An Interview With Founding Member of the Platinum-Record Selling Rock Group, PABLO CRUISE, CORY CHARLES (LERIOS)!
Posted On 01 Sep 2015
Tag: Aaron Neville, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Baywatch, Blue Note, Carlos Santana, Cory Charles, Cory Lerios, David Jenkins, Days Of Our Lives, Diary Of A Redhead, Disney, Drum Machines, Emmy, Erika Jordan, Flipper, George Benson, Here's Lookin' At Me Babe!, If I Could Change Anything It Would Be You, Japan, Jim Gaines, Jimi Jamison, Kim Possible, Love Will Find A Way, Melba Moore, Neville Brothers, Pablo Cruise, Place In The Sun, Record Plant Sausalito, Santana, Stoneground, Survivor, The Blue Note Tokyo, The Land Before Time, To Be Someone, Universal, Warner Bros. Records, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye, Where's The Sun
Cory Charles Lerios is the founding member of the multi-platinum selling pop-rock group Pablo Cruise. They are known for hits like “Whatcha Gonna Do?”, “Place In The Sun!”, “Love Will Find A Way” and others.
He has just made his solo debut as Cory Charles with the release of his new EP titled “If I Could Change Anything It Would Be You!”. The brand new music video for the title track features Cory and the model and actress, Erika Jordan depicting a funny, but true look at the ups and downs of relationships. The EP is available now on iTunes and Amazon.
Cory has written and produced countless themes, songs, and dramatic and comedic underscores. Some of his credits include composing the internationally acclaimed theme and underscore for the hit TV show “Baywatch”, composing the hit theme from Disney’s “Kim Possible” and earning an Emmy Award for his contributions to music direction for the soap opera, “Days Of Our Lives”.
He also has co-written songs for artists such as George Benson, Melba Moore, Santana and the Neville Brothers to name a few. Cory is currently touring with Pablo Cruise and will be performing at the renowned Blue Note in Japan.
All Access recently caught up with Cory to talk about his latest solo collection, working with Pablo Cruise and what have been his favorite memories so far. Enjoy!
In the years that you have writing music, how do you think you have grown as a musician? Has your creative process changed?
The first part of my career was strictly songwriting and making records. Out of school, I first signed with Warner Bros. Records as part of a band called “Stoneground”…..I was fortunate enough to get a couple of songs on their records, but ultimately wanted to form my own band which I did with a couple of other members from Stoneground…. That’s when Pablo Cruise was born and David Jenkins and myself became the principal songwriters for the band and had some great TOP 40 success with songs like “Whatcha Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye” and “Love Will Find A Way” to name a few…..
After about 10 years of touring, writing and performing with Pablo Cruise, Jenkins and I really couldn’t get out of each other’s way when it came to writing, so I quit touring and basically quit making records and moved over to TELEVISION and FILM! This was a great challenge, since I was used to making a record every couple of years with the band. TV is very demanding, because a composer is under very tight schedules and a lot of scrutiny from producers, directors, etc., but the process is very different that writing a pop song! Ultimately, I feel like my writing evolved under these under these circumstances, in that I was cranking out a lot of music in a very short time….Lot’s of episodic Television…. Baywatch, Flipper, Days Of Our Lives, etc…..
I think the fact that in Film and TV music is so demanding to create that it definitely sharpens your skill as a songwriter as well….
How exactly is your solo material different then your music with Pablo Cruise? Do you think Pablo Cruise fans will enjoy this new music?
Well, this solo effort is really pretty much “off the wall” compared to anything I’ve written for Pablo Cruise. First of all, I think you could classify the first three songs on the EP as “twisted love songs” and the 4th tune, “To Be Someone” is a very sarcastic take on our obsession with social media. “If I Could Change Anything It Would Be You” in my opinion is a funny title which stands on it’s own and ultimately, it’s a love song, albeit a very sarcastic one, but in the end I do say “I love you more than anyone, but you drive me F’n Crazy!” “Here’s Lookin’ at Me Babe!” is a classic love song, but in this case I explain how “I Can’t get Enough Of Myself”….”Did you say I’m an egotist, well baby I’m a full blooded narcissist”.
In “Where’s The Sun?”, I’m having a fight with my girlfriend while driving and my ultimate solution to end the fight is to say: “Baby don’t you Talk To Me and I Won’t talk To You”…..Again the plea for love actually comes in the bridge where I say: “In The Beginning We Had It All, Now We Are Lucky If We Do It At All, But Don’t Ask Me Why”……. Keep in mind, these songs are all tongue and cheek and written all in fun and hopefully my fans will find them entertaining.
