McCloud Zicmuse, Aesthete

Photo: Jake Chessum

What do you do?
I’m an artist, musician, and letterpress printer. I press ephemera, business cards, posters, record covers, invitations. And I sing French children’s songs. The name of my band is Le Ton Mité, which means “the moth-eaten tone.”

Do you play for children?
No, mainly for adults. I’m playing the Bowery Ballroom in January. I sing songs about, like, a really nice summer when I swam in phosphorescent water and walked around the dunes. Why do you sing in French?
Because of my fascination with French culture. Spending time in Canada got me started. I was finally invited to play in a festival in France, so I see what I’m doing as developing a cross-continental relationship.

Do you always wear such bright colors?
I used to live in Olympia, Washington. And when there’s clouds in the sky all the time, you learn how to be your own sun, to emit energy and light. I find color to be the most satisfying thing on earth. Not better than sex, but a great complement.

Do you have a favorite color?
Orange, yellow, baby blue, and a green that’s a little darker than chartreuse: 95 percent yellow, 4 percent blue, and 1 percent black.

Are you synaesthetic?
To a certain degree, but it’s more emotional. It crosses into the realm of the psyche rather than taste or hearing. I find that there’s a lot of sharing between the visual and the songs that I write.

You must have loved The Gates.
It was pretty good. I’m glad that Christo can make a living doing that. I’m glad he’s not on the street or something. But I don’t feel a strong bond. It’s more like a visual high five.

McCloud Zicmuse, Aesthete