Cope – Interview

We recently reviewed Cope’s latest album The Shock Doctrine, and found ourselves to be suitably impressed by it. After listening to The Shock Doctrine, we jumped at the chance to interview Josh Bowles from the band – you can read the results below!

By Jane Howkins

You’re about to release your debut album The Shock Doctrine. Are you excited?

We’re super excited. We’ve put a lot of work into it, so we’re happy people are finally getting to hear what we’ve been cooking up.

What can you tell our readers about the album? Is there a specific theme to it?

The overall theme is climate change, but it’s mostly the usual social commentary people have come to expect from us. I feel it’s the best example of our work to date and I hope fans get the sense of urgency that permeates the record.

You recently released a single titled Life In 3D. What can you tell us about that, and would you classify it as being a typical Cope song?

Yeah, I’d say it’s fairly typical for us – fast, angry and unrelenting. The song is about 3D printed guns and the guy who created the first free digital blueprint for them. I was totally incensed that someone would be so irresponsible by putting something like that on the internet available to anyone & everyone.

Do you have any plans to release any new singles anytime soon? If so, when, and what are they?

We released another single in April called Gold. That’s it for now – you’ll have to wait for the record!

How was the writing and recording process for the album? Did you write when you were in the studio, or were most of the songs written beforehand?

Unfortunately ample studio time was a luxury we couldn’t afford, so everything was written prior to entering. That’s the way we’ve always done things – we’ll only tweak bits in the studio. We’ve worked with the same producer pretty much since day one, and often he’ll have great suggestions that we hadn’t thought of, but 90% of what you hear was done before we went in to record. Overall it was a fun process, albeit a little stop-start. We recorded across multiple locations and took almost a year to complete.

You released an EP in 2017 called Tooth & Nail. How have things changed for you as a band since then, and how did writing/recording the album differ to then? Do you feel your songwriting has changed since then?

We’ve had a couple line-up changes since then, so that’s probably the biggest change. I’d say the songwriting hasn’t changed much, we’ve just honed our sound a lot more and developed as a band. Personally I think the songs on this record are the best we’ve ever written. I didn’t particularly enjoy the recording process for Tooth & Nail – it was the first time we used a different producer and the whole thing felt quite rushed and pressured. Also Tom was super ill and ate almost an entire tub of honey during the recording sessions just to get through it, so that didn’t help things. It was much better this time around.

What/who are you most influenced by when making your music, and what have you been listening to recently that you can recommend?

Oh man there’s just too many to mention, but I’ll try. We’re all huge lovers of both punk & metal, with the likes of Comeback Kid, ETID, Evergreen Terrace, Testament, Cro-Mags, and Suicidal Tendencies being just some of our influences. Personally I’m also a massive hiphop fan which has definitely influenced my song writing. Recently, I’ve been blasting Lich King, so I recommend checking them out (Born Of The Bomb & Do-Over are particular favourites).

Do you have any plans to tour anytime soon (obviously once the coronavirus crisis has ended)?

Absolutely – we did have some plans before the virus hit so we’re going to do our best to get them rescheduled.

Why do you think people should come and see you perform, and what can fans expect from a Cope show?

If you want to have a laugh and listen to some good quality live punk music, then we’re the band for you. Despite the political nature of our music, we try and avoid preaching at our live shows. There’s a time & place for all of that, and whilst we may make a few comments here & there, we know you’re coming to see us to let your hair down and enjoy yourself, so we respect that and do our best to accommodate.

Any last words for the fans?

Don’t believe everything you read, think for yourself and don’t be a dick.