London based punk quintet COPE are set to release their debut EP ‘Challenge Oppression // Pursue Equality’ on the 11th November. If you like punk music and the world is getting your back up, then tune in, these guys are for you.
You’re a new band to the scene, having been together just over 12 months. Tell us about the year you’ve had so far.
We’ve had a really great year. We’ve been hella busy finishing up the EP, and shooting a vid for the single, as well as playing several shows. As we’re fairly DIY, theres been a lot of behind-the-scene things that have taken a lot of time, so we’re just happy to be at the tail end of things and to finally see the fruits of our labour.
Where did you all meet, and what made you decide to start COPE?
We actually all met through a website for people looking for bands to join. I’d posted up an add to which Adam (vox) responded to, and Ross (guitars) did the same, and our drummer Ed responded to him, as did I. It turns out that me and Ross already knew each other, and me and Adam had loads of mutual friends. We’re all from the south-west originally (apart from Flo & Ed), so there was already a connection & some like-minded thinking there. When we all met for the first time, Adam brought Florian (bass) along, and we just clicked. As we had all been in previous bands before, I think there was a mutual frustration with not playing & writing music, and I think, especially for me, the state of the country and the terrible things happening in the world, really pushed us to start writing music again. We’re pissed off, can’t you tell!?
You’ve already been picked up by BBC Introducing and Kerrang. How much of a boost does that give you as a band?
It’s given us a real boost. To have only been together for just over a year, and already have those guys pushing our stuff just shows us that we must be doing something right. It definitely opens up more doors, and we’re really excited to see where those doors take us.
For those who are just discovering the band, how would you describe yourselves?
Angry, visceral, straight-talking, heavy fuckin’ punk. We’re not for the faint-hearted!
Tell us about your upcoming EP and what we can expect from it.
You can expect a lot of riffs, and a lot of shouting! We wanted to keep up the energy the whole way through, so it doesn’t really let up throughout the entire 20 / 25 mins. We’re influenced by a vast array of music, especially punk, metal, and hardcore, so I think these elements really shine through on the record.
The EP is titled Challenge Oppression // Pursue Equality. What influences your writing and what message are you hoping to put across?
Well, anyone who listens to the lyrics can tell we’re very political, and conscious of what’s happening in the world. That being said, I think our message is quite clear – we don’t have to take this shit. There’s a thousand of us for one of them, so the quicker people wake up & realise we’re slowly having our liberties stripped from us, the better.
Where did you record the EP and who did you work with?
We recorded at Fat Tank studios up in North London, with Luke Yates. Luke, whilst relatively unknown still, is a fantastic producer and proper stand-up dude. I sincerely think he’ll make a big name for himself in the studio world. He knew exactly how to get the best out of us, and didn’t just settle for anything. When I record my guitars, I tend to be in & out fairly quickly, but having Luke there making suggestions and listening to the individual licks & melodies, meant that I took a bit more time and really worked on my sound to achieve something we’re all really happy with. My favourite parts of the whole record are actually the drums, he’s done such a good job with them and they sound massive!
How responsive are you finding the crowds to your music so far?
They’re definitely paying attention, and all the feedback we’ve had so far has been great. It’s always nice to get compliments on the tube home! Our live show differs slightly to our recordings, mainly down to Adams stage presence. Whilst we do project a serious message, and are absolutely sincere in our lyrical ramblings, we’ve got a wicked sense of humour and don’t take ourselves too seriously. Adam’s a cheeky fucker & the crowd seem to dig it!
Did you face any challenges with your recording and how did you overcome them?
Fortunately, we didn’t encounter too many problems. The only challenge we faced was that we recorded over several weekends, so I guess the whole process was a little dis-jointed in the sense, but it definitely didn’t affect things to the point that it compromised the record. Overall we’re really stoked with the end product, so it was definitely worth the effort.
What’s next for the band after the EP release. Maybe some tour dates, or festivals in the new year?
Yeah we’ll definitely be on the festival circuit next summer. We can’t announce anything just yet, but they’ll also be some shows in the new year. Due to other commitments in the band, we haven’t been able to play all that much around the EP release, but we’ll definitely make up for our absence in 2017! We’re also 2/3 the way through our follow up to Challenge Oppression, so there’ll be some new music next year for everyone to get their chops round, so keep an ear out!