Interview: Corima

Corima arrived in Los Angeles in 2009 as a two-piece. Since then the Zeuhl/RIO band acquired three additional members, and spent the last year writing and recording their upcoming album, Quetzalcoatl. They took some time to discuss their origins, influences, and current activities.

Editor’s note: In cause you are wondering, Zeuhl is a genre of Progressive Rock that was coined by Christian Vader of Magma to describe his own band’s sound, but was later used to describe the similar music produced by French bands beginning in the mid-70’s.

dA:  Tell us a little bit about the origins of Corima.

Sergio:  Corima originated back in our hometown in El Paso, Texas when we were in High School in 2005. The line-up was very different then, consisting of two guitars, bass, piano, and drums. Two years later, two members left Corima and we recorded our first album in 2007. Another member left the band and we moved to Los Angeles in 2009, as a duo of piano and drums, where we were able to expand the line-up adding sax, violin, and bass.

dA: Last year Corima gained several new members, how has this changed the band’s dynamic?

Sergio:  It was really great to have found the three new members of Corima. At first it took us a while to “get out there” and play shows since we were just establishing ourselves here, but when we met Patrick, Ryan, and Andrea it worked out perfectly as they are incredibly talented musicians and we all share a love for Zeuhl even though we all play a wide variety of musical styles.

Andrea:  The band’s dynamic has been changing since it was formed in 2005. In El Paso, I played with Corima for a short time when I was 16, and it was completely different. Although some members have left the band, we are very set on keeping this line-up for a long time. It sounded great as well in past years, but the raunchiness of the bass, drums, and keyboard really contrast with the intricacy of the violin and saxophone’s organic sounds. In other words, the sound we have now is perfect for what we want to play! We thank Patrick and Ryan quite often for crossing paths with us, otherwise we all would not be doing such great stuff today!

dA: How would you describe your sound? In the past you have identified Zeuhl as a major influence, do still consider it to be the biggest influence?

Sergio:  As soon as we discovered the French Zeuhl band Magma and the Japanese Zeuhl band Koenjihyakkei, this radically influenced and changed the course of our music. We then discovered many Zeuhl and Rock in Opposition bands from Europe and Japan which became our main influence.

Patrick:  Come to one of our shows and find out.

Ryan:  Yeah, I would also say that a live experience would be the best way to find out. Zeuhl was the genre we bonded on at first. I think it’s safe to say we do not limit outselves when it comes to what or who influences us musically.

dA: Are there any particular artists, outside of Zeuhl, that have influenced your music or your approach to creating it?

Paco & Sergio: Corima started out as a sort of rock band with punk-rock and metal influences since we all grew up listening to that. But when we listened to The Mars Volta we gradually started to become interested in progressive rock which led us to a “musical awakening,” and discovering great bands such as The Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, ELP, Gong, etc.  At the same time we also developed a high interest in jazz, especially the avant-garde jazz of John Cotrane, Miles Davis, etc., and in classical music, especially the 20th century style of Stravinsky, Bartok, etc. Our main influences are certainly Zeuhl, Rock in Opposition, jazz, and classical music, but since we all grew up listening to punk-rock, the energy and “raunchiness” of it is always going to be with us.

Patrick:  I think each member of the band has certain artists that help shape their sound and in turn allows that person to bring their unique voice to the group.  I know for a fact that we all listen to a lot of music spanning a bunch of different genres and that we all have an appreciation for classical music.  Personally, artists that have helped shape me are Zorn, Darius Jones, Andrew D’Angelo, Steve Reich, and all the people that I’m able to play with.

Ryan:  I grew up listening to punk and hardcore. I guess I liked the aggression as a teenager. I still do enjoy it for that purpose. Bands like Refused, The Locust, Black Flag. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of oldies. Mainly Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind and Fire. Good stuff.

Andrea:  Besides Zeuhl, each and every member has awesomely dynamic influences. I love the blend of so many styles, I believe that this is what makes us unique. As for me, I listen to everything from recordings of voodoo ritual drumming, Rachmaninoff, Eskaton, to Black Star.

dA: Other than the changes in personnel, how has moving to Los Angeles influenced the band?

Sergio:  Moving to Los Angeles has been great not only because we found our new members but also because there is a great music scene here with many talented musicians and bands.

Patrick:  I’ve lived here all my life, but I think LA has great players and bands who are trying to do different things, you just have to look for them.  It’s inspiring to see a band destroy your ass and make you think, “wow, that was great. Now how are we going to top that…”

Andrea: Having just moved here a year ago, the exposure to so much freedom in art has let me come out of my bubble. For years I have been searching for the perfect place to release my insanity and beauty through the violin, and LA is definitely my place to do that. The possibilities are endless!

dA: You previously mentioned your upcoming album Quetzalcoatl. When will it be released? Can you tell us a little about it?

Patrick:  We will hopefully finish mixing the record by the end of this month, then its off to mastering with Udi Koomran who has done work with some pretty rad bands, so we’re really excited about the opportunity.  We are looking for a summer release for the album, maybe even sooner. This is music that we’ve been working on for the past year and we’re really proud to share it with anyone who’ll listen.

Paco: Quetzalcoatl is an album we are all so excited to release. Thanks to our producer, Chris Votek, and his amazing ability to capture us exactly how we intend to be heard, I know even a picky listener will be surprised by what they hear. Its not just an album, there is an entire story behind it as well, and we cannot wait to share it with everyone. We are aiming to have it out by summer!

dA: Do you have anything special planned for the show?

Patrick:  We might play a new piece.  We might even give away a couple puppies.

Ryan: Maybe some awesome pop punk jumps off my amp. Or backflips off of it.

Paco:  We are very excited to play a new composition and … Puppies doing backflips? 😉

Don’t miss Corima this Saturday at the dA:

The dA Concert Series Presents:

Body Parts
Reighnbeau (Albuquerque)

Saturday, April 28th
7:00 pm / All-Ages / $5
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