The retro-futurist producer talks about his upcoming Ghostly International EP.
The first recording Seth Haley released as Com Truise (a spoonerism of Tom Cruise, the actor) was 2010's 'Cyanide Sisters' EP. The Brooklyn-based producer has since released an EP and two full-length albums on Ghostly International, the label home of Gold Panda and Shigeto.
Haley's most recent Com Truise album, last year's 'In Decay,' pushed further, faster into a sci-fi synth-world of slick, absorptive Rad Racer visions and dreamily digitized retro-futurist fantasies. Like always, the music's chill and trippy, but it's also bass-heavy and danceable.
Haley is currently putting the finishing touches on the next Com Truise EP, 'Wave 1,' which he plans to release later this year, on Ghostly. Tuesday night, Com Truise headlined a Red Bull Sound Select showcase, in Los Angeles, with Gothic Tropic, Guardian and Breakfast. We caught up with Haley before the concert for a brief chat about 'Wave 1.'
[T]he story is about this android who is sent off into space to go to this planet, and this EP is about him finally reaching the planet.
A few days ago, you tweeted: “I wrote this entire EP without realizing its a mirror of the last few months of my life.” What's your life been like the last few months?
Lots of change. I just started to focus on my health and stuff. I went through a rough breakup, and I moved to Brooklyn. Some of this music I wrote a while ago, but I didn't realize until very recently that I've been predicting my own future. I was sitting on my roof last week and I was like, “Holy shit, this all really makes sense.”
I don't ever write about my personal life ― it's always just there, and it happens, but I don't focus on it. My music's all based on this story about an android that travels to this other planet. So I'm not really writing about myself, but then I realized I have been all along. It's all been about me.
How does this new EP sound compared to previous Com Truise albums?
Well, basically, the story is about this android who is sent off into space to go to this planet, and this EP is about him finally reaching the planet. The planet's like a mirrored civilization of our own ― it's like Earth, but slanted, and a little weirder. So the music reflects that change. The music still sounds like me, but I switched up the tempos and added some strange, step-y stuff.
I tried to write music that was somewhat similar, but different enough so that it's not monotonous. I want the catalogue to be cohesive, but not too much of the same. I try to hit all the points on this EP, so some of it's reminiscent of earlier stuff, and some of it's weirder. The tempo range is really strange ― it's all over the place. The overall tone of the tracks still sounds like Com Truise, but this album is definitely a progression. There are some vocals on it, too.
Are vocals a new thing for you?
Yeah, I've never really had vocals before, but I'm thinking about trying to sing more. There's one song with me singing. But I'm having Joel Ford, of Games, sing on one track. And the singer from Mr. Little Jeans is on another song. They're working on the songs now, so I haven't heard them yet.
So, I apologize in advance, because I'm sure people ask you about the name Com Truise a lot, but are you a big fan of the actor Tom Cruise?
I've always been a fan of his, I guess. But I didn't name the project after him for that reason. It was just a silly joke, at first. It sounds like a robot's name to me. But, if I knew back then that I'd be making music the way I am now ― playing around the world and stuff ― maybe I would've chosen a different name.
But it works, and it's fun. Obviously, the name shows I wasn't taking things too seriously at the beginning. My goal back then was to get my music on vinyl, but Com Truise has become much bigger than I ever imagined.
And now your life, and the life of the android, have merged.
Yeah, I've somehow fallen into my own narrative. I made this story up, but it's basically my life. I know where I want the story to go, but I don't know about the rest of my life. It's weird. I guess I enlightened myself by accident.