“It’s funny that people think I’ve played a lot this year already,” said West Hall Resident Director Corey Kundert. “To me, it feels like I haven’t played in a long time.”
Since the semester began, Kundert has performed for The Red Letter Festival and a night of music at The Old Factory. Those that have seen West Hall’s R.D. perform know he is also a singer/songwriter.
Kundert is known around Northwestern for his solo act, but everything he has done for the NW audience remains only a portion of a much fuller and distinctive experience.
“The things I’ve played here are really watered-down compared to their sound as part of a band,” Kundert said.
Back in Kundert’s home in Indiana, his collaborations with his brother and friends are truly the treasures in his musical experiences. Kundert started making drum sets out of Lil’ Caesar’s pizza boxes as a child. This led to his parents purchasing a drum set for him and his brother to share. For six years, Kundert shared the drum set with his brother, until he came into possession of his uncle’s guitar.
“It only had four strings, but from the moment I held it, I was glued to it,” Kundert said.
For the first year, Kundert stuck with the four-strings. This way he learned weird chord progressions and taught himself to make music from eerie but melodious sounds.
“The guitar was all I did,” Kundert said. “Every day, all day, that was it. I stuck to what I taught myself and from there developed my own unique style. I think teaching sometimes hinders such creativity.”
Kundert began playing with friends and writing songs in high school. He stuck with this same group through the years, going through a couple different band names and styles, but always playing with the same people. Kundert’s brother was the person to play with; the music they made together was some of his best.
“I’ve asked myself that a lot of times, and always it wasn’t the right time,” Kundert said, when asked if he would ever consider doing music full time. “I decided on school, a degree and a job. There’s always ‘what if,’ but God has given me peace and that I’m exactly where I need to be according to His plan.”
Music is Kundert’s way of connecting to God. Every time he plays before an audience, he blocks them out completely.
“A lot of things are going on during a performance,” Kundert said. “I recall the past, where God has taken me.”
“It’s not ‘radio’ music,” Kundert said, when asked to define the genre of his music. “It’s ‘not successful.’ Most people describe it as ‘post-rock/indie rock.’ I think ‘math rock’ defines it well. We always try to do different patterns; we never play the same thing twice.”
For Kundert, music isn’t about making a living, but about doing what he loves.