Corey Durkin is a unique personality in the music business. Not only is he a musician, but he’s also an author, an entrepreneur and a man of many witticisms. He recently released his sophomore record, Beyond The Village, and joined AXS for an email interview to discuss his passion for music and how he’s evolved in the four years between albums into an artist and personality music fans will fall in love with. Listen to the single "Beautiful" by using the media player included with this article and get to know Corey below.
AXS: How did you get your start in music?
Corey Durkin (CD): Part of the reason I was able to drop out of high school in the first place was because I could write songs and play music. I thought I was going to home-school myself and go to college for music. At the time, I could never have predicted that I’d take the route of becoming a startup founder, but even so, I kept writing songs and making records.
AXS: How did you grow as an artist from there, to the release of your first record, to this one?
CD: The biggest difference is when I put the records out. My first record came out when I was 18 and all of those songs were basically written during the time I should have been in high school. It’s its own perspective. Years later, having traveled the world and really, in my estimation, having been able to knock a ton of amazing experiences off my bucket list, this new album has a much wider vantage point, thematically and musically. Most musicians say you have your whole life to make your first record and then two years to make your next one. I kind of did it in reverse.
AXS: How has your creative process developed?
CD: A lot of my songwriting comes while I’m driving. And over the last two years, that was harder to do because I lived in South Florida and never needed a car to get around Miami. I also lived on the beach so I never wanted to leave my apartment and that [was] challenging on a number of levels, especially because I am still supremely bad at getting a good tan. Now that I’ve moved back up north, I’m really embracing the long drives from Connecticut into New York City and the songs just sort of come out! Lots of coffee helps too.
The thing I love most about this record is that each song was picked and sequenced specifically to be a soundtrack to a road trip. My favorite records are the ones that keep coming and continue to switch up pace and vibe. The greatest compliment I received was from a good friend of mine who’s a full-time musician and he said: “I love how the songs just keep coming.” To me, that meant I hit my mark on this album. I immediately celebrated by driving to Starbucks, ordering seven caramel macchiatos and drinking them simultaneously like Gronk partying at the Super Bowl parade.
AXS: So, speaking of being on the road, do you have any plans for promoting the record with some live performances?
CD: Promoting is a strong word because for me, it’s about what having the record allows me to do creatively as opposed to getting the music out there for others to hear it. Having the new record gives me a reason to be creative in other mediums. I love videography, I love brainstorming ideas for new videos, I love sitting in front of Final Cut for hours to edit something. I have so many ideas for music videos for these songs that, in a perfect world, will mean shooting one video per song on this album.
It’s a fun excuse to hang out with super-creative friends as well. We’ve got about five artistic powerhouses coming together to co-direct a video for a song called “Hello Sunshine” and we’re just going to try everything we can think of for an entire day based around a single video concept, and see what we come up with! Being able to play with that kind of varied artistic canvas is really exciting to me and having new songs on an album gives me those opportunities.
AXS: Where do you find yourself as a music fan? What do you listen to?
CD: ‘70s singer-songwriters is home for me: James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Billy Joel, The Eagles. I’ve also been super into the New Radicals’ first and only album for the last two years. I found it on a random Spotify playlist while I was on a treadmill at an LA Fitness in Boca Raton, Fla., which is pretty much the Bermuda Triangle of finding good music. So if you’re looking for a good band to get hooked on, I’d recommend going to that LA Fitness. Their album has basically been on repeat for 700-plus days.
AXS: What’s the last great concert you went to?
CD: Just after Christmas, I saw O.A.R. for the first time on Long Island. They played "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"in its entirety (and nailed it) which was absolutely amazing because if you’re from Long Island, that song is basically national anthem-adjace. Their trumpet player’s name is Jon Lampley and he blew my mind at that show. I’m hell-bent on working with him on my next record especially because there are a few songs for album number three that really need a horn section. It was also great because a lovely woman named Carly snuck a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the show for me because she knew I wouldn’t have time to eat dinner. The bottom line here is that if you combine an O.A.R. show and a PB&J sandwich, you have a great combination of acronyms and a really good sandwich.
Beyond The Village is now available on iTunes.
For more on Corey Durkin, visit his official website.
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