There is still something to be said for taking the time to hone your craft. During a time when our music mega stars are seemingly signed to a record contract before they are out of nappies, the idea of “paying your dues” is often lost on the masses. However a group of old friends, spending a decade playing shows on the road, Kopek are a band who graduated from the school of traditional rock ‘n roll. The Irish trio hit the shores of America after recording their debut LP “White Collar Lies” and have never looked back. Critics and fans alike have praised the album’s power and consistency. Being featured on “Punk’d” and “American Pie Reunion” didn’t do them any harm either. They are coming back home this month for a mammoth European tour, so with the van packed we caught up with dreadlocked vocalist Daniel Jordan.
► It felt as though Kopek bided their time before signing a deal with a record company. What made you take your time?
Daniel : Well, it was a combination of a couple of things to be honest. Finding the right team and label, finding a label that is as passionate about Kopek as we are. It’s not an easy task securing a record contract .These days you need to be the finished product with everything ready to go, so maybe we spent that time working out what we needed to do and what we wanted out of our music. We’ve been around the block with so many bullshit promises before so we were extra cautious when a deal came about. But we made the right choice in the end, so all is good.
► What was important to you as a band when choosing which label to sign with?
The advance! Haha. It really is all about the label’s passion for the music. The drive and hunger of a label and having the artist freedom to let you do what you think needs to be done on the record. We liked the idea of going with an Irish independent because we could work directly with the top guy. In a major label a new band will always be bottom of the food chain and doesn’t really get a look in. But this way, we had so much more say in how we wanted things to go. It was great to work so close with the label so we could share our vision. Plus it was great without all the bullshit politics. We still had the major label money and resources but with a small Irish indie which was great for us. Best of both worlds!
► Is there any advice which you would you give to younger bands when considering signing with a label?
Get a good lawyer and take the passion of the label team over a nice advance. Remember in the end the band always pays for the whole party. There is no such thing as a free lunch in the music business.
► From Saw 3D to the Jersey Shore. Have you been surprised by how diverse the Movies and TV Programs which have featured your music are?
Yes, when we wrote WCL (White Collar Lies) we didn’t intend it to be used for those fist pumping nut jobs on Jersey Shore that’s for sure. But there ya go! We were kinda scratching our heads on that on but at the end of the day its prime time MTV exposure for Kopek so it made sense for a new band to have the songs used. I think movies and TV are one of the most important ways to break new music these days. We were delighted when one of our tracks made into the American Pie Reunion movie. That was a good achievement for a couple of Dublin lads.
► With an album title “White Collar Lies”, would you describe Kopek as an overly political band?
We ain’t a political band by no means. We just felt like that song needed to be written at the time. We watch the news and read the papers , its hard not to get pissed about stuff .Writing songs is our way of venting sometimes, I think that’s were WCL stemmed from.
“We were expecting the U2 comparison but it never came. Thank fuck!”
► You originally released the album in America before returning to the UK this year, was it a daunting experience going to the States first after recording the record?
We decided to head to the US first and try our luck there as we always felt our sound was more suited to the US market. It was quite daunting at the beginning but then it all just kind of fell into place. It’s a massive country, we toured non-stop for seven months and went around the country twice on our travels and never played the same venue more than once. So that shows the scale of what your dealing with. The American music fans are so dedicated to live music. There was tours which we were the opening act out of four bands and we would always be playing to a full house every show! They want to hear new music and new bands, they really make the effort to come see a new band play. Which is great. We recommend for all Bands to do it!
► When touring America did you feel as though people tried to associate you with specific acts when classified as an “Irish band”?
Not so much to be honest. We were expecting the U2 comparison but it never came. Thank fuck!
► After spending many years developing as a band, was the record a culmination of songs you’d perfected over the years or a fresh batch of your best new track, or kind of mix of both?
Some tracks were old reworked songs and other tracks were written in the studio while we were recording the album. We had a lot to choose from, which was a good and bad thing as we had many a fight deciding which tracks should make it on the record.
► You’re a band who has benefited greatly from winning song-writing competitions and large scale battle of the bands. In an ever changing music landscape where does the traditional “battle of the bands” fit into our current gigging habits? Is the humble Battle Of The Bands dead?
I don’t think that format will ever be dead. There will always be talent competitions. No matter what people say, it’s a great platform for new bands. With us winning that battle of the bands it allowed us to move forward even more, paying for recordings, gear, music videos for example. At time the band was in a low point, nothing really was happening and then we won that prize we were really able to give Kopek a good kick start again. I honestly don’t know we’re we would have ended up if we didn’t win that competition.
► Are all the elements that go into a great rock show the same as they were 10 years ago?
There seems to be a lot more click tracks, sampling and computers these days in new bands. This we personally think is new rock music downfall. Rock needs to go back to basic, raw talent & leave all the magic tricks at the door. All you need is good songs and a rocking band who can play live!
► You’re gearing up for a 44-date European tour, are you looking forward to hitting the road again?
We are totally all buzzed to get back on the road again. It’s we’re we belong!
► Is there any cities in particular which you are most excited about visiting?
Amsterdam! Haha. No seriously, looking forward to places like Spain and Italy. Just because we dont know how the crowds will be. Should be real fun!
► How do you deal with life on the road? Is there anything in particular which you bring with you. A memento from home or a good luck charm perhaps?
iPad is key on the road. Keeps you up to speed in the real world. On the road you are in a bubble and you need a reality check on a daily bases. No real lucky charms to be honest. Just plenty of clean underwear!
► When can fans in the UK see you live?
We will be in the UK during September and November for shows all over the place. We have an Irish tour in the works for November and December. Check out Kopek Official and all will be revealed!
Kopek’s debut album “White Collar Lies” is out now!
Facebook ►/kopek Twitter ►@kopekofficial