VQDM Interview with Corrington Wheeler
VQDM - Thank you for taking a few moments for this interview Corrington, I appreciate you reaching out to us with your music; we really like what we hear!
VQDM - So when did you get your start in the music scene and what instruments do you play?
CW- I started my professional music career a few years back while I was a Meteorologist for the United States Air Force. I can play many instruments, to enhance our stage performances, but I primarily sing.
VQDM - What bands influenced you to the point where you knew that this is what you wanted to do?
CW- I think as a musician, it’s important to listen to a variety of genres and be open minded. That being said, what I enjoy listening to isn’t always quite what I play or release, concerning my intellectual property. After speaking with Jesse Hasek of 10 Years, he had convinced me to pursue my passions and I had made up my mind after that phone call. All these years later, I was recently able to hand him my latest album and personally thank him for his guidance.
VQDM – I noticed all the guest musicians you worked with on your new album “Seeking Light”. It seems like working with a lot of different people would make the process of putting together a new album
complicated; what was the motivation in doing this?
CW- Having so many guest features on the Seeking Light album was certainly a challenge, because you’re on their time and you get the product when they can get around to it. It added six months to the album release, but it was absolutely worth it. I think it shows that we’re a reputable business, that we have connections with popular artists who are more than willing to work with us. Not only that, I think it’s a great marketing move when people search their favorite bands such as Jamie’s Elsewhere, The Color Morale, Dayseeker or ect, fans will see my name pop up; helps increase exposure.
VQDM – When and how did you bring together your current lineup of musicians?
CW- Our performing musicians has been changing per season, but the latest lineup seems to be sticking. I’m a solo-artist, so finding musicians to play pre-written material isn’t always easy when the pay is low. It can certainly be monetarily difficult for smaller artists to get off the ground, it takes big investments.
VQDM – When you play a venue show, do your current band members take on the parts of the songs that were recorded by other musicians?
CW- Most of our instrumentals were created in-box by our talented audio engineer Eric Ferraro. Both Eric and myself wrote all the songs, with no outside input. It’s much simpler that way and I’ve found that when writing, whole band dynamics can stall progress and increase tension. I handle the brand, marketing, business aspects, and the products we sell. Our bassist Robert Olson handles all performance-related matters and manages the team of musicians that play with us.
VQDM – What do you feel your music brings to the scene that is different than all the other bands out there?
CW- That’s a truly tough question for any artist, because the entire music industry is completely oversaturated. With such easy access and affordable technology, everyone and their mother can be a musician and release, which makes it near impossible to make a living off of music sales. Then you have some musicians that have wealthy families or large investments and it’s just difficult to compete against someone who has spent over $100K on marketing. As absurd as that sounds, think again because I’ve actually met a YouTube singer who’s father has given them over $150K. It’s not enough to have great material, songs, or videos anymore, you have to be visible to everyone and that comes at a cost. Everyone in Corrington Wheeler works hard for everything that we’ve accomplished and we’re all on limited budgets, some on our team even have families to provide for. I think what we bring to the table or music scene, as a philosophical band, is that our lyrical content is relatable and sparks curiosity for contemplation. Not only that, but we also love putting our fun videos with things that we enjoy such as cars, travel, family, and more. Many other bands don’t engage with their audience and fans, so we go out into our local community and invite our fans to join us. We’ll oftentimes stay late after a show to make sure we talk to everyone, get to know their names, hand out hundreds of free demos to people at shows and festivals.
VQDM – What motivates you to continue to create and perform in an industry that is so brutal for even the most seasoned artist and how do you overcome the challenges so many have been crushed by?
CW- What motivates me personally is mainly fear. I have this burning fear that I can feel in my gut every morning when I wake up that questions me, “What have I done today to work towards my dreams?” I don’t want to regret any decisions later and even if I fail, at least later in life I can say that I tried. Every time we reach an obstacle, my fantastic team have managed to put their heads together and find an alternative.
VQDM – In an ideal situation where all the stars have aligned in your favor, what would be your top pics for bands to tour with?
CW- Ah, this is a fun question! I’d have to say Fall Out Boy, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, or 10 Years at this point in my career. We’re planning to change our sound in the future and go more mainstream, so that could change later!
VQDM – What is it like being up on the stage performing and seeing all your hard work come together? Does it get frustrating to find that there are only a handful of people in the audience to support the show?
CW- Being onstage and performing is like a game, every second feels like a million ones and I’m constantly thinking: where’s the bassist, do I have enough air to hit the high note coming up, should I jump in-time with this breakdown, should I jump off the stage next? I also have to constantly monitor areas on the stage for feedback because all of our equipment is wireless. Then, in the blink of an eye, it’s already over and we’re being scrambled by the venue to get our stuff off-stage and some of the audience are waiting for us at the merchandise table. It’s a whirlwind for sure and I feel like we haven’t really accomplished anything most of the time, we’re always so focused on pushing forward. Every now and again, however, I’ll see someone out in the crowd singing along with me, singing the lyrics that I wrote all by myself at home. It’s amazing, it’s joyous, and I promise you it makes me tear up every single time. Moments like that, I feel proud. For all of us in the Corrington Wheeler operation, we’d rather you either love us or hate us because at least you still know who we are.
VQDM – Tell us a little about the music scene in Texas; do you feel like there is a strong metal presence
in Houston? Where else in the world have you been able to perform?
CW- I’m still new to Texas myself, having moved here from Japan only a little over a year ago. Austin seems to be crawling with indie artist, Dallas is great for post-hardcore, and Houston is huge on screaming metal. That being said, we don’t really have the largest crowd-pull in Houston because of this. Other than Houston, we’ve played in several locations around Texas, Louisiana, and I even performed in Japan, Tasmania, and Cambodia; even when traveling I still find myself performing.
VQDM – How did you hear about Voodoo Queen Digital Magazine and have you ever played with any of the VQM roster bands? (Pulse, Skinbound, Enslaved by Fear, Murder Machine, Maximus, Conquest,
CW- I don’t believe we’ve ever played with the VQM roster bands, but we certainly wouldn’t be opposed. We’ve been wanting to book a show in Dallas late summer or fall, so readers keep an eye out at our show schedule! A friend of mine referred me to Voodoo Queen and ever since I’ve liked your official Facebook page, I’m always delighted to see your material when I go through my newsfeed. If you’re reading this and haven’t done so yet, go subscribe to them when you get a chance; I highly recommend it!
VQDM – I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview and I look forward to watching your progress and most of all, catching a live show! In closing, how can people purchase your music and do you have plans for a tour to support the new album?
CW- Anyone can purchase our music on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, basically any digital distributor and even buy our limited-edition CD’s off our website, as well as affordable merch! We’ll be focusing on playing only shows with national headliners and large festivals like Warped Tour this summer. I believe that we can gain more exposure through tactical online marketing, rather than playing more shows or going on tour, which is more of fiscal liability with less returns than is favorable. Our attention is being focused on music video, radio, and PR campaigns at the moment, which is proving very difficult but more rewarding. If you’d like to help us achieve our goals and get sweet rewards, such as free show admissions for life or an autographed guitar, please support us on Patreon! Thank you again for this interview, it was truly a pleasure!
Dean Taylor Jr