INTERVIEW WITH TORA TORA SINGER ANTHONY CORDER (PART 1 OF 2)
Date: January 29, 2019
Interviewer: Tyson Briden
IF YOU’RE A TORA TORA FAN, THIS IS THE INTERVIEW OF ALL INTERVIEWS. I CAN’T BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH OF A THRILL IT WAS TO INTERVIEW TORA TORA LEAD SINGER ANTHONY CORDER. MY GOD, WHAT AN AWESOME HUMAN BEING! HAVING BEEN A FAN OF THE BAND SINCE THE DEBUT RELEASE ‘SURPRISE ATTACK’, THERE WAS SO MUCH I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT. JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE JOURNEY OF THIS FANTASTIC MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE BAND IS WRITTEN BELOW.
WHAT I FOUND ASTOUNDING ABOUT CORDER WAS THE FACT THAT WHEN HE SPOKE, I FELT EVERY WORD. HIS TRUE PASSION FOR ALL HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED REALLY HAD AN EFFECT ON ME. SO MUCH, THAT I GOT TO THINKING ABOUT MY NEXT JOURNEY TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. I’VE ALREADY LAID THE GROUNDWORK TO VISITING IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR. THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THIS GREAT CITY THAT JUST KEEPS BRINGING ME BACK. IS IT THE PEOPLE? POSSIBLY! IS IT THE SCENERY? POSSIBLY! DOES NASHVILLE JUST PLAINLY KICK ASS! YES! IT THEN OCCURRED TO ME, IF I’M DOWN THERE, WHY WOULDN’T I SPEND A FEW MORE HOURS ON THE ROAD AND JOURNEY DOWN TO MEMPHIS. YOU SEE, AS A YOUNG MUSIC FAN, I WAS EXPOSED TO ELVIS PRESLEY FIRST, THEN THE CITY OF MEMPHIS AND THE GREAT TRADITION OF MUSIC. MY DAD TOLD STORIES OF SO MANY GREAT ARTISTS THAT HAD PASSED THROUGH THE STREETS OF MEMPHIS AND SUN STUDIOS. FOR SOME REASON I HAD JUST NOT MADE IT TO THIS FINE CITY AS OF YET.
THERE IS ALSO THE FACT THAT WHEN SPEAKING TO CORDER, I FELT AS THOUGH THIS IS SOMETHING I WANT TO EXPERIENCE. IN SOME STRANGE WAY, THE SOUTH U.S. IS SOMEWHERE THAT I FEEL COMFORTABLE. I THINK IT’S PRIMARILY DUE TO THE CULTURE OF THE FOOD AND THE MUSIC.
AS I HAD JUST FINISHED THIS INTERVIEW, I GOT TO THINKING ABOUT THE GREAT STEVE EARLE. YOU SEE GROWING UP, MY DAD WAS A BIG FAN. AS I CAROUSED THE VINYL STORE RECENTLY, I CAME ACROSS STEVE EARLE’S ‘COPPERHEAD ROAD’ ON VINYL. I INSTANTLY PICKED IT UP AND BROUGHT IT HOME. AS I WAS LISTENING AND READING THE LINER NOTES, I QUICKLY CAME TO REALIZE THIS ALBUM WAS RECORDED AT ARDENT STUDIOS IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. THIS IS THE SAME STUDIO THAT TORA TORA HAD CUT THEIR TEETH AT AND RECORDED THE MAJORITY OF THEIR ’90S MATERIAL. I QUICKLY MESSAGED CORDER ON FACEBOOK AND ASKED ABOUT THIS ALBUM. IT TURNED OUT STEVE EARLE HAD BEEN IN THE STUDIO AT THE SAME TIME THAT TORA TORA HAD BEEN HANGING AROUND. NOW THAT’S IRONY.
