An Interview with Cory M. Coons
Updated: Mar 28
Cory M. Coons is a professional independent performer, musician and award-winning songwriter from Eastern Ontario, Canada, just south of Ottawa. With over 30 years of experience in music, travelling and performing in popular cover bands through the 90’s in both Ontario and the United States in high-energy acts such as “Heads Or Tales”, as well as the band “U.S”, (which toured the South Eastern US in 98′). Then later formed his own Classic-Melodic Rock band “Tycoons”, releasing two independent recordings and performing throughout Eastern Ontario, Northern NY State, and Quebec in the 2000’s.
Cory has amassed more than 300,000 plays on Spotify for his melodic brand of roots-flavored rock. His work with legendary record producer Ron Nevison, has earned him industry recognition from the Los Angeles Music Awards, the Producer’s Choice Honors, The Josie Music Awards, International Singer-Songwriter Association and the Radio Music Awards, among others. With a catalog that boasts several critically-acclaimed full length albums and EPs, as well as a handful of well-received singles since 2004′.
In recent years he released the album “The Long Road Home” in 2018, produced by Multi-Platinum Veteran Music Producer Ron Nevison, (Heart, Bad Company, Damn Yankees, Survivor, Styx, Night Ranger). The album was nominated in 2019 for “Male Album Of The Year” at the “Josie Music Awards”, and he as well had 4 nominations at the 2020 JMA’s, 3 more in 2021, and was nominated at the 2022 JMA event again in two categories, “E.p of the Year”, & “Single of the Year” (Americana) for his song Freedom Road. Cory also earned a nomination at the 2021 “International Singer Songwriter Association” (ISSA) Awards in 2021 for “International Male Vocalist of the Year”.
1. Congratulations on the release of your latest album, "Across The Great Divide." Please tell us about the title, and what fans can expect from it?
Thank you so much! So the new compilation album is basically a retrospective of sorts, looking back at a lot of my music that was released from 2012-2022. All of my singles and some album tracks that weren't released as singles as well. I think it's a great body of work, which well represents my career in the independent music industry up to this past year!
2. What's the creative process like when you make a new song?
It is different every time... I get asked this a lot, and my answer is that there is no real "cookie-cutter" formula for me... Sometimes it's a riff, other times a melody may be in my head, which leads to a chorus or maybe a verse of a song, and it goes from there. Often times, I will store guitar riffs and arrangements, and come back to finish them a few weeks or even months later if it's something that has been stuck in my mind, and relatable enough? I try to let the idea or song guide me, as opposed to me forcing it to go in a certain direction. I like to let it come through me. And I'm often influenced by personal experiences, and other times I try to relate the best story I can that resonates with people in some capacity.
3. What was the most memorable show or tour you ever played?
There have been a few really cool ones over the years... The Whisky A-Go-Go in L.A. comes to mind for the L.A. music Awards in 2014. And also opening for classic bands in Canada like April Wine, Kim Mitchell and Glass Tiger have been some highlights for sure as well... Also headlining my own hometown fair in South Mountain, Ontario last year, and in 2019 were both amazing shows with fantastic energy from the crowd, which translates to the band onstage as well!
4. What other artists or bands do you draw inspiration from?
There are so many. Anything from Melodic rock in the past, to Roots-Rock & Americana staples like Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Brian Wilson/Beach Boys, Bon Jovi, Styx, Bryan Adams , The Eagles and even hair metal in the 80's was an influence on me, like Poison, Dokken, Motley Crue... etc... And I like country rock today like Keith Urban, as well as old country like the classics Johnny Cash, and Kenny Rogers, etc... Currently I love the ones who have been standing up for what they believe in, like Travis Tritt and Aaron Lewis, Eric Clapton, Five Times August, Chris Golden and a few others.
5. What do you think about the current state of the music industry?
I think the mainstream music industry is broken. I prefer to listen to many independents now. It’s so much more honest and truthful in the messages and songs… And I don't like the messages that some in the mainstream are pushing for certain views from the powers that be. Truthfully. I have been turned off by a lot of it. There is so much great independent music out there by artists and bands that needs to be discovered and re-discovered. It’s just as good as anything out there today in my opinion!
6. What influence do the fans have on your creative process or your live performances?
Without the fans at live shows, it wouldn't be possible. The people are what make the show. It’s that give and take of energy back and forth. It gives us the drive to continue doing what we do!
Even if it’s just one person with a positive comment at the end of a show... It can make my night if I have reached that one person and resonated in some way with them from my music!
7. Who are some of your dream collaborators, past or present?
Tom Petty, Brian Wilson, Chris Golden, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades.
8. What do you like to do outside of music (hobbies, activities, etc.)?
Mostly spending time with my family and schooling my daughter both at home and privately now. I teach guitar as well privately. I like to read, also. And I like to be outside in the warm months in Canada. We also like to go skating in the winter as a family too.
9. What are your plans for the rest of 2023, musically?
Just to continue promoting the new record, and get back out playing shows both acoustically and with my band "CMC & the Dirt Road Gypsys". Hopefully that will pick up this year with more shows, and possibly a small tour in the summer. We will see!