Breakout Country Rock Artist Cory Marks Talks New EP “I Rise” + More

Kat Harlton

With over 140 million global streams and a top 10 Rock Radio hit under his belt, Canada’s breakout country rock artist Cory Marks has released his new EP I Rise on November 11 via Better Noise Music and all streaming platforms. 

I Rise was inspired by the time Cory spent in training to complete his pilot’s license and the determination, patience and drive it takes to achieve such a goal. With powerful, anthemic tracks like “Burn It Up”, which has already eclipsed 100K streams, and the uplifting positivity on “Hold On”, there is something on the EP for every rock lover. 

A satisfying dose of rock and country music, one could compare Cory’s sound to blending together iconic acts like Merle Haggard and Rush, resulting in an unmistakable textured voice that harnesses your ears. 

A man of many talents not only does Cory create foot-stomping music, he recently made his acting debut as a bartender in the successful horror-thriller film The Retaliators (2021). The film’s soundtrack also features two of Cory’s songs, “Burn It Up” and “Blame It On The Double”. Just in time for Halloween, this past week marks the North American VOD release of The Retaliators, with the film available now everywhere you rent or buy movies, including iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Comcast and Verizon. 

From his hometown of North Bay, Ontario, Cory made the effortless transition to country rock with the breakout track “Outlaws and Outsiders”. The song features legendary artists Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Travis Tritt and Ivan Moody (Five Finger Death Punch). In 2019, Billboard deemed the top 10 Rock Radio single “Outlaws and Outsiders” the “hit that couldn’t be confined”. 

Breaking the mold comes easy to Cory, with an originality and eagerness to show the world what he’s got is infectious. Next month, he will be touring arenas across the US in support of this EP with Brantley Gilbert and Five Finger Death Punch to bring this album to new heights. For a full list of tour dates, visit

I had the opportunity to chat with Cory about his EP “I Rise”, career highlights, his upcoming tour and what’s next.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new EP I Rise? How long has this project been in the works?

Cory: The inspiration behind this ep was to really bring out that rock and live energy out of me and challenge myself vocally at the same time. Kevin Churko, Kane Churko, and I have been working on this ep throughout the pandemic and starting writing it in January of 2021.

We wanted to give the listeners something different with more edge, but also give them hope, strength, and ability to see light at the end of the tunnel pulling you through and above the pandemic.

Kat: There are some really thoughtful lyrics throughout the EP. What do you hope fans take away after listening?

Cory: What I hope fans take away from this EP is strength, passion, and drive. with songs like “Hold On.” I hope they feel the strength to keep pushing through whatever they need to, and moving forward. “Burn It Up” is relevant to the drive and energy to go out and chase your dreams. “Flying” is a message to be passionate about something and do something you love doing in life, that makes you feel free like flying does for me. “I Rise” is an anthem to get up and brush yourself off when you get knocked down…get back up and keep going, stay the course.

Kat: There’s also a cover of Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner” on the EP. What made you choose this track, apart from the flight-related theme?

Cory: When my producer Kevin sent me the idea of a cover song. Not only did I love the concept and the song based on the title and, of course, hearing it on radio all my life…and cranking it, but after reading the lyrics, I loved just how much it relates to my life, or any artists/musicians life for that matter. And being a pilot myself, it was really a two birds with one stone scenario on this one – it all fit perfectly…topped with a little Churko spice, of course!

Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?

Cory: A career highlight for me started with the success of “outlaws & outsiders”. The song going top 10 at us rock radio, making me the first ever Canadian country artist to achieve that, and then song going gold in Canada – was amazing! The featured artists on the song – Ivan Moody, Mick Mars, and Travis Tritt, have become life-long friends, and the fact that the song continues to grow and connect with people globally is a huge highlight for me. My album ‘who i am’ has accumulated well over 100 million global streams with next to no touring… there are so many high-points and so much that I’m thankful for. The people i’ve met, the friends and fans i’ve made and the 100’s of different countries that are listening to my music…you learn something in every step you take in life and especially in this business.

Kat: You’re embarking on an arena tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Brantley Gilbert! Is there a song in your repertoire that is your favourite to perform live?

Cory: I am beyond excited to finally tour the USA and on a tour like this…it makes the experience that much more special. I’m really excited to rock these arenas, but I think I’m most anxious to see and hear the crowd’s reaction to the show and music at every stop, and on every stage!
Facebook: /corymarksmusic
Instagram: @corymarksmusic
Twitter: @corymarksmusic

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