INTERVIEW: Corey Durkin
Hi Corey, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been really well, thanks for asking! A lot of hotel room coffee in the past few days which is always hit or miss BUT I can tell you that the Hilton Anatole in Dallas has some of the best hotel room coffee I’ve had in 2018.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Stuck In The Middle”?
So that song was a song that wasn’t going to lean to the right or to the left but was pretty much just gonna run straight down the double yellow line and that’s kind of how that whole thing goes, I guess. It’s the Switzerland of songs. I wrote it using a synthesizer iPad app because I had no other instruments around me and so I went on the app store and spent AT LEAST $30 on this app which is, by far, the most I’ve EVER paid for an app…and so…I started messing around with it and had this beat going and that’s how the song began!
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
No! It’s one of the harder songs to explain, honestly…but it happens to be MY personal favorite on that record.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
In my head, I have plans to release a video for EVERY single on that record. In reality, it’s tough to rent bright purple Cadillacs and pink fur coats in Connecticut so I might have to shelve that idea for a bit.
The single comes off your new album Beyond The Village – what’s the story behind the title?
So the title comes from an episode of West Wing which I am super obsessed with to the millionth degree and in the scene, the phrase was translated from a phrase in Abenaki (who, in case you were curious, were a North American Indian tribe who lived in Maine, close to southern Quebec)…Martin Sheen (who is my absolute favorite US president) is responding to someone saying that he ‘lives in the middle of nowhere’ and uses that phrase which means ‘beyond the village’ and that phrase struck me as something that, at my core, has always been a deep desire of mine! Which is vaguely ironic because, at the time, I was living on the beach in South Florida which translates to ‘the middle of everything’ so it took me a little bit of time to find my ‘middle of nowhere’ after that. But it started with the naming of the album!
How was the recording and writing process?
It was so much fun! I recorded it at a studio called Alpine Red in DC with two amazing producers/engineers/musicians, Kit Karlson & Chip Johnson. Kit is actually a superhero-turned-musician and Chip holds the world record for greatest hair on a touring bass player in the Northeast region of Maryland in the months of December and July. They do an AMAZING job of making artists feel welcome in the studio & they are two of the most intuitive, fast-working, semi-vegetarian musicians that I know! I can’t say enough about Alpine Red and honestly, it was really just those two dudes who made the recording process super super super easy…in terms of writing, I wrote the entire album in 17 minutes while waiting for a fresh tray of meatballs at a Whole Foods buffet in Dallas.
What role does Connecticut play in your writing?
Well…CT is known as the “nutmeg state” and also the “insurance state” which are truly deep wells from which to mine writing inspiration. It should probably also be noted that you can’t ‘mine’ a well so I guess it should be ‘from which to draw’ inspiration but either way, you’re really just looking for gold no matter how you slice it which brings us nicely into my pizza analogy: Connecticut is like a pizza. You can have plain cheese (New Canaan), meatballs and sausage (Hartford-ish), pineapple (New Haven – shout out to Blue State Coffee) and even vegan pizza (no town or city analogy for vegan here). The variety of pizza options is always a wonderful thing at any pizza joint and the same goes for my home state – I’ve traveled the country, lived in different places & nothing beats the variety of Connecticut…from the shoreline beaches to the mountains to the ever-changing seasons, there’s truly an endless supply of inspiration, both scenic & energetic…definitely among the reasons that I moved home. Plus, Frank Peppe’s pizza. Shout out to them.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Mostly People Magazine and old copies of Reader’s Digest that I find when I go to my water polo lessons. Water polo is an intensely trying sport which is not common knowledge amongst most people who have never played water polo (and you’ll be interested to know that we have a derisive name for those people – we call them ‘people who have never played water polo’).
Any plans to hit the road?
NO! I love to write and record… but as far as touring, nope nope nope. The only exception is potentially doing a circus act with 3 of the guys from 98 Degrees and Cher’s former landscaper, Bob. I’ll keep you posted on that.
What else is happening next in Corey Durkin’s world?
I think it’s fair to say that asking me an open-ended question such as you have just done is a relatively dangerous scenario. It’s really kind of like going down the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland and ending up in an Escape Room that is Alice In Wonderland-themed and you need to answer certain clues that relate directly to the story but you’ve never actually seen the movie or read the story and so you’re really at a major disadvantage…it’s sort of like playing water polo for the first time when you’re one of those people who has never played water polo before. Anyway…what else is happening? I need a new garment bag. I’ve decided I need to upgrade to a garment bag that has wheels, preferably the ‘all-directions’ kind of wheels. And since technology has brought us an unprecedented level of efficiency, I’ve been hunting around online while drinking decent hotel coffee and watching Maria Lopez tell me about the new on-demand movies that are available in the ‘Guest Services’ section of my television. After a brief flirtation with some Samsonite bags (weighing the 8 lb/$150 bag vs the 13 lb/$250 bag) and a brief fantasy of a trip to a shopping mall, I’ve settled upon a London Fog Buckingham 44” bag which will make me feel quite regal when packing it and also will make me feel like I’m in an episode of The Crown everytime I set out with my wheeled companion.
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