Auckland hard-hitting powerhouse quartet CORIDIAN are back with a vengeance as they release their new single ‘Better Off’ (out October 18th 2018), their first new music since the phenomenal
‘Caldera’ EP last year. We caught up with drummer Kris Raven on the eve of the new release to find out more about the new single, what the band have been up to in recent months and what we can expect
from CORIDIAN in the future.
Kris was understandably excited about CORIDIAN putting out their first new material in a while and for everyone to hear the new single. Listening to the emotive lyrics of ‘Better Off’, “Dedicate this message, will you understand the meaning? Figured out what's missing, could I make you stop and listen? So I tried! to climb this un-relentless chasm. Were you passing by... fall out of this habit. Hang up my mistakes, I can't let it go!”, it sounds very much as though it signifies a change, a way of putting things behind you and moving on. Vocalist Dity (Maharaj) has an incredibly powerful voice and he sings ‘Better Off’ with such raw emotion, we were keen to understand the story and meaning behind the song. Kris had this to say, “Yeah, cos ‘Caldera’ (I can kinda speak for Dity here) was a bit of a hard time for him in terms of a relationship breakdown, issues around that and mental health. ‘Better Off’ was the perfect song to go with. We’ve been playing it a while, and it kind of signified him being ok with being him again and coming out of that relationship and being like, you know what, I’m actually better off being alone at the moment, but I’m ok with it and I’m looking towards the future and I know it will be ok. It’s definitely a positive message…stay strong, you’ll be ok, kind of thing…just pushing forward”. It (also) signifies change and the next chapter of the band because this song will be the start of working towards our debut album, it’s a big thing for us”.
The release of ‘Better Off’ is also the beginning of the next chapter for the band as it’s the first song they’ve worked on towards their debut album. After releasing two EPs, an album is something that’s been a dream and ambition for Kris, “Being a musician and in a band for so many years, it’s always been a dream of mine, you know, this is my album. If we just release one awesome album that we’re all super proud of and a bunch of people really enjoyed it then I’d be happy, I’m complete, so I’m really looking forward to releasing that”. Quite a bit of the album has already been written and pre-produced, we can expect to hear it sometime next year.
CORIDIAN are one of those bands that don’t fit neatly into a specific genre, but we asked Kris to try to define CORIDIAN’s sound, and the words he used were “alternative rock with a progressive metal spin, sound-scapey, melodic post-rock, alternative rock, almost nu-metal, alternative melodic rock with a heavy tinge to it”. CORIDIAN’s sound may be hard to pigeonhole, but is a delightful meld of genres and the band just keep redefining it. Says Kris, “When we found our sound, especially on ‘Caldera’, we were just so happy people really responded well to it. ‘Better Off’ is really just a progression of that. This new single is a change but it’s more of a growth from our sound but we’re keeping within that sound structure as well”.
‘Better Off’ starts slowly and builds delicious layers of instrumentation, from hi-hat and cymbals from Kris, Mike’s gritty, melodic riffs join in ahead of Nick’s deep rumbling bass, then as Dity’s impressive vocals are added to the mix, it’s unmistakably CORIDIAN. Once Kris’s trademark thundering drums kick in and I turn the volume right up, it’s impossible not to lose myself entirely in the music. I completely forget that I’m supposed to be writing about this song, and I repeat this a dozen times…it’s THAT good. There’s something about CORIDIAN’s music that has the unique ability to transport me to another place entirely, it’s the cohesion of the four members and their instruments, the intoxicating songwriting and their outstanding musicianship. This song is richly textured with a nifty hook, a ghostly instrumental at the bridge, haunting powerful vocals full of tension, even the guitar riffs sound full of anguish. The Raven brothers are at their hard-hitting grooving best and Dity’s impeccable, soaring vocals are on fire. The positive message that Kris mentioned really comes through and the lyrics paint a picture that brought unexpected tears to my eyes. I’m in love with ‘Better Off’ and I can’t wait to hear the debut album next year.
