At The Six D.o.g.s Tickets Out Monday November 16th 2015
Athens Greece The Return Of Warrior Soul Dec 10th 2015
LONDON BORDERLINE BLOW OUT!!!! NOV 20th 2015
“Now It’s Time For Me Ta Show Ya” – Warrior Soul’s Kory Clarke on ‘The Space Age Playboys’
Written by Gaz Tidey
It was the favourite album of Metallica’s Lar Ulrich, saw Warrior Soul play the legendary Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington, and ushered in a whole new genre of music, “Acid Punk”. Gaz Tidey of Uber Rock, somehow, managed to corner livewire (possibly wired) frontman Kory Clarke to ask him of the story behind ‘The Space Age Playboys’ record, and how he feels about it over two decades later…..
Let’s begin where the tour cycle of 1993′s ‘Chill Pill’ ended and the thoughts of a new album began. Geffen Records were gone, the hair was gone; were you desperate to take a side-step in regards to Warrior Soul’s sound and image, rebooting almost to usher in a new era?
At the end of the ‘Chill Pill’ tour in the Winter of 1993 we took some time to get back in the studio for January 1994 and I just thought it would be cool to do something new. ‘Chill Pill’ should have been the last Warrior Soul album but because of negotiations too complicated to explain for this interview it didn’t work like that. I knew the sound that I needed to get back to doing high energy rock ‘n’ roll. It was another one of those time periods where future modernism was kicking up its heels so I decided the true way forward would be to work on a high energy album and come up with a new sound that no-one was doing. Early punk had been dead for years – the fashion, the attitude – so I thought that if I infused that with Chicago blues and just sped it up I could create something sort of like Hendrix did with the blues and change it, using psychedelic but fast – the base of Hendrix and the Acid sound which turned out to be Acid Punk. By the way, the hair wasn’t gone, it just looked different.
The band line-up changed too: was the recruitment of guitarist X-Factor and drummer Scott Dubois – joining yourself and long-term bass player Pete McClanahan – instrumental in fashioning a new Warrior Soul sound, or was it simply how things came together in the rehearsal space?
I started the sound with guitar player Alex Arandel, I told him the concept and he was up for the challenge. So we went in the studio – me on drums, him on guitar and Pete McClanahan on bass – underneath the Spiral Lounge in New York. We decked it out with oriental rugs and lamps and proceeded to shed for three months getting a lot of material done. Q Prime was not convinced with my demos so they gave me 24 hours to do a new one. We went into the studio next to their offices and I think I recorded 18 songs in one night, with me on drums. I had a hodge podge of 24 demos and I wanted to tighten it up so I booked a night in a 24 hour studio, went in, set up the drums and the guitar rigs. Mike Nueceter engineered it and recorded 10 songs or maybe more, tracked the guitars, bass and vocals and mixed. We had a master tape at 9am the next day, walked over to the tequila bar next to the office and waited for Q Prime to open their doors. I went upstairs and dropped the DATs off. They were sent to Chicago for Steve Albini to decide if I was punk enough, which I was not trying to be anyway. Seems like Q Prime always needed opinions to decide what was good. Steve Albini said it sucked but we ended proving him wrong.
The sonic shift, the aforementioned term “Acid Punk” being pointed in the band’s direction, was claimed to be partly down to the guitar of X-Factor…
X-Factor had nothing to do with it. He is hyper active and cool on stage but I pointed him in the right direction. When he ticked the right boxes then we moved forward. He seemed to understand this.
Did you feel that Acid Punk aptly described the Warrior Soul sound in ’94?
1994 did describe Warrior Soul of 1994. It was what I designed and invented. In the early days of 1980 I wanted to do psychedelic punk and I could never find the right vehicle to do it. I had the ‘look’ down but couldn’t find the inertia to move it forward in the musicians’ circles I was wandering in.
Just where did the album title, ‘The Space Age Playboys’, come from? You obviously liked it enough, following the disbanding of Warrior Soul, to use it as a new band name…
The Space Age Playboys – I was actually looking for another band name and listened to studio playbacks one night suddenly realizing my ‘granola-esque/hippy/organic/hemp furniture’ apartment seemed a bit antiquated in ’94, suddenly also realizing that just over the horizon, post-modernism was about to raise its ugly head again. So it was Space and Hugh Heffner… hence the name.
Why would you later use it as a band name as well as the album title?
Like I said ‘Chill Pill’ was to be the last Warrior Soul album and Space Age Playboys was to be the new band, but the new record company didn’t get it as usual. Because I was carrying on exactly in the same vein I thought that starting a band in Hollywood named The Space Age Playboys and signed to someone else would stick it to Geffen. I recorded it in my basement.
The album was released in the U.K., via Music For Nations, in 1994, yet didn’t hit shelves in North America until the following year – how much do you believe this staggered release affected the success of the record?