THAT’S WHAT ATTRACTS ME TO SOUTHERN U.S. — IT’S THAT SOUND THAT COMBINES ELEMENTS OF THE BLUES, MIXED WITH ROCK N’ ROLL. THERE’S ALSO A TOUCH OF THOSE COUNTRY ELEMENTS. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT NO OTHER PLACE ON EARTH CAN GENERATE MUSIC THE SAME WAY AS THEY DO IN THE SOUTH. SO AS WE GET TO ANTHONY CORDER’S INTERVIEW, PLEASE SIT BACK, READ AND ENJOY. THERE IS SO MUCH TO BE SAID. FOR ME, THIS IS THE TYPE OF INTERVIEW YOU WANT TO DO EVERY TIME OUT. THANK YOU ANTHONY.
Sleaze Roxx: Hey Anthony great to talk to you. I’ll start off a little different and ask you straight off if you’ve ever been up here to Canada?
Anthony Corder: Yeah, I came up to Toronto and I’ve played in Winnipeg. We haven’t gone to a lot of places, but those were two of my favorite ones. We did Rock N’ Roll Heaven on my very first tour. Then I did Winnipeg, I’m trying to think — it was Slaughter and Sass Jordan. They were doing a festival and I got to come up there and sing at that. So that was pretty awesome. It was outside. It was fun man and it was incredible. I’m ready to come back.
Sleaze Roxx: You don’t want to come now though!
Anthony Corder: [Laughs] In the summer.
Sleaze Roxx: Bands will come up here, say for instance, someone like John Corabi. He’s been up here in the wintertime and he’ll say, “This is too cold!”
Anthony Corder: He’s an awesome guy. I got to actually get to know him here in Nashville, so it’s been amazing. He’s pretty cool. I bumped into him for the first time about maybe five years ago. I went to meet a couple of guys that were doing an Aerosmith tribute show. They were doing ‘Toys in the Attic’ and ‘Rocks’. The band was the same musicians, but they changed out singers every couple of songs. When I went to the rehearsal, I walked around the side of the house. When I first pulled up, I heard some music around the side of the house. So, I started around the house and a puff of smoke hit me in the face. Then as I turned the corner and it was John Corabi standing there and I went, “Oh my God!” I was a huge fan of his in The Scream. “Man in the Moon” and all that. I had followed him, but he just looked at me and said, “Hey man. Everybody’s inside!” It was like I had met him before. He was super down to earth. I’ve just kind of bumped into him over time. We’ve had chances to hang out. He’s a great guy man. He’s super talented. That makes it awesome when you meet someone you really like and they’re just super humble. You just go, “Oh my God when this dude gets up in front of people he just kicks ass. It’s awesome.”
Sleaze Roxx: It’s funny you talk of that because I live about an hour from Toronto, John played an acoustic show in the town I live in. He actually came to a BBQ at my buddy’s place before that show.
Anthony Corder: Oh wow. That’s incredible. That’s so fun.
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah, it was awesome. He stayed for about 2 to 3 hours. Then he went and did the show. I’ve been lucky enough to have met him a couple times. He’s always gracious.
Anthony Corder: He’s super down to earth and that’s what blows me away.
Sleaze Roxx: When we spoke yesterday as we were discussing this interview, I just assumed you were still living in Memphis. When did you move to Nashville?
Anthony Corder: I’ve been here since 2005, so almost 14 years. I kind of switched gears around 2000. I switched over from doing the singing stuff to actually working for the record labels. I worked for RCA and Sony. I also worked in music publishing. I had some really great mentors. Guys that sort of introduced me into the music industry. As I was getting a little bit older, I wanted to be that dude for somebody else. I wanted to pass on a little bit of my experience to people that are trying to come into the industry. We [Tora Tora] signed a production deal with Ardent Studios when I was a teenager. John Fry, that ran Ardent Studios, is like a father figure to our band. Man, we were a garage band, some rowdy little punks that had our amps cranked on and everything. He actually took us in a room in the studio, sat us down at a little conference table and drew a circle on the wall. It was like a little white board. He drew one little tiny line on it and said, “This is you and this is everybody else that’s going to be wanting to dig into your pockets!” We were like, “Oh, okay!” He was just trying to get us prepared for it. He said, “It’s a crazy industry!” I guess he was kind of going to be our middle man. Kind of the buffer for people to make sure we were getting involved with the right team members. Every decision I have ever made in my life in regards to the music industry, I went to him about it. He passed away about four years ago. He was 69. His claim to fame besides Ardent Studios, which was a 50 year institution in Memphis was he had produced the Big Star Records. He was the engineer. He instilled the stuff just being around him.
