“The Long Road Home” Interview with Cory M. Coons

by Kristin Welcome

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I had the privilege of sitting down with Cory M. Coons; a Canadian singer- songwriter, who was nominated for the “producers Choice Honors” for “Rock Artist of the Year” in 2015. Cory recently released “The Long Road Home,” a melodic Rock album, which was produced by legendary producer, Ron Nevison. Nevison has worked with such household names as Bad Company, and Damn Yankees; and I was able to catch some insights from Coons on what it was like to work with such a legendary producer; what inspires him to write music, and to catch a glimpse of his family life. It’s no surprise Coons has been nominated for several awards, and that Nevison would want to work with him. Coons is a brilliant and charismatic artist, who puts his heart into everything he does.

Coons shared with me about the production of his album, “The Long Road Home”. Coons recalled that he and his guitar player Mark, flew out to meet Nevison in Vancouver, Washington. They worked with him for eight days, recording and laying the tracks for the new album, and upon return to Canada put in the finishing touches. Coons cited that he has been fortunate to work with Nevison, for the second time on this album, with his 2014 release, being his first time. Coon’s shared that Nevison was a “dream producer” for him to work with, and when you hear the list of many of the artists that Coon is inspired by, many of which also worked with Nevison. (Those include but are not limited to Heart, Bad Company, Damn Yankees, and Styx)

Coons was not able to list a favorite song on the album, as each song holds a special meaning to him. I shared with him that the title track, “The Long Road Home” was my personal favorite; and he elaborated on the song. For Coons the song stands as a metaphor and has several meanings, in one hand symbolizing the progress of things, and in others a reflection of being on the road as a musician. Coons has spent many years on and off the road performing, and promoting his music. With his first album release in 2004, and having started as a bass player at the age of thirteen; Coons has had a lifetime in the music industry.

At thirteen, Coons began playing the bass, which spurred his desire to form several bands while he was in high school. Coons found inspiration from the music scene of the 1980’s, especially coming out of Los Angeles, California. When the bass was not enough to satisfy his musical interests, he started learning guitar, played bass alongside it, and began writing his own melodies. Coming into the 1990’s Coon’s began experimenting with recording, which lead to the 2004 release of his solo album. When asked to reflect on his beginnings as a musician Coons said, “It has been a long road for me as a musician.”

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Coons shares his love for music and his expertise with the students at Rock My House Music Center, in Ontario, Canada; working also as a guitar teacher. Coons has a wealth of advice to share with budding artists. Coons urges budding musicians to “stay true to themselves and what their passion is, and what their style of music is, and what they like to do.” Coons urges new musicians to “surround themselves with the right people and to trust their hearts”. This is something that Coons has done well, and it has paid off in his music career. Coons besides being passionate about his music, is a family man, citing his family as the foundation of much of which he does. When asked what inspires Coons to write music, he cites personal experience, and that sometimes he can be an emotional writer. For example Coons has written a song dedicated to his mom and dad, both who have passed away. Coons also enjoys weaving a good story into his songs, and finds personal satisfaction when the music resonates with his fans. Coons admires the ability to tell a good story, in the music of artists like the late Tom Petty, or John Mellencamp. Coons enjoys receiving letters or comments from his fans about the songs he writes. Coons also enjoys sharing his love for music with his four year-old daughter, and his wife Leighann. Coons recalls the first song that he ever loved was “Fun, Fun, Fun” by the Beach Boys. Coons has shared that love with his daughter, who also enjoys singing along to such classics. Coons shared his feeling that his daughter may also have a musical future. Coons shared, “ I think my daughter is going to be very musical, so maybe later on she can do something musical, and we can go on to do music together,’ which Coons shares is a bit of a dream for him. His wife Leighann is also supportive of his music, as she met him while he was playing in a band, and is accustomed to the tour life.

When asked how Coons finds a balance between focusing on his music, and his family, he responded “the key word is balance, I think you have to have balance, and if you focus to much on one thing, and if you get too deeply involved with say music, you home life suffers “Coons shared the struggle of being away during tours to promote his albums. However, for Coons music is the only way; as deeply devoted to his family as he is music has a steadfast place in his life as well. The impetus to create, stays with him always. Coons shared,“ I don’t think I can go through a day without a melody or something being there, it’s an amazing thing, and hard to turn off, it is hard to sleep at night, “ you say ok, I am about to turn this off now”, it is always there and it is just something I need to have.” For Coons music is a healer, and often a sort of therapy.

Coons is currently working with Michael Stover of MTS Management to promote his recent album, including the latest single, “Once Too Many Twice Not Enough.” And plans to release yet a third single, as well. Currently Coons in working with Stover to develop ideas for a music video. Coons is also working on the infantile stage of a follow up album, and reexamining older works that he has written, for possible re-release. Coons is constantly busy, and I was fortunate to catch a few minutes of his time to gain some insight on striking a balance between his music and family life; both of which he does very well.