I don’t know – I don’t think it mattered at all really. I make good records and try to give guidance on how they should be marketed but no-one ever listens to me. If people don’t know how to sell them then they are not doing their job correctly. I wasn’t following the latest trend, I was setting it – influencing the entire Swedish nouveau rock?
The harshest of critics would label the album something of a flop, mainly due to the fact that many had Warrior Soul down as being the next band to break out big. How close did you truly feel at that point that you could take that massive step up?
I don’t know why anyone would consider it a flop when I sold more records in Europe with ‘The Space Age Playboys’ than any of my other first records. It was critically acclaimed and still sounds as fresh today as it did in 1995. Any critic who said that has to redefine what flop means. Probably most of those critics would be metal fans that thought Warrior Soul meant Heavy Metal, which it does not – it means an unrestricted genre of creativity within any music genre.
As a fan, it’s difficult to think that an album that features songs like ‘The Drug’ and ‘Let’s Get Wasted’ could ever be considered anything but an ass-kicking success. Lars Ulrich was a fan too, wasn’t he? The Metallica drummer claimed that ‘The Space Age Playboys’ was his favourite album at the time, right?
Correct. He liked us.
You got invited to play at the Monsters Of Rock festival in Donington in 1995, headlined by Metallica and featuring the likes of White Zombie, Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity and Machine Head, and also headlined the Kerrang! tour of the U.K. – would it be fair to say that the British Isles had your back while the U.S. needed a little more convincing?
The North East corridor of the USA understood Warrior Soul and the Space Age Playboys, the rest of the country had no clue as it simply wasn’t promoted: not on the radio, not in the stores, so no-one could know about it. The country is so vast there was no way of them knowing about it without promotion. The Internet did not exist as we know it today.
How were the shows in support of ‘The Space Age Playboys’? You added guitarist Peter Jay before heading out on tour in the U.K. and Europe – did you notice any particular confusion from the audience when faced with both a new sound and band line-up, or were they still simply dazzled by your pin-up looks?
I had more people in the audience across Europe that had never heard of Warrior Soul before but heard the album at a club, saw the video and/or were just curious about a band that seemed to be coming from Outer Space.
At what point during this time did you honestly realise that Warrior Soul was done?
I was actually at an Oasis show with Lars, and Pete McClanahan came up to me and said he just wanted to be a photogragher and not be in a band anymore. He said he was sorry and I had to reluctantly say “Hey, good luck!” I’d decided I was ready to do solo stuff at that point anyway.
You officially called time on the band when the other members quit following the last show in the September of 1995, but was the writing on the wall long before that moment?
No, I just thought perhaps it was time for me to go solo when it happened and perhaps I could take more different approaches to my music… and make some money. I always thought I would do more Warrior Soul albums down the road, though.
There have always been rumours of a rift between you and X-Factor, the guitarist pretty much neglecting to divulge details. If there was ever a time and place for someone to spill the beans then that would be right here, right now, surely?!
He’s an idiot!
You took around two years to form the Space Age Playboys band after the dissolution of Warrior Soul – did you feel particularly jaded after what had happened around the album of the same name?
No, I wanted to take the concept even further. It was still a valid concept. I wanted to fuck whores, do coke and act like a douchebag like all the other rock wankers! All those years of being a pious intellectual drove me insane and America didn’t care anyway. Basically, I had tried several different things in my solo career (that ended up being on the Opium Hotel records, etc.) and built a studio, got a synthesizer and wanted to find a bunch of crazy punk rock morons that would make a really fun band in Hollywood.
In hindsight, how do you feel about ‘The Space Age Playboys’ record now? How do you think the songs stand up two decades later? There’s even a band named after one of the songs – ‘Generation Graveyard’ – so there is a legacy here that perhaps seemed a long way off twenty years ago…
It’s one of my best works! Better than a whole lot of stuff that came before or since.
What are your hopes for this anniversary reissue of ‘The Space Age Playboys’? To get people listening to it again, or possibly for the first time? To get some deserved credit now the detritus of the music business of the Nineties has blown away? To just get paid?!
All of the above, haha! I’m thinking of restarting the SAP again. I am not only re-releasing, I will be touring and writing new songs…
[Kory Clarke with Gaz Tidey - September 2015]
KORY CLARKE ROX SOFIA – BULGARIA with Marauders Inc – January 31st, 2015
Kory Clarke visited Sofia only just last month and played with the most amazing stoner/rock musicians and band from their country, meet Marauders Inc! The setlist entailed a very strong Warrior Soul set as requested by fans of his music, only to impact even more with a couple of Clarke’s new tracks off of the newest Album, ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ just released in the UK a few months ago through Cargo Records (and available through Amazon, HMV. play.com etc). For signed copies you can contact email@example.com.
