Interview: Autorub – Oh Marjorie

Michael Corn is a NY based composer, producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist and voice over talent/copy creator. Michael has over 25 years experience as a music industry professional to date. He has composed for the Emmy award winning show “Leah Remini:  Scientology & the Aftermath” on A&E, as well as the Emmy nominated “Intervention” & “Wahlburgers,” also on A&E. To date, Michael has music placements in over 250 current shows, including multiple score contributions to CBS Sports, “Love and Hip Hop”​ [VH1], “Catfish” [MTV], and History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.” Other notable past placements include the NBC 2016 Summer Olympics from Rio de Janeiro, The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and ads for Wendy’s, Applebee’s and Logitech.

Hey, super nice to have the chance to chat with you. What first got you into music?

Hi – nice to speak with you too! I think I’m probably one of those people that was drawn to music from the beginning. First, it was in my gene pool, as my aunt played piano and still does, my mother was an artist, and my grandfather played guitar- though I never heard him. We had a piano in my house where I grew up, and I would go to it around age 5 or so, and try to figure out melodies of songs that were playing either on the radio or my parent’s stereo. By the way, let me say that was not exactly an ideal selection of material around the house. I mean, my kid is gonna have a fantastic collection of rock and jazz LPs someday when I’m gone – I had like Perry Como and Engelbert Humperdinck! Most of your readers will need to Google that reference, but a small slice just peed themselves, literally.

Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?

When it comes to being truly inspirational, as opposed to just influential, I’ve got to go with the bigger legends in rock, soul and jazz. Beatles, Stones, Hendrix and Zeppelin for just pioneering great rock songwriting and performing. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sly & the Family Stone did the same for soul/RnB. Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock come to mind for jazz, but there are many more in each genre. Oh and Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh for reggae! The longevity of some of those artists is also quite inspirational.

Your latest track is ‘Oh Marjorie’. Can you share with us the background of its creation and did any unusual things happen during its creation?

Probably the most unusual thing about creating “Oh Marjorie” was that I had like 3 different songs about her! Am I obsessed? God, no….the last Autorub EP titled “America the Sick” was a concept album. It was primarily political satire, and was made during the height of Covid. So I had a bunch of songs about all the crazy political figures, and I never completed the ones about Marjorie. However, “Oh Marjorie” was written more recently than those, for no other reason than it just came to me. But it’s also way less politcal – lyrically, it could be about any relationship where one partner has managed to go down a rabbit hole, leaving the other to deal with it. But it does also carry an important message – things would be better without the lies and conspiracies.

Which skills have you gained that help you perform effectively as an artist?

Well there’s a lot of different skills, besides just practicing to get better as a musician/songwriter, that you pick up along the way. An important one is learning how to market/promote yourself. This can seem daunting and frankly uninteresting to the artistic mind, but it’s necessary. The ability to reach audiences globally is much easier than it used to be thanks to the internet, and you don’t want to miss out on that.
This interview right here is a pretty good example of what I’m talking about! Another helpful skill to develop is honing your BS detector. Just like every industry, there are scams and scammers that you’ll need to recognize and avoid.

What are your favorite musical genres, and are there any you dislike?

A lot of music that I like falls under the broad genre of rock, but I also listen to old school RnB/soul, old school rap/hip hop, jazz, and reggae. I wouldn’t say there’s any genres I outright dislike, but there’s definitely some I’m not that familiar with. It’s always great to expand your horizons, but you can’t know or like everything.

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

My writing process has stayed pretty much the same over the years, just augmented by newer technology. Years ago, I would sing or play my musical ideas into a small boombox – now I just use my phone. As to lyrics, I remain old school and write them out by hand. I don’t have any rituals, scented candles or teas to set the atmosphere, I just do it mostly when it strikes me. Occasionally I’ll have to force myself to sit down and finish something.

What are your long term goals?

My goals at the moment are a bit more focused on short term than long. I’m trying to push “Oh Marjorie” as far as it can go, because I believe the song can appeal to a pretty wide range of listeners. It has a certain “it” factor. The long term will depend somewhat on what happens in the short term, but in the end, I’ll just keep making more music like always.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The internet has had just as strong an impact on the music business as it has everywhere else. From the way we get our music, to our ability to share it, distribute it, promote it, review it, curate it…it goes on and on. I think there are far more positives than negatives to it all. Somehow, vinyl LPs made a big come back amid all this digital music which is great – but even that is strongly impacted by the internet – most people buy their records online.

And finallywhat’s next for you? Is there more music or any live shows on the way?

I have not yet made plans to do live shows with Autorub. I’m prepared to do it when the right moment or
opportunity arises. And there’s plenty of good venues here in NY. I’d also love to play live on one of the many late night talk shows to promote “Oh Marjorie.” The more traction this single gets, as it’s available everywhere now, the more likely I’ll be to take Autorub on the road.

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