VAINGLORY Interview 1/21/2002
Interview by Undertow Magazine/Belgium
Who is Corbin King?
Corbin King: I am a musician, guitarist, songwriter, and leader of Vainglory.
When did you start Vainglory and who are the other band members and why did
you choose them to become part of the band?
Corbin King: Vainglory started about a year and a half ago as a full band. I had written a lot of the music even before that. So I guess it has been an on going process over the past couple of years in one way or another. The other members are Brian Harris-Drums, Ted Brasier-Vocals, and Kevin Kekes-Bass. These guys were chosen because they went above and beyond the call of duty in regards to their parts for the band. These three guys were easy to decide on after we went through all the auditions. Leviathan Records put me in contact with them.
2050 is you first album, how long did it take you to write the music and are you satisfied how it turned out?
Corbin King: The music was written over a long period of time, mostly because of all the changes I went through in regards to band members. I tried out different drummers and bassists here at a local level, and countless singers. So, up until the time I actually started working with Leviathan and found the actual members of the band, some of the music would change as time went along. I believe the songs are almost custom tailored now to fit the band as a whole. I don't feel like I could've recorded the same cd with any three other guys. Yes, I am very happy with how it turned out.
You wrote all the music and David T. Chastain wrote all lyrics. Why?
Corbin King: Music is what comes naturally to me, once I get the inspiration it all just flows out. In regards to David writing the lyrics, it was more a favor than anything. Like I said before about trying out countless singers, it became a time factor to get the cd done. I had every intention of the vocalist writing the lyrics and melodies, but since that vocalist wasn't found until the very end, I am very glad David had these lyrics and story concept up his sleeve. During the search for the singer David began putting the ideas together and wrote out all the lyrics to the songs, all based around a futuristic story line concept he'd come up with. He had finished with all the lyrics right as we finally found and tried out Ted. By now so much time had passed since we originally started this cd, Ted took what David had done and adapted it to his voice in the studio and that's what we went with. It really was a big help.
Will David keep writing for Vainglory or do you see Ted Brasier or other
band members writing lyrics in the future?
Corbin King: I will always be open to any ideas that David has, but we do intend on writing all the lyrics and such from this point on.
2050 Is a concept album, can you tell us some more about the story behind
Corbin King: Well, briefly speaking, it's about the upper 1% with all the money and power controlling everyone else by any means needed to keep them in power and keep control of the world. Everyone from birth is kept content with their lifestyle by a drug in all liquids that you drink. Somewhat like a Valium that keeps them from questioning anything. They work their whole life only to keep the $$ in the hands of the 1%. This process is kept streamlined by Directive 65. Once people reach the age of 65 they are promised to be able to go live in paradise resort in rewards for all their life's hard work. This is all a lie. They are actually taken to their executions. However there is hope, as a resistance movement begins in hopes to spread the truth about what is at hand. The whole fate of the world rests in the hands of one hero joined by a small force of his followers who must fight to the death in order to bring this horrible way of life to an end.
Actually the story is even more involved than that, but this will give you the general idea. For the full storyline be sure to visit www.leviathanrecords.com/vainglory.htm
Is this a one of concept album or do you see the story continue on your next
Corbin King: The story is left open for a continuation. This will not be the 2nd Vainglory cd, but I believe there are plans at some point to do a sequel. We'll have to wait and see!
David did not only write the lyrics but he also produced the album. How was
it to work with David and how important is he for Vainglory?
Corbin King: David's production was the decision of Leviathan Records, and it was a good one! I felt totally confident with him producing. I knew in the end I would have the sound that suited the band best for the cd. Chastain has written, recorded, and produced multitudes of albums and knows what a heavy metal cd is supposed to sound like. Working with him was great, we had a good time. I look forward to working with him again on the next Vainglory cd as well as other projects I've got in the works.
I noticed that your album comes with different covers for different
territories. Is this something the band was asked about or was it something
the label did?
Corbin King: We originally came up with the art that is being used on the South American versions of the disc. The European label wanted to design their own art work using their art teams. So, it was something that was done by the label.
Is Vainglory your first band or did you also played in other bands in the
Corbin King: It is my first professional band. I had a couple others like in high school and right after school, but this is my first band that's has worked with a record label and does music professionally.
Who are your main influences as a guitarist?
Corbin King: I have been influenced by many different guitarists along the way. But, if I had to list them I would say:
Yngwie Malmsteen, George Bellas, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine. All for various reasons, but I would say that these were the major part of my guitar inspiration.
People will bombarded you automatically as the new guitar hero. You write
however real songs and are not soloing all over it like many neo classical
hard rock guitarists do. What is your opinion on certain guitar players who
write only music in function of their guitar solos?
Corbin King: It's kind of silly. I mean, I love guitar solos as much as the next guy, but for me there has to be some substance as well. If you don't have a strong song, what is there to solo over? A lead guitar part is supposed to compliment and take the song to another level and then return it again. That's always been the way I've thought about it. Even myself being a guitarist that wants to hear a great solo, I can only take in small doses a band that can't write a song and then expects the lead guitar part to save the day.
The power metal scene is in the US at the moment at a low. How hard is it
for a starting band like Vainglory to get some recognition in the US?
Corbin King: It's not the easiest thing in the world that's for sure! However, I know there is an audience for it, and I think they are staring to come out from the underground again. When metal shows come through my town there is a great turnout in the crowd. A believe with a little push from the right sources Power Metal could take off very easily. The media just needs to get away from all these shit bands with gimmicks instead of talent that they are cramming down everyone's throat. That's exactly why I quit reading the guitar magazines, there are never any guitarists in them for the most part. The media is to blame for most things, but to the average American music is just a social backdrop. So it's probably a multi level problem. It will just take the right Power Metal bands to break free of all that!
Now a day these nu metal bands like Limp Biscuit or Slip Shit are selling
millions of albums. The real heavy metal is however ignored. How do you feel
about this whole situation and do you think that the real glory days of
heavy metal will ever come back in the US?
Corbin King: I don't even want to get started on those bands. I was taught as a child that if I didn't have anything good to say about something, to not say anything at all. It's a really sad situation with that stuff, almost as if there's no standard anymore.
I do think that metal will have its day again. There are a lot of great metal bands out there and it will be just a matter of time until we are heard!
Are there any plans to go on tour?
Corbin King: At the moment no. Perhaps after a second cd and all the press from the first. Maybe things will roll right and that would be something we could do. I sure hope so. I'd love to take this band out.
If you could choose with which band would you like to tour?
Corbin King: Any good one! I think we'd have a very successful tour with bands like Nevermore or Iced Earth. We are always compared to those guys, so why not play with them?? I think we'd even go over well touring with Yngwie and Rising Force.
Have you already an idea how the next Vainglory will sound like?
Corbin King: Yes I do. All I will say is it's bigger, better, heavier, and it will be undeniable.
What would you like to accomplish with Vainglory?
Corbin King: Just to write the best Heavy Metal songs I can for everyone out there. Heavy Metal is a passion of mine and I just want to bring it to as many people as I can. Also, be on the look out for some new things coming from me in the future.
To finish this interview could you give us your 10 favorite albums?
Corbin King: The hardest question in the interview! I'll do my best.
Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force
Metallica- Master of Puppets
Testament- Practice What You Preach
Megadeth- Rust In Peace
John West's Mind Journey
Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force-Alchemy
Memento Mori- Life, Death, and Other Morbid tales
The Jerky Boys 2
George Carlin-Complaints and Grievances