Sep 16, 2008

Kory Clarke (Trouble) - Interview

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

TROUBLE

9/16/08

Sonar

Baltimore, MD

Trouble is a twin guitar attack of pure rock fury that burst onto the rock scene in the mid 80's & throughout the bands history, the key members have always been Bruce & Rick, the bands exceptional guitarists. Singer Eric Wagner sings on all of the bands CD's, but in the past year, Eric split with the band & has been replaced with former Warrior Soul singer/activist/conspiracy theorist, Kory Clarke. When I read that Kory Clarke was to be the new frontman for Trouble, my immediate reaction was, COOL! Kory's an energetic, charismatic singer & he has a greatgreat voice, great presence, & he has alot to say, which you will get to read when you skim down a little further in this review, because I got to conduct a sit down interview with Kory & Rick, but more on that in a minute!

Trouble hasn't released a major label record in over a decade here in the USA, there was one released overseas, but there was problems with the bands label, so the disc is still unreleased in the States, & as a long time Trouble fan, I was quite excited when I saw that the Kory Clarke fronted Trouble would be playing Baltimore, Maryland on September 16, 2008. The doors opened at 9 PM for the show & there were 4 bands total on the bill...when I asked Trouble's tour manager what time Trouble were taking the stage, I was told Midnight, & my first thought was, wow, it's a work night, I've been at work all day, I'm tired, BUT, you know what, in the name of Rock N Roll I'm gonna stick it out & see Trouble, regardless of how late they play, because I was also scheduled to do an interview & I was told that the interview would be immediatley after the bands set, so I assumed 1:30-ish I'd be doing the interview, BUT, what ended up happening was, when Midnight hit, Relapse Recording artist MINSK just took the stage, so I decided to go outside, relax a little, get some rest, & if you've never seen a show on the club stage at Sonar in Baltimore, trust me, you can hear the show outside in the parking lot...initially this show was booked for the Talking Head, which is a REALLY tiny hole that really isn't suited for a band like Trouble, so I was glad to see the show got moved to a slightly larger room, but the late, & I mean REALLY late show, on a work night, was not necessarily boding well with most people there, including the band!

I realized that all the noise inside the venue stopped, & I looked at my cell to see it was 10 minutes till 1 AM, so I scurried back inside to see Trouble's gear all set up & when it hit 1 AM, Rick & Bruce took the stage with their guitar intro/jam, that ushered Kory Clarke on the stage in true rock n roll stage finesse...the funny thing is, I had read online that the bands set was like 90 minutes long, & I knew that Maryland has a curfew & 2 AM is the absolute cut-off & ALL live music must stop by that point, so the bummer of the night was that Trouble had to cut ALOT of their set & I kinda detected a weird energy onstage too, I was thinking to myself, are these guys in a good mood? What I mean is, they played their hearts out, BUT, it felt like there was a weird vibe, & Rick confirmed to me after the show that they were kinda upset that they had to go on so late, they wanted to go on much earlier so they could enjoy their set, play the full set time, & do it the right way..what ended up happening was, Trouble played an abbreviated set & by the time they came on, alot of the crowd had left, because it was a working class crowd, & let's face it, it was a Tuesday night, these guys had to get up the next morning for work!

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Trouble's short set included a guitar solo, "The Sleeper", "Plastic Green..", & among songs they cut from the set were "Scuse Me" & "Memories Garden", & they closed with "End of my Daze". At one point during the set, Kory got a little political, but that was short lived & the set was all about rock n roll! Immediately following the set, I got to sit down with Rick, then Kory, for an intimate & intense interview. I'll point out the differences like this...Rick is a very warm, kind soul, he was a pleasure to chat with, he's a very nice guy, & most rock stars could learn a lesson from him...as far as Kory goes...honestly, I didn't know what to expect from him, & Rick sat there for the first 1/2 of my Kory interview & I could see him laughing & the look on his face was that of, "wtf, this guy's crazy!", because Kory didn't hold back, he told it like it was, he talked shit, he talked music, he talked about ANYTHING I wanted to talk about, & what I took away from this interview was, Kory is a very intelligent man, he's smart, articulate, & there's this weird laugh that he has...it's kinda like Charles Manson's smile/laugh...what I mean is that, his laugh almost seems sinister, & this interview was one of the most intense interviews I've ever done...at times I wasn't sure if Kory was having fun, joking, being serious, or both...he's a crazy guy, he's very passionate about what he believes in, & in all honesty, he's so passionate about the subjects he feels deeply about, that he's almost scary...I won't sugar coat it...my interview with Kory is one I will never forget, it was that intense, & I'm a long time Warrior Soul/Space Age Playboys fan, so I know alot about Kory's music...ok, I won't ramble anymore, here's my interviews with Rick & Kory from Trouble...enjoy!

