Instantly recognizable from his roles in “The Goonies,” “Stand By Me,” “Dream A Little Dream” and “The Lost Boys,” Corey Feldman has been entertaining movie going audiences worldwide for the better part of three decades. Along the way he has become ingrained in the fabric of the pop culture landscape. With his highly-anticipated autobiography, titled “Coreyography,” on the way in the Fall, Feldman stands ready to clear the air of the rumors and misinformation which has swirled around him for years.
What is often overlooked about this multi-faceted artist is his work as a talented musician and performer who has released an impressive body of music through the years. His latest musical endeavor is without a doubt his most ambitious to date. The as yet untitled solo album is his first solo release since 2005, and follows “Technology Analogy,” released by his band, Truth Movement, in 2009. The new album will have 15 new tracks (and some bonus tracks at certain retailers) and features collaborations with Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Kaya Jones (Pussycat Dolls), Scotty Page (Pink Floyd), Supreme (Wu Tang/Killer Beez), and DJ R1ckone of Black Eyed Peas fame. The sound of Feldman’s new project will focus on electronica/dance with some hip-hop, pop and a few good old-fashioned rock and roll songs.
The video for the lead-off track, “Ascension Millennium,” recently premiered on MTV to rave reviews from fans and critics around the globe. Running four minutes and 20 seconds, the video was shot in real-time and chronicles Feldman’s day in the life journey through his world. This high energy video also reunites him onscreen with Goonies co-star, Sean Astin, for the first time in over 25 years. However, the MTV video release is part of the first wave of promotion of Feldman’s brand launch of Corey’s Angels! This exciting new brand will include the launch of his new 360 production, development, and agency, coupled with a private membership club and members website. Corey’s Angels will be featured in a brand new web series, videos, films and more! Jason Price of Icon vs. Icon recently sat down with Corey Feldman to discuss his earliest memories of music, the creation of his upcoming electronica driven solo album, the challenges of bringing it to life, the launch of his Corey’s Angels project and everything he has in store for us in the second half of 2013!
As many people know by now, you are more than just an actor. You have an entire separate musical side to your life. I was curious to learn a little more about where it all began and hear about your first memories of music.
That is a good question. Actually, it all started at my Grandma’s house. I was pretty much raised by my grandmother and I lived with her as a child. She had an old record player and a lot of old records lying around. The first albums I remember seeing where by Bill Haley and The Comets. That is where the connection was made. She also had a lot of old jazz records and old time classical stuff but out of all the records she had, the only one I recognized was from Bill Haley and The Comets because they were responsible for the theme from “Happy Days”. When I put it on, I heard “Rock Around The Clock” and “See You Later Alligator,” so I would sing them over and over and over. There was something even before that. A lot of people don’t know this but when I was three years old and first starting to go on auditions and getting into the business, which is such a ridiculous statement but true, my mom would make me learn songs to use when I went in to audition for movie parts and commercials. When I would go into an acting audition, I would actually go into the room singing! I would be prepared to sing any number of songs but usually it was a catchy little folk song like “Junk Food Junkie” by Jim Croce or “Put On A Happy Face,” things like that you would hear in tap or singing class. Even the Oscar Meyer song! I was telling a friend the other day it was one of the first songs I had to sing on auditions. I would sing these cutey-cute little songs when I went in and that is what helped get me the role. A lot of people don’t know that. It really started in singing but for my own musically tastes, it started with bill Haley and The Comets. Shortly thereafter, I got into my first teen-star pop icon, who was Shaun Cassidy, who was very popular in the early 70s. As far as my first rock band, it was KISS!
Those influences are what got us here today. Now, you are apparently bringing music videos back to MTV with the release of your new song “Ascension Millennium”. (Check out the full story and video! – Click Here!)
Yeah! [laughs] In a way.
What can you tell us about the song, the video and the processes of bringing it all to life?
The song itself has a fun story about how it became a thing — it’s creation. It was really done as a bit of a joke. I was actually sitting in the studio, here at my home, which is where I recorded the entire album. I was sitting around with my former assist, who some may remember from show “The Two Coreys,” his name is Jake. He was over at The Feld-Mansion, as we call it, and we were in the studio. I was working on a guitar solo for another project, which isn’t part of this upcoming album but a tribute album I am planning to honor some of my influences, which will be released in the next few years. Anyway, I was working on a guitar solo for the cover I was working on and he was very excited to hear it. He said “Oh my God! I just got to witness Corey Feldman doing his first ever guitar solo!” Typically, I leave the musicianship to the musicians and try to stay away from it other than the writing and singing. However, with this new arm of work I am doing now, I finally have delved deeper into it and I am playing a lot of the instruments that you hear. I was doing the track and he made that comment and was being kinda cheeky about it. I was like “Well, it is pretty impressive, I know! If you want to be really impressed, watch this! I will show you how a song is made from scratch!” I asked my engineer if he could throw up a good drum sound onto my MIDI. I started playing some drums and said “Ok, now give me a bass. Give me this, give me that.” I shot through about thirty different tracks in about an hour and a half and the became the musical base of “Ascension Millennium”.
