Four-piece Philly “dark pop” band Corey Flood was formed after bassist/singer Ivy Gray-Klein (who also plays in the band Littler) and drummer Juliette Rando played a party as members of a Ween cover band last summer. Em Boltz (guitar/vocals) and Noah Jacobson-Carroll (guitar) joined the ride and within a month of changing their Facebook status to “in a relationship”, the quartet was recording songs for the Wish You Hadn’t EP.
Corey Flood will be making their Columbus debut on Sunday night at Spacebar along with Wapakoneta’s Penny Wishes and Columbus’s own Cherry Chrome. Doors at 7pm, $5 cover (21 and over), $8 cover (18-20).
Gray-Klein and Boltz answered some questions I sent their last week.
Of all the secondary characters in iconic ‘80s movies, what made you pick the Lili Taylor character Corey Flood from Say Anything to name your band after?
Ivy Gray-Klein: Say Anything isn’t my favorite movie of that genre, but I was always struck by Lili Taylor’s character. I like that she’s the protagonist’s best friend, but is more nuanced than a typical sidekick. She plays guitar and having this creative outlet is clearly very important to her, and I like that she’s shown with a guitar in almost every scene. Her inner emotional turmoil drives her in a way that feels honest for an adolescent. Watching her totally bear herself through her songs can be uncomfortable as a viewer, but because she’s so earnest and has so much conviction you want to root for her, too. I liked the idea of having a band that was named for a fictional character who was also a musician, which gives it this sort of double meaning.
You’re obviously not old enough to have seen Say Anything in the theater (I am and I did); wondering how you came across the movie (how old were you when you first saw it) and did it feel relevant or was it dated?
Ivy Gray-Klein: I think I was a teenager the first time I saw it. I love adolescent coming of age movies and so it made my list of things to see. It is iconic, but I was always more interested in Corey’s backstory than the Lloyd/Diane plot. It’s a big pet peeve of mine when movies and tv shows depict adults as teenagers, and this movie isn’t exempt from that, but I think Corey’s character and the spectrum of feelings and emotions she’s processing rung true for me.
The most memorable thing about Corey Flood in Say Anything is when she plays “Never Be Me” in a party scene (at least that’s my strongest memory of the character but, then again, I haven’t seen the movie in probably 20 years). Have you ever busted out a cover of the song or at least given it any thought?
Ivy Gray-Klein: We have not! I think her other song is “Joe Lies.”
If you can, talk about the type of music you were exposed to at home by your parents/siblings and the type of music you and your school friends listened to. How old were you when you felt like you really had developed your own tastes and were discovering your own favorite bands?
Ivy Gray-Klein: I was an only child and spent my adolescence in a really rural town, so the internet was an invaluable resource. This was before social media really took off, so I discovered a lot of music through semi-archaic Angelfire and Geocities fan sites that were just listings of bands with female musicians. I was much more interested in discovering L7 than listening to Taking Back Sunday. I’ve always loved listening to new music, so I think the internet only improved my access to a broader scope. Before that I would trade CDs with friends or we’d make mixes for each other.
Em Boltz: My mom had a lot of cassette tapes which helped me jumpstart my exploration of music beyond Top 40 radio. Amongst those tapes I found Nirvana, R.E.M., and Oasis. When I was 16, an older friend made me a mixtape that had stuff by The Raincoats, Sonic Youth, and The Slits. After that I felt this urgency to find music on my own. My search from that point on was through finding music at record stores or online.
I understand that you interned at Pitchfork before starting college. How deep were you into indie rock in high school and did the internship seem like a dream job? If you weren’t a big indie rock fan, how did you wind up at Pitchfork?
Ivy Gray-Klein: I took a gap year before college and was living in Chicago. A friend sent me the internship listing and encouraged me to apply, but it seemed like such a long shot. Luckily, I did it anyway and interned there for six months. This was before they moved their offices to New York, so it was just a big open room with some desks on the second floor of a building in Wicker Park. It was definitely a very cool experience for an 18-year-old and influenced a lot of my decisions moving forward, like music related internships and booking shows. I pursued music journalism before I ever started writing and playing my own music.
Would you say that you learned anything during the internship that influenced the way you’d later go on to write music, like, things that you knew would earn you a negative review that you steered away from?
