VAINGLORY Interview 11/5/2001

Interviewer Carl Begai

1) How do you respond to the perception that Vainglory is merely a vehicle to promote you as a guitar player? Not that I think that's a bad thing, 'cuz the album kills, but when the label boss writes the lyrics and it features two of his bandmates from various projects, people start wagging their tongues...

CORBIN KING -I think the guitar is a major part of the music but not the entire focus. I wrote all the music. I had everything as I wanted it in demo form. We were going to use a drum machine and I was playing bass too at first, because there were simply no musicians in my area that I could find to play the material. Chastain hooked me up with Brian and Kevin after all my avenues for players was exhausted. Their work on the cd is very impressive. I really feel all the instrumentation was portrayed well on this recording. On the subject of the lyrics, it's a different story. Although I have had my ideas lyrically, it's the music that comes so naturally to me. Also, I auditioned countless vocalists for this cd. At first I had in mind someone with a great operatic range, but for more than one reason was decided against in the end. Everyone flunked out as a singer.....except Ted. We had searched so long for a singer, time had become a factor and we wanted to get this cd together and out. So, as all this was going on David Chastain had come up with a storyline and lyrics to all the songs. It was a great favor in actuality. We had every intention of the vocalist writing the lyrics and their melodies, but that person just wasn't to be found in the due time we had set.

2) Where did you guys find Ted Brasier? The guy's voice is amazing.

CORBIN KING -Leviathan had received a promo pack of sorts from Ted and his band at the time. David and I had lunch together one day when he first showed me his pictures and told me a bit about him, and from there we decided to see what he could do for an audition. Ted kicked ass from the beginning. He had a very powerful voice and was full of emotion. Ted did in a matter of weeks what we had been trying to find and accomplish in several months. I think his voice is perfect for the sound and he really put the heart into the vocals that had been missing in all the other guys we tried.

3) In writing the music for 2050, did you do it with Ted's voice in mind or is it just a happy coincedence that your playing and his vocals work so well together?

CORBIN KING -It was not written with his voice in mind. I actually had no idea what I was really looking for until the cd was pretty far along in its creation. Yes, it is fortunate that his voice and the music fit so well. I am very happy. I think his voice strikes a lot of people funny at first because they expect to hear the same old thing in a band that plays Power Metal/ Progressive Thrash music. Ted is not the usual vocalist, he is emotional and very unique, not to mention powerful. When you say the words Power Metal you expect to hear something powerful, not something watered down or on the verge of Prog Rock. I think the term Power Metal has become confused with something else at some point down the road.

4) Have you ever released any other work outside of Vainglory? Solo albums?

CORBIN KING -Yes I have! Actually, this past August I did my version of the Diginet Music Guitar Masters Series. This is a cd of 9 songs, recorded in power trio style. Guitar, bass and drums, that's it. It was meant to be kept very improvisational and open feeling. We were allowed to do only one guitar track per song!! I highly recommend checking this stuff out. Eight other guitarists did a version as well, including David T. Chastain and Joe Stump. You can find it here: Diginet Music.

5) If you've read my review, you know that I think you sound like a cross between Dime from Pantera and Marty Friedman. Did either one of those guys influence your playing? You have a brutal sense of rhythm (which is all good..). There's also a definite Euro-metal vibe on the album; was that a natural thing?

CORBIN KING -Well, at one point I liked the riffing that Dime did on the earlier Pantera albums. I can't say that I've listened to them in several years. I have always liked Marty, especially his work in the Cacophony days with Jason Becker. I think the best Megadeth album was also the first one he played on, Rust In Peace. I have no idea what he's doing now. My other huge influence is Yngwie. He's pretty much the man as far as Neo-Classical metal is concerned. Also, George Bellas is an incredible talent. He has influenced me a lot in the past year or so. As far as the Euro Metal aspect goes, that probably comes from the early Priest, Metallica, and Yngwie records I listened to. There's definitely Euro in there!

6) Do you have any other musical influences outside of metal?

CORBIN KING -I have an affinity for certain Classical and Baroque music. I also have been getting into some of the newer Flamenco guys lately. I can deal with a bit of Blues as long as it's played well, but it grows on me after a while.

7) As with most serious musicians, I imagine songwriting is an ongoing everyday process for you. Whether it's for Vainglory or a solo album, do you hear your sound evolving into something different compared to what's on the 2050 album?

CORBIN KING -I believe so. Although there will always be parts that will identify me, I think my sound and style evolves with everyday. I feel I will always continue in the heavy metal/ guitar instrumental vein though. I just want to write the best music I can. There's only so much technique you can posses. The real command and mastery comes when your instrument is just an extention of your mind. I hope to reach that point in my lifetime!

8) Aspirations at this point? Another Vainglory album for next year, or anything else in the works? Will you be working more closely with Ted Brasier? There's definitely some magic on the 2050 album; I'd be curious to see it develop.

CORBIN KING -I am definitley planning on another Vainglory cd. I am writing for it currently. This venture will be more a band effort in regards to the other guys parts. I will still write out most of the direction with the songs, but I am looking forward to hearing what we can do as a whole. Yes, I do plan on working more with Ted. I agree with you on the magic on 2050, it is very exciting to think of a natural progression for the band. I can't wait until it's a reality!! Outside of Vainglory, I am writing for a new band idea I've had. Think of a heavier Rising Force. Very guitar oriented, yet killer riffs and songs. My plate is also very full in regards to a studio. I am in the progress of putting together a 48 track all digital full production studio. Still a bit to go before completion, as I have recently acquired a partner in the business, but in the next few months we should be bringing it all together!

Hmmm, that's about it. I hope these questions haven't bored you to tears. Thanks for your time.

CORBIN KING -It's been a pleasure! Thanks for your interest. I hope to talk to you again in the future!