The rock band Cloud Cult is on a mission to turn music lovers into environmental activists. And they’re determined to do it without what they say is the usual message of environmental doom and gloom. Cloud Cult has fun. That’s more effective, according to the band – and its fans throughout the region seem to agree. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mary Stucky reports, Cloud Cult is taking environmental activism to new forms… from the way they package their cds, to the flyers they distribute at concerts:
The rock band Cloud Cult is on a mission to turn music lovers into
environmental activists. And they’re determined to do it without what
they say is the usual message of environmental doom and gloom. Cloud Cult
has fun. That’s more effective, according to the band and its fans
throughout the region seem to agree. As Mary Stucky reports, Cloud Cult is taking
environmental activism to new forms, from the way they
package their cds, to the flyers they distribute at concerts.
(music of Cloud Cult – “you’re so pretty…”)
Cloud Cult sings about love and loss.
(music of Cloud Cult)
And Cloud Cult sings about over-consumption and the beauty of the natural
world. Band leader Craig Minowa is an environmentalist disguised as a rocker.
(music fades out)
“I’ve tried so many ways of getting the message across and if you’re singing , ‘I gotta go out and
recycle today everybody is just gonna,’ (laugh). Our hope is that you bring people out, they
realize this movement isn’t something that is dark that you have to feel bad about but it’s
something exciting and we can have a good time doing this.”
Minowa founded the band and runs what he calls Earthology Studios about an
hour north of St Paul, Minnesota. This is a business that replicates CDs
for other bands. Minowa says he’s doing the only environmentally-friendly
CD replicating in the country. He takes used plastic jewel cases, cleans them up and recycles
them for new CDs .
“I mean they’re polyvinyl chloride so if you don’t recycle them, if
you send them off for incineration it creates dioxin which is one of the
most toxic pollutants.”
Liner notes are made with recycled paper and non toxic ink. The shrink
wrap around the CD – that’s made from corn-based cellulose.
But it’s not how the CDs are made, it’s the music that’s important to this
crowd at a Cloud Cult gig in Duluth Minnesota. Cloud Cult just released
a new CD, “Aurora Borealis.” Their previous disc, “They Live on the
Sun,” was a hit on college radio.
(sound of music)
Even though he’s here to play music, Craig Minowa can’t let an environmental
opportunity pass by. At the back of the bar – tables with information and sign-up sheets.
“Organic Consumers Association, Great Lakes United and the Environmental Association for
Great Lakes Education.”
“I work for the organization that is putting on the Living Green Conference.
“Is it the first time you’ve been at a bar to promote your organization?”
“Yeah I think so.”
“It’s really a noble cause, I’d like to be involved and sign up. For the last couple weeks I’ve
really been excited and I looked forward to this concert.”
Minowa thinks this is the future of the environmental movement.
“The winning equation is making people feel. Make them feel through the music. Hopefully
then as they’re walking out looking at the organizations they’re more receptive to the statistics on
the table. And that’s when real action is going to take place.”
Craig Minowa donates all profits after overhead to environmental
Causes and says giving money comes naturally.
“You’re not really gonna be able to get somebody to pull 20 bucks out of their wallet and invest
that in protecting the creek down the way unless that same person is able to go over there and feel
in their heart, that is a really beautiful flower and I want to protect that because I have love, I have
compassion, I feel.”
(sound of music)
Cloud Cult tours this winter throughout the Great Lakes region.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mary Stucky.