As to whether or not Pablo Cruise fans will appreciate this new music….. Mabybe….I hope!!!!!
Why did you decide to release solo material now? Why did you choose to use “Charles” as your last name for your solo work?
My full name is Cory Charles Lerios and to be truthful my last name “Lerios” takes a beating in pronunciation, so I just decided to keep it simple and go with my middle name! I’ve always thought “Cory Charles” had a nice ring to it!!!!
Tell me about the making of your new music video for “If I Could Change Anything It Would Be You”? What was it like working with model/actress Erika Jordan?
Because of the subject matter of IICCA, I wanted to find a gal who was sort of bi-polar….hot to cold in mach speed!!!….I tried a few things that I thought would illustrate this lyric and in surfing the internet I came across a video entitled “Diary Of A Redhead”. It was Erica Jordan basically “ranting and raving” for 10 minutes, so I cut it in against the song and although it wasn’t Perfect, it was definitely the right direction….. (by the way this song could be easily sung by a female)….so we tracked Erica down to find out she lives in the Los Angeles area and actually hired her to film around 20 minutes of the same kind of “Ranting and Raving” except this time she nailed it…..I never actually worked with her in person, but I think she did a great job and I’m quite happy with how the video turned out…..
I just have to ask you about writing the Baywatch theme. First of all, where did the inspiration for it come from? Did you know at the time it was going to be such a successful series?
Baywatch was a gift for any composer. I wrote the song with Jimi Jamison of “Survivor” fame…. The thing about writing a song for TV is the subject matter of the show usually dictates the lyrical approach… In this case the music supervisors for the show gave me some direction in what the song needed to say lyrically and the producers wanted the music to have a generous amount of piano.. So, when you’re writing to 6 beautiful girls running down the beach in slow motion, and you play the piano (as I do) there lies some great inspiration……the music came about rather quickly and it was great fun to write it…. I think you can hear that in the theme……as far as knowing the show would be such a big hit, all I can say is that I count my blessings everyday that it was and in many countries still is……it opened a lot of doors for me in TV Land!
Are there other series or TV shows that you created music to that stands out to you? What’s been the most memorable experience for you?
Actually many, but in the world of themes, I would have to say along with the “BAYWATCH THEME” it would be the theme from “Disney’s “Kim Possible”….as far as underscore, I would have to say “Baywatch” for sure…(there were 300 episodes) and there’s some great music there…..as far as animation, I definitely loved writing the underscore for Universal’s “THE LAND BEFORE TIME”….. I really felt like I was on a roll in writing that series…..I just loved the show and characters were all lovable…..
You’ve worked with so many incredible artists. What collaboration has really stood out to you the most? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Several years ago I had the opportunity to work with the Neville Bros. I wrote a couple of songs with them that Aaron Neville sang…. I think he has one of the most angelic voices around and I had been a fan for years, so I was thrilled to be asked to write with them….
I have always been a fan of Santana and there was a point in the mid 80’s where most records were produced using “DRUM MACHINES”….I was way into electronics and producing songs with drum machines and Carlos Santana was being told by his label that he needed to modernize his sound and consider using some electronic drums….What you need to know is that Carlos had some of the best drummers and percussionists in the world in his band and that drum core was a huge part of his sound along with his distinctive guitar playing….. Jim Gaines who was producing this latest Santana album gave me a call and asked if I would come down and write with Carlos and a cast of of other keyboard players and programmers…. It was a pretty crazy session, but what I thought was a bit comical and ironic was that when I entered the studio I walked by the lounge at the Record Plant Sausalito and sitting in the game room were all 4 of Santana’s drummers…… Carlos was going electronic and the none of the drummers were in on the session….. Sort of ridiculous!!!
Are you looking forward to touring Japan this summer? What kind of venue is Blue Note? What’s the reception for Pablo Cruise there like? Will you perform some of your solo material on the road?
Pablo Cruise has a lot of fans in Japan and I’m always happy to go play for them…. The Blue Note Tokyo is actually a very famous jazz club with amazing production values…. The Japanese audiences are the most appreciative and happy audiences I’ve ever played for…..And…. I mean that!!! Most likely I won’t play my new songs in Japan, since these new songs are more about the lyrics than the grooves and because of the language barrier in Japan they might not go over!….. At this point in time I am planning on doing a couple of shows as Cory Charles…most likely a trio…
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you listeners take away from it?
When it comes to “Cory Charles” the message is pure tongue and cheek. I like to think there’s some truth to all the lyrics, but at the end of the day my main intention is to spread some humor around!