Com Truise on the Good Side of Chillwave, and Why Hardware Synths Are Better Than a Laptop

Categories: Hey, DJ!, Q&A
com-truise.jpg
Synthesizing scientist.
You may cringe at the thought of more chillwave infiltrating your eardrums, and we don't blame you. It seems like more and more artists are using airy melodies filled with incomprehensible lyrics, making it hard to distinguish one track or musician from the next. Thankfully, there's Com Truise, whose incredibly creative work has landed him a remix on Daft Punk's upcoming TRON: LEGACY R3CONFIGUR3D -- the official remix compilation of the TRON: LEGACY soundtrack. As if his name isn't cool enough, this New Jersey-based electronic artist and designer is releasing his next album on the acclaimed Ghostly International label. A truly imaginative mind, Com Truise's music represents the finest of the new school East Coast beat scene. Throw away any chillwave prejudice you may have by checking the interview below, where Truise explains his weird name, his thoughts on chillwave, and why he prefers playing real synths to using a laptop. Com Truise performs with Gold Panda and SBTRKT at 103 Harriet this Friday.

What was a defining moment that inspired you to get into producing/DJing?

Around 1997, I saw the video for "Block Rockin' Beats" by the Chemical Brothers on MTV. I was blown away -- that's what really made me want to create music.

 

Okay so we must know. Why call yourself "Com Truise"?

It started out as a joke between friends, and I decided to stick with it. People either love it or hate it. "Com Truise" has become more than just the name of the project though, it's a character I've created whose story is being told through the music.

Also, you've been known to have quite a few aliases like Airliner, Sarin Sunday, and SYSTM. Why so many? Is it for the different types of music?

I think it stems from being a visual artist. I love branding, when done right. I like separation, so it just seemed like a good idea at the time, to create different little boxes for my projects. 

Some people describe your style as "chillwave," although there seems to be a major overload of chillwave artists these days. What's your take on that?

What's "chillwave"? There has definitely been a huge influx of artists doing that particular style over the past two years, but I think there has been some great music coming out of it as well.  The word "chillwave" shouldn't be a death knell for an artist.  Anyway, I make electronic music.

How would you describe it? 

Electronic music for the nostalgic individual.  Or a soundtrack to an epic film that has not been made yet.

You seem to be quite the master at synths. What's so appealing about them to you?

It's a certain connection. It's like, you can make the same, if not relatively close to the same sounds, using a computer. But that same computer is checking your email, surfing the web, etc. When I use a hardware synth, I'm on a different planet, alone, and in control. I think that's what really does it for me.

The art in videos like "Fairlight" is really quite like a kaleidoscope. How much do visuals come into play for your music?

Being that I work in the creative industry, visual reflection is a huge part of my life. For the most part, I didn't have much to do with any of the videos for my songs currently circulating the web. I'd like to create my own motion graphics for my live show, but I just have to find the time to do it.


Describe the perfect day, where your music is played throughout, from morning until night.

Morning would be bleak, cool air quickly turning into a light rainstorm. I'm thinking early fall. By noon the rain would have stopped and the clouds have started to slowly dissipate. Mid afternoon the sun would be in full force. The sun would set while everything was covered in a sheet of orange color. Then I'd be asleep. 

You're releasing your album Galactic Melt on Ghostly International in June. How does this first release on this label make you feel?

Really good, it's been a long, exciting process. You learn a lot about yourself while pulling an album together, and finding that thread to hold it all together.  I couldn't think of a better label to be putting it out.

Can you share with us anything about this album that's different from your Cyanide Sisters EP?

I think it's a bit colder, more sci-fi, but still has that Com Truise sound. It's definitely a progression. I chose to avoid vocals for the record but will be toying with more vox in the future.

Is there anything you're looking forward to doing in San Francisco?

Not really sure, I'm just happy to unplug from the East Coast for a little while, see something completely new. I'm sure I'll be hunting for some records. It's snowing in New Jersey and it was 70 in S.F. last Friday.

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103 Harriet

103 Harriet St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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2 comments
Mallory Pickard
Mallory Pickard

Awesome interview, but I am admittedly confused by all the recent disdain for chillwave. There are overloads of marginal bands in every genre-- although I do feel a lot of original electronic artists like Com Truise get dumped into the chillwave label for current lack of a better name. If only more people had this kind of fatigue for radio pop and Katy Perry. Cannot WAIT to hear the remix comp. xo

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