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Michael Corn Unplugged: Navigating Genres, Politically-Charged Humor, and the Unpredictable Journey of Autorub


Michael Corn ©️ 2024


 


GH: Michael, thank you for joining us. Let's delve into your musical journey.


Michael Corn: Thank you for having me!


GH: What inspired you to start writing music?


Michael Corn: It was the music I was raised on, the records I owned, and still have. There was lots of classic rock initially, and so my earliest attempts at writing around age 12 were in that genre. I can remember moving on to studying jazz piano in my piano lessons, and also becoming aware of genres that bridged the gap between rock and jazz: fusion & funk. Artists like Herbie Hancock resonated with me early on, as they experimented in multiple genres, which is something I still do today in my songwriting.


GH: That's a fascinating musical evolution. Moving on, can you share more about your experience performing live at gigs, and what was the most memorable experience you had?


Michael Corn: I've been performing live for a long time, and also on multiple instruments, which is nice to be able to switch things up. There have been highlights & lowlights, too many to name. But I always aim to kick things up a notch, to grab the attention of the audience and hold it until they are cheering me and the band on. It’s exciting for them and for us to get that feedback, and it inspires each member of the band to dig just a little bit deeper. When that happens, those are the moments I remember the most.


GH: Live performances indeed create unforgettable moments. Shifting to your songwriting process, how is it set around?


Michael Corn: I wouldn’t say I have any specific rituals or set times that I write, apart from when I was heavily involved in composing TV scores & had tight deadlines to meet. So when I feel in the mood to write, I’ll usually pick up a guitar or go to the piano and just see what comes out, or I might already have some chords/melodies in my head. It’s usually not long before something is there to work with. I can also be motivated by a piece of news or current events, especially with Autorub. If it’s a specific politician that I’m writing about, I will google them to refresh on their stances before I dig into the lyric writing. And I write with good old pen and paper.


GH: A blend of spontaneity and current events shaping your creative process. Speaking of which, what motivates you to create songs that bring awareness to different situations - particularly in politics?


Michael Corn: It’s always a plus if what you write can help raise some kind of awareness for others or yourself. Not every song is meant for that either. When I began Autorub, it was in the first year of the pandemic. The politics surrounding that and all the crazy political characters on the scene were the motivation to write about it (and still are!) But I chose not to take an angry tone, but rather to be humorous about it. I didn’t necessarily set out to change people’s minds, but I knew that if I could get them laughing a little (and we needed that badly after such a serious year), that there was a chance some people might see how ridiculous some of the rhetoric was. Perhaps that would lighten the overall heavy mood.


GH: Using humor as a tool to navigate serious subjects is quite impactful. Finally, could you share some insights into your next projects?



Michael Corn: I will continue to expand on my particular kind of combination of politically tinged sarcasm with modern & retro rock. But It won’t be limited to rock, as even the first EP included some RnB/hip-hop and EDM. And the subject matter won’t necessarily be limited to politics either. I think the days when record labels expected bands/artists to have one cohesive sound and niche are over. And if they aren’t, I will show them differently! Variety and versatility are where it’s at. I think most people have quite diverse tastes in music. Their collections, like mine, span many genres and decades. When I listen to music, I don’t stay in one genre. I’m all over the place from moment to moment. And I think if you’re versed in multiple genres as a musician and songwriter, there’s no reason to limit your output to just one. So…expect the unexpected from Autorub!


GH: We're excited to witness the unexpected from Autorub. Thank you for sharing your creative journey and upcoming plans with us, Michael!


Michael Corn: Thank you! It was a pleasure talking with you.


 

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