It’s been quite the year for Alternative Country Artist Cory Marks. We had the chance to catch up with him at the tail end of the 2021 CCMA’s to discuss all things music, hockey, and his plan for 2022.
Your journey started in 2014 with a different sound and over the years you’ve really trademarked yourself as an Alternative Country Artist. What has been the inspiration?
I’ve always been a fan of classic country (Merle, Waylon, Straight) but also grew up on a lot of rock as a drummer (Rush, Deep Purple, Ozzy) which inspired me to try and write songs that came from both worlds. Country soul, lyric with rock n roll energy and attitude.
How does it feel to be nominated for Alternative Country Album of the year?
I’m very thankful to have been nominated for an entire body of work in this category. I’ve always been different and a little outside the box, doing my own thing and not really trying to follow anyone else. This nomination was cool!
How long did your album take to write and what was the story behind the title track “Who I Am?
My album WHO I AM was really written about my life and it’s stories… The good, bad, the ugly. The ups, the downs and anything in between from 2015 to about 2018. Toxic relationships can hurt but they definitely help you write and say what you feel!
Your song and video for Outlaws & Outsiders has taken the country music scene by storm. What was it like working with colleague Ivan Moody and legends Travis Tritt and Mick Mars?
Where did the song idea and collaboration with those artists in particular come from?
To be the first Canadian country artist to have a TOP 10 hit at US rock radio is a cool and unique milestone in my career and it has a lot to do with these incredible features. Country music royalty, Rock Icon and hardrock living legend that helped push this song as far as it’s come and continues to grow has been a great pleasure to work with and even better yet to be able to call them my friends. It’s an honor knowing that these guys loved the song and message enough to want to be part of it in such a huge way.
Blame it on the Double is a fun track and the collaboration with Theory of a Deadmans’ Tyler Connolly and Jason Hook couldn’t have made a better choice. Can fans expect to see them again working with you in the future?
I’d love to work with any of these guys again. Jason and I have some music written for the next album and Theory and my team have talked about some touring down the road!
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
If I could collaborate with anyone… I’d love to make it a record. Coming from such a wide variety of music there are many artists I’d like to collaborate with! IF I could pick one artist right now… Eric Church or Post Malone. They both love to rock and write good stories.
Beyond the music, what are some of your other passions?
I grew up on skates pretty much and played competitive hockey until my early 20’s. I come from a big hockey family and will always love the game. I’m also a pilot and have always been an aviation freak, airshows and fighter bases in different towns I’d always have to go see. I always wanted to be a Snowbird pilot and I was lucky enough to have flown with the team in 2017 a day before performing at Peach Fest in BC.
How are you able to find balance with all that you’re doing?
Some days are definitely more “balanced” than others .. haha.
Looking back to where you started from vs where you are today, what have been some of your favorite career moments?
I’ve had quite a few and I’m thankful for all of them and the many more to come I’m sure. I’m just lucky to be able to work hard, do what I love and love what I do. I think being the 1st to have a US rock radio hit in Canadian country music and a Gold record is certainly up there and having my album WHO I AM nominated for a CCMA and all the friends I’ve made a long the way!
You must be excited that live music is starting back again. What are you looking forward to the most and what can your fans expect in the upcoming 2022 year?
I’m really looking forward to just getting back out on the road and playing this music live! I can’t wait to tour… 2022 will mean more shows, tours and new music….another album!
With live music being heavily impacted by COVID regulations, how do you plan to draw awareness to your music and what can fans do to help?
I’m just gonna try to keep putting out a great impactful, meaningful product that fans are gonna continue to relate with love and share with and just keep this train moving forward.
Cory’s album is available on all major music platforms. Visit his website http://www.corymarks.com/ for up-to-date information.
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