Kory Clarke Interview
Where does a rock group find a unique name these days? Well, If you're Kory
Clarke you turn to World War II hero General George Patton. Kory was watching
a t.v. docudrama called "Patton's Last Stand." Towards the end of the movie,
Patton is dying and his wife remarks, 'The next time the world's in trouble,
hell come back as a warrior soul." Kory now had a name for his band, a name
he says is "hard but spiritual, contradictory — and sounds modem."
Last year saw Warrior Soul on tour with Metallica throughout Europe. Their
album "Last Decade Dead Century" was voted Best New Album in many of the British
and European music publications. Here in the U.S. the album reached the Top
10 on a number of metal charts and the single "The Losers" was voted best metal
song In CMJ's 1990 Reader's Poll.
Warrior Soul's latest release is titled, "Drugs, God, and The New Republic." Kory
says it is not a "metal" record, but "more like psychedelic hard rock."
Kory Clarke, Warrior Soul's lead singer, spoke with us about his group.
Q. One prominent rock publication has given your album a very
good review. About you, they write, "He sings really well and has a certain
charisma that recalls Jim Morrison." That has to get people's attention;
but does that comparison make you just a little bit uneasy?
A. Well, if it was more like, he's trying to be Morrison, that would bother
me, because I'm not, but if they want to find comparisons, I'm also a little
bit like William Burroughs, or Captain Beefheart in some respects, or maybe
Patti Smith. You can see similar qualities in different people. That's human
nature to try and put things into categories, so we can understand them, before
we digest them ourselves.
Q. You like to write songs that make people think, songs with
a message? Is that part of what "Warrior Soul" is all about?
A. Well, not necessarily. I want people to enjoy heavy music. I want to write
heavy music. Let's say if I was a painter, I'd be painting very extreme, dark,
grey, black and white, and sometimes it would be colors, but always very intense
and brilliant. The message is interpreted by everybody individually. I'm not
really trying to jam a message down someone's throat. But, I do put messages
in my music, but everyone does. Everything is a message, if you're speaking.
in the definition you're talking about, I just don't want it to be confused
with me preaching to somebody. I'd like to inform people of my opinions.
Q, Kory, I'm sorry to have to say this to you, but I don't
think people are looking for messages in rock songs. Maybe in the 60s, it
was a different story. Today it's, I, me, mine. You get the picture?
A, Oh, yeah. I live it. It's horrible. I don’t want to sound like an
urban prophet, but I want to say things that will be poetic and be remembered.
But, I don’t want to tell people what to do, is what I'm trying to say.
I'm totally affected by what happened from '67 to ‘71, in this country,
because that's right when I had sort of my forming years as a kid, you know.
I think my influences come out in my music that way.
Q, When your first album was released you said, "We've reached
a new high in lows"
A. (Laughs.) Yeah, right.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. You know what I mean.
Q. Do you mean, in '67, we had The Doors, in 1991 we have
A. And M.C. Hammer. When somebody is backed by products... there's two cuts
off Madonna's record that I like. In '67, we had The Doors, but also look who
else we had. There was crap radio then too. But, it's worse now, All the media
attention on these, like super pop stars is as usual nauseating and totally
irrelevant to what's going on in our country. We're still worshipping money.
We're not out of the 80's mentality yet. But, I've come to the conclusion that
when things are getting really bad, on the other side, some things are getting
good at the same time, I think they move up and down equally.
Q. You went on to say, "What I do on the album is tell people
what's really happening in the world." You mean, what you think is really
A. Yeah, It must be what I really think is happening. I'm painting a picture
of the world as I see it. Fortunately for me, if people like it, and agree
with me, I will make a living. If people don't like it, I won't make a living.
Yeah, it's definitely my opinion.
Q. How is it possible, that after only five gigs, Warrior
Soul got a record deal?
A. Four gigs.
Q. There are bands out there on the club circuit that have
been playing for years that don’t have a deal.
A. Yeah, well, you learn after doing stuff like that. I mean, this is now my
first band. If you want to play in the big leagues, there's a method, that
you go about, and everyone has a different one. I just happen to synch onto
the right one. I totally left rock for about 2 or 3 years. I couldn't take
it anymore. I wanted to kill myself.
Q. How did you make a living?
A. I worked two jobs, did performance arts, poetry, sort of like on the coffee
house circuit. I worked as a Veejay at Danceteria, and I worked in a video
store. I did video on the side, shooting people's tapes, bands and stuff.
Q. Why did you quit the business?
A. I just couldn't stand to talk to people at record companies, trying to get
them to understand what I was doing. I wanted to just go out and do my art
without worrying if somebody likes it or not.
Q. How did you attract their attention?
A. That's another secret. You never chase. You get chased. If you're not getting
chased, they don't want you anyway. They heard a tape. They were interested,
and they managed after a few months to convince me they were the right guys.
Q. What's this war of words you're having with Sebastian Bach
A. I was making a joke, in Kerrang! (Magazine.) This was the first interview
we had in a big magazine, and I needed to make some noise. So, I had to pick
on somebody. So, he was the guy I chose. I was honestly a little envious of
his success and his position at that time. So, I just made fun of him. I figured
this guy is making a lot of money, what does he care. I gotta make some noise.
Or, I thought I could bait him into having a war of words, in which I know
I would win. What ended up happening is he got so upset, he called my attorney
and said he was gonna punch me. In the next Kerrang article I said I wasn't
too scared. I never meant nothing bad against the band. I think they're great.
I would like to get it together with him (Sebastian Bach).
Q. And don't you know that in a couple of years there's gonna
be a start-up band somewhere putting down Warrior Soul, and Kory Clarke.
A. That's right. And I'm gonna have to take it, ain't I? Otherwise, I'll be
very hypocritical. Hey man, I'm a big dude. I can take it. Anyone wants to
go to war with me in the press, I'd be glad to.
Official Website: www.kory-clarke.com
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