Ibanez: What was the music scene like in San Diego when Carnifex was first getting its start?
Cory: Well, Carnifex started about a year and a half before I joined the band. I was heavily getting into Darkest Hour, and that new wave of death metal with breakdowns was starting to get big. So it was relatively new when we started to get noticed. I joined the band and a couple of months later there was starting to be a lot of people at our shows.
Ibanez: It seems like things happened really fast for you guys.
Cory: Yeah, I hopped into the band as was like, "Cool, maybe this band will actually go somewhere." [laughs] A couple of months later, it's like holy crap! We're driving to Arizona doing weekend tours and DIY stuff, but there are actually people there that have heard of the band. People are coming up to me that I haven't ever seen before and saying, "Dude, you play in Carnifex don't you? You guys are sick, man." That whole death metal breakdown thing just kind of exploded out of nowhere. I thought it was a new thing, but all these people knew exactly what was going on. There were all sorts of bands mixing different styles together.
Ibanez: How did you get hooked up with the band?
Cory: I went to Ozzfest with my friend, and Full Blown Chaos played. I saw that they were playing a show at Soma in my hometown area, so my friend and I went to see them. Carnifex opened up for them with their old lineup. I saw them play and was like, "That was fucking brutal!" Then, I saw on their MySpace like a week later that they were looking for a guitarist. I wasn't doing anything. I was trying to get my band going, but my drummer was concentrating on a lot of other stuff. So I wrote them, they wrote me back, and I went and tried out. I was like number twenty something of the guys they had tried out. I was the only guy in the area that understood what the drummer was doing. He writes a lot of the stuff, and he wanted someone that understood the riffs he was writing rhythmically. He was like, "Somebody finally gets it!" [laughs]
Ibanez: Did you have any big music influences growing up that lead you to play guitar and want to form a band?
Cory: Yeah, I got into Korn. I got into Korn and Staind around the same time. Those two bands were touring together, so I went and saw them. That was my first show ever. I was 14 or 15 years old, and I had never been to a show or seen any band play live. It was one of the heaviest things I had ever seen, and there were like 10,000 people in this giant arena. I decided that that's what I wanted to do.
Ibanez: When did you start playing 7-string guitars and what made you switch?
Cory: The first guitar I ever got was a Costco thing with a little amp. I was always trying to play Deftones music. Deftones and Korn were the biggest bands I was listening to when I was learning how to play. Then, I learned that Korn was playing 7-strings. So I started going to Guitar Center just to play on the 7-string guitars. I could never get one, because my dad couldn't afford it. I wasn't old enough to have a job yet. So I would just go and play there for about half an hour and write and work on riffs that I had. In Christmas of 2006, I was finally able to buy one.
Ibanez: Was there anything in particular that drew you to the Ibanez S 7-string guitars?
Cory: Yeah, the thin body and the new tremolo systems, the ZR. We were on tour with Killwhitneydead, and David Shoaf had a blue S with the ZR tremolo. He chose to play the S series because of that. So he was a really big influence on us deciding to play those. I read a lot of reviews on it, too, and a lot of experienced guitar players were saying that it was a really good guitar.
Ibanez: What was the recording process like for the newest album, The Diseased and The Poisoned, and how did you get the guitar tones on that album?
Cory: Our old guitarist used to go to Musician's Institute, and he learned a lot of tips for getting good tones on recordings. He was also friends with the Suicide Silence guys, so he picked up a lot of tone stuff from them. So we kind of took those amp settings in to Zeuss, and he adjusted them according to what he wanted in the studio. So the tone on the album is kind of a mixture of how we had everything set and his input. He would adjust things to get them to sound clearer and stuff.
Ibanez: How has changing over to Victory Records changed things for you guys?
Cory: It didn't really change much. We were talking to Tony and did a showcase. Then, we were signed and just continued doing our own touring stuff. They didn't really have much hand in the touring stuff, but we were able to make press kits at that point. We could say that we had been touring this long and were signed to this label. Victory Records is no chump label, either. They've got some of the biggest bands out there right now. So we were really excited, but our lives didn't completely change.
Ibanez: You guys are on tour with Obituary right now. What do you have planned for the rest of the year as far as touring?
Cory: We're going to be home for a couple of weeks after this tour. Then, we're flying from Los Angeles to Germany and doing the Never Say Die tour with Parkway Drive, Unearth, Despised Icon, Protest The Hero, and White Chapel. That's all in November. Then, we've got 5 days after the tour with Despised Icon. Then, we come home and stay all through December and January. In December, we're gonna write and try to get 5 or 6 songs done for the next album. We're gonna go up to where All Shall Perish has done all their records and do pre-production for the next album. Hopefully, next year we can tour with a couple of new tracks that people have never heard.
Ibanez: What are you listening to right now?
Cory: As far as metal goes, I've been listening to the new Arsis a lot. It's amazing. I think it's one of their best albums ever. I've been listening to a lot of Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, too. I'm trying to get in writing mode, so I'm listening to a lot of the traditional death metal bands. Usually when I drive the van, I listen to a lot of Coheed and Cambria and reggae music. I like to mellow out and relax when I'm driving.