Interview - Crue
CSDC: We are here today with Crue for Capitol Sound, how are you?
Crue: Good, how are you?
CSDC: I'm great. I'm happy to have you here. So let's get right into it. I wanted to know how many instruments you play and what are your favorite instruments to play?
Crue: Okay, I play... I think I play eight instruments. And my favorite is violin.
CSDC: Of course, we see it making a lot of appearances.
Crue: Yup, but I'm more like attached to piano. Because it's the only one where, well not the only one. But it's the one that I haven’t had any type of outside instruction with, so it's really just been me.
CSDC: Yeah, so you're self-taught on piano?
CSDC: Any other instruments?
Crue: I'm self-taught in all of them, but I eventually got training along with the way with violin.
CSDC: Okay cool. So speaking of training, you’re actually a teacher. You teach music. Can you give us a little insight to that?
Crue: I teach in a couple of schools, mainly on Capitol Hill. I teach violin, piano and guitar. I just kind of teach what I do. It’s cool.
CSDC: That's awesome. Vocally and instrumentally, who are your inspirations? Because you made a violin remix, I don't know if I can call it a remix, but like a violin version. You play violin over Erica Badu's “On My Mind, Just in Time?”
CSDC: That was great. And you kind of give me the neo-soul vibe that she does.
Crue: I do?
CSDC: Yeah definitely, on "Water on Mars."
Crue: Really? That's awesome.
CSDC: So I wanted to know who are your inspirations vocally and instrumentally?
Crue: Vocally I would have to say Lena Horn and Jill Scott. I'm a big Jill Scott person actually.
CSDC: Yes. Aren't we all? Come on.
Crue: And instrumentally, I would have to say Thelonius Monk and Shostakovich, who's a Russian composer. I'm heavily inspired by classical music and impressionism. Not so much artists. Composers more than anything.
CSDC: Are there any local artists that inspire you, that you're looking forward to working with, that you want to work with?
CSDC: Have plans on working with?
Crue: Well, yeah there's a few. I would say Beau Young Prince, he’s my brother actually.
CSDC: Like your blood brother?
CSDC: I had no idea! He's good, I like him too. I guess it runs in the blood.
Crue: Yeah, definitely Sir EU. We have something way back in the vaults of my gmail, but you know, that's not out. There's so many. There are these twins, Daniel Log and Joe Ru, they are producers in Virginia.
CSDC: Tell us about your series, Crue Type Beat. Are you releasing them for a bigger project that you're leading up to?
Crue: They will be released together as a package, probably after I'm done the season or something. But between Crue Type Beat series and Crue’s Control that's coming, you're basically getting an entire album.
CSDC: Nice, okay so what's Crue’s Control? Are those ...
Crue: Crue's Control is an EP that's coming. I'm aiming for June.
CSDC: Okay. We'll look out for that.
Crue: And I have some shows coming up that I might be previewing some very special, very rare Crue’s Control music.
CSDC: We’re excited to hear! I wanted to talk about your Scorpio tendencies, because I am also a Scorpio. I wanted to know how those natural traits that you have kind of play into your music? Because I know that that means a lot to you.
Crue: I think my music is Scorpio. It just is.
CSDC: I can get that.
Crue: And it's funny, when I released my website, I had a friend that said "Wow your website looks so Scorpio."
CSDC: It's dark and moody.
Crue: Yeah it's like it changes, moody, do what I want. That's also my creative process. I feel so I do, and I react so I am. And I want to keep it that raw. My whole concept for even doing this is to kind of capture the rawness and let it leave. Not tame it, not appeal to anything, but just be.
CSDC: I hear that with "Water on Mars." How was the process in making that song specifically? I love how you build up the track. It starts very slow, and then it slows into this emotional peak, it kind of takes you in. It holds you.
Crue: Yeah. "Water on Mars," I made that beat way in the early AM, because I have insomnia. It just came together. The beat was just there. And then I had so many versions of the actual lyrics of "Water on Mars," you know different things attached with different songs. But I think when it got to the middle section where the beat comes in, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. And then the official "Water on Mars" was born. But there's so many versions. It started with “The running water is my conscience/I'm bent on destroying you.” Another Scorpio thing.
CSDC: “I’m bent on destroying you.” That too accurate.
Crue: And that was the chunk of it. That was the inspiration for "Water on Mars." Because it was so many different beats.
CSDC: Last question I have for you: what can we expect on May 5th from your set at TNT?
Crue: You can expect a Crue’s Control sneak peek. Maybe someone can jump onstage with me or something. Improv is my thing, so ...
All photos by Christina Nguyen for Capitol Sound DC.