It was literally written in an hour and a half. When I wrapped it up and headed to bed for the night, I already had the main hook but I didn’t know what was going to go there. I felt some lyric needed to happen over it. I just kinda started thinking about what fits in that space and what is the most relevant topic on everyone’s mind at the time. It was right before the big, possible end of the world event in 2012 when I was writing it. It was like “Oh my God! Everyone is talking about the end of the world right now!” The big topic at hand was the Ascension because everybody believed if it was going to be the end of the world, maybe we weren’t dying but we were ascending into another place. I thought, even if it didn’t happen, we are all still ascending on some level anyway. I think that being more than just a pop song, I feel it is a testament to where the social thinking is today, the overwhelming analysis of the contemporary pulse of America, and the world over, is really about trying to move forward into this new millennium with some form of enlightenment. I think that is what it is about — trying to enlighten ourselves and bring ourselves into another form of being, a higher self, a higher consciousness.
This is just the first single off of your yet to be titled solo album. What is the status of the album at this point in time?
Still working away. We are mostly finished with it now. I would say that all but one song has been written. It is going to be a very hefty album and we’re imagining it is going to be anywhere from fifteen to eighteen songs. It is definitely the biggest album I have ever done and it certainly has the most celebrity cameos of any album I have done. The last album had a lot of great people on it. We had John Carin and Scott Page from Pink Floyd and Mark Karan from The Other Ones and Ratdog. We had a good list of people on there but this new one is kind of taking it to the whole pop world what we did with The Truth Movement in the classic rock world. On this album, so far we have Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit and Rick One who is the DJ/producer for Black Eyed Peas. He has produced an co-written a bunch of stuff on there. Thomas Van Musser is on there as well. He is a songwriter for Black Eyed Peas and he helped write “Where Is The Love?” He co-wrote and co-produced a couple the songs. We also have Supreme from Wu-Tang/Killer Beez. He does a little hip-hop song with me on there. Kaya Jones, formerly of the Pussycat Dolls, who is now a solo artist does a duet with me. There is a lot of really awesome talent on the album!
There are a lot of different worlds coming together on this album. How would you describe the album sonically?
I would say it is more electronica driven than anything. The theme of the album is definitely heavily influenced by electronica. I don’t want to box it in by categorizing it too much but I will say it is a heavily electronica influenced dance album with a touch of pop, hip-hop and rock to fill in the colors of the palette around it. For the most part, it is going to be a heavy electronic dance album and there will be a lot of remixes coming out as well.
How has your songwriting process evolved through the years? Do you have a specific process you follow when creating new music?
I always had up until now. My typically process was getting a tune in my head and I would marry that to some type of topic, idea or theme and go from there. Based on whatever the lyric and melody was, I would formulate the music around it by hearing the bass line or drum beat and expressing that to the musicians. That whole process has changed with this new album because by having a studio in my home and being able to record when I feel the need to record, it has left it much more open for inspiration. What is happening now is I am getting into the studio with my engineer and pull up some sounds and start meddling. I find a good drum beat that I like and put it down, then I grab a bass line and put it down. I am literally creating everything out of the air. My right hand man in the studio is a guy named Greg Cerentino, he is my ace in the whole! My secret weapon! This guy is a multiple instrumentalist, singer, writer, producer and everything! He is just a genius in the studio. He has been really, really helpful to me because anything I can’t do, he will do! In other words, if I am playing a bass part and I just can’t quite hit it, I will turn it over to him and he will lay it down. For the most part, this album is comprised of me and him in the studio. Then we bring other people in as we go. I might say “Oh, I want to do a duet. It should be a sexy little duet with a girl. Ok, who am I friends with that is kinda happening in the pop world right now? Oh yeah, Kaya Jones! She is releasing a new solo album! Let’s go with her.” It something like that, where it all happens really organically.
Looking back on the process of bringing the new project together and exploring new territory, what has been the biggest challenge for you along the way?
First of all, I like to look at it as the album having a couple of layers. I am going to give it to you straight here, a couple of things people don’t know are coming but are fun! Number one is there is a trilogy of songs that kick off the album. That is due to my new brand, which is called Corey’s Angels. Because of Corey’s Angels, we are featuring this angel theme along with the “Ascension Millennium” theme and the tone of the song and video and what it is all about. We kinda go further into that topic of angels and such and living on a higher elevated plain of thinking. There are three songs dedicated to that theme. The first song is “Ascension Millennium.” The second song is called “Angelic To The Core” and as you can see, that ties together very nicely. That one is about good verses evil and there is a kind of referee voice in the middle. That is they way I look at it, good, evil and something in the middle. The third song is called “DUH,” which is going to be one of the Corey’s Angels branding logos. The Angel logo stands for “Done Under The Halo,” meaning if you are part of Corey’s Angels, you can get away with anything if it is done under the halo. That is the third one. Aside from the trilogy, you go into other departments and sections of the album. Aside from the Fred Durst song, which I think is quite great you have the Supreme song which is called “Lickity Splickity,” which I like a lot too. The one I think people will be really excited about besides those is the tribute to Corey Haim. There is a song on there which I wrote as a tribute song to my best friend. It is very deep and meaningful but probably not what people would expect. As opposed to doing something very dark and depressing to bring up a bunch of ugly emotions, I decided to go in the other direction. It is a very happy, positive, bouncy type of song which really brings people back to time when things were a little bit happier. I figured stay on the positive and don’t focus on the negative!
