Interview: Kopek

I had the chance to sit down with Irish rockers Kopek before playing their first Toronto show at the Horseshoe Tavern. After releasing White Collar Lies, their first full-length, they’ve been touring non-stop. Toronto happened to be their last North American stop, at least for the time being.

The band started nearly a decade ago when neighbours Brad Kinsella (bass) and Shane Cooney (drummer) placed an ad for a singer. It was Daniel Jordan who answered the ad and the rest is history. Kinsella then says, “It’s crazy, you know. Those ads, those personal ads, they actually do work. It’s an amazing thing.”

Although this is their first major release, the band has been quite active in the years since their inception. Kinsella says, “We’ve done a lot of independent releases ourselves in Ireland and we had some good success with that, just kind of doing our own thing independently. We never just stuck to America, even when we were paying out of our own pocket. We always kinda took trips to America; we ended up getting to Russia and all kinds of crazy places just seeing what was going to happen. It’s been an adventure, to say the least. We finally got signed and here we are with this album. It’s been a trip.”

The band has been gaining attention and building a fanbase by doing “a hell of a lot of touring,” according to Jordan.

Their live show, as described by Kinsella, is about pure rock and roll. “Just from looking around and seeing the bands that we’ve been playing with around the world, we’re kind of bringing it back to the roots, as in we don’t use computers, we have a drummer who can keep time, we don’t use any backing effects. What you see is what you get and we give it. We concentrate on energy and a tight performance and basically just bringing it back to the way it should be, bringing it back to the most basic form or rock and roll and just blowing people’s head’s off with that. That’s what we hope to do.”

Cooney describes their songwriting process. “Come up with an idea or a riff. It can come from anywhere, the name of a song. It just has to be something and then we bring to the studio and then we all work on it… We try to get the perfect song that no one writer can come up with.”

Jordan adds, “It can happen in different ways, but I’d say the one thing that’s similar is that the 3 of us is involved and show each other songs. It’s more people to bounce ideas off of as well. We produced the record with our label as well, so it’s something that’s really important to us.”

Kinsella builds on this by saying, “We’re very hands on. We took it from the ground up, from nothing, right till the end. We got it mixed and got it back the way we wanted it.”

Cooney describes their album as “sex, drugs and rock and roll with 20% politics.”

Kinsella adds, “It’s even the sound, the stuff that we listen to, the stuff we like, the real stuff. It’s a homage to that, really.”
With a heavy touring schedule since their release, the band has been to many places. Jokingly, Jordan claims that Toronto is a favourite. This is before the band had even played.

Cooney then says, “Everywhere has it’s own little story.”

As far as what the fellas have coming up, Kinsella says, “We’re about to release in Europe, so we’re gonna go and get our asses kicked over there for a while. And then it looks like we’re gonna be back over here again. We’re going back over to America and start the fun bus again.”

Jordan adds, “If the song stays in the charts like it has done, we’re going to have to back over here pretty soon. The song has been in the top 10 in the rock charts for, I think, 10 or 11 weeks now. That’s the reason why we’re here. Get it to number one and we’ll be back here before Christmas.”

Kinsella jokes, “Hell, we’ll move here.”

When I ask the band about a good drinking story, Kinsella says, “A good drinking story you don’t remember or you’re not allowed to talk about.”

The guys then joke about being Irish and that they’ve got too many drinking stories. I decide I’ll hold out for a drinking story from their Toronto.

As for a shot of choice, Kinsella says, “Tequila and whiskey mixed together. Absolutely disgusting, but it does the job.”

Kopek went on to play to a fairly sparse crowd at the Horseshoe, but those in attendance did get quite the rock and roll show. Hopefully we’ll see these fellas back in Toronto soon.


Categories: Interviews


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