At the end of the ’80s/early ’90s emerged from New Jersey a very talented band called Revenant. Their debut album Prophecies of a Dying World (1991) was unfortunately overlooked by the crowd, although it was one of the masterpieces of that era. In this RAJONGÓ/FAN section tells us and introduces herself Kristine Corcoran who is the wife of Revenant’s drummer Will Corcoran.
László Dávid: So Kristine be welcome on Rattle Inc. magazine! I ask you to introduce yourself to our readers (age, hobby, family, job etc.).
Kristine Corcoran: Well, my name is Kristine Corcoran, I am married to William (Will) Corcoran the drummer for Revenant. I am 46 years old, we live in Hackensack, NJ with our 5 cats and I work for a company called KPMG, LLP. Hobbies would be going to see bands play, ya know going to concerts.
L. D.: Do you still remember, how did you discover music and how did you end up becoming a metal head? What did you find so exciting in this music?
K. C.: For me growing up in the ‘70s, Kiss was my for experience or I should say taste of metal music. I had the Kiss dolls, a KISS lunch box and even tried to convince my mom into buying me a Gene Simmons Halloween costume one year. Everything about the music was exciting, it was loud, it was fast, and there was FIRE!!!!! It was all so exciting and all of the things I craved.
L. D.: What were the first bands, records, songs, that influenced you a lot? Do you have a favourite metal genre?
K. C.: The first bands that I loved were obviously Kiss, even though they were not top musicians it was their whole stage presence. Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen on guitar coupled with David Lee Roth, he was like a game show host. Judas Priest’s British Steel, hearing Halford’s vocals, unlike anything I have ever heard, the powerful riffs and choruses. Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, omg what can you say… Dickinson powerful 6 octave vocals, the dueling guitars. I came to love metal music for all it offered, the vocals, the loud guitars, the images on the albums. I couldn’t get enuff of it, and there was so much of it to go around being a teenager in the ‘80s. Heavy metal, thrash metal, hair metal – it was all good and offered something different.
L. D.: Do/did you prefer the underground scene or the mainstream?
K. C.: I would have to say both, I have a large album collection, mainstream music is/was just more polished. There was a college radio station called WSOU, 89.5 Seaton Hall, which helped a lot of local bands get recognition and airplay. I grew up in Bergenfield, NJ it was home to Revenant as well as Mucky Pup. Hades and Trixter were also local bands from nearby towns. At any given time you could go to the local mall and there would be a band handing out flyers for their gig. These bands were driven to make it big, there was such competition out there. Every weekend I was at a bar/club seeing a band play. I have been to some great bars and seen some incredible bands. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing like seeing a mainstream band play back in the day… Seeing Slayer at the Felt Forum in New York City, the fans destroyed the theatre, but an incredible show. Seeing Iron Maiden on the Somewhere in Time tour at Brenden Bryne Arena. There were cars lit on fire in the parking lot… These were epic shows and I will never forget.
L. D.: Did you start collecting vinyls, tapes, videos, magazines right from the start?
K. C.: Yes, from the age of about 12, I started to buy albums and magazines. When I got my allowance, I would go the avenue and hit the record stores in town, there were a couple thankfully. There was nothing like buying an album, listening to it… Looking at it in all its glory, reading every square inch of it. You don’t get that experience with a CD. I bought Def Leppard, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Van Halen, AC/DC, Dio, Ozzy… From there it went to harder metal music the Big Four: Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Being a girl I had a guilty pleasure with loving hair bands, I know hair bands?!? They were so sleazy, the sleazier the better. I loved Ratt, Motley Crue and Warrant. I love Tesla, they are such an underrated band. I would buy both albums and tapes, unfortunately some underground bands you could only buy on tape. Bought Circus and Hit Parader magazines and anything else that was metal. Christ, my entire room was cover with photos and posters… And when I say entire room I mean every nook and cranny, even the ceiling!!! God this is when my Irish catholic parents would threaten to send me to catholic school and would repeatedly question: “Are you listening to Devil Worshiping Music?”.
L. D.: Have you ever taken part in the tapetrading/fanzine network? Did you show an interest in it? Have you ever had penpals from over the world?
