The New Schematics‘ Cory Bishop wrote his first song at age 11. “It’s on the EP. Just kidding. My dad got me hooked on good music, he was DJ in college. He and my mom met over their shared love of Bob Dylan, and he introduced me to Bright Eyes, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Dylan, and Springsteen. When I was a kid, he handed me a piece of paper, on it he’d typed the first verse of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” off of Highway 61 Revisited by Dylan, and he said ‘this is how you write a song.’ I put the verse on the desk in my bedroom; I’ve spent my time trying to incorporate images and interesting adjectives into my writing to tell a story like that, something that’s specific in detail but that’s so universal.”
Bishop began his music career as an Americana/folk solo project; he quit music again and again, until the troubles of life would bring him back to what he knew best. A chance meeting with fellow writer Michael Bare at a Christmas party a few years ago led to a bromance of epic proportions, and the two began writing together; the pair emerged with a new sound, a new look, and a new name, The New Schematics, which includes a regular cast of fantastic musicians, John Briggs, Ayrton Gauerke, Eric Montgomery, and Andrew Bergthold, who play with them here in town. What’s different this time? “I have vision now. I didn’t before,” says Bishop, who even sold his car to buy the 1994 Ford luxury van the band tours in, which they christened “The Ship,” because, well, it looks like a ship. The Ship plays VHS tapes, has a SuperNintendo, and mood lighting. “We’ve even written music in The Ship. It’s become a big part of our identity as a band,” confesses Bishop.
Part of the vision also includes allowing fans to vote via The New Schematics’ social media for different movies on VHS that the band will play on old TV/VCR combos in the background during each show. “Everyone’s going to be looking at a screen of some kind, so we decided to give them a screen to look at,” Bishop says. “We’re not going to try to compete with your screen, we’re going to give you a screen, and we get to brand that screen, and you’re going to want to look at it, or you’re going to take your screen out and take pictures of it. It’s all about creating an experience; you could go to ten different shows and see ten different bands tonight in Nashville. We want our audience to remember us over the nine other bands. All the little things, the production elements, what’s on the stage, what we’re wearing, everything, it comes together, and you might not be able to pinpoint what it is, but you’ll walk away remembering it. “
The band has been busy putting out music videos and singles, prepping for a tour after the release of their debut EP due out on October 2nd, and chipping away at a full-length album. Bishop says, “We want to inspire people around us to pursue their passions with their full hearts, energy, everything they have, do it to the best of their abilities, whatever that may be. That’s the success story. Inspiring people to do what they love; when people are happier, it makes the world a much better place. When you see me fanning the flame of my passion, you’re going to want to do what you do best to the best of your ability. That’s what the songs on the EP are about, essentially.”