Rob Moose talks Copycat Killer, fatherhood, upcoming solo project


 The Daily Texan spoke with Rob Moose, Grammy Award-winning string composer and arranger, after the release of his new EP with Phoebe Bridgers, Copycat Killer, which consists of string arrangements of songs from Bridgers’ latest album, Punisher.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Max Wanger | Daily Texan Staff

Even if you’re not familiar with the name Rob Moose, you’ve definitely heard his work. Moose is a Grammy Award-winning string composer and arranger that has worked with big name artists such as Taylor Swift, John Legend and Bon Iver. 

The Daily Texan spoke with Moose after the release of his new EP with Phoebe Bridgers, Copycat Killer, which consists of string arrangements of songs from Bridgers’ latest album, Punisher. 

The Daily Texan: How did you first meet Phoebe Bridgers?

Rob Moose: We met through the person who produced … both of her records, Tony Berg, who's been a very significant mentor and collaborator in my career. We've gotten to do a number of projects over the years. So, he was working with Phoebe, and he asked me if I would come out to play on what became Stranger in the Alps. And I’m so glad he did because at the time, Phoebe was a relatively unknown artist and I just loved her music. So that was that was how this got started. I think we did that session in late 2015.

(Bridgers and I) just kind of stayed in (each other’s) orbit, and I've felt like she's a really important emerging artist and someone whose work I really love. It's been fun to watch her career develop over the last few years. Not only her career, but also just her identity and her whole sort of ethos. She's just a really remarkable person.

DT: How did Copycat Killer come to be?

RM: When Rough Trade named Punisher their second favorite album of (2020), they asked her to make some kind of bonus material or unreleased versions of the songs to offer alongside the album. At the time my wife and I just had a son — he was like six or seven weeks old. But when she called me to talk about it, I was like, “Yes, this is exactly what I want to be doing,” because I love the idea of making stuff with just strings and voice. It's such a great challenge. 

DT: Does having a newborn son change your perspective on the artistic process? 

RM: It's removed the ability to waste time so I am more efficient and more decisive, and I just have to trust myself and keep moving forward. Also, things take on a greater emotional weight for me all the time. Getting to listen to music that I make holding him in my arms, it's just so powerful. So I feel like I have this higher level of purpose now, and in a lot of ways I just feel very inspired.

DT: I hear you are working on a solo project. Can you tell me anything about it?

RM: I wish I could. It's similar in terms of the the way the music is put together (in Copycat Killer), but it features different guest singers on each track, people that I've worked with in my career, so if you if you look through my discography, you can probably make educated guesses about who might be on it. It should start coming out in 2021