We sat down with Christian Koo, singer of The True Blue, to discuss their recent release and future of the band. This four-piece genre-bending group is a must-see if you’re in/near Detroit. Simply put, The True Blue delivers. Read on to learn more about Christian, the music, and where they’re headed next_
Your first official album titled “Other Summer” is out, how does it feel? How’s life?
It’s really a wonderful feeling. There were a lot of different emotions surrounding the time period when those songs were written. So, having them out together gave me a sense of relief. It’s like, “Alright, there it is. It’s all on the table, everything that’s needed to be said for quite some time now. Take it or leave it.” Right now life is strange, but overall it’s good. I’m going through changes with the relationships around me as well as trying to better myself as a person & artist. I know that sounds cliché, but aren’t we all changing, always, all the time? There will be always challenges & I’m up for them.
Any specific inspiration or concept behind this album?
We were unsure of where this summer would lead us, not only as a band but also in our own lives & relationships. The True Blue has been such an explorative, creative experience for us & we knew this summer would simply feel different than the rest. It would be distinct from previous summers, unique in itself, the “other.” The emphasis on “summer” being that it’s a season typically used to refer back to as far as your growth in life.
Prior to the album release, you continuously dropped single upon single over the past year… some which were even left off the album. Was there any reason why a few tracks didn’t make it?
No particular reason. We felt they served their purposes as singles & knew that just because they’re not on the album doesn’t mean they mean anything less or won’t always be there go back to.
Even though “Other Summer” just dropped, are you thinking about what’s next?
Is there a True Blue song that hits you harder than the rest?
“At All” means the most to me. It’s the best I’ve translated an emotion into something tangible. There were so many things I wanted to talk about with my friends discussed in that song, but it was too difficult. It’s hard to have a conversation & just tell someone that you think you’re self-destructive. That you push good people away because you don’t think you want yourself to be happy. You ask why you push them away & can’t find a good answer, knowing you’re wrong & all you can do is blame yourself. I felt horrible writing that song, but it also felt good to be saying my own truth.
Is this track a good indication of the direction you’ll be headed?
It’s a little hard to say. It’s nice to explore different kinds of sounds & elements to express what’s being felt. We don’t want anything to become stale obviously & we don’t feel like there’s any style we can’t or shouldn’t tackle. That being said, we do know what we like stylistically. “Sleepless” & “At All” are good indicators of what’s to come.
So who/what is The True Blue? How did the group come together?
The four of us have been playing together for about five years under a different name. We were playing more pop-punk, rock oriented songs & we loved it. But after going through our formative years together, we found ourselves drifting away from that sound & what we were listening to. Then, it started to feel a little forced & uninspired. At one point for me, I felt like I hit a ceiling, at 22. It was awful. One day, I realized we had no one to answer to. Who were we worried about if we wanted to go in a completely different route artistically? We wanted to create music that we’d genuinely want to listen to & perform.
What are some of your inspirations outside of music?
Stand up. I admire the dedication & perseverance of so many comedians. I know their craft is different from a musician’s, but the two are similar in that they’re both trying to express something, or escape for a little, & hope others can feel with them along the way. What I find most inspiring from my favorite comedians is their ability for storytelling or expressing very abstract, self- reflective ideas clearly e.g. Mike Birbiglia, Bo Burnham.
Film is another huge inspiration of mine. It being a vehicle for storytelling & recreating real life situations to evoke feeling inspires me as a musician. If you watch a film with bad actors or poor dialogue, you’re instantly aware you’re watching something fabricated. You can’t get lost in it. I find this translates to music. If you listen to a song & it feels disingenuous, you can’t get lost in the feeling. It might feel like a song someone wrote to just be subjectively good, or liked. That’s not a reason to make music.
If/when you decide to take TTB on the road, what would be your dream tour?
This is tough. If we’re ever on a line up ( this doesn’t even have to be one package) with John Mayer, Frank Ocean, The 1975, The Neighbourhood, or SZA I’ll just be ecstatic.
Follow-up to previous question… what country would you hope to tour someday?
Any of them, but especially the UK, Japan, & obviously the US.
I want to thank Stheart for supporting us throughout the years & for having this conversation with me. I want to thank anyone who listens to our music, shares us with their friends, & has allowed us to be a part of your life. You really have no idea how much it means to us as growing artists. Thanks for reading & see you soon.
9.9 The Blind Pig / Ann Arbor, MI
9.30 The Loving Touch / Ferndale, MI
10.8 The Token Lounge / Westland, MI