VAINGLORY Interview 4/2/2001
Ricardo Franzin of Rock Brigade Magazine
INTERVIEW WITH CORBIN KING
1. First of all, please let us have a brief biography of the band's story.
When was it formed, which place, primal goal etc.
Corbin King: Vainglory is the product of about 2 years of work. I had written most
all the music at the time the search for the right band members began. I
demoed all the tracks at home in my studio, and from there David T. Chastain
helped me search for the best guys to become a part of the power metal band
I had always envisioned. I live in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, the rest of
the band is in or around the Cincinnati, Ohio area. So, there was some long
distance work done, but that's one good thing about today's technology. You
can record with guys that live hundreds of miles away! I believe we all
share the same goal in this band, to put forth our best efforts and create
the best power metal music we can. We all love music, the rest just seems to
2. From where did you take the name Vainglory? Is there any special meaning
Corbin King: The name Vainglory didn't come to me right away. I had been tossing
around a few ideas that I had for the band name, and David T. had a list of
some he'd come up with. At last it was from one of his lists that the word
Vainglory was written. The actual definition of the word is: excessive or
ostentatious pride in one's achievements. This was a question if we'd use
that name or not. None of the guys in this band are big ego types or anything, I
just think that there is a certain amount of power behind the word. The
band's music is very powerful, and I felt that a strong word like Vainglory
really was right for the band's sound. Even though we are proud of what
we've recorded, it's not so much about that as it was just a cool name.
3. Your first album is really a thrashy power metal masterpiece. How long
did it take for you to write its songs and how satisfied are you with the
Corbin King: I appreciate the compliment! I wrote the music for '2050' over the
course of about a year. I have always tried to write songs that I would want
to hear on a power metal album. I draw inspiration from various places, and
I always seem to manifest it through my guitar. My thoughts and feelings
show through in the music that I write. Sometimes I can write a song in one
sitting, some songs take weeks. There is a certain fire I try to bring
through in the music. It's a force you really can't control! Over all I am
very pleased with the finished product. I couldn't be more happy with the
performances the guys gave. Brian Harris' drumming is simply amazing. He's
definitely the metal drummer I have always wanted in a band. Ted Brasier's
vocals are emotional and very powerful. He has a very unique and original
voice, something metal music has been needing in my opinion. Sometimes
vocalists in power metal sound somewhat similar, Ted has stepped out of
those boundaries. I also feel Kevin Kekes' bass lines really added a needed
element to the songs. He added class to the intensity. When he wasn't
playing lines right with me, he was playing melodically around what I was
doing. I do feel very proud about this cd, I hope everyone can find
something about it to enjoy as well.
4. Which are your favorite songs in the album? Why?
Corbin King: I would have to say that 'Take Me Home,' 'Mastermind', 'CCF' and 'Cast
the Glamor' are my favorites. At least right now! I really love them all,
but I go through phases with them. 'Take Me Home' to me is just a killer
power metal song. It has a ripping intro, strong vocal sections, and the
solo is really fun to play. I enjoy it all the way around. 'Mastermind' is
very epic to me. It comes at you full force and doesn't stop. I like the
changes through out the song. The solo takes you to a more melodic place,
but then leads you right back to the heavy onslaught. 'CCF' is just a cool
song to me. I love the feel it has. Along with 'Mastermind' it has some of
my favorite solo work. The vocals have a very emotional and atmospheric
touch, and the bass is pounding. I always have liked to listen to and play
instrumentals so I had to choose 'Cast the Glamor.' Brian and I really got
to go off on this one! It's a very high energy guitar tune. I will say that
'Fight Till The Death We Must' is a killer track as well. Very forceful and
5. My personal faves are Fight Till The Death We Must, Take Me Home To
Paradise, Mastermind and CCF. What can you say about these four particular
Corbin King: I see we have similar tastes! All four of those songs have a big impact
on me. They all satisfy some part of what I want out of music. I love heavy
songs with killer drumming and guitar work. I just tried to put those things
together as best I could. Fortunately these songs came from that.
6. Since there's this so deep lyrical concept in the album, why did you
include an instrumental track in there?
Corbin King: I am a fan of neo classical type instrumentals. I had written that song
at the same time as the others and it seemed to fit. To me it kind of has
the same tone as the rest of the album, so it seemed logical to put it on
there. The name 'Cast the Glamor' came from a phrase that means: to cast an
enchantment, magic spell, or charm. So, by description it also fit the
storyline pretty well too.
7. What are the main influences of the band as a whole?
Corbin King: Well, we all have our various influences. Although currently I don't
really listen to that much music, I have past influences from bands such as
Testament, Helstar, Forbidden, Megadeth, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force,
Jason Becker, and George Bellas. We share a few influences but, for the most
part we have a pretty diverse list of names. If you had to list some that we
had in common they would be Testament, early Metallica, Judas Priest, early
Megadeth, and Death. Listing your influences is always a hard thing to do
because you'll always forget somebody! I believe we create a new sound of
power metal as well.
8. What do you think about all these successful thrashy power metal bands
that we have in the US nowadays, such as Nevermore, Iced Earth, and Zanister
for example? Do you feel you fit within this scene?