K. C.: I actually know of a few sites, I joined T-shirt Slayer, not sure if you have ever heard of them but fans display their collections of metal music memorabilia. Some things that are willing to sell. Discogs, which sells metal music rare albums, tapes… Some really cool stuff. I’m always on the hunt for Revenant merchandise for our collection. Will had an extensive collection but over the years from the numerous moves things got lost. I do not have penpals per say, but thank God for Facebook because I have meet some really great Revenant/Will Corcoran fans. Their message will go something like “Hey, are you related to Will Corcoran the drummer from Revevant?” There are some amazing young drummers that look up to him, as well as fans that are just diehard fans. I/we have connected with a lot of bands that he toured with from back in the day. Will is not on Facebook per say, but he aware of conversations that I have with his friends and occasionally goes under my name to talk to people.
L. D.: Being based in New York, what were your views on the ’80s New York scene? Can you tell us more about it?
K. C.: God, there were so many great clubs in New York City that you could go see a band at. The legendary L ’Amours, the Ritz, the Felt Forum. I think the difference with the bands in New York City and L.A. at the time was that L.A. was more influenced by the hair metal scene. So fortune to be a 20 minute drive to the city crossing the bridge or tunnel depending on where you have to be in the city. And there was always the bus, where you would sneak booze on to and drink.
L. D.: Was it close to the New Jersey scene or was it independent from it?
K. C.: Very close I feel, the New York City metal scene, there was a bar called Studio One in Newark, NJ. It seems that every band that played L ‘Amours would play there. An opportunity to see a band a few times if you really liked them.
L. D.: What were the clubs, venues, that started opening their doors for the metal bands and metal crowd?
K. C.: God, there were tons of clubs in New Jersey that were geared towards metal music and fans. Metal was the KING and there were so many bands and cubs to accommodate this need. China Club in Hillsdale, Studio One in Newark, Mothers/FM Station in Wayne, Rock the House in Wallington. Pipeline, Cricket Club, Club Bene, Wild Mikes. Mouse Trap, Wally’s, Birch Hill, Obsessions, Stone Pony, JJ Rockers. These epic places are all gone, which as a fan is very depressing. Many bands I have seen: Skid Row, M.O.D, Type O Negative, Kix, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Overkill, Testament, Saigon Kick, Savatage, Pantera, Sepultura, TT Quick, Hades, Mucky Pup, Obituary, Flotsam and Jetsam, Nuclear Assault, Napalm Death, Biohazard, Death, the mighty Ripping Corpse and of course Revevant,
L. D.: What do/did you think about other, influential American scenes, such as Los Angeles, Bay Area and Florida? How about the Illinois, Cleveland or Texas scenes?
K. C.: To be honest, I don’t really know what is going on outside of the New York/New Jersy area now. But back in 1990 it seemed that metal music from the East Coast and the West Coast was spreading to the interior states. Will recounts about the Day of Death festival in Wisconsin, that has been revered as one of their best shows and it was in Wisconsin of all places.
L. D.: You are the wife of Will Corcoran, who played the drums on Revenant’s “Prophecies of a Dying World”. How and when did you get to know/meet him? Was it a kind of love at first sting type of thing?
K. C.: Mine and Will’s love story, in the movie “Wayne’s World” there is a scene where Wayne sees Cassandra on stage playing, the song Dream Weaver starts to play, everything starts to get all soft and out of focus, that what it was like for me. Behind this enormous beautiful Tama natural maple superstar kit emerged this long blonde hired, 6’8” pale Irish, half naked guy. He was intelligent, charming and incredibly good looking. People always wanted to be around him for the same reason I did/do. It was an instant love, but he had to go on tour with Revenant and we lost touch. About 5 years ago I went to see a friend’s band play and there was Will. We talked about people we knew and the good old days. We were destined to be together we just had to each live our lives for a bit until we reconnected.
