We interviewed Canadian synthpop artist TR/ST ahead of the release of his new album, The Destroyer – Element two, and his upcoming North American and European tour.

When I located out that I would have the likelihood to have a get in touch with with Robert Alfons, the brain behind TR/ST, I can honestly say that I virtually peed myself out of excitement. There’s one thing about his music that just resonates with myself and a lot of other men and women in some weird but satisfactory way. Either it tends to make me want to dance like no one’s watching, like with “Bicep” from The Destroyer – Element I, or it finds a way to connect with my deepest emotional vulnerabilities, like with his most current single “cor”, from the upcoming The Destroyer – Element two. And with this double project, The Destroyer, we see TR/ST reaching a sound that is a lot more organic, emotional and vulnerable than ever prior to.

Let’s rewind. Robert met Maya Postepski in 2009, forming TR/ST in early 2010. A bit following the release of their debut album TRST, Maya decided to leave the band to concentrate on Austra and her solo project Princess Century, letting Robert as the core member of the project. “I’m so grateful,” Robert says, reflecting on the final ten years. “Thinking about all the individual development and individual exploration, I can only thank all the distinctive men and women that sort of came in and have been a component of my life. All the men and women with whom I collaborated, all the fans that come to me and pour their souls, either by listening to my records or coming to my reside shows. It is crazy and I will be forever thankful for these previous years.”

In contrast to the prior two releases, TRST in 2012 and Joyland in 2014, his new project The Destroyer comes as a two-component album. Element 1, released in April 2019, sees a modest shift in sound. It is nonetheless industrial, dark, gloomy and sweaty but also hints at a sonic expansion compared to his prior releases. Robert stated that if he had to sum up Element 1 in a word, it would be “desire”. Element two, having said that, requires this shift to a entire new level: a lot more melodic, a lot more vulnerable, a lot more intimate than any of his prior releases. A new method that he sums up with the word “shame”.

Nonetheless, his initial notion was pretty distinctive: “When I began to make The Destroyer it wasn’t my program to release it in two distinctive components. I produced the record as my inventive method and the stories that I wanted to inform. It was only towards the finish, when I began to assemble a tracklist, that I began to realise how the songs had distinctive vibes and aesthetics. I feel it could have been pretty overwhelming to place them all out there at as soon as and due to the fact the stories are distinctive. Then, I attempted out this sort of setup and it just seemed way a lot more helpful,” he explained.

Out of curiosity, I asked Robert which song from this project would be the 1 that reflects him the most. “Maybe ‘Iris’,” he stated following some thoughts. “There are so lots of distinctive components in “The Destroyer” and via this entire project and, for me, this song does a good job of touching on all of these distinctive points. It is at the identical time extremely heavy but also extremely attractive and emotional.”

I nonetheless wondered, why the will need for a modify of sound? “I feel they each sort of adhere to the identical trajectory,” Robert answered. “I feel that it was sort of the blueprint from the starting. I have grown so a lot as a individual and as an artist these previous years that I am extremely pleased that I was capable to create my sounds in the identical way. It has just been flowing pretty naturally.”

The Destroyer also sees the return of Maya Postepski as a collaborator. They worked collectively on 7 tracks across the project, and Robert couldn’t be happier: “She is so extremely talented, and I feel that we have a definitely unique connection. We have a lot of enjoyable producing music collectively and it felt like a shame not to continue to do that. And, at the finish of the day, every single circumstance is difficult and I feel we located a remedy that functions for each of us.” In fact, Robert does not exclude the possibility of renewing the practical experience: “I hope that we collaborate in the future, for certain. She is such a brilliant artist, and she is also so busy with all her projects. She’s creating and she’s been carrying out some musical path, she is touring and she’s carrying out her personal solo album. The quantity of operate that she has been placing out is just wonderful.” The Destroyer also sees the return of frequent collaborator David Taylor (The Prodigy, Björk) who had currently mixed each TRST and Joyland, as properly as the addition of a fresh face with Lars Stalfors (Well being, Alice Glass) as a co-producer.

TR/ST TRST Robert Alfons interview The Destroyer Part 1 and 2 by Corinne Schavione
TR/ST by Corinne Schavione

As if placing a double LP out wasn’t adequate, Robert is embarking on his second North American/European tour of 2019, beginning in San Diego and ending in Amsterdam (dates under + do not miss him in Brussels at the Botanique). On stage, he’ll be joined once again by Lia Braswell and Esther Blue on drums and keyboards, respectively, “two artists who are on prime of their game and with whom I have so a lot enjoyable touring with that it is just wonderful to execute with them, at this point,” he stated. In terms of what to anticipate, Robert added: “I just I feel that a lot of the “The Destroyer – Element 2” is not as intense and into difficult beats and dance music as the prior universe exactly where the band has existed. For that reason, on a sonic level, I’m super excited about presenting that and becoming capable to play this sort of songs reside.”

One particular issue that is clear about the reside shows is how a lot the audience connects to the message becoming conveyed, and how a lot Robert appreciates his fans. In April, following a show at The Steel Yard in London, he spent an hour following the gig with the fans that waited for him and had a individual speak with each and every of them. “For me it is just all-natural,” he detailed. “I’m genuinely moved by men and women that want to express and speak and share tips and just, connect. I could go on for hours explaining why this is essential to me and to my music but a definitely uncomplicated answer to an clearly complicated query is just that it feels correct to me on a humanistic level.”

“I feel that there is just so a lot going on in our Globe and possibly in each and every person’s individual life so I’m just definitely attempting to be as present as feasible with the men and women who are subsequent to me,” he added. “I just played a show in Mexico City and it was just so attractive to be in the identical area with all of these men and women and connecting and sharing adore. I just really feel so grateful and complete of adore.”

Ultimately, I asked Robert what he was listening to at the moment: Yves Tumor‘s Secure in the Hands of Adore, Brian Eno‘s Thursday Afternoon and anything from Glamorous Monique. “To learn new music, my secret and my most appreciated supply is just 1 of my oldest close friends. They just inform me of so a lot music and have normally accomplished that,” he concluded.

Catch TR/ST on his European Tour with the extremely talented Ela Minus (dates under + tickets) and be prepared for The Destroyer – Element two subsequent Friday.

20 Nov London – Heaven

21 Nov Brussels – Botanique

23 Nov Bern – Saint Ghetto

24 Nov Paris – Le Trianon

26 Nov Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord