An Interview With Kory Clarke: Warrior Soul This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In the fall of 1987, Warrior Soul sprouted out the perplexing mind of Kory Clarke, who recruited long-time blues bass player Pete McClanahan, guitarist John Ricco, and then Child of Salvation's drummer Mark Evans.

Kory Clarke is a very kind and admirable man who becomes passionate when asked to discuss his views on censorship. With help from Denise Cox from Geffen Records, I had the chance to talk to Kory Clarke, a Warrior Soul of the 1990's.

Question: What kind of message does Warrior Soul want to give? Do you want to inspire your fans to think?



Kory: Well, that would be nice. You know, I think everyone should think for themselves, but I think the message that Warrior Soul is delivering is simply "Do what you want, as long as you don't hurt anybody."

Question: I was thinking that your music was inspiring the fans to think...to be your own person.

Kory: Absolutely.

Question: But society doesn't want you to be your own person.

Kory: You have a great point there, but I'm telling you that society is made up of so many sectors. There's no great society telling us not to do something. If you're into rock and roll and you want to look the way you want, go ahead because we're part of society, too. And the important thing is to normalize ourselves. I mean we are normal at what we do. We don't think we're weird because of our hairstyles, and our clothes, whatever. When you go to a club, people have a right to do whatever we want. People that try to shove their ideals down our throats have a right to do what they want. I think the major point is: we are trying to be accepted as part of society.

Question: What is your favorite piece on your new album "Last Decade, Dead Century"?

Kory: "Four More years."

Question: I liked "One Minute Year."

Kory: You've heard the cassette [because] the cassette has a different cut than the CD. The CD has a five minute monologue and the cassette has a one minute monologue. Basically it's the entire poem put into one minute. If you were talking about that, it's a very nice piece. At the same time, the CD really tells what the poetry really means. You should check out the CD.

Question: How did you come up with the title "Last Decade, Dead Century"?

Kory: Just like I come up with anything: it just comes out. The reason we came up with that title is because we thought that it was very pertinent to what is going on in society today and the release of the record in 1990. I happen to think that this century was pretty bad, as far as human beings go. We've killed alot of people and species of animals.

Question: That was the point I was going to make in the next question! It seems like the United States is rotting away in front of our faces: government officials in cohoots with drug deals, and in the 1980's, we've seen capital punishment inflicted on two mentally retarded people. Do you think this is the end of the U.S. as we know it?

Kory: No, I think it's simply going to...all the things you mentioned...are just going to be a catalyst for our generation to wake up and say "Hold on. Let's do something about it."

Question: Is it true that in one of your art exhibits you put a gun to your head?

Kory: Of course it's true.

Question: Was it loaded?

Kory: No, it wasn't. I did that as an effect to show my audience that we're always living under the gun and it was simply an effect. I, at this point, don't think I would kill myself on stage. I tried to kill myself once and...

Question: It was horrible.

Kory: Yeah, it didn't work so I figured, you know, why not let nature kill me, but when you're doing performance art, the name of the game is shock. And that's what I was doing.

Question: Warrior Soul is performing/headlining at the Cathouse in Los Angeles. What will your show be like?

Kory: What I hope it would be like is when we played Manhattan last time. I had Warrior Soul fans in the front and everybody singing, with my mind set and no thrashing or stage diving. Everyone just gets into it.

Question: Warrior Soul songs are usually about life. Can you relate to bands that sing about girls and sex all the time?

Kory: I think there's a market for people who do that and I think it's fine to sing about human nature. It's no big deal but I think that if you want to be a heavy band, you should write about something that's heavy and I don't think that, this is an exclusive, I don't think people that write about Satan (or A.K.A. the guy with the little horns underneath the earth), I think they're dealing with a concept; they're not really dealing with anything that's real and I think it's more real to talk about society and politics, and I think that's what makes you heavy in the 1990's. I think that people, if they want to be heavy, should talk about our society. That's what we're about. And that's what the artist's job really is: reflecting their own society.

Question: You worked with Raging Slab and I wanted to know what did you do with them?

Kory: I was a drummer for Raging Slab for about three months. It was cool; they were cool, but I decided to leave because I felt they weren't serious. I didn't think their lyrics were serious enough, so I decided to go and do something else. That's when I started doing performance art.

Question: What does the song "In Conclusion" mean to you?

Kory: Teach and learn.

Question: "The Losers"...?

Kory: I think it's a beautiful song.

Question: I think it's great because it talks about everybody.

Kory: The thing about that song is, when it's live, it really makes a lot of sense. It's just so beautiful. Everyone gets into it. I don't know, it's just a pretty song. I think it's important that we acknowledge all the people that are ignored by the media. There's no reason why everyone should be materialistic, out for themselves. I think that there should be something that should glorify not caring about advertising agencies, you get what I'm saying.

Question: Yes, that instead of doing things for yourself, you should do things for others. It's a really cool song.

Do you have any theories on why the P.M.R.C. attacks hard rock groups more than any other musical groups?

Kory: I don't know if they just attack heavy metal. I think they attack anything that bothers them, and my whole point is, if you're concerned about your society, if you're Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or whatever, you have a right to complain or do whatever.

Rock and rollers believe in freedom. That's what this country is supposed to be about. Even if you worship Satan, or you're a Communist, you have a total right to that and it really bothers me. I think if they push hard enough, I think rock and roll people should go in and push real hard on them, because I got a real weird feeling that there are alot more rock and roll people.

It's like "Leave us alone." If you want to be a politician, go ahead. If you want to be a priest, go ahead. You want to be a rock and roll star, go ahead. Who cares. You're not hurting anybody.

Question: Well, that's the way the world is and I think we can change it.

Kory: Well, I'm gonna!n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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