Entertainment

Seattle investor who worked — and rocked — with Paul Allen goes viral with his cover of a grunge hit

Steve Corridor thinks Paul Allen would have gotten a kick out of his viral music sensation.

Hall, a longtime enterprise capitalist who has worked on the late Microsoft co-founder’s Vulcan Capital for greater than 18 years, spent a lot of time speaking about music and geeking out over guitars with his outdated boss. The 2 even jammed collectively.

And now Corridor has stepped into his personal Seattle music highlight of kinds, releasing a one-man cover (beneath) of the 1991 grunge basic “Hunger Strike,” by Temple of the Canine, the supergroup made up of members of Soundgarden and what would turn into Pearl Jam.

“I feel [Allen] was fairly stunned because it was, the primary time I sat in his workplace and began enjoying on one of his guitars,” Corridor mentioned. “I might have proven this to him and he would have chuckled and had a chortle and hopefully he would have preferred it as nicely. It will have been a enjoyable second.”

An completed guitarist for a lot of his life, enjoying in rock bands in highschool and school, it wasn’t till a couple years in the past that Corridor’s spouse prompt he get some voice classes. Through the pandemic, he has gotten extra snug exercising that voice, singing songs throughout socially distanced yard gatherings and in a few movies posted to his private social channels.

He waded into some deep vocal waters with “Starvation Strike,” taking up the singing components of frontmen Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder — in addition to enjoying 4 devices by himself. However the outcomes are spectacular, and the web is responding.

The tune and video he recorded in his Bainbridge Island, Wash., basement studio and combined over Zoom with his producer/musician youthful brother, has over 450,000 views and 20,000 likes in 5 days on Facebook. Now Corridor has uploaded the video to YouTube to strive his viral luck over there.

Corridor, who moved west in 2002, wasn’t even in Seattle through the grunge hype that modified the town’s musical trajectory.

“I might like to say I used to be right here when all of it occurred, but it surely couldn’t be farther from the reality,” he instructed GeekWire. “I grew up in South Carolina, so I used to be in school when Pearl Jam and Soundgarden broke out, and Temple of the Canine at the moment.”

However Corridor has a nice understanding of the bands and personalities that outlined the late Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties period, together with Inexperienced River, Mom Love Bone, Andrew Wooden, Mookie Blaylock, Vedder, Cornell and extra. And he is aware of how Temple of the Canine shaped earlier than Pearl Jam had even launched its debut album, “Ten.”

“It’s all fascinating. I simply love the historical past of all of it,” he mentioned.

And he’s related to a completely different half of Seattle’s musical historical past by the connection he cast with Allen, the billionaire tech titan and philanthropist who had a love for Jimi Hendrix and rock music that outlined a massive half of his passions away from tech.

Corridor, who was managing director of Vulcan Inc’s funding arm till stepping again to be a enterprise associate in 2017, worked intently with Allen up till Allen’s demise in 2018, and he nonetheless serves on the boards of the Allen Institute and Allen Institute for AI (AI2). Corridor and Allen talked about music on a regular basis, and once they performed collectively every so often (beneath), Allen was clearly impressed by the VC’s guitar abilities.

The boss knows how to throw a party….#vanhalen #paulgallen #mcswainguitars

A publish shared by Steve Hall (@hallsteve) on Dec 22, 2016 at 4:31pm PST

The 2 would usually nerd out on gear and the technical facet of issues, and Corridor joked that Allen’s guitar assortment was a bit larger and extra legendary than his personal.

“I might say earlier than we ever received all the way down to enterprise on most conferences, we usually began by catching up on what was the most recent tune he was studying, who’s the most recent band he’s into,” Corridor mentioned. “He was a lifelong learner throughout an extremely big selection of domains, which was fairly inspiring, however notably in guitar, each time I talked to him, he was pushing himself to get higher.”

Corridor determined to tackle “Starvation Strike” for a couple of causes.

He was drawn to what he referred to as the poetic and prophetic manner the tune’s lyrics paint a image of some of society’s inequities — inequities that proceed at this time and got here into stark focus throughout protests this summer time. He was impressed by the group and philanthropic management the musicians he was masking have all the time proven, and within the video’s YouTube description Corridor lists a number of organizations he has donated to, encouraging listeners to do the identical.

He additionally wished to show that the voice classes have been paying off — so why not dive into the high-octave vary of Cornell and the basic baritone of Vedder in a single tune? The unique model (beneath) has 72 million views on YouTube and was an MTV staple through the early ’90s.

“Singing continues to be pretty new to me,” Corridor mentioned. “I’ve been very self aware about, ‘Do I’ve the chops to do it? Does this sound OK?’”

When he performed a couple chords and sang the tune round a fireplace in his yard, pals instructed him it appeared preferred a good match, and he ran with that as validation to pursue a self recording.

Borrowing from the work ethic that he dropped at his profession as an investor — studying the whole lot he may about one thing and obsessing about discovering the correct solutions — Corridor purchased a new digicam and spent hours on YouTube studying easy methods to use it. He taught himself easy methods to use Ultimate Lower enhancing software program the identical manner. And whereas he may handle the guitar and bass components in his sleep, he calls himself a bit of a “hack drummer,” so he spent a whole lot of time practising and enjoying the tune’s drum half.

He recorded the periods about a month in the past, utilizing Logic Professional over the course of about 4 days, utilizing his digicam on a tripod and calling in his 13-year-old son for some close-up angles. Then he hopped on Zoom with his youthful brother, Les Corridor, an completed musician, producer and composer who owns a studio in Atlanta.

Zoom might be a little wonky with the audio,” Corridor mentioned, in order that they used it for video and relied on a zero-latency stay stream to work collectively on the geekier nuts and bolts of mixing and sprucing the tune.

Corridor’s first time singing for anybody was when he shared an iPhone video of himself doing an Elton John tune — a development that appeared to be catching on as individuals have been in search of methods to attach and share some comforting content material through the pandemic. He deliberate to simply publish the completed “Starvation Strike” video to his personal Fb web page, the place he figured not more than 500 pals would see it.

“By the point we have been accomplished, we felt like … excuse my language, ‘That is fairly f—ing good,” Corridor mentioned, and they determined to strive for extra views.

They shared the video on his brother’s studio web page and it took off, and now they’ll wait to see whether or not it does the identical on YouTube. The response has been uplifting, and Corridor — after taking up two iconic voices in a single tune — says he’ll need to see about whether or not he can pull off one other one-man present.

“It would take a whereas for me to return up with one thing that’s worthy of placing again on the market,” he mentioned. “At a minimal, what I simply get pleasure from is enjoying music. That’s the half that I get to do a little bit each evening, even when it’s simply with my children sitting round or for myself. That’s the true enjoyable of it.”

Replace, Wednesday, Oct. 7:

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready — who performed with Temple of the Canine — noticed Corridor’s video and tweeted his approval:

Properly accomplished Steve Corridor! Nice model of Starvation Strike. @geekwire @kslosh https://t.co/qlsp4W5hYe

— Mike McCready (@MikeMcCreadyPJ) October 7, 2020

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