Recently we were able to sit down with Corey Durkin from the band Fast River to talk about music, being an artist during one of the strangest years, and what comes next.
For our readers who haven’t met you yet, can you give us a brief introduction to you and the music you make?
I [Corey Durkin] am one of the singers in the band Fast River, we are an indie-rock band from Connecticut. All of the musicians in the band have very different backgrounds. Our sax player [Andrew DeNicola] went to Berkley and is currently getting his master’s in jazz studies. Canyon [Sharits], who is the other singer in the band, is a singer/songwriter. I have a recording studio and I write for TV and film. Our bass player and keyboardist [Dylan Cochrane], he’s really good at making braised short ribs. We all have different musical backgrounds, so it’s fun because while we would say that we are an indie-rock band, we are able to stretch ourselves out and do a lot of different genres of music.
Awesome, so follow up to that – how did you guys get started? It seems like you were all in different spaces.
Yeah so it started in the pandemic, we all…well actually nobody knew each other but I knew everybody. The common theme was myself and we were all kind of shut away in our homes, thinking about what the next move will be, and I had some success getting music in TV and Film over the years but I really missed the collaborative element to having a band. We started having hilarious group chats and before we knew it we were like “Let’s make a record!”. Then we started making that record, and some of it is out now, and in a time where you get to look back at the pandemic and think “What did I do? Did I spend twelve months watching Netflix or did I spend twelve months making the most of my time?” and I think all of us in the band really took advantage of that time, and did so in a collaborative way, which also was helpful at a time when it was very isolating, to be like “We are working towards something cool, together!”
With everything starting during the pandemic, as a band what was your writing process?
Our songs get written in a multitude of ways. Our sax player texted me a voice memo of a keyboard part the other night and said “What do you think about this?”. Our bass player will sit in his house and come up with these crazy, weird musical compositions and play them for us and say “What do you think of that?”. Canyon and I mostly write with song ideas, themes in mind, lyrics to run off of, phrases that we think are interesting. So…everyone kind of brings a different flavor to each song, and each creative process.
So as a group that got started in 2020, with everything going on, how did that affect your creative process as artists?
We’re all super high energy people. We have a blast as a band. So our normal levels of excitement were not dampened as much as other people’s were during the pandemic. That was also largely circumstantial. We all were able to pay our bills, we all didn’t have to worry about a lot of things many other people did so it makes the creative process easier when you’re like okay, I know where I’m gonna sleep tonight. But our natural levels of excitement and sort of natural caffeination allowed us to really harness the creative time and appreciate the meditative quality of quarantine. I know that that was not the same for a lot of people, either circumstantially or emotionally, I know a lot of people who were really negatively affected by it and it did not stir their creative juices and they felt isolated and depressed. Mental health is a big problem in the creative community in general, I can’t imagine…well actually I can imagine because I’ve talked to quite a few of my creative friends over the past year who were struggling with those types of issues. So we are very lucky that our contingent was sort of able to pull together and focus on fun stuff. Our creative process was impacted by the pandemic…because we as creative individuals harness that meditative quality, the solitude, the stillness and we breathe really well creatively in that space. So when life stopped coming at us a million miles a minute in our day to day and our day to day became getting shut in our houses alone, we all were energized by that because we were able to go inward and listen to ourselves and each other and think and create and write.
Well now here we are in 2021, things are starting to look better! That being said, with concerts, festivals and all that kind of stuff back on the horizon and becoming something we can think about again: What would your dream first show back look like?
Well we actually DID have our dream first show back, two weeks ago!
Thank you! We sold it out, which was super cool. And it looks like we are going to sell out our second one too, which is pretty exciting. That’s coming up in a couple of weeks. To amend your question to “what was your first show like”, we were backstage and Dylan, our bass player, was a little nervous and I looked at him and was like “Dude. You need to relax.” She [Canyon] looked at him and said “You gotta get the weird out. You just gotta get the weird out”. So we had a thirty second dance party backstage, where we all danced and were saying “You gotta get the weird out!”
That was amazing and it was so funny to just hang together, that was my favorite part of the show. My favorite part of the show was our pre-show dance party and I’m hoping that becomes a thing because that was so great to just…have such a spontaneous moment of band bonding before our first show and just enjoy hanging out together. When you’re a solo artist you have to take yourself very seriously. When you’re in a band, it’s a lot easier to be just be like “We are making music that we want to make and we’re gonna put ten songs on a record and put it out in the world and then we are going to make another one!”. It’s just fun. And that was my kind of personal intention to making this band, to have that vibe and for it to spontaneously happen before we even hit the stage made the first show amazing.
I love that story, it’s one for the books. This next story is a bit off topic from what we’ve been talking about but I need to ask. I heard you have a story that involves a boxing match and Orlando Bloom?
[laughter] So here’s what I can tell you about that. There are various governmental agencies preventing me from telling you the whole story, but if you’ve ever seen The Bourne Identity – specifically the second movie – if you watched the second Bourne Identity movie you will be able to back track and understand the Orlando Bloom boxing match. But I am contractually obligated not to tell you that story.
I’ll have to go re-watch that movie then!
Yes, this is all actually just a big plug for The Bourne Identity two!
Alright so getting back on track. What should we expect next from Fast River?
For the rest of this year, we are going to be releasing a new single on the first of each month. Our first full length will come out in September, at that point all the songs from that record will be released. Then we will continue putting out songs from our next record. The first record is called Foxtrot and the Rock’n’Roll Show, it’s a little more in the singer/songwriter space. It’s a little more Sunday morning cooking in the kitchen type of vibe, indie-rock but a little more let’s make some omelettes and coffee and hang out on the back porch kind of vibes. Record number two, which comes out in the fall and is called Revelry, is a little more…8:30PM Friday night getting ready to go out on the town. The in between space of you’re almost sure where you want to go tonight, there are three places but you’re pretty sure you’re going to hit this one, but you’re excited about the possibilities, you’re feeling good. Those are the two different vibes of the records.
For people who this is their first time finding out about you, where can they go find those singles and where can they keep in touch with you and Fast River?
Responses may be adjusted for clarity or length.