Cory Scheider is someone walking a very promising path within the metal world. I was originally acquainted with him via Nick’s awesome review of Casket Robbery‘s self-titled EP. It didn’t take me long to learn how dedicated he is to his music while giving off the impression of being very approachable and kind – which he is. Nick and I look forward to having the pleasure of listening to his planned future releases… and so should you.
When you first picked up a guitar did you ever dream that you would be playing in a band like Casket Robbery?
Not exactly. I was into rock music when I first started playing guitar. I didn't even know there was music called "death metal," but ever since I started playing I was always looking for music that was faster and heavier. The first rock band I got into was Def Leppard when I was about 12.
Wow. Seems like your taste has evolved quite a bit over the years. What got you into the heavier styles of music? What attracts you to it?
When I first started, I think it was the technical aspect of the heavy bands. It was more interesting to play and was fun to push my playing to the next level. I still strive to push my playing to the next level, but with Casket Robbery I try to concentrate more on song structures and groovy/heavy riffs. I think that aspect gets more people hooked; writing good and catchy songs is the most important thing for me with Casket Robbery.
I can see that in Casket Robbery. Are there any other bands you play for, or have played for, that fulfill that desire for a technical challenge?
Yeah, I was in Luna Mortis on Century Media Records from 2007-2010. We were a more melodic technical band I guess you could say. I also worked with Epicurean on Metal Blade records. I always try to keep busy...I have filled in for a couple local bands as well. I have another project called Darkness Divine also. Lots of really cool bands!
Sounds like it! So is Darkness Divine a personal one-man project or a full band? What's the concept behind that band?
It started as a full band. I was going to start a side project while I was in Luna Mortis, but Luna Mortis eventually broke up and I joined Epicurean for a while. I got pretty busy so Darkness Divine ended up being a recording project. We have 2 songs released online and I have roughly 2 or 3 more songs written for the band. But for now the band remains a recording project. Hopefully I will have some time to make it a live band in the future. We have some really cool stuff going on in the band. 7 string guitars, and keyboards make it really interesting. I pulled together some really awesome musicians for the Darkness Divine stuff. The band is more on the melodic/death metal side.
Very nice. You've made quite the blazing trail with your guitar, but what was it that made you pick up the guitar in the very beginning? Was it the first instrument you ever played?
Yeah, guitar is the first thing I picked up. When I was in 4th or 5th grade an acoustic guitar player came to our school and played a bunch of songs. By chance, our class got to stick around after he played and we asked him a ton of questions. That is what actually sparked my interest. I wish I could remember that guy's name because he is the reason I picked up a guitar. From then onward it was all about music and guitar.
That's an interesting way to get into it, before that moment did you have any interest in music at all even as a casual listener?
My mom played piano and had an old acoustic guitar in the house. My sister also had just started taking piano lessons. So that might have had something to do with it also, haha. But, I really didn't take a lot of interest in music until I started playing the guitar. I would listen to the radio whenever my parents were listening but that is about it.
Piano playing is a wonderful thing to grow up around, I think. Music to me is one of the best ways to make lasting friendships and I'm sure you've made many of those. What was your very first band experience like? Did you guys ever play live?
My first band was my high school band. It was really cool. I wrote the music and it was sort of like a thrash/death metal thing. We actually played one show. It was the high school battle of the bands and I think we freaked everyone out because we had the screaming, guttural vocals. We actually won the battle of the bands with the most votes but they didn't give us the prize (which was to play before one of the football games). They definitely did not like the heavy music we did.
Oh yes. I can imagine being in Wisconsin, that their attitude towards the music you like is less than welcoming. Have you and your friends experienced a lot of opposition from those close to you and society in general?
Not really. Most of my friends and family have been really supportive. Without their support, I wouldn't have been able to do any of this. I don't think society will ever enjoy metal, but luckily there is a great network of fans and people that love and support this type of music. They are the people that make everything possible.
That's great to hear. Aside from being able to challenge yourself with guitar, what is the thing you enjoy most about playing music?
I like being on stage. That is the most rewarding part of playing music. And playing heavy/crushing riffs is cool because every once in a while I get to see people get into it and mosh. It is the best feeling.
Yeah, it seems like musicians feed off the energy of the crowd as much as the crowd feeds off of theirs. Could you describe one of the most memorable live performances for you?
There has been so many, haha. Probably the most memorable moments were on my first big tour. It was Edguy's 2009 tour. I was in Luna Mortis and also filled in for Epicurean on that tour. There were so many great shows and it was a great experience to be able to play every night and tour across North America.
Touring must be amazing on so many levels musically, but it also must be great to travel. I'm sure music isn't your only passion, what other activities occupy your time just as much?
Traveling is definitely my other passion. I like being a tourist and finding cool little places to check out. I actually just took a trip this weekend and found a bunch of cool antique stores. I bought a huge old Marlboro cigarette sign. I figure that is going to be part of history someday as I see a lot of places banning cigarettes now. I am really into movies as well. Anything that keeps me entertained!
I love traveling as well. Any places that you want to visit in particular and what is your favorite movie genre to pass the time with?
I want to visit anywhere in Europe just to check out another country. I am into going anywhere over there. I really like the humorous horror movies. Evil Dead is my favorite. I think some of my love for movies shows in the Casket Robbery stuff. I think that is why I enjoy writing the Casket Robbery songs so much. Dustin and I have a lot of fun coming up with fun ideas for the songs.
Another horror fan! What draws you to the horror aspect of it the most?
I don't really know. I just like sick and twisted movies. Maybe it is because I am from Wisconsin, haha. I think horror movies and death metal go hand in hand. I love the dark subjects.
They certainly do play off of each other pretty well. So, I gather that Dustin and you do lyric writing for Casket Robbery exclusively? What's the creative process like with that band?
It is pretty simple actually. We both come up with an idea for a song. He will do all the lyrics and I do all of the music writing and drum programming. We bounce ideas off each other until we come up with a song we both like.
Pretty simple and co-creative. So what are your current plans for Casket Robbery or are you content with the state of the band right now?
We just plan on booking shows and getting more of the live stuff going. We want to play a bunch of shows. We already have the next EP written, it will probably be 6 or 7 songs this time. We plan on doing a music video when we have some time. We have a lot of stuff we want to do, just need some time to get it all done.
Yeah, time is usually an issue, but seems like you'll get there slowly but surely. I've been meaning to ask that since you were involved with some bands signed with well-known labels, what are some of your most interesting meetings with those involved in the music industry?
I got to meet Monte Conner from Road Runner records. I actually got to sit next to him at dinner while Luna Mortis was working on getting a record deal. That was a very cool moment. He has signed a ton of really legendary bands so it was an honor to meet him. He was really nice too; he offered me a piece of his pizza that he ordered. It was great pizza!
I bet it was one of the best Pizzas you've ever had. I must thank you for taking the time out to do an interview with me. Any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?
Keep supporting metal bands. Locals and signed bands. Most bands these days aren't making money so any support you can give them is appreciated. Without the fans there wouldn't be any cool metal bands. We love you guys. Thanks a lot for the interview and the review a few weeks ago. Blood or Love is a great site.