The closest I had ever come to an Irish musician was about four feet…
I remember the event well… The distance between me and my TV set was four feet and I was watching the chick flick P.S. I LOVE YOU on some cable channel. Yes, I was sitting close and it was bad for my eyes, but the Irish musician was really talented and, ok, I admit he was pretty cute too.
But that was then and this is now. My new “distance” record is now less about a foot from, not one, but THREE Irish musicians from a rock band named KOPEK. The “lads” that make up KOPEK are Daniel Jordan (vocals, guitar), Brad Kinsella (bass) and Shane Cooney (drums.) What was going to be a short standard interview prior to the show ended up being so much better. These guys are real. They are funny. The bond between them is very evident. They talk amongst themselves, over themselves and all the while just chatting away and savoring every moment. Each band member had his own individual thoughts, but collectively they were on the same page. When I mentioned “Texas”, the answer was “It’s hot!” followed up with “But we love Texas!” in unison.
Speaking of Texas, KOPEK was at Houston’s Scout Bar supporting COLD’s “SuperFiction” tour. It was KOPEK’s first time in Houston and their second official U.S. tour. The lads’ first U.S. tour had them sharing the stage with Hinder.
Here are the basics: KOPEK is a three-piece band from Dublin, they won a Battle of The Band’s contest in 2005 in which the purse was a cool $100,000. Brad and Shane were neighbors and Daniel answered their want ad for a singer. “Kopek” is indeed Russian currency but that’s not the meaning behind the name.
The actual “meaning” is something like this, “We wanted a name that when someone says that name, they will immediately think of a kick ass rock band and that band would be US!” KOPEK’s debut CD is called “White Collar Lies”, but to generalize it as being a political record would limit your intelligence…and the songs.
Let’s look at KOPEK a little deeper – or in another way… They are touring in a black Sprinter van with their tour manager Jay and session guitarist Luke a/k/a “He-man” and one of the activities they do in their spare time is watch movies.
A question I posed to the band was “Is KOPEK a comedy or drama out on the road?” At first the answer was “a combination of both” but then Cooney smiles and says “Horror.” It was joke though. Before they sat down to talk with me, the band had been chilling in the van watching the DVD of Mel Gibson’s “Signs.”
We laughed about the line “Swing Merrill swing!” and the foil hats that were worn in the show. But all kidding aside; there isn’t that much free time right now. KOPEK is working really hard to build their fan base in the U.S.
The lads believe in the music. When KOPEK won the “big” battle of the bands, the winnings were basically just reinvested into the band minus a few purchases. They are not frivolous and have an appreciation for hard earned money. It wasn’t that long ago they held 9 to 5 jobs. “We have held almost every job under the sun,” Shane says with Brad and Daniel nodding in agreement. A greenhouse assistant was one job.
It’s the honest living, their environment, any government and the people they know that provide meaningful lyrics to the songs. “White Collar Lies” makes a political statement. “Sin City” laments the human nature. “Love Is Dead” is about love in an abstract way. It’s when you are angry that things you love are literally gone or taken away or have changed beyond recognition.
But what I recognized when I first heard KOPEK was that they are a band to watch on the rise. And that’s exactly what the concert goers’ learned that night after seeing the it all come alive raw onstage.
The band knows I was going to mention the movie P.S. I Love You in the title of the article. I told them it would raise their female fan base by 50% at least. Ladies, they are sweethearts, so you have to check out KOPEK at www.kopekofficial.com or on Facebook. Guys, they have a 70’s Hendrix and Led Zepplin vibe about them that you are going to want to jam out to as well!