Unless you're a cretin and have appeared on X-Factor, it takes more than just good songs to progress in the music industry. This feature offers a short interview with the winner of 'Cloudcorner' - a feature that shortlists our favourite songs submitted via Soundcloud. ‘Lessons from Cloudcorner’ offers to do just as it says: offering unique advice and insight from an unsigned band. This second edition profiles Reading-based seven piece A Genuine Freakshow. The band's rich, diverse sound is about as difficult to pin down as it would be to get all of their 7 members in a lift, but lies somewhere in the vein of atmospheric, baroque-pop. Photobucket Tell us a little about yourselves and your influences? We settled on our 7-piece permanent line up in 2008, so I guess you could say that's our official genesis. But we did swim around in various other forms before then. With so many people in the band it means we have a nice mix of both individual and overlapping tastes which includes everything from pop to post-rock and back again really. I've personally been enjoying Villagers, Ólafur Arnalds, The Joy Formidable and Gold Panda recently. What's the best and worst part of being in a band? There are a lot of people I would never have met or places that I would never have been were it not for being in a band, that's definitely one of the most positive things. For me all the worst things associated with being in a band are all to do with the inside workings of the music industry itself. As an independent band it means we're personally quite involved in the business side of things and some of it's a bit ugly! What advice would you offer a band starting out? Someone once told me that you should be friends first and bandmates second, which seems like a nice philosophy to pass on. How do you feel the current music climate can either hinder or help up and coming bands? I think up and coming bands have much more competition to make themselves stand out, but at the same time there seems to be an ever-increasing pool of outlets to help them get recognition. Independent music, radio, labels and festivals all seem to be really healthy at the minute, and it's a good thing that we appear to be moving away from major label domination. More people having more of a say is great. But I do believe it's becoming increasingly difficult for bands to survive financially, meaning that many great bands making great albums aren't able to survive - Grammatics is a recent example that springs to mind. I'd love to see a model where already successful bands use their position of popularity and financial strength to help fund and promote new bands that they like - but maybe that's just a complete fantasy! Where would you like to see A Genuine Freakshow in a year? There's an endless list of things I would like to have happened between now and then, but if we've made some serious steps towards making our next album then I guess I'd be satisfied enough with that.

You can check the band out at www.agenuinefreakshow.com/ Send us your sounds