Cory Oliver lives in Pacific Beach and attends High Tech High Media Arts in Point Loma. He is 16 and plays guitar in Oden’s Fist, a band he formed with school friends a few months ago. They are a metal band and have thus far played at a few school functions.

Oliver owns an iPod Touch. “I definitely listen to it every day. I listen for about 15 minutes in the morning on my way to school and then again after school. They cost about $200.” His is an eight-gig model. “It doesn’t have a camera or phone capability.” He says he has owned it since December. “I painted my grandma’s fence. I got $300 bucks for that. I said, ‘I’m gonna have to buy myself a new iPod.’ ”

Oliver demonstrates how it works. “Here’s the album that’s currently playing.” He points to the video display, which is currently displaying a picture of an album cover. “You flip it sideways [as he does, the album art animates as if the album cover is opening], and you can see all the track listings.”

He has previously owned an iPod Nano and a Zune. Of the Zune, he says that it “wasn’t really user friendly.”

Downloads? “I actually buy them as opposed to pirating them like everybody else. I don’t pirate because as a musician and an artist, I believe in artist integrity. You can download someone’s music for free, but where would that get both of you?”

It gets you free music, I say.

“Yes, it gets you free music, but there are inherent risks, like, people could attach viruses to songs that can screw up your computer. And usually you won’t get the best sound quality as if you were downloading from the source.”

Preferences? “I listen to a lot of stuff,” Oliver writes in an email, “a lot of metal (power metal, nu-metal, alternative, grunge, hardcore, industrial, metalcore), techno, trance, electro, ambient, EBM, trip-hop, power noise, rock, screamo, emo — those are the terms, I guess. A lot of stuff.”

Oliver later tells me that his favorite genre is metalcore. “It’s a mix of hardcore metal, but there’s a lot more rhythm and a lot more harmonics.” I ask for the names of some of his favorite bands. “All That Remains, August Burns Red, Parkway Drive. One of the most prominent things about metalcore songs is their lyrics. Their songs tell stories, and their lyrics have meaning. Not like old metal. How metal started out, how it used to be in the ’80s and ’90s, was, like, soundtracks for B-grade slasher films — not that I minded it. But metalcore has a way more set tempo.”

Oliver says he found metalcore in the tenth grade. “I was 15. My friend Justin got me into strictly hardcore bands. I thought, ‘This is really cool. If I had to listen to just one genre for the rest of my life, this is the music I would listen to.’”

I ask if his life would be harder without the iPod. “To be honest, I could live without it. I didn’t really learn about this stuff until I got older, so I haven’t exactly based my life around it. I asked my friend that same question — ‘If you didn’t have your iPod, what would you do?’ She said it’d be the end of the world. I said, ‘It’s just an iPod.’

“Music is my life. I don’t think I could live without that, but I could live without my iPod. I know people who listen 24-7. They never take their earbuds out.”

Top Ten on Cory Oliver’s iPod Touch:

1. All That Remains, “We Stand”

2. August Burns Red, “Composure”

3. Parkway Drive, “Romance Is Dead”

4. Skillet, “Whispers in the Dark”

5. Sabrepulse, “Horizons” (remix)

6. Funeral for a Friend, “Walk Away”

7. Lostprophets, “Rooftops”

8. 2Times Terror, “Forever Mine”

9. The Juke Bottle Casino, “Shadow Hop”

10. Aphex Twin, “Avril 14th”

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Comments

Zatrox May 14, 2008 @ 7:53 p.m.

i think cory oliver is a pretty cool guy. eh legally purchases music and doesnt afraid of anything

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