Ivy Gray-Klein: I don’t know if my background in music journalism has influenced the way I write music as much as it influences how I interact with bookers, writers, front of house people, etc. I try to be compassionate and respectful towards everyone we work with, which means being prompt and thorough. Everyone’s time is valuable and I try to be mindful of that. I’m more interested in creating music I enjoy than catering to what I think someone else will like.
The upcoming tour finds Corey Flood playing three Ohio shows including May 20 in Columbus. I feel like EVERYBODY has some sort of Ohio connection – or at least the local news makes it seem that way (“Tonight at 6, we’ll talk about the Columbus connection to a bank robbery that happened yesterday in Australia”). So, what is your Ohio connection? Any family that lives here? Any college roommates from Cincinnati? Did you once own a Cleveland Indians baseball hat? Is your favorite band Guided by Voices?
Ivy Gray-Klein: My dad and his extended family are all from Cleveland, so I’ve been going there since I was a kid, but mostly for bar mitzvahs and weddings. But our guitarist Em is from Ohio!
Em Boltz: I’m from Akron, Ohio.
Corey Flood came together quickly as did the recording of the EP. When you recorded the EP, were those all the songs that you had written or were there ones you were still fine tuning and not ready to commit to … ha … I was going to say tape but … um … a hard drive? Where are you at now with songs? You must have more than 4 songs since you’re going on tour – how many songs are in your set?
Ivy Gray-Klein: When we recorded those songs we just wanted to have some music online to help us get booked for shows. We didn’t really plan to release it as an EP, but it sort of evolved from there. These were the first songs I ever wrote, but it’s been fun to play the newer songs at shows, too. We’ll be writing a lot this summer with the goal of recording a full length in the next few months.
I’ve seen references to Helium and Liz Phair when reading about Corey Flood. I hear some Sonic Youth as well. If you were to throw in a cover by one of these artists into your live set, which artist would you cover and what song would you (assuming that you haven’t already done that)?
Ivy Gray-Klein: Mary Timony and Liz Phair are huge influences for me, and I love Kim Gordon. I don’t know if we’d ever cover any of these artists, but if we did, I’d probably vote for “Superball” or “All the X’s Have Wings” by Helium or “Go West” by Liz Phair.
Em Boltz: Maybe Exile in Guyville era Liz Phair!
Not a lot of bands pack up and move to Columbus to join the music scene although the homegrown scene is very strong (that’s what happens in a large college city – and there is a continuous cycle every 6 or 7 years of “old” bands breaking up to enter adulthood and “new” bands being formed by college students). Philly seems to be a city that bands migrate to. Is that fair or am I off base? And, if that is the case, why do you think that is?
Ivy Gray-Klein: I’ve heard cool things about Columbus so I’m excited to finally check it out. I came to Philly totally by accident. I moved here for college and then fell in love with the city. I think Philly has always had a strong scene, maybe because it’s more affordable to rent larger spaces to host practices or shows. I don’t think it’s as pretentious as other cities and there’s much less of an emphasis on being commercially successful. People go to shows to see and support their friends. There’s more room to take risks. It certainly has its flaws, but compared to a lot of places, it can be very welcoming and inclusive.
Em Boltz: I never really planned my move to Philly. In Spring 2017 I was living in Brooklyn and totally broke. A friend offered me their sublet while on tour and by the end of the summer I was living in Philly.
Before checking out your upcoming dates, I was going to mention that a former Columbus musician moved to Philly and then I noticed Maryn Jones is actually playing the tour-ending date with you. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat out of touch with the local scene (I’m a dad of 3 teenage girls living in the suburbs and working a corporate day gig so my days of running down to the Ohio State campus to check out new local bands is extremely rare) but I’ve been a HUGE fan of Maryn’s band (All Dogs) and her solo thing (Yowler). How did you wind up asking her to play the show? Has she integrated into the scene or do you know her by reputation?
Em Boltz: Maryn is a good friend and so incredibly talented! We’re in a group chat together called The B Words.
Last question … if you had a DVR in your head and could have recorded any 2 hours in 2017 to play back in picture perfect detail whenever you wanted, what 2 hours would you pick?
Em Boltz: I would never want that.