Like I said before, we were a kind of rowdy bunch of kids. He was all about technology and educating yourself. When he started the studio out he was only 14 years old. It was in his grandmother’s sewing room. When they needed something, he would have to build it. So he would have to go find some equipment, solder stuff together and create a piece of equipment to get that end result that he wanted. So he carried that with him. He had two locations for Ardent. One that he started out that was away from mid-town. Then, he landed in the middle of Memphis at 2000 Madison. That is where the building is now. He always kept the door open for people like us that were kids. We would sneak in, in the middle of the night, and do demo sessions at the studio. When we were there in the daytime, if there was equipment sitting around or some keyboards, even some kind of technology that he had brought in, we’d go in and tinker around on it. We’d find a room and go off by ourselves. He didn’t mind you experimenting with stuff and plugging things in. It was just fun man.
We were so lucky for about six years, if we weren’t on the road, we were there driving him crazy. We were walking around with sombreros on, busting in on meetings, drinking and partying. It was college like everybody else except we were on wheels cause we kept waking up somewhere different every night. So when we went home, we’d just go there. That was kind of like our college. It was pretty wild. It was the best memories. While we were there, the Allman Brothers were there, Lynyrd Skynryd was there. They were working with Tom Dowd who was a world renowned producer. He had done everything from Aretha Franklin to the Muscles Shores stuff. At the time we met him, he had Lynryd Skynryd and the Allman Brothers back to back in the studio. Back then, you would have the studio blocked out for eight weeks at a time. You’d spend forever getting drum sounds and amp sounds. It was a different world then it is now. It was just awesome you know. Stevie Ray Vaughan was there when I was there. I freaked out. You go to the coffee maker, you’re about to pour a cup of coffee, you look up and its freakin’ Stevie Ray Vaughan standing there. It was crazy man! They always had somebody coming in. All the ZZ Top records were done there. ‘Afterburner’ and all that stuff. Billy Gibbons would be walking around. Our eyes were big as saucers. We were walking around looking in there and we couldn’t believe it.
Sleaze Roxx: That is amazing! Were you a teenager then?
Anthony Corder: Yeah, I was probably — I left high school when I was a senior to go chase this rock n’ roll thing. My family is all from down in the Delta of Mississippi. So I was raised Southern Baptist. I went to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Pretty much every time the doors were open. I went in and told them that I was running away with a rock n’ roll band or trying to pursue it. So that was a crazy conversation. We were little man. I was probably only about 18. When we signed the deal with A&M, I might have been 19. The record came out when I was 20. I wasn’t even old enough to be in a bar. Some of the places that we went, I could go in and do soundtrack, but I’d have to leave until the show happened. I remember we were out on the road one time, way up in the northwest. We played some gigs with Alice In Chains when they first started. We played a venue with them where when I walked in and they said, “You can walk in for soundcheck, but then you gotta leave.” The rest of the guys in the band are a couple years older than me, so they could stay. I remember looking through the window and they were toasting. I was saying, “Man, I wanna be in there!”
Sleaze Roxx: That’s like in the movies where the kids looking in the window with this sad look on his face.
