Interview: Andrew Means, Transom
Cloud Room Member since 2018
CR: From what we know about you, you are a person who wears many hats, from business owner to vinyl DJ to seafaring captain. How do you fit it all in? any tips for our community about how to make time to run a business and also nurture creative and passion projects. Any organizational tips to streamline things to make room for these passion projects?
AM: I used to play a lot of video games in my 20’s. I got pretty decent, and would often find myself playing till 2 or 3 in the morning. Over time I grew to realize that the rewards from winning a match were—in life terms—pretty paltry when compared to the rewards I was getting through other areas of my life like sailing and cycling with people I enjoy and care about. I came to realize that, far from the stakes being low, the stakes for the game were actually quite high; I was steadily losing the one resource I couldn’t gain back: time.
Today I try to pursue the things that truly nourish and excite me, which tend to have some amount of challenge or jeopardy but much higher rewards. I try to dispense with the things that are mindless (e.g. Instagram, Reddit) and force myself to be intentional and schedule time for the things I love. I still waste a fair amount of time, but it’s surprising how much extra you can do when you clear out some of the chaff.
CR: Let’s talk about Cheat Day, the monthly vinyl night that you host at the Cloud Room. How did this project come into conception? Can you tell us a little bit about how you partner with two other people to spin throughout the night? What do you think partnering does for the creative experience both for you and guests?
AM: Chris Campbell and Ryan Austin and I have been DJing together for years; initially at Rob Roy in Belltown and then for a time at The Gerald in Ballard. The concept has always been to play all the songs we wouldn’t be able to play on the dance floor cause they weren’t quite dancey enough, and it’s gradually evolved into us just sharing whatever music is moving us at the time. We had put our DJing on a hiatus for a time when we started to get the itch again, and the Cloud Room seemed like the perfect place for the mellow groovy music that we all tend to gravitate towards.
Cheat Day being a collaborative effort is really central to its success, and it makes us better DJs. We have a rule: you can’t pretend to have heard a record or album and you can’t make fun of anybody for not having heard a record. So we’re constantly introducing new music to each other and broadening our musical horizons. It’s nice to have all of us together too; over the course of the night we’ll have one or two of us spinning while the other(s) are taking refreshment with friends and recouping from the rigorous exertion.
CR: We are looking forward to diving into the playlist you’ve created, but we’d love to know that Is there any particular song that you have on heavy rotation lately, or always ? Why do you love it?
AM: Lately I’ve been really into some 60’s pop like Eternity’s Children, Roger Nichols & The Small Circle, and some of the amazing stock music put out as part of the KPM series. I’m in a long-running love affair with Japanese stuff from the 80’s, including Tatsu Yamashita, Toshiki Kadomatsu and recently Yasuaki Shimizu, and if you haven’t yet listened to Gilles Peterson Digs America Vol.2 it’s got some bangers on there.
CR: We see your posts, we know you’re food and wine lover. What is your favorite place to go out for a meal or drink the city? What do you order?
AM: FOOD: Tequila Shrimp at Señor Moose in Ballard, Hot Chicken at Brothers & Sisters in Georgetown, Ramen Man in Wallingford, Gyro & Fries at Mediterranean Mix in Pioneer Square. Place Pigalle in the market is the best spot for a lunch date, Bua 9 in Columbia City has a pretty fantastic (properly spicy) salmon panang curry, and mondays are $10 pizza night at Montlake’s treasured Cafe Lago. Honestly though, my favorite food in the city is made—often without a recipe—by my wife Amy. I am continually in awe of her skills.
DRINK: Pacific Inn in Fremont remains the best place in the city for a boilermaker, Sol (née Sun) Liquor is the best place for a Mai Tai (which reminds me- I haven’t had one in a while), and Jarr Bar is the absolute best for a drink after work with some cured meats and tinned fish and spanish cheeses. Zig Zag remains king of cocktails. Bottlehouse in Madrona for wine.
CR: Will you share with us what you are currently reading? Do you recommend it?
AM: I just finished Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine De Saint-Exupery and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. They’re hugely different books but very interesting to read together. Wind, Sand, and Stars is a collection of vignettes and musings largely from De Saint-Exupery’s time flying (and crashing) in the Sahara in the time between the world wars. Homo Deus is an examination of the history of humankind and what we may be in store for when artificially created intelligences outpace our own. Both are excellent fodder for thinking about the notion of consciousness, personhood, and humanity.
CR: Any trips planned for this year, or trips that you want to plan? Do tell!
AM: My wife Amy and I are headed to Sayulita, Mexico in February, which should be pretty great. Apparently there’s a crazy festival happening when we’re going to be there, with a rodeo, cock-fighting, and beer bottle breaking contests.
Thank you for your time, Andrew! We know that you are a new Cloud Room member, but that you’ve been in the extended community for quite a while. Can you share anything that you love about The Cloud Room, and why you wanted to become a member?
AM: The Cloud Room understands that a coworking space is all about the synergy that happens between its members. Amenities are nice (and having a lounge w/ full bar is certainly a plus) but it’s the people that a space attracts that really makes it special. Cloud Room is very intentional about creating a space for a particular type of person, and that heightens the chances you’ll experience some meaningful inspiration or make a meaningful connection.