Legendary Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover joined forces with Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob) one day, embarking on the ShipRocked cruise and deciding to form a new project, Sonic Universe. Moving forward, the two recruited bassist Booker King and drummer Taykwuan Jackson, and by Friday, May 10th, the debut album, It Is What It Is, arrived via earMUSIC. Metal Insider caught up with Glover to discuss the project’s formation, what listeners can expect from the new album, and more.

Can you share the story behind the formation of Sonic Universe?

I met Mike Orlando on the ShipRocked cruise, and we struck up a friendship. We made plans after this cruise to go meet up, and maybe do some writing. We got together, and we wrote, “I Am.” It went really, really well. And we decided, let’s keep going and see what happens. And the more we did it, the better it got. The more we wanted to maybe get a record deal and see what happens. And ipso facto, here we are.

Awesome. What metal and rock cruises can do.

Yeah. Sunshine and tropical waters would do a lot. Does a lot for your psyche.

Yes. How did the title, It Is What It Is, come to be for the title of the album?

We wrote the song “It Is What It Is” and it was a great title for a song. But the idea of, we are here and it’s a necessity to be here, if you’re going to be who you want to do something while you’re here. So, “It Is What It Is.”

I like that. You mentioned that “I Am” was the first song you actually wrote, and it’s I believe, the first single that was released. What was the overall creative process behind it?

Well, I came into Mike’s studio and he had this groove. He said, let’s figure out something with this. My idea was, in terms of the song itself, the body of the song is, it’s about people usually for the both of us, for Mike and myself. We are very underrated, I think. And despite that, we’re still here. And despite all the other factors, like we didn’t pack up and just say, oh, never mind, I’ll just do whatever, I’ll do something else. I’ll work for UPS. And we continued and it’s sort of a declarative statement that I Am here and I will not be ignored.

You know, it’s kind of ironic that you said how you’re underrated. And I will disclose I have a day job on top of this. And every time I talk to them about artists I’m about to interview, they have no idea who I’m talking about. And I actually mentioned you and they’re like, oh, I know who he is. And they’re like, enjoy speaking to a legend today. So you’re not fully underrated.

Well, you know, if someone were to say, name your favorite singer and you’d get Ronnie James Dio and you’d think of the classic rock singers. What about Corey? Oh, yeah. What about Corey? Oh yeah, Corey’s good too. So sort of like an afterthought to some people.

Well, I do know people who believe that you’re very legendary. So there’s that.

Okay. Well, good I appreciate it.

How would you describe, I guess, the musical style and influences for Sonic Universe?

Well, it’s sort of like the combination of what Mike Orlando does and what I do. So there’s a bit of, you know, Living Colour in there, and there’s a little bit of Adrenaline Mob in there and the two mixed together and something a little more funky, a little more groove oriented, a little more, I don’t know. Accessible, I think, in either, the things that we do on our own.

What certain approaches or themes did you want to touch base on within the new album?

I think this album, in terms of the lyrical content and the music content, it’s a little more personal. It’s more personal, sort of what’s going on in our lives as opposed to what’s happening around our lives. “Whisper To A Scream” is the disillusionment of one’s thoughts, higher is perseverance under pressure. you know, I’m trying to think of some of the other songs. Come What May is as it says, you know, despite anything that happens, you have to still continue. I think that’s one of the running themes there. Even higher is like you gotta take yourself, you always have to better yourself in some way, shape or form, trying to make things better than the last, last thing, last time you touched it, you know? So that’s an overall theme is like perseverance. You know.

That’s actually something we need to have right now with the current state of the world.

I agree, I agree.

Feels like it’s falling apart.

Yeah but it won’t. That’s the interesting thing. You know it’ll continue with or without you. It may not be better or maybe worse. It may be a lot less than what you had hoped it would be, but it will still continue one way or another. You have to figure out how to make it better while you’re here.

That’s very true. And, so for making the album, were there any particular challenges you guys went through?

Not any real challenges that we couldn’t overcome. You know, we were concerned like we did these things basically. Mike had done a lot of this music, and the demos were basically him putting these things together. And thinking of people we can add to the band to enhance these things. And so, you know, finding Booker (King) was a no brainer. Booker has played with me in my solo band several times, and he’s really an incredible bass player and understands the music better than anybody else I know. That was sort of a challenge. But we we overcame it very, very quickly. And finding a drummer Taykwuan (Jackson) is in a band called Sworn Enemy. I’m a big fan of Sworn Enemy, and a big fan of Taykwuan in general. And so that sort of solved itself. And it was good, you know, things just got things were just good. The challenges that we had were not insurmountable. They were able to get done.

Moving forward to the future. Do you guys have plans to record more new music?

Eventually we’ll get to some new music. I think we want to go out and play and see how that feels. First, we’re going to do radio shows next week, and we’re going to try to get out and play in the near future. It depends on our schedules. My schedule is pretty filled up right now. I’m basically working until, I would say, like the fall. So probably in the fall, we’ll probably go out and tour and see how that feels.

So now you say your schedule is busy. Is there anything that you can reveal with, your other projects or anything?

Well, I’ve we’re doing some spot dates over the next month or so. we’re playing in Rockville. We’re doing a couple festivals all over the country. Next month, in June, we’re doing more and in July we’re going to Europe. and August we start, we go back out with a stream and north. We’re basically going into Canada in August and September, and in October we’re going to South America, Living Colour is going to South America.

That is a very busy schedule.I just got exhausted listening to that.

You don’t have to live it so yeah. So we’re going to be working a lot.

Awesome. What message or emotions do you hope for the listeners to take from the album? I know we said perseverance are there any other takes you want people to get from it?

I would hope that they are, that they are moved to hear themselves in the music. That’s your goal, when you’re writing this kind of music, I think is to find yourself in there and to find something about yourself in there, I would hope. And that’s my biggest concern when I write music is how I can find my own personal sort of place in that music, but I’m hoping that whatever that place is can be universal.

You know, not everybody does that. Some people just write, you know, for whatever they feel and want without even caring for other people to even understand what they’re talking about. But yeah, so putting consideration for your listeners is amazing for anybody to fully understand it.

I know that to be true of some players like I played guitar and these are the things that meet. This is where my comfort zone is or this is what challenges me. And I’m trying to work through that sort of thing and that’s all well and good and somebody can sometimes find themselves in that. But if you’re actually looking for something that says something or even says something that you might not have thought of or got to some place that you might not have gone to, that’s also a factor in making these things work.

Is there anything else you want to say or add about the album?

It’s a good record. It’s a really good record. And, you can listen to the singles in the singles, can do whatever they like, they can make you feel good, whatever. But I suggest you listen to the whole record. The whole record is amazing to listen to, particularly listening to Mike Orlando in his playing. It’s amazing. And the production of this record is really, really good. Again, Mike Orlando is an amazing producer, and worthy of some accolades for that.