Stephanie talked with the San Diego metal band QUOR about their new album The Way We Are, other hobbies, upcoming tour dates and MORE! Read it HERE
What can I say about the San Diego band QUOR that might intrigue you?? Well ultimately this band is changing and charging up the Rock and metal scene with music that bleeds true diversity from styling to dynamics. I was introduced to the band late in life with THE WAY WE ARE the bands 2017 release. I loved how the band blends a groovy, hook driven melodic tone with hints of thrash, soul, and metal! The confidence and charisma of the band is driving and motivating also; but what really sold me on the band was seeing the progression from the start of the bands career to now!
Going back to the early days (2013) WE ARE GOING TO BE AWESOME; the guys break out more with a solid hard rock and metal anthem sound. As they progressed into (2015) with HUMAN PARADIGM; I loved the more groove laden elements and the diverse vocal patterns. On this album you can really see the growth musically and songwriting wise especially on songs like WHEN THE GODS SPEAK, HUMAN PARADIGM and FRAGILE BREAK (my three favorite songs from the disc).
As we come back to the present day and my first initial introduction to QUOR; the 2018 release THE WAY WE ARE. The song UNICORN made me a full-blown fan. Loved the fast pace adrenaline attitude intertwined with melody driven elements. FLY LITTLE BIRD hits you with intensity as soon as the song starts but then takes you on a musical adventure through hills and valleys captivating the diverse dynamics these guys have grown into. RAISING THE DEAD is the bands newest lyric video and showcases all that is QUOR. Huge sound, brilliant songwriting, great guitar work and the intense adrenaline flow that surrounds the more melody driven aspects. Everything about QUOR is growing and I am loving seeing the progress and growth in this upcoming band.
QUOR is made up of just three guys Brian Corn—guitarist and vocalist, Doug Smith—bass and vocals and John Michael Cordes—drummer but the music that jumps out of the speakers is so epic and huge sounding that in a way you feel like there should be more of the band! The catalog of music these guys have made so far is just uplifting and fierce sounding. A band that always keeps the listener on their toes is not a bad thing and is going to have a prosperous and good long-standing career in my opinion. I am excited to grow and progress alongside this band and once you give them a listen you are going to be just as pleased and a fan in QUOR like I am.
I had a chance to chat with bassist/vocalist Doug Smith about recreating RAISING THE DEAD, new songs they have been writing, extra hobbies the guys have and what touring looks like for these talented musicians.
YOU JUST RELEASED A LYRIC VIDEO FOR THE SONG RAISING THE DEAD. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN THE FINISHED PRODUCT OF THIS SONG AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON A LYRIC VIDEO INSTEAD A CONCEPT VIDEO FOR THE SONG?
RAISING THE DEAD was an older track that never got the attention it deserved. So, we sped it up, dropped in a few more hooks, and added the kids choir on the end. We love how this song turned out. It definitely will stand the test of time. As far as the lyric video goes we wanted to finish the story that we told in our other new lyric video that we released in February called “FLY LITTLE BIRD”. The end of one is the beginning of another just as in life, nothing ever is totally finished. We also started working with Svitlana Reinish a Ukrainian VJ and Performance Digital Artist. She does fantastic work and took second place in the large-scale 3D mapping contest at the Kyiv Lights Festival in 2017.
THIS SONG HAS A COOL STORY ABOUT WHAT THE CONCEPT OF THE LYRICS ARE ABOUT. DID YOU GUYS TOUR I IRELAND WHEN YOU CAME UPON THE BURIAL GROUND?
Brian went through Ireland years ago. Has some amazing stories about having long conversations with Bono’s security guard in front the entrance gates to Bono’s home. We will tour Ireland.
WHAT IS THE CONCEPT FOR THE VIDEO? HOW TECH SAVVY ARE YOU OR THE REST OF THE BAND?
The video is an artistic vision of the song's basic concept. What would the dead teach us now if they had the chance to freely communicate from the grave? The dancing bones symbolize the goal to live well. There is an underlying concept of the ancestors teaching us as children, the future of our kind, to make more meaningful choices in our short time. The hope that we might learn much faster what's really important. The band is fairly tech savvy all fairly well versed and fluent in Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, Photoshop, and Adobe. QUOR is an independent band and has had to master quite a few pieces of software to be able to operate under our own influence. Knowledge is power.
I READ THAT THE WRITING AND STUDIO TIME FOR THIS EP WAS A REAL SHOT OF “NEW THINGS” COMING FROM THE PRODUCER, STUDIO AND TIME FRAME. HOW DID THAT HELP WITH YOU GUYS PUSHING YOUR LIMITS AND WOULD YOU DO THIS AGAIN WITH EACH NEW RELEASE?
With every new release and recording comes an opportunity to test yourself on how you’ve grown as a player. The studio is a giant microscope. It is a maker and breaker of men. Every time we hit the studio, we hit it head on, with excitement, and a passion that it deserves. Every member of this band loves to record and always come out better than when we went in. That’s our goal besides rock n the fuck out.