L. D.: Did you know, that he is/was a musician? Were you familiar with Revenant by the way?
K. C.: I knew he was a drummer when I met him. He was in a cover band called Lacerated with his friends from High School. His band played Metallica, Maiden, Slayer, your typical metal cover band. Will was from Teacneck, NJ which is a town over from Bergenfield. NJ. We had some of the same friends. I went to school with Henry Veggian and John Pratcher, so I was already a fan and supporting Revenant. Bank then it was a family, we always supported the local bands, there was always someone you knew that was in a band and because of that you would always meeting new people.
Will is very passionate about music, besides always going to concerts to see a band play, we have in-depth conversations about music. Will loves to talk about drumming, Dennis Chambers, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl. He will explain to me what “ghost notes” are, an example of that is by Jeff Porcaro’s on the song by Rosanna by Toto. What a “shuffle” is, which John Bonham was notorious for doing. How something so simplistic like what Ringo Star does or Mick Fleetwood is hard, doing the same thing repetitively. Will is very influenced by other music, he loves jazz and that’s evident in his playing style.
L. D.: What does he nowadys do? Is still he involved in the metal scene? Does he follow what’s going on in the metal scene?
K. C.: He is currently working in the field of construction, he is still very involved in and with the metal scene. He reads Modern Drummer religiously. Through Facebook and our network of friends we are aware of current shows that bands are playing at. To be honest the metal scene is not was it was in its glorious hay day. Maybe it’s because we are old school metal heads and listen to the classics. It used to be just METAL, now its death metal, thrash metal, hair metal, emo metal and black metal. We really don’t care for the new metal bands, just can’t get into them. They all seem to be trying to outdo each other with who has the most disgusting band name, or who has the most gruesome lyrics, it seems the music has lost its way. Metal has become a fashion statement when you have the Kardashians wearing a “Slayer Tee” that is such a pet peeve of mine ‘cause you know they are not fans, they couldn’t tell you who the members of the band are name an album or recite the lyrics. Metal is in your blood, it’s a way of life.
L. D.: Do you perhaps know in person his former bandmates, Dave Jengo, Henry Veggian and Tim Scott?
K. C.: Of course I know the boys from Revevant. Like I said I went to school with Henry Veggian and John Pratcher, they were a grade on me. I was around for the inception of Revenant that the changes to the line up from John MacEntee, John Regan, Joe Fregenti. The last line up is like family and I say that is you have ever seen them hanging out. Being that they are all scatter all over its hard getting to seem them, Dave is in California, Henry is in North Carolina and Tim is in Sweden. A few years ago we had the fortune of seeing all 3 guys with in a few month span. I love when they get together, their stories are hysterical. I’m surprised that are all still alive from their tours. Will’s face lights up and he smile and laughs, he is like a kid… And sometimes you’re like I don’t get it, it’s the “you had to be there” moments. Will talks on the phone to them a lot and with the impending re-release of Prophecies of the Dying World through Cosmic Key Creations it’s very exciting for them and the fans.
L. D.: How would you comment Prophecies of the Dying World? What do you think about the other Revenant releases?
K. C.: It’s a masterpiece, it’s very technical and the lyrics are pure genius. Will’s drumming coupled with the heavy guitar riffs from Veg and Dave, it’s just done right. Spawn is my favorite song on the album. On Prophecies the music was much faster, on the later releases – Overman and the Burning Ground – the songwriting matured but the music slowed down. I love all of their work but for me Prophecies is their best work.
L. D.: Do you agree with that Revenant has never got the recognition that they would have deserved?
K. C.: Yes, because their lyrics were more evolved then other bands. I think it was hard for people to understand and relate to them. Which made it easier for other bands it be accepted more. There was an issue with the record label Nuclear Blast not supporting them. It seemed that the label was spending its time and effort on inquiring other bands to add to their label and not focusing Revevant. If the label had spent more of an effort on promoting them through touring, and publication it would have made them more visual to fans, it would have built their fan base up and would have been beneficial for them as a band. It’s a shame because they have a huge fan base, devoted fans still and I think a new generation of fans that revere them as pioneers. A new generation of musicians that appreciate them.
L. D.: Thanks a lot for your answers, anything to add to this feature?
K. C.: Just want to say thank you for thinking of me to interview – its been exciting, I love to talk about music as well as Will and Revevant.