Written by: Meg
2019 was a huge year for California based musician Cory Wells. He went on a handful of tours not only across North America, but also on the other side of the world, playing his music to more and more audiences in support of the long-awaited release of his debut album, “The Way We Are.”
“The tour was fantastic. It was so amazing to be able to travel to so many places across the world and see so many beautiful things. The shows were absolutely incredible,” Cory says about his experience touring the UK and Europe last year.
Prior to this tour, Cory had also been on a series of tours in North America over the past few years, supporting acts such as William Ryan Key and The Spill Canvas.
“I don't know if they can be compared between UK/EU and America. Music is a universal language and I black out when I play on stage. All the crowds were respectful and engaged with me. Maybe that’s the difference actually. In America I don't always feel everyone actually wants to be there at the concert,” he says about the audiences in each of these countries.
In addition to touring, Cory announced his signing with Pure Noise Records towards the end of 2018, and released several singles and a couple of EPs leading up to the release of his debut full-length album “The Way We Are” in November 2019, just over a year.
“In one word - ‘long.’ I've been putting these songs together for a long time, really,” Cory says about the writing process for this album, “Some of the newer ones on the record include, Keiko, Cement, Harbor, Waiting, and Broken. I had a particularly hard time with Broken. It was the final song written for the record and I was completely emotionally and artistically exhausted. It consisted of about 5 hours of me just sulking and angry with myself because I could not come up with anything good. All at once that song hit me and practically wrote itself in a matter of an hour. Harbor was also a difficult one for me. It holds such a special place in my heart that I really wanted to do it justice. I had about four emotional breakdowns writing the lyrics to that song.”
“It feels like I can breathe again, honestly. So much work and emotion was put into that record over the past few years. For a while it was all I could think about. People have been asking for a full length for what seems like forever. I really wanted to put out a piece of work that I could be proud of and I have definitely done that. I really hope people are enjoying all the new music.”
"ALL I WANT IS TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE AND SHOW THEM THEY ARE NOT ALONE IN THEIR STRUGGLES."
With the release of this record, Cory not only wants to reach a wider audience, but also show them that they are never alone in what they’re going through with the messages in these songs and their lyrics.
“I'd like to just get in front of as many audiences as I can. I write music for my own selfish needs as a sort of therapy. I also write music to help others the same way music helps me. I think that a solid message that the record portrays is ‘You are who you are and there's nothing wrong with that. Love is about accepting who you are and who others are and just the way they are. You are not alone in your struggles and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.’ I don't necessarily have any specific goals other than just touring and meeting as many fans as possible. All I want is to connect with people and show them they are not alone in their struggles.”
Musically, the album combines various different styles of music, ranging from indie rock to folk and many different subgenres under the rock umbrella.
“I am definitely a student of all kinds of music. I wanted to express that with this record. 'The Way We Are' has influences from metal, folk, hardcore, country, indie rock, and classic rock. Bands like Killing the Dream, Johnny Cash, Daughter, Ben Howard, The Beatles, etc,” Cory says about the sound on this record and the different genres, bands, and musicians that inspired it, “I think I just play indie rock personally. Although, I am very proud of creating a record that I think is very diverse and still cohesive. Some stand-outs for me are Wildfire, Waiting, and Keiko. Those ones just felt so natural when I was writing them. I feel like I have this core sound that I can reach out from a bit to make songs like Harbor, Waiting, and Cement, but I always come back to that center where you'll always find tracks like Keiko. All of the songs are me, but those ones just came the most naturally without stepping out of my comfort zone much.”
After the first month of 2020, Cory has wrapped up another tour in the UK and Europe with Luke Rainsford and Lizzy Farrall, and is preparing for another tour in North America with guardin, Lund, and guccihighwaters.
“Hopefully just a lot of touring, honestly; getting in front of audiences and getting this record in people's ears… it's all I really want,” Cory says about what he hopes to achieve this year.
With his debut album and a couple of tours under his belt already, the rest of 2020 is looking to be another incredible year, and it’s only just getting started.
FOLLOW CORY WELLS ON SOCIAL MEDIA HERE:
CORY’s DEBUT ALBUM, “THE WAY WE ARE,” is avaiLABLE NOW. LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE: