FROM the London-based wonder of Charlotte Black…
PHOTO CREDIT: Emily Swift Photography
I move my scope to the wonderful American, Corey Durkin. The unique artist talks about his single, Rest My Bones, and how his skills as a speaker and entrepreneur bleed into his music – he recommends some new artists and talks about plans relating to U.K. appearances.
Durkin tells me about a few albums that are dear to him; some new artists we need to champion; how he spends time away from music; whether it is true he lost a boxing match with Orlando Bloom – Durkin completes the interview by suggesting some legendary, cool-as-hell Boyz II Men.
Hi, Corey. How are you? How has your week been?
My week has been amazing because I bought a pair of space cat parachute pants AND a matching windbreaker - I honestly don’t know how it could get any better.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi. Those of you who are new to my music, I’d like to introduce myself: my name is Corey Durkin and I’m a coffee-house arena-rocker from the woods of Connecticut where we just got running water installed two years ago.
Rest My Bones, I guess, is your most-recent single. Is there going to be more material later in the year?
Yes, indeed! My next E.P. comes out on August 1st and I’m hoping to have a new album out by the end of the year (which is called New England).
I know you are a speaker and author. How did you get into music and get bitten by the bug?!
The music came first, actually! I started seriously playing the guitar in eighth-grade and then, two years later, decided to leave high-school to pursue a career in music. That’s generally regarded as a bad idea by all musicians but it led me on the journey into the world of biz and now, here we are!
Do disciplines and skills needed to be a great speaker and entrepreneur help when it comes to music and your songwriting?
Eh. On the music biz side of things, certainly, the same principles apply. Business is business, after all. As far as songwriting, I don’t think the skills are very similar, at least, not for me. I don’t have a rigid discipline around songwriting in the way that I do with, say, writing email marketing campaigns.
Music-wise, it comes in waves for me: I just let it happen and when something cool comes out of the clouds, I’m lucky enough to catch it and know what to do with it. It sometimes helps to wear a raincoat when catching cloud-matter, because you never know if it’ll start raining.
When did music get into your life? Which artists did you grow up around?
Well. One of my earliest memories is of my dad playing Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen in the car…and pretty much, that’s all I needed to hear in so much as that song contains a deep commentary on the trials and tribulations of the people in and around the Roman province of Arabia Petraea.
Freddie wrote a lot about the Byzantine Empire, though this is unbeknownst to most. Lots of the '70s in my life when I was growing up - my dad played a lot of Led Zeppelin, the Eagles; Billy Joel, Jackson Browne; James Taylor…
Is it true you lost a boxing match to Orlando Bloom?! How did that happen?!
I’m really not at liberty to talk about the specifics regarding this boxing match, but I CAN tell you that, afterwards, I ate an entire six-person meal from Boston Market which only consisted of their mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. It’s a common misconception that you should carb-load before a big event when, really, doing so AFTERWARDS produces the best results…
Can we see you tour this year? What gigs do you have coming along?
Well. You can SEE me on tour but you can’t HEAR me on tour because what I do is I play silent shows where you can visually enjoy me singing into a microphone and playing a guitar but no sound comes out. (Silent films had a big impact on me as a kid).
But, no, I’m not much for the touring. I host a concert series in Connecticut that’s gotten pretty big and that’s a great live outlet for me…but in terms of touring, not for music. For SPEAKING, yes. But, that’s another story. Which, apparently, I’ll answer in the next question!
Will you come to the U.K. and play here?
It’s funny you mention that because I’ll be headed to the U.K. to speak in the fall! I’ve developed a new program called Money Mastery which teaches people how to take control of their finances in a way that none of the ‘supposed’ financial gurus has ever taught. It’s completely based off of my experience as a young entrepreneur who had to figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD to do with my money and I decided that I’d rather have control of it instead of just giving it over to someone else!
So. That program has caught fire and I've been asked to speak at a ton of incredible events and conferences - and I am SO passionate about helping people understand the best ways to run their finances and having total control. The U.K. talk(s) are going to be amazing and, perhaps, we’ll have to work on booking a U.K. show while I’m there! I mean…why not?!
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
Well…now, I want to play a show in the U.K.! (Smiles). Yes. I have a new book coming out in the fall and, hopefully, will have the New England record done by the end of the year as well! I also want to go on the Connecticut taco trail which is, apparently, a thing, and, if you Google it, you’ll see that it is, in fact, a trail full of tacos…and how could anyone not want to do that?!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Yes. This one time, my good friend and keyboardist, Peter Inzero, sang the fourth verse of Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel with, let’s call it, ‘a cursory knowledge of the cadence’. But, his voice was so magical and angelic that it lifted the roof off of the concert hall and we all levitated for about thirty-seven seconds.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Running on Empty - Jackson Browne; Honkey Chateau - Elton John and A Night at the Opera - Queen.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Write a song. Then write another song. Then write another song. Then write another…and use better grammar than the answer I just gave…
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes! My friend Cal Kehoe is an unbelievable musician and you should definitely check out his stuff. We have an amazing music scene here in Connecticut and in the Northeast in general. An artist named Gracie Day is amazing, as is a great artist named Frank Viele - who just put out a new record a few months ago!
IN THIS PHOTO: Gracie Day/PHOTO CREDIT: Anna Lennard
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Ha. Yeah, actually; most of my time IS spent away from music so, actually, my ‘unwinding’ usually involves sitting down at an instrument and playing! I play a lot of drums in my studio, so that’s always a good unwinding thing for me.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I would like you to play something by Boyz II Men, please.
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