Rock N Roll Experience: I read a story on Wikipedia that Kirk & James from Metallica tried to copy your amp & guitar setting by going on your stage one night & checking things out..is that true?

Rick: Completely false. I know nothing about that, They've been to alot of our shows in the early days & they were onstage a few times during soundchecks but they were not stealing our sounds, they were just going, "awesome sound!" & that's about it, but you know how rumors get started.

Rock N Roll Experience: As a guitar player, who are some of your influences?

Rick: Michael Schenker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tony Iommi..that's about it.

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you play the white Flying V as a tribute to Michael Schenker?

Rick: Yeah...that was my goal as a teenager, I wanted a white flying V so bad, & so yeah, I still listen to Schenker & he never ceases to amaze me when I hear some of the stuff that he did.

Rock N Roll Experience: Ok, so I have to ask...why is Eric Wagner no longer in Trouble?

Rick: Mmmmm, what did you read? What do you know so far? (laughs)

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you he split with Trouble on good terms?

Rick: I'd like to think so

Rock N Roll Experience: Ok, so what is your story as to why Eric left?

Rick: Personal problems..personal issues he needs to take care of, he's got alot of things to fix

Rock N Roll Experience: Will you ever write music with Eric again?

Rick: No

Rock N Roll Experience: Are you going to record a new Trouble record with Kory singing?

Rick: Yes...we started writing & we've got 8 or 9 songs written & we're going to begin recording as soon as we get home from this East Coast leg & we are going to start piecing it together, so, YES!

Rock N Roll Experience: What kinda direction is the new music going in?

Rick: I know people have said this a million times & I know you've heard this a million times, but it' s pretty f**king heavy, let's put it that way! The music end of it that Bruce & I are writing is getting heavier & heavier...it's getting heavier & then we want Kory to incorporate his style to what we are doing, that's basically all that we really want out of this.

Rock N Roll Experience: Would Trouble ever play a Warrior Soul cover in the live set?

Rick: I wanted to, I wanted to do "We Cry Out", but everyone was going, No, No, No, but Warrior Soul is still together, so it wouldn't be right to do that..if there was no Warrior Soul, then it would be cool, they are going to go out touring & they are putting out a record, if they were completely done, then we would definitely do one or 2 songs.

Rock N Roll Experience: Kory is really political...do you prefer him to keep the politics out of Trouble's music & live show?

Rick: I really like the political side of things..that's one of the things that I thought Eric could have done more of, because setting & talking with Eric on an everyday basis, he had alot of political views but he never incorporated that into any of his lyrics & I never understood why, but Kory's very open about saying what's on his mind & everyone knows it & I like that, I mean one of the reason's we got Kory is because he is who he is, I'm a fan of Kory's Bruce is a fan of Kory's & it was like, when we were looking for a singer, it was like, alright, where do we start on this? We both said, ok, who do we really really like? Who would you really like to jam with?, Who do you like watching?, Who has the whole package? The first name that came to mind was Kory Clarke & we did that for us...that's the one thing that I do want to make clear to people, we didn't go & think, who do we get that Trouble fans are going to like? We are at that stage now where it's kinda like, If they are with us, they know what we are doing, so we need to do this because this is the guy we wanna jam & write with, this is the guy that we like watching, so that's why we made the move.

Rock N Roll Experience: Plus, you get along with Kory on a personal lever, right?

Rick: (Pauses) He's way different than we thought he'd be..let's put it that way...he is like such a nice guy, it's incredible. People like, I even had the impression that he was going to be real high maintenance, he's gonna have this attitude, & I met the guy & immediately he was like, it was like I grew up with him, it was like we were buds from childhood, he's just such a cool, down to earth dude, it's amazing really!

Rock N Roll Experience: Have you heard the new Metallica "Death Magnetic" record yet?

Rick: I only heard one song from it & so far it's cool, I mean, I was a little bit disappointed with the crunch on the guitars, but I do kinda understand why, because Rick Rubin had his hand on it, so we've had that experience already, I'm not saying Rick Rubin doesn't know what he's doing, but, he has his way of doing things & that's pretty much how he is, but I'm sure it's gonna do really, really well & they put alot of time into it & from what I saw of this one particular song, I don't know the name of it, but there was alot of the old style & it sounded like to me, they just went out & jammed again instead of listening to what everyone was telling them what to do & they finally went, no, this is us, take it or leave it & that's pretty much my opinion as an artist, on what you should be doing.

