It’s hard to get the word out when talking to Corey Feldman about his music. The 51-year-old star is best known for his roles in classic movies like the lost boys, support meand The Gooniesbut these days his focus is on his music career, and it’s clear he’s passionate about it.
His latest release is Love Left 2.1: Arm Me With Love box set, a collection of remixes and remasters of Feldman music released between 1986 and 1994, as well as more recent material. That’s about six discs of music bouncing from genre to genre; the social justice track “Rockin Revolution” sits alongside the funky “Perfect Woman”, the blues-tinged “Quit Ghostin’ Me”, the pop number “That Song” which Feldman wrote with his teenage son, and the hip-hop single ” Comeback King.” It may not be consistent, but it’s fun.
You can hear it in person if you head to the Marquee Theater tonight, Wednesday August 17, when Feldman kicks off his final tour in Tempe.
We spoke to Feldman before the show about music, movies and more. The interview has been edited for length and clarity because as we said he is a talker.
You said in an interview with American songwriter that music is your first love. What was your connection to music growing up?
This is perhaps a slight exaggeration. My first love is God, let’s start there. My second love is my child and my wife, sort of on an equal footing. And then my third love is music. We’ll go with that. As far as the arts are concerned, it’s my first love.
It was just what I gravitated towards because it was rich in my family. There was a lot of musicality from my father [Bob Feldman, of The Strangeloves] be in a group. All my childhood, he went from one group to another. He was always the bassist and usually the lead vocalist. So I got used to seeing him as the strong man in front of the stage with the mic.
There were always rehearsals. A battery in the middle of the living room or installed speakers and sound systems. I always remember playing and being on the field with other kids who were the kids of the other guys in the band. So it was that kind of home environment, probably more than most of my other lifetimes. The rest of my life was going to film sets and going to school and being bullied and all this other weird stuff that was going on.
And then my sister was also in the Mickey Mouse Club, so because she was in the Mickey Mouse Club, she was going to do shows every summer at Disneyland.
For me personally, my mom wanted me to get singing roles in auditions. A lot of people don’t realize this. They always say, “Oh, you were playing first,” but the truth is, it was quite the opposite. I was singing first and the way I got my job was my mom would bring me in and sing for my audition. At 3, you can’t read a script.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?
I could never actually do that because my music is so very, very, very diverse. It’s like this broad spectrum. Depending on which album, which era, which incarnation, you will have a different experience.
[On his solo work], you might have EDM in one song, you might have hip-hop in another. You can have R&B, rock, it’s all over the map, but you’ll notice they all tend to be in the pop vein – a rock-pop song or an R&B-pop song. It won’t be a crazy experimental jazz odyssey of 10 musicians.
With solo work, I always write a bunch of pop songs, but it turns out that when I start figuring out which ones I actually want to include on the album, I go right back to storytelling mode and put it in place like a piece and a flowing work that doesn’t just jump from song to song out of nowhere, but has flow and artistry. And that’s very old school of me, isn’t it? Because everyone is releasing singles these days. But for me, I still believe in storytelling, so I try to tell a story in every song that I write, and tell a bigger picture, a bigger story through the curve of the album.
What is your songwriting process?
Everyone is different in how I write it or approach it. Sometimes it’s an idea. Sometimes it’s an idea that stuck in my head, a concept that I want to talk about, or a story that I want to tell. Sometimes I hear the melody first, and sometimes I play the violin on an instrument and come up with a part.
A lot of people come to your shows to see Corey Feldman the actor. What do you think of the people who still care so much about your films?
It’s an honor that people even remember, and the fact that they’re still so special to people and live so deeply in people’s hearts and minds and memories, it’s humbling. . It really is. But having said that, I don’t feel like it was the pinnacle of my career. I feel like that was the first step in my career, the first step, and who knows where it goes from here? Hopefully up. But we just keep going out and doing the work every day.