Anthony Corder: Yeah, yeah. You know, it wasn’t long until I got in there and got with them. It kind of worked in my favor because I couldn’t be covered by insurance, so some of those long drives, I didn’t drive the van. I kind of got to sit and party with everybody. Man, we just couldn’t believe it. We were so grateful to Ardent and for them to shop us to get a record deal. It blew us away. Keith [Douglas] and I were cutting grass for a while. There was a real estate agent in Memphis with all these properties, so we would cut the grass to keep them looking nice. Keith had this pick up that he’d carry his equipment in, so we’d throw the lawn cutters in there. I remember riding around with him in his truck going, “Man, wouldn’t it be crazy if we could get in the studio and do some recording? Like record some songs? Get it out and give it to some people?” Well, we ended up getting to do that. Then, when we were riding around, we’d say, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if they were shopping us and somebody actually got interested?” Next thing we knew, we were showcasing. We had a couple record labels come. I think Polygram. I think Virgin might have come. I know A&M was there because they made the impression on us that just blew us away. We had this warehouse that we used to rehearse in and Keith’s dad was in the glue business. He used to store these 50 gallon drums in a warehouse.
When we first started, we rehearsed in an actual factory. We could get in there at night and crank up. Nobody would bother us. Then this warehouse he got was closer to mid-town in Memphis. We took all those empty barrels, pushed them to one end of that warehouse and built a stage. We put plywood on it and started hanging some black trash bags off the front. We built us a logo and put a P.A. system in there. A really nice one! Keith’s dad helped us buy it. Then we started throwing parties in that place. We were like these little entrepeneurs. We had door guys. We had people that were security breaking up fights. For kids underage, they really didn’t have anywhere to go in Memphis to see original music. They couldn’t get in clubs. So we kind of created one for them. That’s where the record labels came to see us showcase. We made a little VIP section on top of the offices in the warehouse. They had their own little section where they could sit and just watch organically. People would just come in with coolers, their lawn chairs and they’d be ordering pizza. It was crazy man! It was fun. They came in and they saw us in our practice room. It was just crazy to us. We couldn’t believe it.
The crazy thing is, I just played Memphis on December 29th. We had a show there. There were people there that used to come see us when we used to play in people’s backyards. They have been following us that long. They now have their children with them which made us feel like we’re really old. It’s so awesome they they’re still there. They were singing at the top of their lungs. We just had a great show. They’re the reason we got any kind of interest in the first place. We kind of got a built in following in Memphis right away. The bass player and I went to one high school and the drummer and guitar player went to another one. So when we did get together and decided we’d rehearsed enough to go play a gig, all those people from those high schools came. It was like a built in audience for us. It was insane and we owe them for that. Even to this day, we think about them. We think about the community that we had and the culture that we built. Everybody just wanted to live life to the fullest. Party and celebrate life. We just took that and went around the world. We just went crazy and said, “Let’s just take this everywhere!”
Sleaze Roxx: You mentioned Mississippi, so the song “Mississippi Voodoo Child” from ‘Revolution Day’, was that towards you then?
Anthony Corder: Yeah man. My family influenced me a lot with music. I’m trying to figure out the best way to say this. My mom’s side, they’re all kind of musical. They’re not kind of, they’re actually very musical. They play instruments. They were all kind of what I called “porch pickers’. My mom had three sisters and a brother. One aunt played guitar and my mom played piano. Then one of the other sisters just sang harmony, but they had these family harmonies going and until I got older, probably a teenager. As far back as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. My grandad didn’t play an instrument, but he loved music. He would dance around with my grandmother, but it wasn’t until I got older that I realized — I thought everybody got together and sat around the piano. Singing and playing guitars. I never really sang in front of my family. I was always watching them. I was mesmerized by them. When I got older my friends would come and visit. We’d go to Mississippi and they’d go, “Oh my God, these people are awesome!” Then I’d go, “Man, they sound like that all the time. Let’s go smoke a cigarette or something! Sneak off and get into the car!” I wanted to go do something else. It didn’t register with me until I started realizing everybody I was bringing around were just blown away. They did country, gospel and R&B. My uncle and aunt were about ten years older than me. They’re the ones that probably had the most influence on me. They were showing me Neil Young, James Taylor, Boston and the biggest one was KISS.
