Singer songwriter Cory Bishop released his self-titled EP in October of 2014. The EP consisted of five well written tracks of love and hope that fit nicely under the Americana umbrella. Now Bishop is preparing for an entirely different project. Switching gears to rock with pop sensibilities and now part of The New Schematics with Michael Bare, the two are readying the release of their new single "Born Without Borders," a lush, emotional, lyric driven single with pop/synth sensibilities. Cory graciously took the time to talk about the change in direction, new music and what's ahead.
Quite a lot has been going on professionally with you. Talk about shifting your focus from Folk/Americana to Pop.
It’s definitely been a major shift, but it was a pretty natural evolution back to rock and roll, which is kind of my roots. As much as my Dad raised me on Bob Dylan, I liked Weezer, Green Day and Nirvana as well. The stuff we’re doing isn’t that heavy, but it definitely has power chords and more rock. The record has a modern influence, but it’s also blended with what I had been doing previously into something that crosses over genres.
You said it happened pretty naturally, but what inspired you to go this route?
To be honest, a lot of it had to do with playing live. When you play at bars with just an acoustic guitar you get drowned out a lot by people talking or another guy in the corner. I’ve always been a hard hitter on the strings and was just like “I need to rock.” Plus, my voice isn’t tender, it has a bit of an edge to it. So it evolved through those things as well as working with Michael. We’re always on the road listening to music and he got me back into a lot of pop and rock that I had drifted away from which helped reinvigorate that passion. One of the first bands we bonded over was The Killers. I’m a huge Springsteen fan and it turns out Brandon Flowers [lead vocalist for The Killers] is too, so it worked backwards: Springsteen got me into The Killers.
In addition to a new musical direction, you are also now part of a duo.
Yes! Michael and I met at a Christmas party in 2013. We had a conversation about words, writing and English. We both love words and we just hit it off. I’m a very out-going person, so I was just like “dude, we should be best friends” and he was like “okay.” Like I do with a lot of people, I slowly absorbed him into my life. We ended up getting together and writing and the first time we finished a song was on Valentine’s Day. It was very bromantic (laughing). Eventually, I dragged him to the studio where he did some background vocals on my EP from last year. Then he came out on tour with me and when it came time to work on a new record, something that was initially going to be a solo project, evolved into a full band. Our producer, Andrew, who knew Michael from an internship in Nashville, really helped push us to modernize our sound and gave me the guts to really go epic and ambitious.
Your first single is the lush “Born Without Borders.” What’s the story behind it?
Oh man, well that song is about a girl I dated for about three years. We broke up, she moved away and the song is "to a T” what happened. I met with her a few years afterwards because I had to figure out how to get over her, and find some peace knowing she’s taking risks and living her life.
The single may sonically be pop/synth, but it is definitely a lyric driven song.
It’s the first song that Michael and I bonded over. I had written it shortly after I met him and when we got together to write he said “so play me a song of yours.” I played him that song and he was really into it. When I wrote it, it was completely different than it is now. It had mandolin and a more Americana sound, but that’s kind of what we are owning—the fact that we have story driven music.
There is also a lyric video for “Born Without Borders.” When will that be released?
The single and the video were released May 5th. We also have an official video for the song, but we don’t have a hard release date for that yet because we are still tweaking it. We are teasing everything out, so we will do maybe two to three singles this year as well as a four or five song EP by end of year. As for a full length record, we are not talking about it just yet as we want to see how things progress.
What can you tell me about the rest of the record?
The rest of the tunes are also very lyric driven, but are background vocal heavy. Sonically, they are similar to “Born Without Borders,” but we have a lot of upbeat stuff coming at you too in terms of layering, electric guitars, synths and samples. There’s also a slower tune called “87 Buick” that I wrote about a car my Dad had when I was little. I played it for him last week; it’s really a special, somber and more contemplative type song.
You also have a new band name…..The New Schematics. How did you chose that name?
Like every band, we went through a few different names. We were initially going to call ourselves The Schemes, but there already is another band by that name. I am the most meticulous, grandiose, Type A person who is constantly coming up with crazy schemes and Michael has adopted that mentality with me. We’re always making plans, so we floated the idea of schemes around knowing that we wanted something that felt classic and modern at the same time. We felt like the name The New Schematics encompassed that…..and it lent itself to a pretty cool logo too.
The logo is really cool, who designed it?
I designed that logo with tweaks from Michael and a designer friend. It came together in a matter of hours. We have a bunch of cool ideas for things to do with that logo.
Are the New Schematics on a label or are you guys doing everything independently?
Right now, we do not have any label, but we have a ton of friends in Nashville. We do things ourselves and hope to jump on a Kickstarter in the next six months. We both work fifty to sixty hour a week jobs, but we pull together because at the heart of it we want to keep at it and do whatever it takes.
The New Schematics will have a single release show in Nashville on May 11th. More information here
For more information visit their official website
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Watch the lyric video for "Born Without Borders" here