In an ongoing attempt at creating adventurous progressive indie rock journeys, there are hundreds of those who fail. On there other hand there are a lot of those who are undoubtedly not the case. Texas based CORUSCO is one of those thriving musical acts capable of delivering catchy, radio-friendly jams without losing sight of its artistic integrity and pursuing a higher purpose. Their new EP “Don’t Give Up” is a soundtrack to the feeling of lingering between joy and sorrow and we’re really excited to have the opportunity to premiere it for you exclusively. We also caught up with the band to give you some more details on their craft, their approach to composing and their local music scene. Launch this perfect fit for fans of THRICE and HEARTLESS BREAKERS and read the full interview below.
CORUSCO are going on tour this in support of the EP, “Don’t Give Up” kicking off in late August. The first batch of shows is listed below, with more Midwest and East Coast dates to be announced soon.
Hey there guys! Thanks so much for sitting down with us. How are you? How’s Texas doing this fine Summer?
Doing well, thanks for having us! Texas is…well pretty damn hot. How is it across the pond?
Same here, buddy. I’ve just come back from my little vacation in Croatia, so I’m quite recharged and ready to roll with my usual stuff, dayjob and this little webzine adventure ;)
So, let’s dive a bit deeper into your new work. You’ve just released a new single and it’s one hell of a jam. Please drop us a couple of honest lines about the meaning of “Burn Out Loud”, what it means to you and what message you wanted to send to the listeners. Is it somehow linked to the overall story behind the record? What are the themes explored on your newest effort?
Overall, the record we’re going to release were songs written when I was going through a tough period in my life. I had lost a friend of mine and fell for a girl at the same time. My friend group pulled together around the tragedy and all got closer for it. The record itself deals with how we end up facing opposing forces in our lives at the same time: joy/sorrow, life/death, love/heartbreak, loneliness/friendship etc.
“Burn Out Loud” is kind of a breakup song. When the person you want to be with doesn’t want to be with you, this song is the knowing you’ll never be with that person and knowing that you have to try to at least say what you feel and hope that things end up better. It kind of embodies the whole meaning behind “Don’t Give Up.”
Was it a relief to be able to write lyrics about that and release them publicly?
Yeah, absolutely. I’d written a short book of poetry with a lot of the same themes that I printed myself and gave out last year. A lot of the songs are those poems, reimagined as songs.
Can you talk a little bit about how you became an author and the rest of the guys musicians? What are your backgrounds?
Oh I just had some poems I had written and I wanted to print them out and have them to give to friends. I wouldn’t consider myself an author, it was more of a DIY thing for its own sake. We’re all just musicians that have been playing for quite a while and just happened upon each other through the local scene.
What motivated you to begin working together?
CORUSCO initially started out as a solo project for me to play these songs I’d written. I planned a tour to play in living rooms across Texas and that first tour kind of grew into something more. I took Ryan (now our guitarist) along to be my merch guy/sound guy/co-pilot. Friends offered to be my backing band in a few cities and CORUSCO accidentally became a full band. We haven’t looked back since.
What or who has influenced your music? Feel free to go beyond strict music influences. I’m always curious what, rather than who, influences independent artists these days.
There’s this idea that has existed for a long time that there are few certain paths that exist for us to take. I think we’re pretty driven by the idea of living our lives on our own terms. For us that means following our passions regardless of the cost or of the chance of “success.” I think a lot of independent artists would agree.
What other lyricists and composers do you admire that follow such ethics? Is there a band or a musician who has been especially important to you?
Anyone that knows me knows that I love THRICE. I really look up to them lyrically, musically, and for the direction they took their career. They got kicked off a major label for making the records that they wanted and survived on an indie afterwards. Also Dustin Kensrue is an amazing lyricist.
What is the most valuable thing that you learned while running this band?
Oh man, that’s a tough one. We have all played music in smaller bands for a while but we’re all relatively new to touring and promoting everything ourselves. So we’re kind of learning how much work everything is and how to be grateful for anything and everything good we achieve.
Did you always believe in your work?
Actually, not quite. It wasn’t until I started writing what would be “CORUSCO songs” that I started really thinking I wrote decent songs.
Many artists I have interviewed have families, children and are engaged in loads of other activities. A common misconception is that once you have a child or a professional agenda, their ability to be creative will be limited or blocked. What impact have your closest ones had on your creative capacities, if any?
All of our families are extremely supportive of us pursuing music. Our parents show up to gigs when they can, and are always excited to hear new songs whenever we write them. But none of us have started our own families, so we are lucky in the sense that we don’t have to make a choice between that and being on the road.
Do you maintain a weekly rehearsing schedule?
No. Unfortunately we’re all spread out across Texas so our rehearsals are usually just before shows.
How do you think your work has changed since you started CORUSCO?
The songs coming out on this EP were written on an acoustic in my bedroom with no thought of anyone of ever hearing them. Now we write really loud rock songs and we do it together. It’s more challenging but ultimately they turn out better than anything I could write on my own. I love the dudes I get to play music with.
Ok, so looking beyond your work, what are your feelings about independent rock scene that you have seen in the last couple of years? What thriving are indie and punk rock / hardcore scene communities in your area?
We grew up in the music scene in Bryan, TX, which is right next to Texas A&M. Most people would expect it to just be country here, but there are a ton of great indie, metal, and punk bands here. Smaller towns are great when it comes to tight knit communities.
What is the situation with regards to putting out shows in Texas?
Oh I guess the biggest surprise might be that Austin is kind of difficult for up and coming artists. It’s gotten so big now that the locals are being overshadowed by all the big acts coming through all the time. The smaller music communities around the state are thriving in the sense that they’re really supportive and allow a lot of room for growth. It’s also way easier to get shows in the smaller towns.
Cool, thanks. Wrapping it up, what are your plans for the coming months, both touring and recording wise?
Well we’re releasing “Don’t Give Up” on August 12, then leaving on tour to support it. We’ll be on the road until mid October, and we’ll be hitting a good portion of the Eastern US. We’ve got most of our first LP written, so that will be our primary focus as soon as we get back.
All of our tour dates and updates are posted on our website.
Cool. Thanks so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure presenting you to IDIOTEQ readers. Take care and cheers from Warsaw! The last words are yours.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk, Karol! I really appreciate it and hope we get to sit down and do it again before we release our next record.
8/25 – Bryan, TX
8/26 – DFW
8/27 – Nacogdoches, TX
8/28 – Shreveport, LA (TBA)
8/29 – Russellville, AR
8/30 – Oxford, MS
8/31 – Memphis, TN
9/2 – Murfreesboro, TN
9/3 – Atlanta, GA
9/4 – Birmingham, AL
9/6 – Lafayette, LA
9/8 – Houston, TX