My aunt got into KISS. I was probably six years old I guess. It was probably six or seven, right around when ‘Destroyer’ came out. It was 1976, she had a poster of them on the wall of them marching. You know with Peter Criss had the headband on, but she had ‘Destroyer’. I’ll never forget it, scared me to death. “God of Thunder” came on and the demon voices. They were talking and stuff. I ran out of the room. I started listening to “Detroit Rock City.” I mean, all these songs came on and “Shout It Out Loud” — oh, my God! I was just losing my mind. I was like, “I love this man!” It was crazy, my parents were very musical. My dad wasn’t, but my mom was, but they weren’t into KISS much. They said, “I don’t know about this!” I don’t know what the stories were going around back then, but something freaked them out. That was probably my intro into rock n’ roll being KISS. I followed them, I mean, ‘Rock And Roll Over’, ‘Dressed To Kill’, ‘Hotter Than Hell’, all those records. Man, I was freakin’ out. I lived in the boonies man and they were friggin’ marketing gurus back then. I lived out in the sticks. I couldn’t join the KISS Army, but a guy about a quarter mile away from me could. His family let him. I remember him getting KISS Army stuff in the mail. We would just lay in his room and look at it. The belt buckles, picks, magazines and comic books. It was just crazy. I was crazy about them and then I guess the next big leap would have been Van Halen.
But probably more than anybody was Led Zeppelin when I got into them. I had moved around the country growing up. I lived in South Dakota. I lived in Houston, Texas. I lived down south in Mississippi. My dad was working for an airline. He was kind of in management for them. He got an offer. We were trying to work our way back home from South Dakota and be close to our family. Our family is really close. So, he got a job to run the hub for North West Airlines in Memphis. When we did that, it got us within maybe an hour, hour and a half from where I grew up. That was around ninth grade I guess. I listen to all kinds of music. Willie Nelson, ‘The Outlaw’ people and I listen to pop music. I listen to everything, but man when I got onto Zeppelin! When I moved to Memphis, my next door neighbor brought over ‘Physical Graffitti’.
I’ll never forget it. I went into my room and put on some headphones. This was when people were still listening to vinyl. I put those headphones and “In The Light” came on. I lost it man. I was like, “Oh my God! What is this? Who are these people? I gotta find out everything about them!” Then I backtracked into their first records. I think Robert Plant was a huge influence on me singing. I don’t think anybody has or every will touch him. I know he’s got a lot of influences. I’m fans of a lot of different singers as I’ve gotten older. When I was young he was a big one! Just the way he approached it. Them doing the blues thing kind of resonated with me. I was just really attracted to what they were doing. Then of course, I started backtracking and digging around on all the people that were out then. Janis Joplin. Ah man, it was just like — I don’t know — there’s something about those kind of people that just stay with you. Even today, I still love them as much as I did back then.
Sleaze Roxx: You can’t go wrong with Zeppelin. ‘Zeppelin II’ is probably my favorite album by them. That’s the one that I’ve probably listened to the most. I just love that album. There’s just something about it. It flows so good.
Anthony Corder: Yeah man, and it influenced a lot of people. I know it’s kind of generic to say Zeppelin, but when I was young, getting turned onto them it was, “Wow!” I knew the songs that were on the radio, but when you started digging around into the records. All the different dynamics and instrumentation that they brought in. That just turned you onto to other people like The Beatles. Then you started thinking, “I heard those songs on the radio, now let me go through these records and see what’s going on!” I guess it’s just a thread in a tapestry. You kind of start following that around, then you get in a rabbit hole and start following another dude. I think that was one of the funnest things about growing up in Memphis is that we ran into all these different people that were influenced out of Memphis. Everything from Elvis [Presley] to Stax. We weren’t even that aware of Stax. We knew the big artists that had had hits, but we got to work with the Memphis Horns on our ‘Wild America’ record and man, when we met them, I’m not kidding, I felt like I had known them my whole life. Then, I was probably about 22.
