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Group Members: Kory Clarke
All Music Guide:
Kory Clarke wanted to be the Iggy Pop of the '90s. Through his band, Warrior Soul, the Detroit native concocted his own Stooges- and MC5-style blend of political activism and art rock tendencies, gave it a '90s spin, and tried to impart it upon Generation X (the kids, not the band), but they never listened.
Originally a drummer for a number of bands, including Detroit punks L7 (not the all-female L.A. band) and Pennsylvania Southern rockers Raging Slab, Kory Clarke promoted himself to stage front when he founded Warrior Soul with guitarist John Ricco, bassist Pete McLanahan, and drummer Paul Ferguson. Their first album, 1990's Last Decade Dead Century, was a critical sensation, especially in the U.K., where listeners readily embraced the band's political invective and insurrectionist rantings as the next big thing. But while Clarke certainly had the potential to become Generation X's leading mainstream-bashing poet, the metallic hard rock sound he chose as his vehicle ultimately lost out to Nirvana's nihilistic post-punk/alternative style.
Released in 1991, Drugs, God and the New Republic (featuring new drummer Mark Evans) took their anarchist leanings even further, but was significantly inferior on the songwriting front, and not even a nationwide support tour with Queensrÿche (with whom they shared management from the mighty Q Prime agency) helped further their cause. The following year's much improved Salutations from the Ghetto Nation fared no better, and Clarke's interviews became increasingly bitter, focusing on the band's record label, Geffen, whom he accused of ignoring the group's potential. Eventually, Clarke resorted to an all-out war, telling all who would listen that 1993's glaringly average Chill Pill had been botched on purpose in order to fulfill the band's contract. The ploy worked, and by early 1994 Warrior Soul were dropped by Geffen.
A number of lineup changes ensued, beginning with the departure of drummer Evans and the eventual ousting of longtime axeman Ricco, replaced by two guitarists: Chris Moffet and Alexander Arundel (aka X-Factor). Clarke then sought to reinvent Warrior Soul as self-appointed cyberpunks for their fifth album, 1995's Space Age Playboys, released on the independent Futurist label. Unfortunately, the buying public's continued indifference only served to confirm that the band's best days were behind it, and McLanahan and Arundel soon quit the group. Left with no one to blame but himself, Clarke finally disbanded Warrior Soul later that year. A posthumous collection of demos and outtakes entitled Odds and Ends was released in 1996, and Clarke went on to form a new band called Space Age Playboys.
In 2007 Clarke revived the name and, with a new batch of musicians, set out on a tour of the U.K. A live album soon followed, and in 2008 the band released a new studio album titled Chinese Democracy (though they soon retitled it Destroy the War Machine in deference to the Guns N' Roses album of the same name). The band continued to tour sporadically throughout the rest of the decade.
Warrior Soul is an American hard rock band formed by lead singer and producer Kory Clarke. Clarke started the band on a bet from a promoter at New York City's Pyramid Club, after a solo performance art show called "Kory Clarke/Warrior Soul". Clarke boasted he would have the best rock band in the city within six months. Nine months later he signed to Geffen Records for a million dollars.
Geffen directed Clarke to shed his hired band and get new players. Clarke insisted on keeping Pete McClanahan as his bass player, and recruited guitarist John Ricco and former Killing Joke drummer Paul Ferguson. The band began to play in New York City in 1987, releasing their debut album in 1990. By the time the band recorded their second album, Drugs, God and the New Republic, Ferguson had been replaced by drummer Mark Evans. The band toured the album heavily, including an opening slot on Queensrÿche's world tour (with whom they shared management in the Q Prime agency). After their third and fourth album release, the band left Geffen, and lineup changes ensued. Longtime guitarist John Ricco was ousted, replaced by two guitarists: Alexander Arundel (aka X-Factor) and Chris Moffet (former Cycle Sluts from Hell lead guitarist) Not long after, Mark Evans and Chris Moffet departed. At that time former Nuclear Assault/Cities/Cycle Sluts from Hell drummer Scott Duboys joined the band. The line-up of Clarke, Arundel, McClanahan and Duboys recorded 1995's The Space Age Playboys, and then added additional guitarist Peter Jay prior to touring the U.K and Europe extensively in support of the album, which despite being Lars Ulrich from Metallica's favorite album, did not take the band to the next level as most had imagined. While touring in support of their Space Age Playboys recording, Warrior Soul headlined the 1995 Kerrang! U.K. tour, as well as performing at the 1995 Dynamo Open Air festival, and also at the 1995 Donington Monsters of Rock concert.
After the performance of their last live show in September 1995, Arundel, Duboys, and longtime bassist McClanahan quit the band, leading in short order to Clarke's decision to retire the band later that year.
In 1996, Odds & Ends was released as a collection of demos recorded on an eight-track with Arundel, and leftover material that was originally intended for release on Elektra Records.
The "classic" lineup of Clarke, Ricco, McClanahan, and Evans would later reunite in the studio to re-record fifteen of the bands' songs, released on Spitfire records as Classics in 2001. All Warrior Soul albums were remastered and re-released on CD and MP3 in 2006 and 2009, including with bonus material (mostly live songs originally released as b-sides). The first three albums were also re-released on vinyl in 2009.
Clarke says many of their songs are politically based, such as "Blown Away", "Superpower Dreamland", "In Conclusion", and "Children of the Winter." Clarke describes the band's sound as "acid punk", particularly their The Space Age Playboys album.
Drummer Mark Evans was murdered in London, UK in 2005.
Clarke took two years off after the band's breakup and release of The Space Age Playboys, and moved back to New York, forming the short-lived band Space Age Playboys. In 2004, he released a solo album, Opium Hotel on Cargo Records. Soon after, Clarke was asked to join Dirty Rig as singer. He also co-produced their 2006 album Rock Did It. 2008 saw him join Chicago doom metal band Trouble on tour as lead singer and front man. Kerrang! magazine reviewed the show as KKKKK (5 Ks).
In the later 2000s, Kory launched a new lineup of Warrior Soul, with new members Janne Jarvis (bass) and Rille Lundell (guitar). The band initially toured smaller venues through Europe, but by 2008 were touring larger UK venues, with shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London, and the O2 Academy Glasgow. The band also toured the UK with thrash metal band The More I See and released a live album, Live in England. In March, 2010, the band released a new album, Destroy The War Machine. Originally released in 2009 as "Chinese Democracy" as a taunt to the continually delayed release of the Guns and Roses album, the title was changed to avoid legal problems. In 2012, another new lineup released the studio album Stiff Middle Finger coproduced by Sue Gere and Kory Clarke, with Lundell still on guitar but joined by "Johnny H" and Xevi "Strings" Abellán, Danny Engstrom and Sue Gere on bass and drums by Freddie Cocker Kvarnebrink. Former band member John Ricco makes a guest appearance on guitar, as does The Mission guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite. The band embarked on a month-long European tour in November 2012, followed by a brief tour through the Eastern United States in December. As of 2013, Clarke lives in Berlin, Germany.Allmusic.com Warrior Soul entry http://www.allmusic.com/artist/warrior-soul-mn0000243197 Allmusic.com Warrior Soul entry http://www.allmusic.com/artist/warrior-soul-mn0000243197 Interview with Kory Clarke Warrior Soul drummer is murdered Report on Mark Evans's murder