An Indianapolis native and lifelong musician, Cory Williams is an artist with a versatile and captivating sound. Influenced by the likes of Glen Hansard, David Gray, and Dave Matthews, and vocally reminiscent of a grittier Peter Gabriel, Williams’ music transcends many genres including indie-folk, alt-country, and rock while he remains a singer-songwriter at his core. His 2015 release, Lean Against the Moon, follows up his successful debut album, The Outcome. Striving for authenticity, his songs reveal his pain, joy, failures and triumphs through lyrics that make the mind wander and reach his audience on a deeply personal level. Combining his uniquely gritty voice with moody, driving instrumentation, he creates a fresh rock sound with strong underlying folk hues. We got the opportunity to speak with Cory briefly about his recent move to Nashville, his musical background, as well as his sophomore release, “Lean Against The Moon”.
You made the big move to Nashville, TN from Indiana in March of last year (2014). What made you take this leap of faith, and how have you adapted so far?
I guess you could say the Law of Attraction… Jump and the net will appear type of scenario. I just threw positive energy into the move and headed south to be around like minded individuals involving music. The move has allowed me to jump outside of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.”
You recently had a show over in East Nashville at The Basement, correct? How did this show go? What do you try to bring to your live shows that set you apart from other artists?
I do the best I can to be myself onstage. Some artists are flashy guitarists, some folks look the part, and others bring a lot of technology into their performances… I guess I’m a little old school. I’ve always fed off of artists by their passion when they perform so that what I try to do on stage. Everyone is unique in that way their passion is portrayed. I like to go to the place I was, mentally, when I wrote the song I’m performing and make sure the audience feels the way I do/did at that moment.
How did your hometown of Indianapolis help shape your music career? Why? Was there much of a ‘scene’ there?
Like any city, there’s a sense of community in a cultural scene…Indianapolis was the first city I got to spread my wings and test the waters in with what I was creating musically. There are venues that help support original music and a lot of promoters around Indy that work hard to provide a good overall atomsphere. It’s not Nashville nor is it an Austin or New York City, obviously, but Indy has it’s own thing working.
How would you describe your sound to an audience that hasn’t heard your music, yet?
I usually say, (think of Damien Rice, Dave Matthews and Glen Hansard with the vocals reminiscent of a grittier Peter Gabriel).. It’s a lot like that.
You recently released, “Lean Against The Moon”, which is your sophomore release – how would you say this compares to your debut release of “The Outcome”?
My debut solo work, The Outcome, was more of way to channel some emotions that left scars… Something I had to just get off my chest.. Lean Against The Moon was built around freeing myself from those wounds.. Seeing everything for what it is. Better understanding of myself and my surroundings.
Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Network.. meet new people. I like to travel.. take long road trips. On road trips, I sit in silence a lot in the car and find it peaceful. Enjoy trying to stay in shape and just chillin with my friends.
What are your plans for the rest of 2015, and the beginning of 2016?
I’m rounding out 2015 that way I started 2015, recording new material. The goal is to complete new music for 2016 and keep pushing forward with a smile on my face!!