Here are a few links to some reviews and Kory Clarke’s TV and Radio appearances:
Check out the podcast for 30th January
We want to take the opportunity to thank the Promoter: Vixx Penev for his hard work and great organization! And a MASSIVE Thank you to the guys from MARAUDERS INC!!! YOU MUST CHECK THESE GUYS OUT!
KORY CLARKE BACK IN THE STUDIO ART WORKSHOP!
After a very successful winter Tour promoting his new ALbum ‘Payback’s A Bitch’, Kory Clarke is now ready to get back in to his workshop. With Two Art showings coming up this Spring 2015 and a string of custom orders coming in every week, nothing is stopping Clarke from creating Art! Also in the plans for this year is a new Album… we’ll keep you posted!!
To order your painting simply contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR choice of words or simply abstract and the size and budget that suits you!
WINTER EUROPEAN 2015
NEW EXCELLENT REVIEW! ‘ROLLING STONE’ GERMANY
Great NEWS!!!! Kory Clarke’s new Album ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ just got ***1/2 (3 and half stars) and great Review from German Rolling Stone!!
U2 are Album of the month and got only a half star more. Leonard Cohen has got three.
“Kory Clarke founded Warrior Soul in 1987, the debut album was released, however, until 1990 – just before the heyday of glam metal / hard rock was already over. but the stubborn Detroit native went on undeterred. He spits and scolds his cynical life considerations as fierce as ever, in between times also blows a saxophone and for “meet me in Las Vegas” Strings are summoned. A wicked fun!”
SCOTLAND AND ENGLAND 2014 ‘PAYBACK’ TOUR! NEXT WEEK!!! KICKING OFF ON OCT 9TH IN GLASGOW
Glasgow – THE CATHOUSE (Oct 9)
Aberdeen – THE MOORINGS (Oct 10)
Grimsby- YARDBIRDS (Oct 16)
NEW DATE: DONCASTER at ‘The Leopard’ Friday Oct17th
Rock n Roll Limo (pub crawl) pre Show party in London Oct 18th – 95 GBP PER PERSON contact email@example.com to get your seat! Only 3 left!!!!
London – THE ISLINGTON (IN ANGEL) Saturday Oct 18th. GET YOUR PRE- SALE TIX FOR FREEBIES!!!!
MEET KORY CLARKE (Warrior Soul/Space Age Playboys/Dirty Rig/Mob Research, etc.)
UBER ROCK, UK!!! THE LATEST NEW ALBUM REVIEW – ‘PAYBACK’S A BITCH’ COMING OUT THIS SEPTEMBER 22ND 2014!!!!!
UBER ROCK, UK!!! REVIEW OF THE NEW ALBUM COMING OUT THIS SEPTEMBER ‘PAYBACK’S A BITCH’
Posted on June 30, 2014 by Kory Clarke
Whether it be in the form of a stand-up comedian, an artist, poet, musician, or filmmaker, I love a good maverick. The true individual refusing to waver, refusing to pander to the rules of others, is a counter-culture all to his, or her, self.
Too often nowadays though, in the times of self-releasing and fan-funding, the so-called mavericks are seemingly happy to chuck out the same old same old in the hope that long-term fans will continue to buy anything and everything that has their name on it, the ever-deflating celebrity bubble that surrounds closing in around them.
There are though, thankfully, some mavericks who continue to produce material for themselves and, then, hope that fans will take to it. And that’s where we get to Kory Clarke.
The Warrior Soul frontman may well appear to be more prolific in the art rather than music world these days, but that would be doing the guy a major disservice: in the past few years he has released a new Warrior Soul album (2012′s ‘Stiff Middle Finger’), a follow-up to his lauded ‘Opium Hotel’ album (2011′s ‘Opium Hotel II’), an electro-acoustic solo record (‘Light Your Bonfires’, also 2011), and released the long-lost self-titled album from pre-WS outfit The Trial.
As eclectic as his personality, the aforementioned releases had a spine running through them that perfectly captured the ethos of the man: barbed, confrontational, raw, antagonistic, passionate.
The intensity of the diminutive singer has rarely been called into question. Sure, the punk rock haircut and more guttural rock ‘n’ roll of the Space Age Playboys picked at a scab that bled a more basic RnR aesthetic, but the edge never dissipated: you still wouldn’t have trusted Kory with your girlfriend, car keys, or wallet.
Well, the haircut is back, the gig posters are, again, mentioning the Playboys alongside Warrior Soul, so you’ll be forgiven for thinking that Clarke is back to a basic, primal rock ‘n’ roll. You’ll also be forgiven for being totally, hopelessly, wrong.
Kory’s new album, ‘Payback’s A Bitch’, strips his rock back even further. You won’t believe it until you hear it, but he showcases a softer side, a commercially accessible side, a sidestep so severe that it’ll take you aback when you first put the virtual needle on the record. You, if you’re anything like me, will warm to it almost immediately…unless, of course, you’re one of those special rebellious rockers who likes things exactly the same and as safe as houses.
