Two-time Grammy-Award winner Corey Glover, best known as the lead singer for Living Colour, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first solo album Hymns by performing a series of exclusive solo shows. Hymns, which came out in spring of 1998, truly highlighted Glover’s depth as a singer/songwriter and is a stand out in his exceptional catalog of work. Monday, AXS spoke with Glover about performing songs from the album on his upcoming tour.
AXS: Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of Hymns. It has been said Hymns is your proudest piece of work, what about this album resonated so strongly with you?
Corey Glover: This was the first album I did by myself, my first solo record. Of course, I am very proud of the stuff I did with Living Colour, but this I did on my own. When I struck out on my own my intention was to bring attention to what I bring to the Living Colour thing, what my one fourth contribution to Living Colour is. I was trying really hard to find my own voice. I thought a lot about the things I really liked about music and paying a bit of homage to some of my heroes. People like Al Green, Bill Withers, The Eagles, that kind of stuff. I tried to get into those kinds of places on that album.
C.G.: I think “Little Girl” is the one, because that was the very first song I wrote for that record. It started out as me doing demos in my apartment. I was sitting in my place with an 8-track recorder and just making songs and that was the first song I wrote.
AXS: Are you excited to be back out on the road? What is your favorite part of touring, anything you dread?
C.G.: It depends on how long you are out there. If you are out there for months on end and you don’t know where you are it can be a bit tedious. But this is what I do. It is my job and I love it. I wouldn’t do it I didn’t like it.
AXS: We heard you are playing some unexpected covers on tour, any hints?
AXS: When listening to your music one hears a complex mix of Rock, Soul and bit of Gospel. What were your early music influences? Did you sing in church? Come from a musical family?
C.G.: Yeah I did sing in church. My older brother is a singer and I tried to emulate him basically. We listened to a lot of music in my house. A lot of albums were played. From The Beatles, to Led Zeppelin, to everything, basically we were all over the map and listened to it all. Santana was a really big record in my house. “Abraxas” was just a huge album in my home. I got a lot of that. That sort of was like my influence for making this record too, it was all the stuff that I listened to, all the stuff I liked to hear.
AXS: Many people only know you as a musician, but you are also an actor and had a role in the movie “Platoon.” How did you get involved in acting?
C.G.: I was a professional actor before I was a singer. I was doing acting from around 14 or 15 years old. I did commercials and theater, that kind of stuff. I went to high school for theater, musical theater, so I was doing that before anything else. Auditioning for movies and musicals and stuff like that. I got “Platoon” just as I got into Living Colour, right as we got signed actually. I spent three months in the Philippines, it was fun.
AXS: Is your heart more with acting or music, or is it similar?
C.G.: I love it all. I act, I sing, I write, I kind of try to dance. Ha, ha! It is all the same to me, it is all expression. That is the most important thing.
AXS: Living Colour has a new album out called Shade. Will all of you be hitting the road in support of that album as well?
C.G.: Yes, we have some select dates lined up for this summer and are planning a bigger tour in the fall. So we are working on it.
Corey Glover’s scheduled dates (additional dates to be added)
April 21 - Buffalo, NY - Venu
April 27 - Rochester, NY - Funk n' Waffles
April 28 - Marlboro, NY - The Falcon
May 18 - Baltimore, MD - Fish Head Cantina
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