Jim Price and Bobby Keys that had done work with the Stones, they came in and did a horn arrangement on one of our songs, “Dead Man’s Hand.” We got to listening to it and we loved it. It was an amazing track of horns and everything, but then we started thinking, “If we do this, we’re going to have to take horns on the road because it’s just so prominent!” We couldn’t do the song without it. They had turned it into something totally different. So initially while we were thinking about it, the producer suggested — the guy’s name was John Hampton, which he’s passed away too, about four years ago, but man he was a freakin’ genius! This guy was amazing! Anyway, he said, “The Memphis Horns are down the road. Ya all wanna get them to come by and try a pass or two?” So we did and we talked to them. We said, “Let’s get with them!” Man, they came to do a rehearsal with us and oh my God, it was the most amazing thing. From the second we met Wayne [Jackson], he was the trumpet guy. He was a little short white guy and Andrew [Love] was a big tall saxophone player, a black guy.
They had been together for the Otis Redding stuff. Wilson Pickett. They had played on everything from the early ’60s. I think when we met them, they were on tour with Sting and Robert Cray. They had probably played on 300 number one records. They had done the stints with Elvis when he was at the residency in Las Vegas. Anyway, I started talking to Wayne and he just said, they sat down and he started just talking about what it was like to be in a racial group back in the ’60s. They said there would be times where they’d be starving and they’d be scared to pull over. They were in the south and they said, “We were scared that somebody was gonna kill us man!” They just talked to us like we were friends or family with them. From that time on until Wayne passed away, we were close. There was maybe a small stint where we weren’t hanging out, but we were always staying in touch by e-mail or something. We met them and backtracked into Stax, that’s when I really fell off into Otis Redding and William Bell. Everybody.
One of my tech buddies, Mark Howard, got me this box set. I’ll never forget it. He gave it to me as a gift. It’s 1958 through to 1968 — I mean I was a metal dude. I was up there screaming notes and all that stuff, but man, I went back and it’s just something that touched your soul. That definitely had an influence on our music and moving forward out of ‘Wild America’ into ‘Revolution Day’. We’ve always had an element of blues just because of the region that we’re from. The location that we grew in. It definitely started having much more of influence on our writing in our melodies and the way we were approaching stuff. That’s the one thing I love about music, you’re always growing in it. There’s always something that you’re learning. I tell people and they laugh about it, “I still love it as much as I did when I sat down on my bed and I didn’t know how to do a chord!” I was sitting there strumming a chord, saying, “I wonder what this is gonna be? I wonder what it’s supposed to sound like?” I still do that in my house. I still have guitars sitting around that are in some weird tuning. I’ll sit down and say, “I can just get on here and go to another world!” I love it. It’s freakin’ crazy!
Sleaze Roxx: You touched on ‘Revolution Day’. I’ve always been curious about that album. Obviously the whole music scene changed. A&M probably financed the album, then it got shelved?
Anthony Corder: Yeah, the masters of the record got shelved. There was nothing we could do about that. We had access to some of the demo material. Some of the things we had done that weren’t things that we turned into the label. I guess there was a rumor that had started that there was a version of ‘Revolution Day’ that was floating around out on the internet. Once technology kicked in — that was ten years later or something. Somebody said, “Hey there’s a ‘Revolution Day’ copy around out there!” We went and found it. Somebody had run it off of a cassette. The reason we knew it was that the tempos were different. It was kind of sped up a little bit. We said, “Man, that doesn’t sound right! Let’s see if there’s a way we can figure out a way to get access to some of the demos that we could get out to the public!” So that’s what we did. If you listen to the record closely, you can hear something that is inconsistent to what would have been a master. Maybe a rhythm guitar might fall out of one of the speakers by accident. We would track live. As live as we could! We would try and get the drums, guitar and bass. Then Keith [Douglas] would go back in and redo his guitar parts later. We were really trying to get the basic tracks just drums and bass on those passes. Sometimes they would be adjusting a chord or changing a thing on the board, but for the most part, it was the best representation that we could find to what it would have sounded like if it had come out and been mastered.
