“The original idea with Cloud Cult,” states front-man Craig Minowa twenty six minutes into No One Said It Would Be Easy, “was to try and create something that would make people feel alive for a moment.” While that mantra has changed slightly since the group’s inception, I’d bet it’s pretty safe to say they know they’ve succeeded at achieving their original intent.
Cloud Cult is aptly titled. Their music is cosmic, bigger than life itself, hinting of the expanse that is space. And the term cult would apply as well.
One: there is a religious undertone to many of the songs on their albums. Well, religious isn’t really the proper word – spiritual is more like it. Their philosophy of shifting energy and how it relates to life and death and, perhaps even more importantly, one’s outlook on life and how that individual decides to channel that energy in various directions, is incremental to the music of Cloud Cult. Without this, it isn’t likely that Cloud Cult would exist as they are today.
Two: the collective’s devotion to one another, their music, and their somewhat odd lifestyle in comparison to your standard rock group. One life as rock stars, one as organic farmers in a remote area outside Minneapolis. It’s a lifestyle embraced by other groups — namely, Bowerbirds.
No One Said It Would Be Easy touches on all these points. It’s pretty amazing, really; Craig Minowa’s outlook on life and his ability to empower peace in others with his music; the drive behind Minowa, behind his wife, behind all artists in Cloud Cult is practically unparalleled.
Fairly early on, the film hints at an underlying pain – and if you’re familiar with the band, you’ll already know it comes from the death of the Minowa’s son. The amazing part is how Craig and his wife overcame the sorrow which ultimately led them to become the band they are today. It’s an astonishing ride, one filled with tragedy and hope and an outlook that’s a bit non-traditional but ultimately makes sense.
At its heart, No One Said It Would Be Easy (the song) is really about life and finding meaning and purpose behind it. The members of Cloud Cult have found their reason and purpose, and they’re communicating it through song. At least that’s how I read it. And as Minowa says (and I paraphrase), it’s all experiential – it’s all about reacting to the music and everyone hears something a little different.