Corbin King: To be quite honest I am not that familiar with the Nevermore or Iced
Earth albums. I need to get some of their cds so I can check them out. I
have heard good things about them though. I do like the Zanister albums,
especially what I've heard recently from their 'Fear No Man' cd. Yes, I
definitely feel like we would fit into that scene. I think that the
Vainglory cd '2050' can sit along side any of the current or popular power
metal bands. Vainglory is a world class band in my opinion.
9. Your lyrics deal with a really interesting concept in "2050." From where
did you take this idea and do you plan to get the story going in the next
Corbin King: In reality I believe the story could end up being true. As times goes on more and more wealth and power are going into fewer and fewer hands. In the recent US Presidential elections the actual winner was not the person who is now President. It was decided by the Supreme Court and not the people. Big business bought that election for Bush and everyone knows it. The US better never ever complain about some other countries electoral process. But in any case it just shows that the few and powerful can really do whatever the hell they want and the masses just seem to go along. Although 2050 takes place in 50 years it is not beyond reason that it could end up being a true story. I certainly would not be surprised if it was prophecy from David. I would like to see a continuation of the theme, it leaves itself open for that possibility.
10. All the lyrics were written by producer David T. Chastain. Why? Will he
keep on writing lyrics for you in the future?
Corbin King: I must take time to say what an enormous help David T. Chastain has been
to me and this band. I met David at a concert a few years back and have kept
in touch with him ever since. He has really encouraged and watched my music
develop over the years and he has always gone out of his way to get things
with my music on track. David T. Chastain and Leviathan Records have really
helped make my musical vision a reality. David is a great lyricist and has written 20 Cds worth of lyrics over the years including the entire Kenziner 'Timescape' Cd. I felt he did a terrific job with the lyrics and concept. I have written lyrics in the past but for me it's the music that comes so naturally. I prefer someone that has a natural talent with words to write the lyrics. There was also somewhat of a time issue with the lyrics for this cd. The music and everything was so far along into production it really took an already worked out scenario, where the vocalist could just come in and adapt the lyrics and melodies and we could keep the ball rolling. Obviously we would have preferred a vocalist to come in and do their own thing but we just got tired of searching for vocalists to try to write things. By the time we decided on Ted being the vocalist David had already written the stuff. Ted is also a great writer as he wrote the lyrics for 3 of the Zanister songs on 'Fear No Man.' So I would assume Ted would be more involved on Vainglory 2. For the future we will more than likely produce our own lyrics, but any input from David will be much respected and appreciated. As I said before, it was an outstanding job he did on the lyrics to '2050.'
11. Which is the role of each member in the band? I mean, since Corbin King
writes most of the songs, he is expected to be the center of everything. Is
Corbin King: I have always been comfortable as the main or only songwriter in this or
any other band I've had. The music comes naturally to me. I'll get an idea
or inspiration, and then the rest just kind of flows. Of course we all have
writers block from time to time, but for the most part writing music for me
is kind of an obsession. I always have a vision of the final product from
the beginning. It's sort of a mental outline of what I'm going for. Through
this initial projection, the music then falls into place over time. As far
as future recordings, I feel totally comfortable with musical input from the
other members. Even on '2050' Brian really made the drums come alive. He had
an idea of what I was looking for from the drum machine demos I did, but he
really added his own and did an incredible job. In regards to being the
center of everything, I am a big part of Vainglory, but with out the other
guys it wouldn't be the same. Vainglory's music is very guitar oriented, but
every instrument has its place, and I feel that each member's input will
only become more evident on future Vainglory cds.
12. Are there any concrete plans for a tour to promote the album?
Corbin King: As of this moment there are no plans for a tour. There are numerous
factors involved with that, I would say mainly money. It all depends on the
response as well. If the cd goes over great, then I would say that touring
would definitely be done. Also, upon time for a second release you simply
have more material and press time, exposure, etc.. for a more successful
tour. I would love to take this band around the world, I'm sure the
feeling's mutual with the other guys as well!
13. Do you think Vainglory is able to overcome the fact that the American
metal scene is a very small one nowadays and actually become one of the
world's finest rock/metal bands?
Corbin King: I definitely feel this is possible. I see people everyday that are into
metal. There is most certainly an audience for this style of music. It seems
to have been pushed far underground, but all it takes is that one band or
that one thing to help bring it back. I personally have had nothing but good
comments from people on the Vainglory cd, this also backs my theory behind
the return of metal music to more public view. I mean, there are bad bands
in all genres of music, but not all bands should be judged by the few that
are. I have an idea this could have been the case with heavy metal? Perhaps
I am wrong, but I've heard a lot of bad metal bands in my time. I do feel
strongly about the fact that the American metal scene will grow in the
future. The standards are getting higher, and the audiences are getting
14. Thanks a lot for the time spent in the answering of this interview.
Please feel free to add any comments you'd like to.
Corbin King: Thank you for the interview! It has been a pleasure to answer these
questions for you. If you'd like more information on Vainglory please visit:
You can also check out
Vainglory at: http://www.mp3.com/vainglory
Be sure to pick up a copy of '2050'!!!!!
Until next time, Corbin King