liked it but it was really nerve racking for me to put up. I’d definitely love to to play with them though.
How would you describe your show, visually and musically?
CA — I would say it’s pretty raw. We tend to stay away from stuff like backing tracks or metronomes which a lot of bands seem to gravitate towards these days. I like the element of the unknown with live shows and if stuff is too calculated it becomes boring. Visually our show can be pretty chaotic. It’s high energy. I want the audience to feel like the show could go haywire at any moment. Controlled chaos.
What do you hope to do with your music?
CA — I hope to just keep making it. I want to do at least three Cold Fronts records and collaborate with as many people as possible. I just want to be prolific and write songs on a regular basis. I like the idea of people having good memories to sounds that my friends and I make.
What sparks creativity in you?
CA — It’s tough to say because everything kind of inspires me. I like writing about being in love, I like writing about being depressed. Sometimes I write songs about my friends, sometimes I write songs about people I really don’t like. I think the key for having your creativity sparked is being available. Sometimes you might sit around all day and not be able to write anything you like, but the next day you might write your favorite song in five minutes. There’s no telling when creativity is going to strike, but you gotta be there and be ready when it does.
“Whatever” seems to be your mantra, if you will. Tell me a little bit about that and why you chose that as the title of your album.
CA — I like it. It’s two words and it rhymes. It’s not the most original title but like, whatever. We were calling the album, Forever Never because we thought it was never going to come out. It’s funny having an album come out on such a big a label and trying not to get caught up in all the distractions. I think that’s why we take on the mantra; not be apathetic, but more so just going with the flow.
It’s Saturday night, you’re driving down the highway, and you have nowhere to be. Where do you go?
CA — Brooklyn. Anytime I’m not in Philly, I tend to hang out there. I really like cities and traveling and New York is kind of the perfect distance. Its fun to get out of my element. I don’t like staying in one spot for too long, I get bored.