Posted On 23 Sep 2014
Tag: Arkansas, Billy Joel, Boots Copeland, Bradley Cooper, Bradley Pierce, Brandon Flowers, Cobo Cop, Colony House, Death Cab For Cutie, Drew Buffington, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Father John Misty, For The Longest Time, Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Knox Hamilton, Little Rock, Mew, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Phoenix, Sleeper Agent, The Great Hall, The Killers, The Van, Wakarusa, Woody Guthrie, Work It Out, Yeezus
Fueled by the similar staples within their collective musical taste, the members of Knox Hamilton, Boots Copeland, Bradley Pierce, Cobo Copeland and Drew Buffington, all blend laid back guitar riffs and catchy bass lines with rhythmic drum beats and soaring vocals to produce a sound that’s as likely to make you want to visit the beach as it is to move your feet.
Their debut EP, The Great Hall is a collection of Knox Hamilton’s eclectic musical sensibilities, as individuals, and their combined infatuation with indie pop rock, as a band.
I instantly fell in love with their current hit single, “Work It Out” which is climbing the charts and wanted to learn more about these guys so I asked about an interview and I got my wish! Check out the below interview with the lead singer of Knox Hamilton, Boots Copeland:
Cobo and I began playing together when we were kids, and have always kinda been a duo in that way. Once we moved to Arkansas and met Brad, we started playing and performing together. Needing another guitar player, we asked Drew to join us and things kind of matured from there.
Where did you guys get the idea for the band name?
We were working at our church’s thrift store and flipping through an old 70’s high school yearbook while on a break. We came across the kid who looked like the epitome of rock and roll, and his name happened to be Knox Hamilton. So it seemed like a no-brainer
How do you think the group has evolved over the years? What do you think has been the accomplishment?
One progression is the kind of music we write and play. Our tastes have changed and matured since we were teenagers, so we’ve moved into the more danceable, indie rock genre. I think it’s a good fit for us so far.
“The accomplishment thus far has been signing a record deal and becoming full-time musicians. We recognize not a lot of people get to live out their dreams the way we are, and we’re very thankful for the opportunity, honestly.”
Has being from Little Rock influenced the kind of music that you guys make? What’s the music scene like there?
It’s influenced us but in a converse sort of way. Arkansas is proudly of the South, so you either have classic rock, country music, or top 40 being played on all the stations. I think we’ve actively tried to construct a sound that is outside of those genres and a bit more unique in a worldly way. We want to make music that has a great feel to it. We want people to be able to dance to it and forget their troubles for a little while. We want our music to be an escape in a way.
You guys are known for being involved with several non-profits in the past. Any that you are currently active with and proud of now?
Not as much as we would like to be currently, but one such non-profit we stay closely associated with is The Van out of Little Rock. They’re doing incredible work for the homeless of Arkansas and we’re very proud to be a small part of their community.
“Work It Out” came from that place where you’re thinking your relationship may be done for good. You’ve been fighting a lot and things are on the rocks, but you know deep down that if you’re both willing to fight for it, you can work things out and move beyond your troubles.
What’s everyone favorite song on your latest EP, The Great Hall?
I think “Work It Out” has been our favorite thus far, it’s fun to play live and the audience seems to enjoy it. But we’re recording some tracks right now that we feel are on par with “Work It Out”. We’re very excited about this new stuff.
How has the festival circuit been like this summer? Any favorite venues?
It was awesome! We didn’t get to get out and play as much as we wanted due to all of us having full-time jobs at the time, but Wakarusa was insanely awesome. We had a blast during our set and then we got to see Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes perform. They were incredible. Such quality musicians and performers.
This fall, you guys will embark on a very extensive US tour. Where are you most looking forward to playing at and why?
I think we’re just pumped to get out and meet some of the people who’ve been supporting us for the last year. We’re blessed to have fans all over the country and we’re excited to play for them and finally get to actually meet them. It’s such a thrill for us to see their reaction to our music in real time. That’s a very underrated aspect of being a musician.
I have read that you’ve said that your music is a combination of your collective musical sensibilities. What does that mean exactly and what kinds of music make up that combination?
We all bring our own musical background and tastes to the table with every song, so we draw from our various influences like The Killers and Death Cab For Cutie and meshing with heroes such as Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson.
Living or dead, who would you guys like to work with and why?
Paul McCartney and Brandon Flowers. And of course Kanye. Everyone wants to work with Yeezus.
What music are you guys listening to now? Any new artists out there that you are loving currently?
Father John Misty on repeat for me (Boots). Brad’s liking Phoenix and Sleeper Agent. Cobo is listening to Mew currently, and Drew is always with the Woody Guthrie. And we’re currently on tour with Colony House and they’re rad!
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with you guys (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
We were playing a show at this tiny venue when all the power went out. It was pitch black and the crowd–already crammed and hot–were starting to get restless. So we started singing “For The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. There in the dark, the crowd joined in and we just jammed until the power came back on. It was certainly a memorable moment.
Drew and his wife have their own homestead, so they grow their own food, raise animals, make their own soap, cool stuff like that.
The rest of us like to hang out with our wives and watch movies and keep it simple. We’re easy like that.
Where do you see the band in 10, 20+ years? Is there anything you specifically want to share with your new fans?
In 10-20 years, I think we all want to still be making and playing music. It’s our passion and our calling. If we’re still doing that, I think we’ll all be pretty happy.
Just that we thank them for their support and that we’ll have a new, full-length record coming out later this year that we really think everyone is gonna enjoy.
Check out my review of their show here in LA last week here: Concert Review