Cope (Band Interview)

Today we chat to Mickey, the drummer -and second half- of Cope.

Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?

Tyson and I have played together in a few different bands over the last 8 years. A two-piece was something we always talked about but it finally came to be during a period of downtime from our other projects. It was nice because we play different roles in other bands and there is often a principal songwriter in those situations, but this is our first full on collaboration. It also brings us back to our main instruments, Tyson on guitar and me playing drums.

What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?

Tyson is a self-taught musician, playing guitar and bass since he was a teenager. I started drum lessons at a local music store when I was 10 but moved over to private training from 12-19.

So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)

Our debut self-titled EP is a taste of our live show. Side A is our first two songs of our set list and Side B is last. They were also the first 3 songs we wrote and give a pretty strong representation of what our other material sounds like.

How did you go about making it?

We’re lucky because we have a fully functioning studio at our practice space. We brought in our friends/engineers Chris Lipinski and Quint Viskup to help us set up and get things going. The actual recoding process was quite organic because we record live off the floor which helps to represent our live show. It also allows for natural push and pull of the track as we play.

Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?

That a two-piece band is way easier to be productive in. Because of our history of playing together it makes writing as simple as jamming on an idea, whether it is a drum beat, guitar riff, or simply a lyric. We also don’t box ourselves in — if a song sounds shoegazey and spacey it will go there, or if another song sounds more punk-rock then we go with it. We are very much a jam band at heart.

What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?

Tyson: 2000s Gibson SG with McNelly Pickups, 1978 Peavey MK III Standard, Glacier Amplification 1×10 (Celestion Greenback)

Mickey: 2009 Gretsch New Classic Bop Kit, 14″ Meinl Dark Hats, 16″ Zildjian K Dark Crash, 21″ Zildjian K Dry Aged Ride, Vic Firth 5A and Vic Firth Steve Gadd Signatures.

Let’s have a few general questions now.

What do you see as a musicians role in society? 

Music is such a huge part of people’s daily lives and I think that makes musicians the connectors. Musicians bring people together and bring emotions out in people.

How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? Anything unique to your country? 

We live in Lethbridge, a small city in Southern Alberta, about an hour north of Montana. We are lucky because we have both a University and College in a city of 100,000 people meaning arts students really make up a large portion of our scene. Our arts scene may be small but it is very tight knit and very supportive. We are in a southern pocket and out of the way of most touring acts unless they are country and can fill the hockey arena. What makes the Lethbridge music scene so different is that it may be small, but it is mighty.

Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?

I think the now “on-demand” nature of music videos because of Youtube has been great for artists and consumers. The notion of sitting down at night to watch MuchMusic and watch music videos doesn’t exist anymore because of the shift of music television to reality television. The freedom of the internet also does allow for creative content with less restriction to flourish, which I think makes music videos even more viable and even more exciting because of the way people experience media today.  

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Streaming would be worth it for independent artists.

Any advice for new bands?

Play outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to fuck up.

Anything you’d like to tell our readers? 

Shameless Plug! Go HERE and have a listen!

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