Event Tickets My Account Advertise About Us Contact Us Archive RSS Newsletters
Edit Module Edit Module

The Band that Loves You

Cloud Cult releases its new album, Love, on March 5. Here, their thoughts on love—plus 9 reasons why we love them.

The Band that Loves You
Photo by Cody York Photography


Daniel Zamzow (cello): “Forgive and let go. Do that and you’ll increase your capacity to give love.”

Shawn Neary (bass and trombone): “In its simplest, purest expression, love is almost overwhelming.”

Craig Minowa (singer/songwriter): “If we have only these short lives to make some kind of energy that lasts forever, what better energy than love?”

Connie Minowa (painter): “Done right, love is without any expectations.”

Shannon Frid (violin): “Strength, courage, positivity. Start by smiling at a stranger.”

Sarah Elhardt (keyboards and French horn): “It’s knowing you’d do anything to help someone avoid pain.”

Arlen Peiffer (drums): “Steinbeck put it well in a letter to his son: ‘There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which one uses for self-importance. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you.’”

Scott West (painter): “Love is within every moment—within nature, the process of creation, and the passing of life.”


Reason #1: They recently moved operations to a 15-acre farmstead near western Wisconsin’s de facto capital of sustainability, Viroqua, where the band records, plots tours, and chills out.

Reason #2: They shot their latest music video at the humble Driftless Books in Viroqua, celebrating local, smart, and rolling out of bed.

Reason #3: Bandleader Craig Minowa scores background music for the National Geographic Channel’s wildlife show America the Wild.

Reason #4: Minowa recently told an interviewer: “Reality is a dichotomy of ugly and beautiful. So you’d better learn to digest both at one sitting.” Gulp.

Reason #5: The paintings created onstage by Connie Minowa and Scott West are auctioned after the show: a decent source of income for the band, a cool souvenir for fans.

Reason #6: The band can be heard in the University of Minnesota’s new “Driven to Discover” ad campaign. “Are you a cynic or are you a creator?” Minowa has said of the campaign. “This ad is about the fire that comes from the creators.” When’s the last time you heard a musician speak so eloquently about lending his music to an ad campaign?

Reason #7: Song titles like this one from the new CD, Love: “Love & The First Law of Thermodynamics.”

Reason #8: Lyrics like this, from the heavy new “1 x 1 x 1”: You are here to take the punches one by one / You are here to learn your lessons one by one.”

Reason #9: No One Said It Would Be Easy, a 2009 documentary about the band, may be the most inspiring rock doc ever. It takes its cue from the Minowas’ loss of their two-year-old son, in 2002, which inspired Craig to write more than 100 songs as a kind of therapy and congealed the band’s themes of loving life against all odds. As Craig says in the film: “Cloud Cult is a celebration of life and love and whatever the grand mystery is.”

Find videos and more of Cloud Cult's thoughts on love at MNMO.com/cloudcultlove.

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module


Your Essential Guide to Dining, Shopping & Culture
  • Less than $1.67 an issue.
  • 66.7% off newsstand price.
  • The best Minnesota has to offer.
MNMO E-newsletters

Your guide to the good life, delivered to your in-box.

Click here to sign up to receive MNMO e-newsletters.

Once you submit your email, you will then select which e-newsletters you want.

We don’t like spam either, so we’ll keep your e-mail address to ourselves.