corey glover and living colour give each other room while getting ready for smokeout 2010

October 15, 2010
Corey Glover is indeed a rock and roll renaissance man. He is the singer/frontman for New York rockers Living Colour and he is also an accomplished actor on both stage and screen. Add to that husband and father of two, and you have a jack of all trades who has truly mastered them all. As he and his bandmates prepare to hit San Bernardino for the Cypress Hill Smokeout and The Lift Off (the Pre-Smokeout show featuring Living Colour, Slightly Stoopid, Cypress Hill and Mickey Avalon October 15th at the Pozo Saloon in San Luis Obispo) and while picking up his kids from school, Corey and I got a chance to talk about his up coming shows in California and the long hard road his band has traveled.

Corey Glover and Living Colour Give Each Other Room, while getting ready for Smokeout 2010

Words David Carr

Corey, I believe I read that earlier in the summer you lost your voice and had to cancel a show. How is your voice doing now?
My voice is ok now. Honestly, the issue was I didn’t get any sleep the night before the gig we had to play. That was the gig we had to cancel. I was not getting enough rest. That’s how I keep my voice strong. I sleep. I try to give my voice a rest as much as possible. Now that I am getting some rest, my voice is fine.

It has been quite sometime since Living Colour has played a big music festival in the US. Are you excited to be hitting the Smokeout stage in October?

I am excited! We did a bunch of festivals over in Europe this summer but you are right, we have not been on any big stages in the US so yes; I am looking forward to this show. We need to be seen by this particular audience. We need to be seen by bigger audiences. This band has been back together for about ten years and to be honest, we still have yet to be seen on some of the bigger stages here in the states.

Why do you think it has been so tough for the band to get in front of a wider audience? Hmm…I guess if you had the answer, we would not be having this part of the conversation right?
Exactly! If I knew, you wouldn’t have to keep asking this question! HA!!

Touché! Ok let me ask it another way. Are you seeing any light at the end of the tunnel with regards to this issue?

Yes, I do. We have to go to where the people are. We have to be the ones now to reach out to folks. We have to get to those particular audiences and it takes time. I am not sure why it has taken so long but we are slowly getting there. We have to be part of certain scenes. The issue for us is, this is a band that can easily be in a number of scenes! It’s a tricky position to be in. On a certain level, we have to reach out to people and let them know, we can be a part of all of these scenes!

There are some great bands on the Smokeout bill this year. Is there anyone in particular you want to see?

There are a bunch of bands I want to check out. The trick with playing a festival is that it comes down to time. Usually by the time we get to the festival we have fifteen minutes and then it’s time to go on stage. Then if I want to see any bands, I have to stay ALL day! I know I want to see Cypress Hill. Really, I need a schedule so I can see when the bands are going on.

A good portion of the festival is dedicated to pushing for the legalization of marijuana and this is looking more and more like a reality in California. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think marijuana should be legal?

My definition of what a drug is might be different from most people. To me a drug is anything that can be enhanced with chemicals, anything that can be cooked. To me that’s a drug. Marijuana is natural. You can’t die from an overdose of marijuana…I just don’t see it as a drug; therefore I don’t think it should be illegal.

Do you miss acting at all? Do you have any acting gigs coming up?

I do miss acting. I am going to be part of a rock opera type production in Nashville called “Sighing Tree” next spring. For now, that’s the only acting thing I have coming up.

It’s been a year since “The Chair In The Doorway” was released. Is the band planning on getting in the studio and releasing a new disc next year?

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the release of our second disc “Time’s Up.” Yes, another record is definitely in the offing. We are gonna make another record and the plan is to try and have something new out in the fall of next year. That’s the plan anyway!

Living Colour

It seems like it becomes tough to get everyone together when you are all involved in so many different projects.

It’s tough to navigate. Will is doing a lot of stuff in Africa. Doug is a hired gun. Vernon is doing music for a ton of soundtracks.

So with so many outside projects, what brings you four back together?

Hmm…the reality is there is no real leader. Vice is my band. Masque is Vernon’s band. With Living Colour we are all equals in this. In this band all four of us have our own particular strength and we compliment each other very well. It’s the four of us in a space and place where we are all each others peers. We can acknowledge each other’s strengths and we are able to make room for each other. We make room for each other and respect the fact that collectively we are a strong unit, stronger than anyone else’s musical outlet. That’s what brings us together.

Corey Glover in his band, Vice

Be sure to check out The Cypress Hill Smokeout October 16th at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. You can also check out the Lift Off (Pre-Smokeout show) On October 15th at the Pozo Saloon in San Luis Obispo. Check out my interview of another band performing at Smokeout, Stoopid III Ryan “RyMo” Moran.