Are you planning on taking the show on the road in 2013 with a tour of some sort?
Yeah, I have a lot of different ideas for touring right now and there is a million different ways it might go. One thing I have been working on is my own DJ set. Since I am playing a lot of electronica for this new album, I figured it was probably a good idea to know how to spin records! [laughs] I am doing some educating at the moment and learning from some of the best DJs out there. I am actually friends with a lot of the top guys like Skrillex, Afrojack and guys like that. I have hung with everybody and I know them all. I am really just starting to soak it up and DJ Rick One has been a great help in influencing me and been a big part of my educational process. There is a good chance him and I will go out and do some dates. Our first Angel, the one we are launching the brand with is Angel Courtney. She stars in the “Ascension Millennium” video and is also in a few films coming up. She is a big part of everything we are doing and will be the first profile you see out of all the Angels. She is actually a DJ! Ironically enough! There is a very good chance she is going to be out there touring with me as the DJ for the set!
You mentioned Corey’s Angels and you have been very focused on this project. What can you tell us about it and how it came about?
We are going to be hitting all over the place! We have a lot of stuff lined up at the moment, some of which I can tell you about and some of which I can’t. In a nutshell, it really came about organically. I was married for eight years and after my very rough divorce I had a very big change over in my life. I had lost many friends in one year, ended up divorced and went to Africa for three months. I had this life changing experience, mid-life, I guess. I got this new policy in life which was I didn’t want to focus on a serious relationship anytime soon. I spent my entire life going from one serious relationship to the next. Finally, I was at a point where I have a child and I needed to be responsible and not falling in love every week. Instead of having a serious girlfriend, I decided I would date a few girls at the same time and let them all know about each other. I wanted to be very honest about it and introduce them to each other so I am not one of those lying guys who says “Oh yeah, you are the one and only…” but I am dating five other girls. I live my life in a way where I believe I must stay honest and must be truthful. Therefore, as sort of a morality thing, I decided for my son’s best interest and the best interest of my sanity, I didn’t want to get into a serious relationship. I was dating these girls and they all kinda knew each other because I made it like a family environment where we could all hang out together because we were all friends. They started calling themselves Corey’s Angels!
It started really organically. Then I started thinking about my connection with Playboy and the fact I brought these girls up to the mansion all the time. A lot of them were interested in modeling or acting and wanting to be in the social scene. With that I thought I could create some sort of agency where I could actually help the girls by pulling them out of bad situations or divert them from going down bad paths by helping them be creative and helping them assert their talents in creative ways or outlets. I decided to for this company, which would be like a 360 development, management, agency and production company with a private membership club and site so I could connect these girls with talent to successful businessmen who might be able to do something about it. At the very least, the company would allow me to create productions for them myself to help them out. In the process of developing all that, I acquired Steve Wayda who has been Playboy’s top photographer for 30 years. He is now partnering up with me and creating the imagery for Corey’s Angels. As I said, we have a 360 of everything from music videos and songs to the world’s first-ever internet TV webisode series that will also be run on cable television which will be part of a brand new launch of a brand new network.
I don’t want to go too much into that but I can say there is a new Corey Feldman show on the way which will feature Corey’s Angels. Corey’s Angels will also be featured in a couple of upcoming films. We are also creating our own online private membership site where you will be able to view exclusive content and photos taken by Steven Wayda, as well as complete profiles of the girls we represent and are finding work and business contacts for. On top of all that, we were supposed to be doing a play in the UK but I am not sure if that is still on at this point or not. Beyond that, I believe the full website and online membership site is supposed to launch around the release of the album in late August 2013.
You seem to be in a great place creatively. Is that a fair statement to make?
Yeah. I have never been more open creatively. I really feel like my synapses are buzzing and ideas are popping off left and right! There is a synergy in my life right now. I have the book coming out, five different films coming out, one of which will be my first starring role with a theatrical release in 15 years here in America. It is a very big deal! I feel the book really blows the lid off of the rumors, speculation and mis-representation by the media about me. I get to really clear the air there a lot and shine a whole new light on the way people perceive me and my career.
I am really, really excited. I have never been more grateful. I am in live with my son, who is the most beautiful thing in the world and I get to spend a lot of time with him, which is great! But, yes! My creative juices are at a maximum voltage and I am ready to blow up this world! There ya go! [laughs]
That is terrific, Corey! Thanks so much for your time today! We will be spreading the word on all you have going on!
Thank so much, Jason! Talk to you soon! God Bless!
For the latest news and events from Corey Feldman, swing by his official site at www.coreyfeldman.net. Be sure to check out the Buzzworthy video for ! Last but not least, be sure to interact with Corey Feldman on Twitter!
As Corey Feldman mentioned, he is teaming up with legendary photographer Stephen Wayda, who took the photos you see throughout the article. Swing by his official website, www.stephenwayda.com, to see more of his amazing work!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.