In 2016 Collin Troy de Larrew found himself a threadbare soul languishing among the spectacular landscapes of the New Mexico high desert. A music career disintegrating and a personal life in disarray were symbolized by the barren walls of an empty home and the ramshackle remains of a hodge podge recording studio. WIth the wisdom to see that in life’s darkest moments the lights that matter most shine brightest, de Larrew tightrope walked his way into a new dimension, a new creative vision. The result is his first solo music project, Fugitive Moods.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I would describe my music as — genre-bending mercurial loop laden indie pop. Yeah…that’ll do. Seriously though, I know everybody says they defy genre or whatever. For me, I’m just trying to write good songs without a whole lot of concern over categories. I learned to make music by sampling sounds from disparate types of music into loop based beats in the late 90’s. This process provided a scaffolding that helped me feel relationships beyond genre and fuse something stylistically. Now that I’ve moved away from samples and toward songwriting, composition and organic instrumentation — I think that this background helps me explore textures and space that don’t adhere to any specific genre. That’s a wordy way of saying as Fugitive Moods I don’t have a plan or know what I’m doing from song to song.
What is your current music project about?
This is such a simple question but requires deep consideration. Thanks for making this so difficult. As plainly as I can put it…Fugitive Moods emerged from the most painful and transformative period in my life. The care and intention with which I have started to share it is deeply meaningful. Not entirely the content itself, but the music’s existence in the world beyond my studio represents, for me, an emergence as something different, new — something more mature and with a clarity that only various experiences with tragedy and the processes of healing and learning from them can initiate. A metamorphosis. I hope that’s not too heavy, but it’s true.
Was anyone else involved in writing, recording, or producing the songs?
No. I write, record and produce all of my music at my home studio. Having said that, there are a couple that I have to mention that without their contributions this debut Fugitive Moods music would not be what it is. First, Benjamin Korce and his incredible drums. Ben sent me some experimental recordings of loops he had been working on years ago. Little did he or I know at the time, but these recordings would become the bedrock of the drum programming on the album. Also, Theodore Graham with his insane cello parts. I met Teddy late in the process of making the record. I had already written a lot of cello parts that I was using midi voices for, but when Teddy got a hold of them…OH MY GOD!! He took it to the next level and beyond. I’m seriously so indebted to these two in ways that words can never express.
Where was your current project recorded?
Proudly at my home studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
What kind of recording facilities do you have at home?
I keep things real simple. My primary tools include an old trash can Mac Pro that runs Ableton. Ableton is about as close to religion as I get by the way. I have a UAD Apollo Twin interface that runs the UA plugins as well. A couple Genelic 8030A monitors, an AKAI midi controller and a Rode NT-1000 mic that’s a billion years old. I’ve got some other instruments and stuff, but this is the core of the recording studio. I try not to get too caught up in gear personally. I believe resourcefulness and dedication to your craft is more valuable than any studio gear you might buy. That’s just me though.
Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction, or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?
Definitely no deliberate direction. I had a long and prolific journey as rapper and producer and if you would have told me when I was performing at places like Low End Theory in Los Angeles, that only a few years later I’d be working out songs on a ukulele at an open mic in Albuquerque, I would’ve thought you were nuts. Fortunately, life has a way of being unpredictable and if you can just find a way to ride the wave it’ll take places you could’ve never imagined. That’s how I feel today about Fugitive Moods. This is the music I must be making. Music that I always knew was possible for me. I guess it was a gradual process, yeah. But it didn’t feel that way when my music career suddenly ended, and my personal life fell apart in a matter of months. But I guess it was all the work and those experiences that led me here. All the recording sessions, all the beats, all the shows, all the thousands of hours that slowly shaped my ability to create something until the day came when I could only take the journey on my own…and this is what happened.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Having an excuse to be deliberately weirder than other people in certain circumstances.
If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be?
What’s your favourite board game?
You are seriously asking this question!? I’m a huge board game dork and I’m actually currently developing 2 independent board games with my design partner, Forrest Agee. Oh my god they are so cool, but that’s a conversation for another day. If I had to say one right now, I’d say Star Wars Rebellion. The player dynamics are incredible. When you’re playing the Empire you feel like this methodical overpowered tyrant, but when you’re playing the Rebels you feel on the edge of your seat, like every single turn counts and you want to cry because it’s so nerve racking. Haha, that’s cool that you’d ask.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I think it’s pretty darn useful, but I would say my Kubb skills. Kubb is the best yard game ever invented. Look it up.