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN SITTING ON THE RECORD; THE WAY WE ARE SINCE JANUARY. HAVE YOU GUYS WRITTEN NEW MUSIC AND IF SO HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THE TRACKS ON THIS RELEASE?
Heck yeah! We don’t do the whole tour, writing, cycle. This is 2018 and the demand for good music is higher than ever. Audiences are growing, the ways music is being delivered and consumed has changed and grown immensely. We always have new songs in the works. Right now, probably sitting on 3-5 songs and another 5 more in the works. We don’t take breaks to write. We write and tour at the same time. We take breaks for family, holidays, occasional vacations, and to record more music. For the longest time, people have been unable to pinpoint who we sound like. We offer many difference and styles in the rock, punk, and metal genres. I believe with this new record coming early 19’ the listener will hear a more definitive and unique style than what they are used to hearing.
FOR PEOPLE JUST GETTING INTO QUOR. TELL US HOW YOU GUYS STARTED?
Started in San Diego, CA about 6 years under the name “We Are Going To Be Awesome”. Then one-night Brian was on a quest along the PCH in San Diego when it was foggy. As he was driving through this thick fog, he looked up and saw some giant yellow letters that appeared from the fog that read QUOR. We went with it.
WHAT FUELS YOUR PASSION FOR THE GENRE OF MUSIC YOU PRODUCE?
Life, snacks, unicorns, you, and Willie Nelson.
I FEEL LIKE WHEN LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC THAT BEING A FLY ON THE WALL WOULD BE A FUN TIME BECAUSE IM SURE A SONGWRITING SESSION MIGHT BE QUITE DIVERSE. WHEN YOU GUYS SIT DOWN TO WRITE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO REEL IN THE DYNAMICS THAT COME OUT IN SONGWRITING OR DO YOU JUST JAM AND THEN CUT WHERE NEEDED?
We do a little bit of both. We all spend time on our own playing and riffing, recording rough draft ideas etc. and when we aren’t doing tour work up rehearsals or when we are done for the night we usually pick a song or songs and beat them down a little bit. The best part about future writing plans is Pro Tools offers a cloud-based service where Brian, myself, producer Chris and John can all work in one session and just upload ideas as they record them at home. The goal is to be able to demo the songs via the cloud and our home studios, and then lock them in during the pre-production phase to be able to rip in the studio.
IF YOU COULD AGREE AS A BAND ON ONE MUSICIAN OR BAND THAT HAS GIVEN OUR BAND THE MOST INFLUENCE WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? ALSO, WHAT WOULD BE ONE SONG FROM THAT ARTIST YOU LIKE TO REMAKE OR PLAY WITH SAID ARTIST?
Mastodon would probably be the artist that we share the most similar sound with. We have some more punk and country aspects to what we do though, but still groovy, thrashy, and a bit progressive. We all equally love Mastodon. Everything about that band is how you are supposed to do it. They are true professionals. I know John likes the older Mastodon stuff, but Brian and I both like the song “Steambreather” off of the Emperor of Sands record.
YOU’RE NOT TOURING RIGHT NOW HOW IS IT BEING HOME AND DO YOU GUYS HAVE OTHER HOBBIES OTHER THEN MUSIC AND THE INDUSTRY. IF SO WHAT AND HOW DOES THAT HELP BALANCE YOUR LIFE?
I’ve dedicated my entire life starting a few years ago to music in one-way shape or form. Besides the band, I work with Dirtbag Clothing and Scorpion Percussion. When I’m not hanging out with my family, I’m doing something that benefits one of those three things. Brian likes to go for hikes, go to shows, and check out other people’s art. John is a huge movie buff, and also goes out to shows. We all play our instruments quite a bit and rehearse which probably consumes 12-15 hrs / week per person.
DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY PLANS ON HITTING THE ROAD FOR THE REST OF 2018 AND IF YOU ARE DO YOU AVE ANY DATES YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
07-07-18 - Kravefest - Curtain Club - Dallas, TX - (Hosted by Kraverock Radio)
07-17-18 - Bada Brew - Cresthill, IL
07-18-18 - The Low End - Peoria, IL
07-19-18 - Penny Road Pub - Barrington, IL
07-20-18 - Hijynx - Fort Atkinson, WI
07-21-18 - Top Fuel Saloon - Braidwood, IL (Freak is the man!)
10-11-18 - Art House - Kobe, Japang
10-12-18 - Hokage - Osaka, Japan
10-13-18 - Neverland - Nara, Japan
10-17-18 - Zion - Nagoya, Japan
10-18-18 - Cyclone - Shibuya, Japan
10-19-18 - Live Freak - Shinjuku, Japan
10-20-18 - 7th Avenue - Yokohama, Japan
10-21-18 - Babel Rock Tower - Tachikawa, Japan
10-22-18 - Basement Bar - Shimokitazawa, Japan
WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME QUOR MEAN?
It means “I shall be responsible and radical at the same time.”
FAVORITE STAGE ATTIRE TO WEAR?
Wolf underwear or no attire
3 FACTS ABOUT TOUR LIFE?
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
Thanks Steph! You are an epic human and we look forward to working together more in the future as well as getting out to the east coast to slap you a high five.