Features, Print May 3, 2022

Cloud Catcher: Carry the Heavy Torch

by Dan England

Some kids grow up listening to Barney, Elmo or Little Einsteins. Rory Rummings listened to Dio, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. 

“My Dad raised me on the classics,” Rummings tells BandWagon, and you can hear it in Cloud Catcher, the Denver band he formed nine years ago. Rummings is the frontman and main songwriter, and he loves paying homage to the classic metal of the 1980s as well as the bands that started it all, such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. 

But Rummings insists that Cloud Catcher isn’t just another replica content to copy the sounds (and even the riffs) from the masters in much the way that, ahem, Greta Van Fleet did.

“There are SO MANY bands like that,” Rummings said. “I’ve always been against trying to sound like something. All those classic bands are super, super, super influences, but there comes a point when…”

At this point Rummings sighs. It IS tough being a hard rock band searching for an original sound, and even as he offers some slight criticism to bands such as Greta, he also fully gets the dilemma.

“If I will play heavy,” Rummings said, “I will play my own form of heavy.” 

And Rummings WILL play heavy. On the band’s next album, which should be out this fall or winter at the latest, he has a song that sounds like Slayer. Cloud Catcher won’t cross over into death metal too often otherwise, but he admires the esthetic. The band will play much of that new material on May 13 at the Black Buzzard in Denver

“The one thing I try to consciously do is try to carry that torch of heaviness,” he said. “It needs to stay heavy. I love that raw sound.” 

Even so, Rummings also loves psychedelic music, especially the kind made at the genre’s peak in the 1960s. He loves Cream, Hendrix and Blue Cheer. That love also creeps into his music, and perhaps that’s what sets it apart, as Rummings blends the two, he said. He also prefers to use the latest digital technology – he doesn’t need analog to make his music sound raw. 

“As cocky as this sounds,” he said, “I want the music to be timeless rather than just a flavor of the month.” 

His lyrics are psychedelic as well, although Rummings warns you not to put too much weight on what he writes. 

“I just write words that sound cool,” he said and laughed. “But there are metaphors in there. I like lyrics about growth and growing from dark times.” 

Cloud Catcher’s next album will be finished even by the time you read this. The band has their own studio, so booking time isn’t an issue, though getting it pressed to vinyl may be tougher. He’s also searching for a label, but he’s confident he will find one. They’ve come a long way from when his parents helped press his first album, now with a handful of releases under their belts. Their latest, Royal Flush Sessions, Vol I is on Spotify. But supply problems are limiting labels’ ability to make vinyl records.

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Rummings will have the album out on CDs and in digital form, but when it comes to vinyl, he can’t help but resemble all those old bands that shaped his childhood. That nostalgia is powerful, turning even the heaviest of bandleaders into a sentimental sort.

“There’s something romantic about vinyl,” he said.

BandWagon presents Cloud Catcher with NightWraith and Shepherd on Friday, May 13 at Black Buzzard at Oskar Blues in Denver. Tickets at BandWagonPresents.com – more on the band at cloud-catcher.bandcamp.com