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Ok, the first interview was mild, so here's what Kory Clarke had to say...warning, this interview is crazy! Rock N Roll Experience : So when is the new Warrior Soul record coming out?

Kory: We are advertising October 1, but it's more like October 16.

Rock N Roll Experience : Are you putting the disc out yourself?

Kory: Yeah...until I make $40,000, then I'm gonna give it to someone else

Rock N Roll Experience : Will it be released in the States?

Kory: I hope not...seriously, I don't like touring here though, it's like dealing with thousands of morons.

Rock N Roll Experience : Are you being serious or joking?

Kory: No, I don't like the closing times of the bars in the United States. I tried to save this country years ago & no one would listen to me, well, a few people, & everyone thinks I'm an asshole for doing it, so guess what, Hi Girls, it's nice to be back in Spain! I don't give a f**k dude, I hope this country blows up into little pieces & a pile of shit..I could care less!

Rock N Roll Experience : What do you think of Rage Against the Machine though...they kinda picked up the political torch that Warrior Soul started.

Kory: Well, congratulations, I hope you made some money you cunts! I don't care, great, hooray! Yay, somebody said something, I said something...I said something & all anybody said was, "Why is he saying something?" And then, someone else says something & they make money & it's like, Geffen never got the clue, Never work for a label that is ran by a fucking faggot! (Rick chimes in..."there you have it!")

Rock N Roll Experience : But the thing is, Warrior Soul did have a big underground fanbase, right?

Kory: Underground, Smunderground...it's like, I've gotta make money, I have to buy these (lifts his beer), & also food, & so, I don't give a shit, of course, I love the people that love my band, but, the way AXL (Rose) fucked me over & Geffen, with Bryn Bridenthal, this is all coming out in my book by the way, Bryn Bridenthal fucked me up the ass, she worked publicity for Geffen & she is a fucking Cunt! You tell her from me, if I ever see her, I'm gonna kick her teeth out, I'm gonna leave it at that. She (Bryn Bridenthal) ruined my career.

Rock N Roll Experience : How?

Kory: She did AXL's bidding....AXL didn't want me anywhere near his front.

Rock N Roll Experience : Why?

Kory: What do you mean why?

Rock N Roll Experience : I mean, AXL is AXL, you were not a threat to him.

Kory: Apparently...I didn't think so, but he doesn't have enough, he doesn't have enough money, he doesn't have enough fame, he doesn't have enough anything

Rock N Roll Experience : So is that why you are calling the new Warrior Soul record "Chinese Democracy"?

Kory: No, it's because I watched the Olympics & I felt that it would be a very nice idea to say that (Kory gives me this devilish looking smile) & I'm not changing the title of that album for all the democracy in China!

Rock N Roll Experience : Ok, I'll change the subject..what do you think of the upcoming presidential election?

Kory: What election? What election? What Election? There is no election...what are you f**king kidding me? It's a fascist state, done deal, listen to my records, please, that's a stupid question...

Rock N Roll Experience : Are you for Obama or McCain?

Kory: Am I for Bazinsky or Bazinsky? I mean, the truth of the matter is, it's Bazinsky VS Bazinsky, they got a war with Russia & they didn't get it, that's all they want..it's a war with Russia, it's all they want & it doesn't matter, the people that are in charge of this country are gonna be in charge of it & it's not Obama, It's not Bush, It's not McCain, It's the f**king Oil companies & the banks & that's it! That's all there is, you have no country, you live in a fascist dictatorship, your new religion is called Football! Enjoy it!

(Rick Chimes in..."You caught Kory in a Really good mood!") Rock N Roll Experience : Have you heard the last couple of Ministry records where Al Jourgenson was anti-Bush?

Kory: Who cares? I mean, no, seriously, who f**king cares if you hate Bush? Bush is not in charge of anything, Bush is an absolute f**king frontman, he's a punching bag, the guys behind him are the ones that f**king rule! It's his family & the devil worshipping cunts that f**king run this country! Oh, I don't like Bush, this is what Al (Jourgenson) has to say, this is his big comment, I hate Bush? I don't give a f**k, he's (Al) stupid & lame for even saying that..it's f**king absolutely childish!

Rock N Roll Experience: What bands are you listening to these days other than Trouble?

Kory: Warrior Soul & The Stoned, the band I'm producing. I listen to no other bands

Rock N Roll Experience: So how come you went glam at one point in your career & let the politics go?

