igning the dotted line of a record company contract has become synonymous with signing your soul over to the devil himself. We've all heard this rock n roll cautionary tale before, but those were the days of yore, when record companies had a little more push and pull than they seem to have now in the era of the .99 cent download. After years of struggle and a few lineup changes in his band, KORE ROZZIK, the New York City-based rocker hellbent on stepping into the very shock rock territory that has been mined successfully by the likes of ALICE COOPER, ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON - has signed with CLEOPATRA RECORDS and has released his debut album VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE. Flying in the face of popular convention, VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE is a concept album where KORE is the rock star on a Homeric odyssey for his place in the heights of rock n roll's stratosphere, no matter what the cost may be. With a record label backing him up, it will be interesting to see KORE's rock n roll vision take shape. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with KORE ROZZIK regarding the new album. Here is how the interview went.
Well, I guess congratulations are an order for your recent signing with CLEOPATRA RECORDS!
Thanks man! That was a long time coming.
Talk about the relationship between the label and the band and everything that led to signing the dotted line.
The music business is very funny and as a musician, you meet a lot of interesting characters. Especially now, with the internet. You always meet people that mean well and want to support you, but you always find those people that say they're in the business and that they have contacts and then you learn that they really aren't who they say they are. I've come into contact with a lot of people like that. I came into contact with this one guy named JOEY, who I met on the internet and it was so weird. I don't know if he had an alias or what, but he said that he was an A&R guy for CLEOPATRA RECORDS. So I was talking to him and he was telling me about all of this stuff that he did for CLEOPATRA RECORDS. I had a publicist at the time and I was talking with her about it and she said that she would call the label and see if the guy is legit. So, she called up the label and found out that no one had ever heard of this guy before. He never worked for them. However, the people at CLEOPATRA asked us to send them our stuff. I sent them the music and they were kind of receptive. We went back and forth for a little bit, but in the end, they said, "You know what? We don't think it's the right time!" So, I ended up putting that to rest and after that, I went through one failed line up after the next and a couple of years later I had management and we were fixing to start shopping ourselves to labels and I was like "Oh, what about CLEOPATRA?" So I reached out to them again and they responded to me. I sent the response to my manager and he told me that he knew those guys and that he had worked with someone else who had been signed by them. At this point, CLEOPATRA was more responsive and over the course of four five months, we went back and forth until we eventually signed a deal. It's kind of funny that that was how it all came about.
And with the release of VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE just days away form being released, how do you feel about the work that you are going to be unleashing on the public?
I'm feeling good, but I also wish I had three more months to promote it. It's been such a long time coming, that we have to put the music out. I could've put this music out probably a year ago. The record was pretty much done, but something kept telling me to wait a little bit and see if I could get a label to put it out and help push it a little bit. I guess I made the right decision. So, I feel good about it but we are running out of time. The release is two weeks away and the minute it drops. we're on the road. We're just going to do our best to promote it and hope that people buy it.
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And you're going to be touring with OTEP and she doesn't tour with just anybody.
Right! Absolutely! I'm gonna be on my best behavior. KORE is usually not on his best behavior, but for this tour he will. I will not say anything political on that tour, I'll just keep my mouth shut.
Who helped you out behind the recording console for this album?
There is a great production team behind this album. They are called WESTFALL STUDIOS out of Long Island. I was referred to them by CHRIS LANE from STATION. He's worked with them.
I just spoke with him a couple of hours ago.
Oh really! Cool! So I am forever indebted to CHRIS for that. That was a really good referral. They're younger guys and they know what it takes and they know what they're doing and they've got a great sound. These people made my record loud as hell. It's a very loud mix. It's definitely what we needed for our first real record experience. We took our time with this thing. This record was done in pieces. Originally, it was just going to be like a three song sampler EP, and then I thought about making it a five song EP and now it's a full length album. With the KORE ROZZIK character, I always wanted to be theatrical and I always wanted to do a concept record. That was pretty much what we ended up doing. We ended up turning it into a concept record.
What can you tell us about the rollout that CLEOPATRA RECORDS has in mind for VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE?
We did do a video for MISTRESS, which we put out ourselves last year. So for a year, MISTRESS has been out as a video but not as a downloadable or streamable single. It's going to be the first single for the record and I believe that CLEOPATRA is going to roll out the video on their network and I'm going to make it public again on my side so MISTRESS is going to get a new official life in that respect. There will definitely be a second single with a music video, but I don't know when that is happening just yet. That will probably be happening in the Fall for the Halloween season, especially since the record is kind of dark in that sense. The album is definitely for fans of ALICE COOPER and ROB ZOMBIE and there is a little bit of a JOHN CARPENTER influence on there as well. I don't know yet how many more singles and videos there will be from this record. I'm hoping for at least two more. I do know that the MISTRESS single will hit radio probably a few days before the record is released. That was what I was told.
