Our new Spotlight – Cory Marks. We got to take a few minutes to sit down with this talented artist and talk about his music his new release and even a little bit of hockey. Take a read and see what Cory had to say right now.
Hi Cory! Congratulations on your album, WHO I AM, dropping earlier this month. Your massive hit“Outlaws & Outsiders” is of course front and centre, and we will get to that shortly.
You grew up in North Bay, ON, and started playing drums when you were quite young. Is the rest of your family musically inclined? Where did that passion come from at such a young age?
Both parents sing and play some guitar. My dad also plays drums, he’s the one who really got me into it. My brother also played the guitar, I was born into it I guess. Growing up on Rush and having a drummer for a dad I guess it was just in my blood.
You almost had a different career path; in that you were once an incredibly accomplished hockey player for the Royal Military College. Was it difficult to leave behind a very direct path to the
unknown of a music career?
I come from a hockey family and from a hockey town. There will always be love of the game but I enjoy watching it now and playing every now and then. I don’t think I would have made a career out of it like my brother but it led me to where I’m should to be.
You released your first full album, This Man, back in 2015. Between leaving hockey, performing and building up a fan base, and working on this album, did you ever get worried about it not being successful? How did you stay motivated during the process and not overwhelmed?
I still am overwhelmed. It’s been too long.
Once you started touring, was its weird touring as a musician and relatively solo, in comparison to your travelling for games with the team when you were a hockey player?
It’s pretty similar. I love being on the road and doing what I do.
2019 your massively successful hit “Outlaws and Outsiders” comes out, and just destroys the charts. Tell us about how you got involved with heavy hitters Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody, and Mick Mars?
Five Finger and Motley are on my label and my manager knew Travis’s manager. These acts are the most fitting for this song and they love it as much as I do.
How mind blowing was it to go from being a relatively unknown and newer performer to being thrust into the spotlight like that?
Speaking of collaborating with Travis Tritt and co for “Outlaws and Outsiders”, what are some other dream collaborations you would love to do?
Ozzy, Eric Church, Kid Rock
The new album, as I mentioned earlier just dropped at the beginning of August. It is already wildly beloved and receiving rave reviews. I have seen the term “autobiographical” bandied around a lot. Was it difficult to throw so much of yourself out there?
It was part of my life and who I was at the time that I wrote those songs and went through such highs and lows in my life. The album talks about the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes it’s hard to go back to those places but I’m reminded that I’m in a much better place now than I was then.
Personal standouts for me would definitely be “Blame It on the Double” and also “Good To BeUs”. What can you tell us about those tracks?
I can’t wait to play them live. Hope the world loves them!
Your latest release, “Out in the Rain” features Lizzy Hale of Halestorm. How did you meet/what is your relationship like?
Her voice is so powerful and she is such a great artist. I can’t wait to meet her and I’m glad she loves the song enough to be part of it.
Artists like Bebe Rexha, Lil Nas X, Florida Georgia Line, to name a few are really shaking up the iconic sound of what the mainstream considers country music. You have previously spoken about Ozzy, Rush, and other rock musicians that have fuelled your style and tastes. What’s your take on the renaissance country music is going through?
I think country music needs a change and I want to be that change. Turn it up a bit but also bringing it back to the way country music used to be. Less pop.
Obviously, the global situation has but a halt to your touring plans, but do you have anything in the works promotion wise for the new album? Be it live streaming, etc
We got some cool things coming up and we are working on ways to keep me busy until I get back on the road.
How have you been staying sane over the last few months being indoors and not playing shows?What are some other forms of self care you suggest to folks?
I wouldn’t say I’ve stayed completely sane and I’m itching to get back out there. Spending time with friends and family, working out and studying to complete my pilots license…. finally!
Now that things are slowly reopening, what are some favourite local joints you are excited to get back to? Whether it is bars, restaurants, etc?
Anywhere there is cold beer and good people.
What do you want to say to your fans?
Can’t wait for this crazy shit to be over. See y’all soon
This Spotlight – Cory Marks is a wrap. Big thanks to Cory for taking the time to chat with us.
Check out the the New album here
Keep up with all things Cory here.
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