The band’s approach to songwriting is a collaborative one, as Kris explains, “We’ve got a pretty cool dynamic going. Mike is the riff maker, he’ll generally have the main ideas, whether it’s just the bones of it. It’ll either be Mike, Nike and me in a room together, arranging that and putting it together, if that means that Nick comes up with amazing bass lines or I’m putting some solid drums in. Or Dity, he wrote the heart of ‘Seed’ (from ‘Caldera') then Mike put his spin on it and everyone built it up. Generally, it’s Mike and then everyone else kind of comes in and Dity is last with his melodic vocal pieces and putting that together”. Partnership seems to be at the heart of everything CORIDIAN do, and the band do everything in-house, the same as a lot of bands seem to do now. Dity designs all the artwork, posters and merchandise as well as managing the website, Kris manages the day to day running of the social media, and, Kris says, “I guess Nick can sometimes be our song director, with Mike, so everyone has their place. We all share”. Speaking of Dity, he must have faced some challenges coming into an established band. Kris laughs and says he’s sometimes impressed that he’s still around because the band was also one that was made up of three brothers! He says Dity is easy-going and the perfect vocalist, he just has to kind of mediate around the rest of the crap, like brotherly arguments. It seems Dity has had a really positive influence on the band as a unit, from what Kris says it feels like he has drawn everything together. “His merch is so cool, he does posters and our album artwork; his lyrics and they all just kind of intermingle and it makes a concept as well. I mean we’re not a hugely conceptual band but you can definitely connect a lot of things up with ‘Oceanic’ and ‘Caldera’ especially with elements; ‘Oceanic’ being water, ‘Caldera’ being earth. We’re not an overly spiritual band either but a lot of thinking for yourself and believing in something and not reading into the media and stuff; we have that portrayed through a lot of our artwork and stuff, videos and lyrics”. The respect and admiration is abundantly clear.
The Auckland rock music scene sounds a lot like the British one, as in as far as the mainstream is concerned, rock is pretty much dead and nowhere to be seen, but the live music scene is different, as Kris explains. “The Auckland music scene, that we’re a part of, the biggest city in New Zealand, I feel like it’s going to explode, there are so many bands that are coming up that are hitting the wall trying to get onto mainstream radio, they’ve got everything else with them ready to go and they’re just trying to break through. There are so many bands like that that are just phenomenal. It sucks because they deserve to be everywhere, but maybe there’s a bit of a rock revolution coming! (Rock) is definitely not dead, it’s so varied and creative and awesome now, and we play with so many cool bands that aren’t exactly like us but are musically just amazing, it’s cool you can go to a gig now and have four diverse awesome bands that are all of the same calibre”.
As far as playing live themselves, Kris says, “We just try to gig as much as possible and try and keep our momentum continuously going. To be honest we don’t have any plan on stopping, gig-wise we just want to keep on going until we can’t”. To date, CORIDIAN have played in front of close to 1,000 capacity crowds with Devilskin, which was a dream for them, and also opened for P.O.D. and played The Power Station, their dream venue. They’ve also toured with Skinny Hobos and headlined their own shows all over New Zealand’s North Island. Next year the band plan to head to the South Island, but looking at playing further afield, outside of New Zealand, Kris says “It’s always been a dream, and it’s weird when you look at a dream becoming reality cos it actually gets really serious, but I think when we all signed up for this we all had the same idea that we were going to put 100% effort into it. I don’t know how and when, and we want to at least try and conquer New Zealand first up to a point but we will be trying our best to eventually. I mean, Australia’s just next door, UK and Europe would be amazing. Knowing we have a few contacts like DTF is always amazing…so we’d know we wouldn’t just be going to play to zero (people). It’s definitely what we want to do, we don’t know when but it’s just getting there. Global domination, yeah, gotta live the dream!”
Dity Maharaj - vocals
Mike Raven - guitars
Kris Raven - drums
Nick Raven - bass
Catch Coridian on tour with His Masters Voice - The Devil’s Blues here:-
Nov 2 - Tauranga, New Zealand
Nov 3 - Whangarei, New Zealand
Nov 17 - Auckland, New Zealand
Nov 30 - Hamilton, New Zealand
Dec 1 - Napier, New Zealand
Find out more about Coridian here:-
Official website: https://coridian.bandcamp.com/
Google music: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=coridian
Written By Claire Hill