Spotlight on ExDetectives

GENRE: Indie Rock
HOMETOWN: Richardson, TX
ARTISTIC APPROACH: Overcoming artistic limitations to generate prolific output.

Faris McReynolds’ approach to the creative process is “not looking for clues, not looking for answers, not looking to solve anything, and just going with it.” And as for production, “a lot of it is just pushing things with one finger.” That’s McReynolds’ take on his aptly named projects ExDetectives and One Finger Riot.

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McReynolds, who grew up outside of Dallas, and spent time in his mother’s native India as a child, has been creating since childhood – his travel and submergence into different cultures providing him plenty of ideas. Throughout high school, McReynolds was afforded two creative outlets as he wrote and played music with his punk band, while simultaneously painting and drawing. Following school, he felt as though he had a decision to make as it concerned his future: music or art.

“I didn’t really want to live in a van and play bars my whole life, so I chose to go to art school,” he says. He attended Otis College of Art and Design, and had begun publicly showing his work by the age of 21.  But he hadn’t forgotten about music, and continued to create (but not showcase) his music, because he “never thought music was something [he] could do for money.”

Ten years later, he is a globally recognized artist having had his art shown in Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York City, and Berlin. But something was missing. McReynolds says, “I had put music away a little, and I realized that I couldn’t do that while still being true to myself.”

He began dedicating more time to music and quickly discovered that “music comes much more effortlessly for me than art.”  Without the limitations he was used to in his art, McReynolds cranked out four full-length albums this year alone. In the process of creating these records, he was able to build up his self-confidence as a musician, stating:

“I learned to get out of my own way; I finally stopped doubting myself…I’m really shy. I became comfortable with my own voice, and the decisions that I made with production.”

When speaking of production, McReynolds says his creative process for both projects may seem unorthodox because he usually puts down the melody first, then works out the rhythm, and goes back for lyrics later. But a like any artist, a lot of himself is evident in his work. He says,“I can’t really filter out where I’m at in life when I’m making something.”

And he doesn’t want to. McReynolds is stage-shy, so there are no current touring plans. However, the next ExDetectives album is already in the works because McReynolds just “can’t turn off the tap.”

photo by Robbie Brunzus

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