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Sonic Universe – It Is What It Is

Updated: May 6

Interview with Corey Glover

Darkus magazine recently caught up with Living Colour frontman Corey Glover about his exciting new project Sonic Universe and their debut album ‘It Is What It Is’ , featuring guitarist Mike Orlando. They discussed the band's formation, the impact of the pandemic on their collaboration, and the meticulous songwriting process that contributed to the album's unique style. They also explored the album's energetic and frenetic nature, the significance of listening to it in its entirety, and the challenges of capturing listeners' attention in today's music consumption culture.

Additionally, delving into the depth and complexity of music, particularly within the rock and hard rock genre, and the role of music as a guidepost in people's lives, connecting pivotal moments to specific songs and genres. Finally, they discussed the details of their upcoming European tour, focusing on the UK dates and other performances across Europe.

Being familiar with Corey’s work with Living Colour and  Mike Orlando with Adrenaline Mob we were interested in actually how the two got together and then formed the band, how did that start?

Corey tells us “ Well, we were both on the, what's it called, the Shiprocked, the rock cruise. And I was on it as a stowaway and was on as well. And so he performed and I was blown away by his performance. I thought he was one of the most exciting guitar players that had ever seen it up until that point. Certainly on that boat, he was the best guitar player I'd heard. And I came up to him and we struck up a friendship” Corey continues.

“And we immediately, after we got back, we went into his studio and started writing songs. And the songwriting was so good, was so compelling that we decided, you know, let's keep going until we get enough for an album. Yeah, well, you know, it would have happened sooner, but, you know, the pandemic happened and, you know, life happened and, you know, everything else that was going on in the world and in our lives at that time prevented us from really going ahead with this sooner. But we took our time and we got it right and made it as good as we possibly could.”

Stylistically, it is an energetic album, elements of it are frenetic, with heavy groove riffs.

“Yeah, I mean, well, it's a testament to Mike Orlando's playing and the combination of he and I doing songwriting. The songwriting was paramount in all of it. It's not there as an instrument just for Mike to wail on or for me just to scream over. The songwriting has an element of professionalism to it. That I'm so happy about. It's a full, it's like, It's a full paragraph. If you listen to the record from beginning to end, you hear the connections and you hear how everything sort of fits together. And it's meant to be heard that way. I mean, you could pull a single or whatever off of it and something might happen and something might catch your ear. But it is certainly made to be listened to in its entirety.”

"Well, we were both on the, what's it called, the Shiprocked, the rock cruise. And I was on it as a stowaway....."

It’s interesting that music is predominantly listened to in short bursts and just singles, Corey gives an insight on his views of how we digest music. “ Yeah, yeah. It's hard to not skip because your attention span is so short. The way we listen to music, if it's not something that you've heard over and over again as a meme or anything like that, you don't really listen to music. It's a rare occasion when you're in your car or  you're commuting to work on the train or the bus or wherever, you just sit there and listen to music for that hour, 45 minutes, 15 minutes, and actually get a chance to really digest what's going on.”

It is what it is. What's the sort of idea behind that?

“Well, you know, we've for a very long time, I believe that our abilities, Mike and I's abilities as guitar players and singers, you know, conversely, has been overlooked, right? And that was our intention when we wrote I Am,  which was the first song we wrote together, was I Am. And I'm trying to let people know that there is much more to anybody and everything than meets the eye. It is what it is, is that I am, and Mike is, And Sonic Universe is a lot more complex than just what meets the eye. And it's much more below the surface. And if you listen to the record, and if you listen beyond the record, you'll hear that there's much more than that. And it is what it is, it's tongue in cheek. It is what it is, but it is much more than what it is. Yeah.”

"When I was, I had to be about nine or 10 years old. I saw James Brown at the Apollo Theater. And I was mesmerized and fascinated by this person, because as far as I was concerned, all he was doing was screaming and jumping up and down."

Peoples connection with music and particularly Corey’s career with Living Colour evokes key memories for many people.

“you think about when people saw us back in the day in the 80s and early 90s, you know, this was this is primarily their youth, that they were more than likely, you know, these are days they talk about. Forever, you know, back when I was 19, 22 or, you know, 30 and you know, seminal moments in our lives, you know, whether it be, you know, meeting your wife or, you know, that's the day that I found out I was gonna be a father or whatever, any number of ideas that were going on that people just use, we're like a guidepost to that sort of thing.”

Corey explained what he felt was one of his seminal moments

"When I was, I had to be about nine or 10 years old. I saw James Brown at the Apollo Theater. And I was mesmerized and fascinated by this person, because as far as I was concerned, all he was doing was screaming and jumping up and down. And an audience was loving it. But it evidently had a impact on my life, because, you know, jump cut later, and I do it for a living, you know? Yeah, I think that was one of those.”

With the band  Sonic Universe, is there an intention to sort of do live performances with this or is it?

“We want to get out as soon as we possibly can. As soon as we all have our schedules in alignment, we'll definitely do that.”

Corey returns to the UK and Europe in Summer supporting Mr. Big  “We're doing other dates around it. We're going to we're going through Europe. I think we're going to go back to the Netherlands....but the UK, I think there's so much to it. We share a language, pretty much. And to be honest, UK are such tastemakers. And if you can win those kind of audiences over, you kind of establish something there. You can actually move, you can move through the rest of Europe because of that. So, you know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. You know, if you, if they giving, if they give you the nod of approval, then you're pretty much good.


Sonic Universe – 'It Is What It Is’  will be available May 10th 2024

Check out details on the band, music and tour right here.

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