Sleaze Roxx: So this is speaking of the actual release on FnA Records of ‘Revolution Day’? Not the demos?
Anthony Corder: Well, the ‘Revolution Day’ masters went to A&M. We don’t have control over those, but we had access to some recordings that we had done for the record.
Sleaze Roxx: Ahh! Okay! So that’s what became the album that is ‘Revolution Day’ on FnA.
Anthony Corder: Yeah, yeah. What happened was we bumped into the guy that runs FnA Records. He lives here in Nashville. He had asked me if I had any outtakes. Things that weren’t any part of the A&M deal. Things that we didn’t turn in as masters. To be honest with you, we had stuff on mini-cassette, DAT, cassette tapes even. Stuff that I was afraid we were going to lose and we said, “Hey man, everybody just look around in your stuff and let’s just see if we can come up with some things that we could use!” To us, more than anything it was about sustaining those recordings. I still have cassettes that are in my attic, but I’m scared if I turn them on, they’re gonna deteriorate or fall apart. For us, it was more about trying to document those little pictures of time. For people that — I’m not saying, for people that might have been interested in listening to us a long time ago, but it’s really fun to go back and listen to those things that were outtakes that didn’t make the project. We laugh at some of them and just go, “Oh my God, this is hilarious!” There was some stuff in there, some old jams that we had forgotten about. We listened back to those tracks and went, “Wow man! This was actually really good material that we had!” Just for us to have it. For prosperity or whatever it is! Just so we have it and we can pass it on to somebody if they ever want to listen to it. It was nice.
Sleaze Roxx: I actually listen to “Little Texas” off ‘Revolution Day’ all the time still. I love that song.
Anthony Corder: Oh yeah! That’s actually a real place in Mississippi. It was a place where people used to walk around — my dad told me — there was a place out where our old place was that is just outside of Grenada, Mississippi. He said that they would walk around with their pistols showing. It was people that had moved in from other places around the country. It was pretty wild down there at one point. It’s a different world man. Down in the Delta, especially in Mississippi, people are still struggling. The economy is still hard, the industry is different down there. It’s just a different kind of element. We’re kind of in bubbles. Up here in Nashville, it’s booming. I think they were saying a hundred families a day were moving into Nashville. When you drive on the interstate, there’s nine or ten cranes over downtown. They can’t build apartments fast enough to put people in. We’re feeling the crunch in our daily commutes. People are struggling with that, which is awesome. I’m not complaining. I think it’s an amazing place. Nashville’s been really good to me.
I’m super biased to Memphis just because that’s where I grew up. I still love it, but it doesn’t have the infrastructure that Nashville does. I mean that from my entertainment business point of view. As far as musicianship and talent, Memphis is parallel with Nashville. You can walk in any hole in the wall and get your ass musically blown away. Memphis is great that way. They just need a little more structure I think. If I could ever contribute back to that community, that would be something that I’d want to do because they gave me my chance to go out and sing for people. In my heart, I always think about that. If there was a way I could help someone. I don’t know what that is, or how to define what that would be, but at some point that would be something on my bucket list.
Have been here for 13 years. It’s made me grow. It got me out of my comfort zone. I knew every hole in the wall in Memphis to go find someone at three in the morning and talk about something. When I moved up here, it was a different world. They do business totally different. The showcases are early. It’s right after work so you can go see it and be home to still see your family. I was kind of and this ain’t knocking it or anything, but it was kind of good ole boy. It was second generation family members that were running companies. For me to be an outsider, I really had to put my boot on the ground to get to know people out here. While doing that, it exposed me to so much because I had to get out and get to know people. I went out and watched people performing. Songwriters. Dude, I gotta tell you, it’s world class. I know this city had an influence on me as far as writing. You would see people in the way that they would put their lyrics together. The way they told the story, which is really big in the country market. Then how they put a spin on something you’d heard a million times and saying it a different way.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Sleaze Roxx’s interview with Anthony Corder which will include Tora Tora’s new album ‘Bastards of Beale.’