Kory: I just had to do my Bowie stage, I thought it would be really cool & it's like, it was actually perfect timing, because I just anticipated the darkness at the same time & I'm always on the pulse of what is going on in that rock genre, now that rock has been destroyed for, & purposely destroyed by the powers that be, because it's the only uniting force of generations, & they realized that, so it needed to be destroyed & since it has been destroyed, there is no pulse, there is nothing, there is nothing to even talk about on that level, so it's absolutely a mood point at this point, the artists that still do it, they are living in a crypt that has been boxed in, it started with the raising of the drinking age, that was mainly, supposedly set to reduce teenage drunk driving & if you look at the statistics, it had nothing to do with that, it had everything to do with uniting people & they...totally f**king eliminated anyone like me from being a spokesman.

Rock N Roll Experience: Would you work with former Warrior Soul guitarist X-Factor again?

Kory: I saw him a couple of years ago @ a Backyard Babies show & he insisted that he wanted to work with me & I laughed.

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you guys end on bad terms?

Kory: Extreme...the thing is, every guitar player I work with I turn into a genius, if you haven't noticed...so, as soon as their ego goes beyond the pale, then they go, we don't need Kory anymore, they go & do their own shit & they don't do anything, do they?

Rock N Roll Experience: Johnny Jetson

Kory: Cheers! Tattooed Millionaire, dude, but how great is that f**king Space Age Playboys record?! I'm gonna re-release that record & put 2 more bonus tracks on it & it'll be f**king massive, I wanna re-mix it though, I wanna pull down some of the effects on the vocals, I wanna bring the drums up, I wanna bring the vocals up.

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you see on ebay a few years back where someone was selling Warrior Soul demos of previously unreleased stuff?

Kory: Yeah...I did...I don't care, who cares? It's peanuts really, unless you're talking $100,000, I don't even wanna f**king talk about it, seriously, $100,000 is 2 years of my life, that is substantial money for me, you've got to understand, I have no country, I have no home, I live on the road, all's I do is rock

Rock N Roll Experience: So you don't call New York home?

Kory: I don't live there...I don't live anywhere...

Rock N Roll Experience: Dude..you're killing me with this! (Kory laughs very devilishly & asks "why?") I don't know, it's almost like interviewing Charles Manson, there's really weird energy here..it's really late (after 2 AM) & are you joking or being serious with me?

Kory: I'm serious, I don't live anywhere..I don't have a home, I live on the road, I've been on the road for 3 months, I'm gonna be on the road for another 2 months, I've got a Warrior Soul tour, I'm gonna go & do an album with these guys, these guys need me, I've gotta produce the next record, they need me bad on that level, they've got great songs, they've got everything & it's amazing, I just bought a laptop for $280 & my boy, f**king Hector the Computer Corrector on 14th Street, f**king $280 for a laptop.

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you get a Mac or PC?

Kory: PC, F**k Mac! And Fuck Bill gates too...Cunt!

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you ever go on Blabbermouth at all?

Kory: Now & again...

Rock N Roll Experience: Check out what some of the responses from readers were on there...I read alot of negative stuff, but based on the show I saw tonight, I thought your live show was great!

Kory: Listen, alot of the shit talking is Steve Seabury from Dirty Rig, the guy had me arrested...he ripped me off for $33,000. I told him that the next time I saw him I'd hit him over the head with a baseball bat & he called the police & had me arrested! I went to jail. I didn't quite Dirty Rig, he fired me because he wanted to take $33,000. There was $12,000 in the next album, there was $15,000 for a DVD....wah wah, welcome to rock n roll kid! But, you know what, what's he done since? My career is just starting again & we'll find out..I'm one of the last great frontmen & I still look pretty good!

Ok, so, I edited out the little conversations that were had in between the interview questions...there was banter about how aliens really exist & are among us, a conversation about what an amazing performer Marilyn Manson is, & how Kory doesn't get laid enough...I want to stress something about my interview with Kory...although I might not agree with or share the same view points as Mr. Clarke, I support his right to say what he wants, & the comments about Bryn Bridenthal, AXL Rose, Al Jourgenson, etc., are not comments being made by Rock N Roll Experience, those are the words of Kory Clarke, so if this interview upsets anyone, perhaps that's the point Kory is trying to make...he's trying to provoke people with his thoughts...whatever the case might be, those are the words & opinions of Kory Clarke & do not reflect what Rock N Roll Experience supports or believes...in all honesty, this is one interview I will never forget, it was both interesting, weird, & totally different than what a usual rock n roll interview is like...I'm not saying that in a bad way either, it just was what it was.