The opening (and title) track doesn’t stray too far from what we already know, though – the album easing the listener in gently. Well, the first lyrics sung are “Pissed off!” so not that gently. “Been ripped off so many times, I’m gonna remind the assholes who did it,” KC sings over a cleaner rock ‘n’ roll riff than usual, the song, lyrically, aimed at those who have treated him like shit and taken the piss, musically, destined to cut swathes through smoky barrooms.
‘Freak’ is the first of two songs featured on the album written by Bobby Kennedy of the band, Acid (who has also played with David Johansen of the New York Dolls), and it fits the spirit of the record perfectly. Bass-led, with more of a classic glam stomp, the lyrics speak of not knowing where you are or where you’re heading, Kory sympathising with the words given the many projects that he finds himself involved in.
‘Devil’s Highway’ pulls Kory back to a more expected political stance with lyrics dedicated to our seemingly never-ending struggle against the might of the military industrial complex. At chorus time it’s as near as the album gets to prime Warrior Soul – think ‘Last Decade Dead Century’ – but the song’s core is one made up of loops and samples, more Nine Inch Nails than Four More Years. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that Kory is about to fall back in line, though….
With lyrics by Gary Hood (former guitar tech of Lou Reed), who had previously written for the original ‘Opium Hotel’ album, ‘What Good Is Goodbye’ is a pared-down barroom rock ‘n’ roll ballad that you would expect to hear Spike from The Quireboys singing to a room of waistcoated fans hanging on his every word. Dedicated to good friends lost for stupid reasons, generally drug related, this song, complete with harmonica solo, finds Kory at his most honest….thus far.
If the previous song surprises, prepare for the next to offer a knockout blow: ‘Get Down To Bizness’ finds Kory forgetting all about the last decade and strutting all the way back to the sick seventies. Channeling James Brown, Sly Stone, Huggy Bear, Black Belt Jones and Foxy Brown, this is one song that is gonna git you, sucka! As fun as it is fantastic, this is KC in a never-before-seen guise…and it works, and works well.
Not satisfied with going vintage R ‘n’ B on our asses, Clarke throws out a would-be summer anthem for fun…in both senses of the word. ‘Hoezone’ speaks of superficial celebrity idiots yet, musically, pulses out like a twisted take on modern alternative dance music. If you heard this at a nightclub, or on the soundtrack to an MTV ‘reality’ show, you’d be forgiven for never realising that KC was at the helm. We’re used to Kory and his “FU,” just not with “N” at the end.
‘Jägermeister Machine’ belongs on a massive ad campaign for the German digestif, the drink of choice for many a rock ‘n’ roller. The song itself has its tongue firmly in its cheek (or possibly someone else’s) with Kory sounding not unlike Robbie Quine of The Barbarellatones as he spits out a crazed accent-heavy lyric ripping the piss out of being a wild and crazy guy in Berlin. Musically, the song is a brooding take on dark electro; lyrically, it’s a side splitter.
‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Genocide’ is the second of the Bobby Kennedy/Acid songs and you better believe Kory when he says that it is perfect for him to sing. An ironic stab to the neck of generic American bands and the music business in general, the song is blessed with the most gorgeous of kickass verses and the most hook-laden of choruses. Think the ultimate cover version to close out a Space Age Playboys show.
“I love singing for you guys,” says Clarke before ‘The Last Hand’ eases its way out of the speakers. This is Spike and the Qboys by way of the Faces again, another slowburner set to stun….for wholly different reasons to the usual Kory Clarke output, but if you think this is subtle then the closing song, ‘Meet Me In Las Vegas’, will break your heart. Written in Nashville over margaritas and a two year period, this song is the nearest this rock ‘n’ roll mofo has ever gotten to a proper love song and, with its piano and string section, it stings the senses: disbelief possibly reigns, but, ultimately, you’ll realise that this warrior can also pour his heart out in the direction of the one that cares as well as tear it out in objection at the ones who don’t.
Recording in Porto with producer and multi-instrumentalist Andre Indiana and his wife, singer/songwriter Monica Ferraz has worked wonders for Kory Clarke. Ambitious ideas have been fully captured, experiments pushed to their boundaries: the resulting long player one of the finest you’ll hear all year…for absolutely none of the reasons that you expect going into it. Other than Kory Clarke doing whatever the fuck he wants…and getting away with it. Again.
The album is set for release on July 4th – seems appropriate – and a legion of different packages (including bonus tracks, original paintings and “drunkumentary”) are available. Get more information at KORYROXART@GMAIL.COM
Do your bit for a bona fide rock ‘n’ roll maverick – these denizens of rock city are now few and far between.approved image lrg 2013
To visit the Kory Clarke store on Amazon – CLICK HERE