I knew I was going to have a great time interviewing Corey Durkin of Fast River as soon as he came across my radar via smoke signal. Corey is self-admittedly great at starting fires (putting them out, however, might be another story) and I was intrigued by the smoke I was seeing. Allow me to serve you a glass of Fast River, the band that chuckles in the face of genre constraints and playfully punts the pigeonhole. Birthed from the fiery womb of sardonic wit and existential ennui, Fast River is a slapstick combo of styles, spun together in a blender of creative camaraderie and lo-fi liberation. Obviously, this seemed to be a perfect fit for my ‘mildly schizophrenic’ interview style so I jumped on the opportunity to ask Corey a couple of questions.
Have you ever been able to finish a Rubik’s Cube?
Never. I tried once on a plane from Senegal to Croatia but ended up opening the airplane door halfway through the flight and jumping out because I couldn’t finish it.
Everyone says that every crowd is their favorite but, what city has the best audience and why is it Minneapolis?
I mean, it’s the birthplace of The Replacements – argument complete.
What TV show do you have the strongest opinion and what is said opinion?
I absolutely believe that every problem America currently faces would be solved if President Bartlet were really our president. West Wing = great show of all-time. Fight me.
What’s your go-to coffee order?
Venti coffee, black like my soul.
Favorite lyrics of all time?
“Big boys stomping in my Air Force Ones”
What’s your favorite menu item at Taco Bell?
Never been there. I’m more of a greasy diner on the back roads of New Jersey after sneaking into Springsteen’s guest house to graffiti the walls in a heavy-handed dose of idolatry-kinda guy.
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
“Air Force Ones” by Nelly. The David Banner remix.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
ELO at Madison Square Garden. Dawes (whom I love) opened, ’twas my 5th time seeing those boys…and then Jeff Lynne came on stage and blew my face right off of my 6’2″ body.
If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?
Ben Affleck. Because that dude is my spirit animal.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to and why?
My hot take answer is Broadway shows are the worst concerts ever. This comment will come back to haunt me if I ever write a musical. But I probably won’t.
What’s your favorite method of listening to music?
I like to listen thru my ears – it gets into my brain better that way. The 8-tracks don’t fit into the back of my head as easily as they used to.
What’s one thing I should know before listening to your music?
Nothing is real, it’s all an illusion.
I know I asked you to send me two singles to really focus on in this review but that was a lie as far as the reason goes– you chose “Soul Lives Forever” and “Punch the Lights Out”. You gave me very professional answers as to why you picked those two but what are the real reasons?
Because those songs actually have neuro-linguistic programming in them which, upon the 5th listen, forces the listener to Venmo me $575 every month. It’s like a mind-control version of Patreon.
You mentioned that “Punch The Lights Out” is a bit of a genre smoothie (which is absolutely is) but why are there no breakdowns in this song?
Because I drink too much coffee.
Totally just giving you a hard time there! Really though, all of your songs including these two that you brought to my attention are definitely genre smoothies. With that being said, can you take me through your songwriting process even just briefly?
Usually, it all comes together at the same time (also a great recipe for other indulgences in life) – lyrics & melody will happen, I’ll record it in the studio or on my phone if I’m out and about…and then whatever THAT is, I sit with it and start to build around it.
“Soul Lives Forever” is your newest track out there right now and seems to have an almost darker vibe than some of your other tracks, can you tell me where you were when you wrote this one or came up with the idea?
I just think the impending apocalypse had something to do with this track – what’s gonna happen when the world implodes?
My own spiritual journey led ME to that song’s message for sure – it might sound darker but it’s actually an uplifting message of faith and rebirth!
While we are talking about “Soul Lives Forever”, this song begs for a live show with an epic light show to go with it. Any cool touring plans or anything that you want to share with me?
No touring plans!!! I love writing songs and putting new music out into the world…touring, not so much. There’s only one friend I’d go on tour with and his name rhymes with Skyler Mile.
Is there anything else you want my readers to know about you, your music, or life/ the universe in general?
Fast River puts out a new single on the 1st of every month. Every single is a different genre, a different vibe, a different perspective…I love putting art out into the world and I’d love to have anyone reading this come along for the ride!
I mean, come on, you’re in love, aren’t you? I seriously loved all of Corey’s answers (other than the Taco Bell one– come on, Corey) and loved the way there was a sense of artistry and thought in each answer just like his songs. So what are you waiting for. Check out Corey’s music. Feel free to start with “Soul Lives Forever” and “Punch the Lights Out” but then dig into his other stuff. It’s truly a rollercoaster ride that is more than worth the price of admission.
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