And talk about the line up you have this time.
This lineup has been very consistent. This lineup formed at KOREFEST 6 which was October 2016. This lineup has been together for quite a bit. I've got LOUIE on drums, I've got LYNXX on guitar and I've got ANDREI on guitar. ANDREI has been with me since probably 2014. He was my right hand man and my co-songwriter. He's very good at taking my ideas and refining them and adding extra stuff to it. LYNXX is great onstage. He's got a lot of energy and he's got a good look. He brought things to another level because he's helped us program lights ans smoke and things like that. It's really taken our live show to the next level. LOUIE is my rock. He's my therapist and he's good at doing little side jobs an extra inquiries for the band. He's just a very solid drummer and he's made a lot of sacrifices to be in this band and stay in this band. The four of us just get along. So, I'm happy to say that this is the definitely the quintessential line up for KORE ROZZIK.
And what has informed this collection of songs.
VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE is a concept album. The whole story is about KORE ROZZIK being the bastard child of New York City. He is the underdog outcast musician on the scene. He gets exiled out of the city and slandered and blacklisted due to jealous ex-girlfriends and jealous ex-band members and generally being misunderstood for thinking outside of the box. He is down on his luck, but he has this unshakable need to strive for fame and fortune. He begins to tap into some mysterious undisclosed sources to comeback with with stroke and power and obtain what he is looking for which is to get to the top of the music food chain. The song MISTRESS is about this multi-dimensional dominatrix who actually kills her clients and KORE gets twisted into this love triangle with her and his current girlfriend and she basically convinces KORE to kill people as a form of sacrifice to get the powers that he is going to need for his ascent. It's a very intricate story. In rock n roll, we always talk about signing your soul over to the devil and making sacrifices and drawing blood. It's a little suggestive, but at the end of the day, KORE gets what he wants. The whole album is very theatrical. It's a long form story and it's fun. It's really a New York City record. There are a lot of little nuances and details.
And how much of the concept behind this album will manifest itself onstage or are live shows just straightforward live shows?
As of right now, it's hard to have a lot of traveling guests with us. We've done some shows in the past where we actually did have a mistress on stage and I would kill her on stage. I would love to be able to do that again, we just have to see how we could pull something like that off logistically. We're doing the first ever Long Island KOREFEST tomorrow and we're working a wrestling angle into that show. I have this friend of mine who has become a professional wrestler so we've been doing this back and forth thing on the internet where we're basically talking trash to each other. At some point of the show, he's going to hijack the show and come up and talk a bunch of stuff and I'm gonna come up behind him and started wrestling with him and super kick him. So I do have my props. I have my voodoo doll and I have my water sprinkler that I use to bless the crowd with blood. There is a lot of solo theatrical stuff that I do with my own props and changing outfits and there are some segues with the music. But as far as having consistent special guests on the stage, it's not in the budget but in the future, I'd like to. I aspire to have a modern day ALICE COOPER type of a show. That is what I would love to do once it becomes feasible, but for now, we're doing what we're doing.
And once this album is released, what is next for you musically?
I think the first couple of records are going to be concept records. VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE will be an introduction to the KORE ROZZIK character - the underdog rock star who pretty much does some really wacky things to get what he wants. Even though it doesn't straight up say it, I think ultimately at the end of VENGEANCE OVERDRIVE, KORE ROZZIK gets signed and what a fitting thing that we actually did get signed. I'm thinking the second record is going to be more of a Midwest record or rather an American record. Not to say that I'm going to get super political or anything, but I think it will be more a of a social record instead of just being all about KORE and trying to get to the next level. At that point, he'll be at the next level and I think he'll feel the responsibility that he had to represent the KORE LOCOS and he has to document what people are going through and be a whistle blower in some sense, but at the same time, he will be under the machine because he made those sacrifices and the machine would want him to do what they want him to do. It's going to be a different kind of internal power struggle between either corrupting the youth or informing the youth. I think this second album is going to have an interesting twist to it.
What would you like for people to come away with after they hear this album of yours? What's the big idea?
I want people to know that there are still bands out there that are writing catchy songs and being very creative. This is a metal record. I think it's perfect for fans of classic eighties hard rock and metal. I also think it'll be perfect for fans of nu metal. If you like the newer theatrical stuff from bands like AVATAR or GHOST, I think you'll get a kick out of this album. I feel like there is something for everybody on this record. I really want people to think that the album is pretty cool and that they can't wait to see what is next. We're a theatrical band and there is an underlying story to the music. I don't know what the next record is going to sound like. It might be more hard rock. It might have more keyboards, I don't know. I think it will be very exciting to see where we go next with it.
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