Interview with Com Truise: Red Rocks, new album and aesthetic songcraft

CU Independent’s head arts editor Austin Willeke spoke with the electronic artist Com Truise about his upcoming album and concert at Red Rocks this Saturday. The following transcript has been lightly edited for length and content.

Austin Willeke: First of all, thank you for your time we appreciate it.

Com Truise: Yes.

AW: Just to get the initial fluff out of the way first, how are you enjoying Colorado? I mean you are coming to Red Rocks, which is well known.

CT: Yeah I’m excited to be coming back to Red Rocks. I am actually in Canada right now. I’ll be flying in Friday, and it’s my second time playing Red Rocks, so I’m excited to come back.

AW: Awesome! I was able to see your show last year when you were opening for SRRFKR and you did a great job.

CT: Oh yeah? Cheers, thank you.

AW: Excellent show. On that note, is there anything in particular, in your mind, that’s special about Red Rocks? That elevates it above other venues?

CT: I mean, ya know, it’s totally legendary. Very honored to have the opportunity to do it, I mean, it’s magnificent and breathtaking.

AW: Absolutely. My friends and I always say it doesn’t even matter who is playing there. If you have an opportunity to go to Red Rocks, you just go.

CT: Yeah, yeah (laughter).

AW: I also wanted to ask you a little bit about your stage set up. Going through your old concert videos, I’ve seen that you’ve had set-ups by yourself, kind of laying back behind some cool visual stuff, but back in 2011 there’s you and a lone drummer. So what is the set up going to look like for this show?

CT: It’ll just be me. The drummer I no longer work with, he drums with a different band now. I haven’t brought in anyone else back into it. So basically it will just be me with a bunch of gear up there, some lights, things like that.

AW: Well awesome! I look forward to seeing it. I’ll be there covering the show as well.

CT: Oh cool!

AW: Moving on from that question, I wanted to talk to you about the new album. With Iteration comes the close of the “Com Truise cycle,” going around through space, war, love, all sorts of good aesthetic space stuff. Ya know, what people want.

CT: Yeah (mild laughter).

AW: Part of the reason I ask about your drummer is that I really like what you did with the instrumentation. It almost feels like there is space for a band, almost like it was meant to be played live, with cool atmospheric instrumentation. So I wanted to ask, is there anything different that you did, as far as the musical process for writing this album, as opposed to some of your previous works or EP’s?

CT: You know, I really think that I stepped back from really overly complexing things, and I tried to give everything more room. I honestly think the music is much simpler. I always thought my music was pretty simple, but I think this record is pretty simple in the fact with how much breathing room there is ya know, there is definitely space for that live interpretation for it. I guess I could see where I had the live performance for it in my head, but I think for the most part that my life was just really busy, and there was a lot of stuff, a lot of personal stuff going on — so I tried to translate that this was my escape by making it as simple as possible.

AW: Well that’s awesome. I’ve been a following your music for about five years now and I’ve always seen it as a way to escape as well. However, I have to come out with a full disclosure I am trying to keep my cool, but I am a big fan (laughs).

CT: Awesome.

AW: Your most popular or at least a pretty well-known song — for me and my friends — we live in Boulder, Colorado, and whenever we drive back into Boulder during a sunset I always play that song and that’s known as the “Sunset song.”

CT: Ahh that’s awesome.

AW: Because of just the way it fits the attitude. It could almost be seen as the sun coming up too with the way the music blends in and out. So I wanted to ask you, are there any particular aesthetic or picturesque scenes that are associated with any specific song? Any song that brings up a vivid picture in your mind?

CT: Hmm… I would have to say, like uh — “Glawio.” It really reminds me of being at the ocean with my family while I was younger. Not really sure why — that’s one where I can just picture it as soon as I hear it. “Alfa beach” as well has kind of the same vibe. And then there’s “Futureworld” and stuff, feels like a run-down city, you know.

AW: Absolutely — that’s an awesome answer thank you.

CT: Yep Yep.

AW: Somewhat tying back into that, for the new album I feel like dynamically you are going to some new creative places — moving away from some of the lo-fi stuff. I really liked the production — it felt very crisp and clear and made for a really great sound. However, some critics, especially on the internet and in a Pitchfork review I read, were saying things like you might be pigeonholing yourself with the 80’s synthwave aesthetic. I wanted to get your take on that. Do you feel like maybe your aesthetically stuck in the same place doing the more synthwave-y sound? Is that something you want to branch out of or do you feel not confined by it?

CT: I feel not confined at all. That’s why I have so many other aliases because I like to compartmentalize things, so with this project’s sound I don’t try to change it up too much. It’s really off-putting when you hear a band that you’ve heard for so long that completely changes it into something completely different — I don’t know, I don’t like that. So they can say that I’m pigeonholing myself — and yeah, I am. This project sounds the way it’s gonna sound and yeah, I’m open to experimenting but I don’t want to take it to far. I’ll just go start something else.

AW: That’s my interpretation of it as well. You have other bands, a band like Motorhead — they did their same shit for forty years and people loved it because that’s what they wanted to do.

CT: Yeah, exactly.

Com Truise’s newest album, Iteration, was released on June 17th, 2017. You can catch him while he plays with Lotus and Nosaj Thing at Red Rocks tomorrow night, 9/16. Doors at 7:30.

You can contact CU Independent Head Arts Editor Austin Willeke at auwi8572@colorado.edu.

Austin Willeke

Austin was the head arts and entertainment editor here at CU Independent and really wants you to know it. He graduated CU in 2018 but just can't stay away. He consumes arguably too much music and pop-culture garbage and feels weird writing about himself in the third person.

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