Interview: Corey Glover, Living Colour


Here I am sitting in the relative splendor of Living Colour's hotel suite. Opposite me is the band's actor-cum-singer, Corey Glover, now shorn of his once impressive beaded dreads. He doesn't look too pleased.

"Before we start, I must dispel the belief that Vernon Reid is the be-all and end-all of Living Colour. That's not to say his contribution is not great, but it's not any greater than anybody else’s contribution to the band."

It appears that Mr. Glover is more than just a mobile vox box.

"A lot of these songs have gotta have something in there that I can relate to, in order for me to want to sing them at all. I don't want to sing songs that I don’t understand. So, on this record a lot of these songs, lyrically, are written by me because it makes more sense to me."


The record he’s referring to is their LP, entitled Stain. It’s their most in-yer-face and personal effort yet and in stark contrast to their last LP Times Up, which despite holding some of their best ever songs was panned in some quarters for being musically over complex and just a little preachy and self-righteous in its lyrical content. Something that wasn't lost on the band admits Glover.

"We've never ever considered ourselves that way. Obviously people get this perception from the rhetoric that we give out. But we don't give a fuck about that kinda thing. Our brows are not always knitted thinking about how we're gonna solve the world's fucking' problems!"

Bi is one of the new songs that highlights their lighter side whilst making a few points about the fucked-up nature of bi-sexuality.

"No man I know is gonna actually admit this, but the only reasons their male friends are their friends is because they find them attractive in some sort of sexual way," he says with a knowing smile. "It may not be overt, it may not be 'oh, he's got a nice ass and I think he's cute,' but the reasons why you find people attractive, and why you have friends, and why you interact with people are the same reasons why you find other people sexy."

If there's a theme running through the record then it's that of the outsider, the misfits in this life, as dealt with in songs like This Little Pig and Auslander. Furthermore the LP’s title could be viewed as a metaphor for the imperfections in all of us. Auslander, the German word for foreigner, doesn't deal with the re-emergence of right-wing extremism in Deutschland and its victims. No, it's less specific and more subtle than that.

"A song like Auslander is about different things," explains Glover. "It's taken from the point of view of somebody who would be considered an Auslander and just giving their perspective. Y'know, Western society's whole philosophy is that the only way you can put and bring yourself higher is on the back of somebody else. And that’s a known fact!"

One song that really glistens, both in a lyrical and musical sense, is Nothingness. Sparse and ethereal, it simultaneously creates a mood of dark, introspection and a feeling of wonderment.

"It's to do with the fact that one day you're gonna die. I'm sure it kinda fucks with everybody. Y'know, it just makes you feel like, what's it worth? why am I doing it?"


Before my senile brain forgets, I should mention a new addition to the Living Colour family, ex-Tackhead bassist Doug Wimbish, who’s replaced the departed Muzz Skillings. Wimbish’s dexterous, manic style dovetails neatly into the band’s hard-assed funk metal, particularly on songs like Wall and the Ministry-influenced instrumental WTFF. But Corey, why did Muzz leave in the first place?

"We got to a point where the relationship, to all outward appearances, had some things that were right about it, but there was maybe one thing that was wrong, and unchecked. It got bigger and bigger – it got to be more of a problem. And it's just a matter of concepts, what his concept was and what our concept was, and the two didn't mesh. But we worked well together."

For most successful bands with a new record out, so much time is spent on promotion and touring that a normal relationship with someone can be impossible. For Glover, it's no exception.

"Oh yeah, I've lost many a girlfriend over this industry because no one comes before my career. You have to be a very special person in order to understand that."

Corey Glover, looking for the ideal girl in an imperfect world.

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
June 1993

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