Pretty psyched to share with you all this segment of ’10 Questions With.’
Cory Churko is a Canadian Guitarist/Fiddler who is currently on the road with Shania Twain and as well is Shania’s Musical Director. Not only that but Cory is a multi instrumentalist and in the past has played with Reba,Kelly Clarkson and Jordan Smith.
If you think Cory is all Country Music. Think again!
Cory also is the six stringer in the Canadian Rock Band ‘Toque’ who put out a killer release of cover tunes last year of many different Canadian Classic Rock Acts. He gives us some inside scoop on the next Toque release. As well Cory has his own line of guitars from Prestige Guitars and he’s been making money as a performer at a real young age!! Now that’s impressive! Pretty damn cool stuff for a Fella from Saskatchewan!
I really appreciate Cory getting back to me. Trust me Folks this is a great read!
Take it away Mr Churko!
1- Ok Cory. How does one go from jamming guitar growing up in Western Canada to playing sold out shows as Shania Twain’s Guitar Player/Fiddle Player and Musical Director?
I literally got a call out of nowhere on my answering machine back in December 97. I had already quit the music business and was enjoying a new life in computer animation. I had played many years in the bar/night club scene across Canada and was burnt out, After 6 months in my new career I got a call from Mercury records in Toronto saying they were looking for a young energetic fiddler for one of the acts they had on their label. I didn’t call him back cuz I thought it was probably for a new artist and I was tired of living hand to mouth. He called a few days later to follow-up and left another message saying it was for Shania Twain. I flipped out ha ha and called him back instantly. A couple of weeks later I was in NYC playing on the David Letterman Show.
2-I don’t know if Guitar for Hire is the appropriate tag but at times in the past were you ever worried about how the hell I’m gonna make my next truck payment when you were starting out? Guess what I’m trying to say is that the stress for that must be enormous at times?
I still have those moments ha ha ha…it really is feast or famine in this business and you can have an amazing year and then nothing the next year. It really is about diversity. I try to make myself as valuable as possible doing many things well rather than being a master of just one. It really makes things more interesting as well to be able to wear different hats. Between my studio skills as a producer and a mix engineer as well as my multi-instrumentalist skills I somehow get by ha ha ha!
3-Toque features yourself, Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz. Between the three of you’s. You guys are constantly working if not with each other but with other acts. How do you guys make the schedule for Toque work?
It’s definitely the most challenging thing about Toque but also the thing that makes the project special. Everyone fills in a shared google calendar and once we’re done we look for the holes and Target those down times to do Toque related things. This second album was largely recorded after Todd and Brent were finished rehearsing with Slash who has a studio about 2 blocks from my house. What are the chances of that in a city as big as Los Angeles!
4-Speaking of Toque I loved the debut album. Your guys cover of Aldo Nova’s Fantasy/Queen City Kids ‘Dance’ as well as Saga’s ‘On The Loose” are wicked especially your solo on Fantasy. With so much Canadian rock to pick from who decided what tracks made the debut?
Well, each of us made a list of the songs we’d like to do and then we looked at the common denominators and that was the first album! The second album was very similar process. We just throw it out there and vote. All of us are usually on the same page about it.
5- I understand you have a followup to the Toque debut coming out soon. Care to share anything about it? Inside secret scoop kinda stuff?
Well, we included 3 songs with female singers. Obviously you’ve heard our version of Ironic. That was fun to do and is receiving a lot of positive feedback. We managed to convince one of the other female singers to make a cameo on her song and it turned out so good. We have an original song on this new album and can’t wait to share it. It’s written in much the same style as these other classic hits. We have a song by a Canadian band from the 90s too other than the Alanis song.
6-Your Brother Kevin is a successful producer. (Ozzy Osbourne and Five Finger Death Punch to name a few) Have you guys ever counted who has sold more albums with your involvement? Kinda of a brother rivalry thing?
Ha ha ha well if you’re counting involvement then Shania definitely has the edge there but he should get the award because he made, wrote and produced those records whereas I played a part more in the promotion of Shania’s records.
7-First album ever purchased with your own money!
Hmmmm…. I really can’t recall. I had so many of my Dad’s records around as well as my sibling’s records that it probably wasn’t a big deal to me when I did buy the first. I also started making my own money at 7 years old playing wedding dances so I was probably pretty young when I did buy my first record. I think I was buying 45s before I bought albums. it was probably Meco Empire Strikes Back Theme. I’m gonna go with that one…I played the crap outta that record. Check it out!
8-If you had to go with 5 all time fav albums what would they be?
Queen a Night at the Opera
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
Radiohead OK computer
Jesus Christ Superstar,
The Darkness Permission To Land,
Def Leppard Hysteria
Oops that’s 6!
9-Arena or stadium gig. What band performer was the best that you watched from the crowd?
Roger Waters – The Wall tour either that Or Queen with Adam Lambert (I never got to see them with Freddie)
10- Feel Free to plug your stuff or whatnot! Thanks so much for doing this!
Thanks for the questions – Follow my band Toque on social media everyone!! @toquerocks on IG, Facebook Toquerocks, Twitter @toquerocks and ToqueRocks on YouTube