Interview // Copeland – November 19th 2004

Guillaume: First question is quite standard… are old are you guys and what did you guys do before doing Copeland ?

Copeland : We’re 23, 24, 25 and 27. We’re all have been involved in other bands before, nothing too notable. We’ve been playing music and working job and going to school on the side. I was doing furnitures, going to school and doing a band. James was working retail and done graphic design and went to school and playing little bands. John was delivering pizzas and selling insurances and playing bands too. So as you see, we were playing bands and working dead-end jobs.

G : how does a band who grows up listening to, as mentioned in your website, Steevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Phil Collins comes up with a music that is quite different ? Where do you take your inspirations in these to come up with your own stuff ?

C : I think our music isn’t that far derived from our influences. I think we the basic structure and melodies can reflect our influences. Also, whatever comes out is what come out and we try to write the best songs we can. Growing up we were listening a lot to this kind of music… real melodic and I think that’s the underline influence in our music.

G : Right now you’re touring with Sparta, a band formed from ex-At the Drive In. When you’re doing these tours with people who come up from a more “hard style” kind of music, do you learn something out these kind of meetings or is it like just any other bands.

C : I definitely think that we take something out of this kind of relationship. Especially since it’s all live. Touring is so based on live performance and a lot of these performance things rubs off on each other. By example, by touring with professional bands, we, our turn, learned to be more professional. We grown as performers just by watching other greats performers and spending time around these people. I wouldn’t say that they influenced us musically that much, as opposed to the performance aspect

G : My last question. Let’s say tomorrow you were given the power to change one thing in the music industry… what would it be and why ?

C : You can say change the President.

G : If he does music I think we could count that !

C : That’s a good question. [pause] I’d like to change how in the industry everything is so based around money. Like what gets played on the radio or on MTV as nothing to do with how many people like the bands. It doesn’t have to do with what the song sounds like or how well written music is. It has to do with how much money was paid to whoever playing it. I would love for it to be more about music and less about the industry.

Beside of that, it would be to not have snow during the touring in the winter.

G : Have you ever had bad things happening due to snow

C : We had a dozen of cancelled shows due to snows and a several accidents. Winter touring is always stressful and exhausting. We’re always cold and terrified of sliding off the road.

G : We have some other questions. What do you think about music on the internet : does it help music or does it do damage ?

C : I think internet music helped immensely the little guys and it hurting the big Justin Timberlakes and Britneys and the Aerosmiths. It made it more of an even playing field for everyone.

I really think that the music industry has a big problem with the fact that they don’t know how to charge people for music right now. People still want music. In fact, the Internet has probably increased people’s desire for music by learning of these new bands and new styles of music. I think that it’s great for music, but bad for the industry, which is going back to what we said earlier about the money and industry.

I’m all for the internet. I definitely think that the artists need to be supported and if you download something (and like it) you should go buy it or go see the band and buy a shirt. I think people do that, I think people like to support their artists.

I think that music industry needs to be careful. Right now, the generation of youngest music listeners, the 14-15 years old, they’ve never even known what it’s like to have to actually buy music. When I was growing up, when you wanted to hear something, you had to go buy the tape (or the CD) and now they only need to click and they don’t have to pay for anything. The concept of paying for music isn’t really instilled in the youngest generation. When the music industry will figure how will people pay for music, I think it’s going to be great. It kinds of unlimited possibilities, as far as the artists are concerned.

G : Who is the band you had more fun touring with ?

C : I think the first one would be “Matashiwa”.They used to be from California but they broke up a couple of months ago, they were with Tooth and Nails. It was the first band that we did a US tour with. Since then we are quite close friends.

We also like to tour with Switchfoot. We played with them in Montreal, they were really fun to tour with. The band Mae, also, from Virginia. Since we toured with so many bands, it’s a bit hard to pick but Matashiwa is a sure one

G : For our last (real one this time) question, could you tell us one thing you hate and one thing you like about Montreal.

C : I love the aesthetics of the city, it looks really beautiful with the cobberstone roads and all the special area in the downtown area. The most obvious is the langage barrier, since we don’t speak a lick of French. This would be the most negative, but even though, we’re easily understood in English. The diversity in the city is also interesting is really cool, mainly compared to the south.

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