Shane Cooney of Kopek
Irish rock trio Kopek (Daniel Jordan on vocals and guitar, Shane Cooney on drums and Brad Kinsella on bass) are set to drop their US debut release White Collar Lies on March 1st. The album, inspired by their take on modern societal views is a rock and roll gem that is sure to please rock purists around the globe.
The band is use to making fans the old fashioned way; getting out there and rocking their faces off! Currently out on the road and about to wrap up a six week jaunt with Hinder and Saving Abel the band will follow that up by heading out with Cold and Egypt Central that will take them through the end of April .
We recently caught up with the band to talk to them about the new album, their roots, and how America is treating them!
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette
Shane and Brad, you grew up together and were really influenced by a lot of classic rock, can you talk about those early years and what made you decide to become musicians at such young ages?
We started getting sucked in to rock n roll at an early age when the likes of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins came out. Those bands made us want to pick up and play an instrument and join a rock band. Then as we got deeper into the rock n roll rabbit hole we discovered all the classics of rock – The Stones, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin. We also knew that working an office job just wasn’t the life we wanted to live and rock n roll seemed like the only option for three broke, ass working class Irish boys.
Can you tell us a little bit about the musical climate growing up in Ireland? Was it an uphill battle?
Uphill battle, Yes! But I am sure it’s the same in every country! Millions of unknown bands out there are trying to get their name out and doing whatever it takes. Dublin isn’t really a music industry town, so most bands in Ireland pick up and move to the U.S or the U.K. It’s kinda sad really.
Your debut album, White Collar Lies, was said to be inspired by your societal world view, can you tell us a little bit more about that and how it influenced you?
Our view of the world is the same as everybody else’s. It’s all there in front of you but what’s important is what you make of it. Sometimes you see some pretty crazy shit and you have an opinion about it. Some people want to do something and act any way they can; we write songs about it. It’s the doers who are the real rock and roll stars of the 21st century. We’re just three Irish guys who don’t particularly want to write love songs. Overall the record is a sex, drugs & rock and roll record. From “Fever” to “Bring It On Home” … it’s all there. You won’t catch any of us running for mayor or anything like that. Maybe if we got drunk enough!
One of your rally cries during the production of White Collar Lies was “all killer, no filler” – can you tell us what that meant to you and do you feel it’s felt throughout the final results of the album?
Our mission statement for White Collar Lies was clear to us from the start. We said we wanted to make an album that was solid from start to finish. We found a lot of new rock albums only have around three good tracks and the rest would be filler garbage. As music buyers and music lovers ourselves we think this is total bullshit. Cash ain’t as easy to come by as it used to be and if someone decides go buy your album you’d better really put your heart and soul into each and every song and not just concentrate on radio singles. I believe we have reached our goal but I guess it’s really for the people out there to decide!
In listening to the album overall – your songwriting seems to be wise beyond your years. What was the writing process like for you?
From Coca-Cola to the sauce on a Big Nac, the special ingredients are never disclosed! Actually we don’t feel all that special – we simply jam , jam again, talk, jam, jam again, then talk some more. We keep repeating this process and eventually we get something we are happy with.
What do you feel the advantages are to being a 3-piece band as opposed to the more traditional four piece?
Well, you spilt profit (if any) 3 ways instead of 4 ha! In fact we paid our dues being a three piece. For the time we were unsigned it would cost us more individually for studio time so costs also get split three ways.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to thank you for writing “Love Is Dead” – I couldn’t have said it better myself! Can you tell us a little bit about the making of that song and how it all came together?
The backbeat/groove came first and Dan just started doing his thing, wailing over it, feeling the groove. Then really it was like lightning, something happened. We heard something great, then stopped, talked (a small bit of fighting), then five minutes later “Love Is Dead” was born. The best ones always come the quickest!
The first single is “Cocaine Chest Pains” and is a ridiculously catchy rocker – can you tell us a little bit about the song and what it means to you?
Cocaine is intended as a metaphor. On the one hand, back home we got to witness an epidemic take off of the actual drug because it suddenly became affordable to the poorer working class but while we were writing this song we realized that there are so many different addictions around us. Most people have an addiction and it doesn’t take an illegal substance to have one. Think obviously alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs etc, but also coffee, Internet , tv some people are even addicted to work. This is when we realized the bands addiction is music, it’s all we ever seemed to do and definitely cannot live without so … gimme my cocaine!
Do you feel that there’s one song on the album that most defines your sound?
Not really. Honestly the very second Dan starts singing, is what defines our sound, as well as Brad’s bass sound and style. The second I hear it I know it’s a Kopek record, and I try my best to do it with my drumming. We stand behind each and every song on this record and say it’s our defined sound.
When people listen to your album for the first time, what do you want them to take away from it?
Two tee shirts and a hoodie from the merch stand to pay for gas! Ha! We simply want people to enjoy our music the way we do…..and so far the response has been incredible here in America. We feel really blessed.
You’re currently out on tour with a bunch of bands that rock quite hard (Hinder & Saving Abel)– what have you taken away from the tour so far?
We’ve learned a lot and still are learning, to be honest…..to be on a tour with Hinder, Saving Abel, My Darkest Days is really mind blowing to us. All the stuff that’s going on ON Stage and OFF stage is just great to watch.
How have the American audiences been treating you?
American audiences have been unbelievably supportive. We’re an old school rock and roll band. We plug in and play. It’s very simple, we let our souls channel our instruments and we play what we love to play. In a country where Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and countless great shows dominate the airwaves and internet streams, for a straight up rock band to even to get noticed is a blessing.
We always like to ask new bands to describe their band mates – in three words or less – to help us get to know you a little better!
Brad… Drunkest … LOL!
Catch Kopek on Tour:
With Hinder, My Darkest Days and Saving Abel:
2/23 Canary Ballroom Nashville, TN
2/25 The Country Club Augusta, GA
2/26 The Swamp Ft. Walton Beach, FL
With COLD and Egypt Central
3/15 Masquerade Atlanta, GA
3/17 Rams’s Head Baltimore, MD
3/18 Northern Lights Albany, NY
3/19 Crocodile Rock Allentown, PA
3/21 Chameleon Club Lancaster, PA
3/22 Gramercy Theater NYC, NY
3/24 Starland Ballroom Sayreville, NJ
3/25 Webster Theater Hartford, CT
3/26 Wonderland Ballroom Revere, MA
3/27 The Exhibition Hall Watertown, NY
3/29 Peabody’s Cleveland, OH
3/31 Altar Bar Pittsburgh, PA
4/1 Al Rosa Columbus, OH
4/2 Harpo’s Detroit, MI
4/3 Phoenix Hill Tavern Louisville, KY
4/5 Pop’s St Louis, MO
4/6 Mojo’s Chicago, IL
4/8 The Rave Milwaukee, WI
4/10 Wheelhouse Cedar Falls, IA
4/12 The Black Sheep Colorado Springs, CO
4/13 Summit Music Hall Denver, CO
4/15 Studio 7 Seattle, WA
4/20 Whisky A Go Go Hollywood, CA
4/22 Trees Dallas, TX
4/23 Scout Bar Houston, TX
4/25 Brewster Street Ice House Corpus Christi, TX
4/26 Backstage Live San Antonio, TX
4/28 Fire Jackson, MS
**More dates to be announced soon.