During our recent acoustic get together with our pals The Kopecky Family Band, Gabe, Kelsey, and Steven offered up a sense of what it's like to be in a band on the go these days, grinding it out, and chasing the dream. It's not easy. Vans break down (RIP - The War Wagon, which died at 450K miles the day before our meet-up), shows get cancelled, wives and children get left behind for weeks on end; it's not easy for a band that pretty much lives on the road. Despite the good times, the crazy times, and everything in between, it's the music that's the constant companion. The word constant being the signifier of how awesome this get-together was. In addition to discussing their band, the trio also played a few tracks from their recently released album Kids Raising Kids. It's a joyous collection of heart pounding tunage, steeped in even more emotion when presented in such a stripped down manner. Playing "Heartbeat", "Are You Listening", and "Hope", the trio wow in the session. Filmed in our favorite bizarro cabin on Wall Street (the home of the band's label, ATO) the session feels like an intimate gathering of family. But not just any family either, it was The Kopecky Family Band!
- We have band games. So, our sound guy, Evan P. Donohue, he told me about this game called Four is the Magic Number. Do you wanna play? - Ten is three, five is four, three is five, and four is the magic number. So you have to say why four is the magic number. I might have messed it up, honestly. And I don't know know I don't know what I can do for you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you Every day is closer Don't take it back No, no, sir I'll play my favorite part for you I'm in a strange position Come on and join where I am at I'll keep the door wide open for you And I don't know, know I don't know what I can do for you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you This is the part we both love We cover our skin 'cause it's so cold How did I find myself here with you Granted you play your cards right Baby I swear I won't fight I like this game we're playin', do you And I don't know, know I don't know what I can do you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you And I don't know, know I don't know what I can do for you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you And I don't know, know I don't know what I can do for you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you And I don't know, know I don't know what I can do for you You make my heartbeat beat a beat Like a drum for you not only entertainment, but like something deep within us that kind of is unleashed and is just a universal language that's spoken. And whether, you know, we're not blood related, but we believe in family and the idea of spreading love and goodness to the world through music. And that sounds, like, really cheesy, but, like, my best experiences have been with these guys and my best friends in the band and just, like, looking people in the eye that have gone through so many hard times and we've been through so many crazy adventures of band troubles and really great times too, but the music has been the constant just kind of companion to us. But, honestly, the best part about the way we've grown our literal family is, I mean, we know our fans really well. Like, we know their birthdays or their kids' names or, you know, we do dinner with them before the shows in Charlottesville or wherever it is. And, I mean, we're excited, we've played weddings, we're gonna play a bar mitzvah for one of our best, like, fan slash friends, and it's just exciting to feel like we've organically grown a literal family around the love of music and it's not just like you and, you and me, it's like a we. - Oh, yeah. Like, I mean, I remember there's been times when I, like, I was certain that this song meant this, you know, like, to me. And that's what it did, it meant that, that's why we wrote it that way, and then someone comes in and says, "Oh, I thought it was about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. " And I'm like, that's way deeper than I ever thought about it, and that's awesome. So like, I mean, that's the beautiful thing about music is it is so subjective, to a degree to where people can define and make it meaningful to themselves. That's why the record's cool, in my mind. Kids Raising Kids has 11 songs that are influenced by six individuals rather than one person. So it's not about one person's emotions. It's all those emotions carrying into each and every track so that there is a moment for anyone that comes into that situation and listens and goes, "I feel that. I understand that, " or, "I've been there before. " Saw you makin' eyes at me Actin' like I didn't see Always tryin' to play it cool when I want company Hold the candle steady, dear Try to keep to the focus clear No one wants to be around Whenever you are near Don't be shy now My father said if you're honest No one will complain or ask you are you listenin', Ernest Gentle as a dove when I say Are you serious, are you serious Ride it like a tidal wave Could you make it feel the same Always make a mess of things Could you just let me be Heaven's got a plan for me Him and me got history I just wanna be alone Now I got company Don't be shy now My father said if you're honest No one will complain or ask you Are you listenin', Ernest Gentle as a dove when I say Are you serious, are you serious Don't be shy now Shy now Don't be shy now Shy now Don't be shy now Shy now Don't be shy now Shy now Kids Raising Kids. are currently sitting in the office of the label that released it. - ATO Records, which is crazy. - I think, as a whole, the band comes at it with the idea that there's a last track on the record, it's called "Ella" and it's about Markus' daughter, Eloise, and the idea when, about two years ago, when we started working on the record, he was a year deep into being a father and it was something that was, I felt like all of us were having to somewhat deal with it, in a weird way. I know he specifically, obviously, he had more responsibility than the rest of us, but we all were there for him in this time of realizing what it meant to be a 20, 21 year old having a child and realizing you're a child yourself and having to bring new life into this world and, hopefully, do the best you can in leading that child in the direction that you think is, you know, to where we are now. I look back and I go, "I had a great childhood. " I want that for her. We all want that for her. definitely related to Markus and his little daughter, Ella, but in a thematic sense, we kept seeing the presence of this idea that we're all just kids raising each other, like, as humans kind of navigating this really hard life that, like, is full of really great times too, but in all of it, whether you're the principal of a high school or the president of the United States or, you know, a little child, you're all shaping other people's world. The record has a lot of moments of triumph and, like, "We got through this. This season is good" or real... - Yeah. We made it home, like in "The Glow, " one of our songs. - Part of what we started with this band when we did our first three piece, it was really a lot of Kelsey and I starting and then bringing an idea to the band and then fleshing it out versus what is now with like Kids Raising Kids. It's very, it could be her and I, but it also could be Steven and I, or Steven and Corey, or David and Markus. You know, there's six of us and with that many people there's so many ideas that can come from anywhere. I think you have to be willing to say, "I'm OK with that, " that you can't be overly protective and realize that six people make one song that much better. So the creative process is, it's unique in that sense because it really is something that's shared. It's not, like, protected by her and I and everyone else just kind of rides along with us. - And I feel like the music is a result of being present, whether we're on the road writing, because now we do pretty much live on the road. Someone earlier asked us, like, "How has that changed?" you know, not being home and being able to write. And we really have adapted to, like, any, instantly have in a sound check to try and, you know, jam on an idea or like, you know, share ideas that we've had individually with one another. It's been cool. I feel like the music is a result of no borders or rules. We've kind of always just like been moved by moments and I hope we continue to do that. It was only just a hope That you could build it for yourself To see exactly what it's worth Before you burn it all to hell And we still can't find the reason When the lights go out Are we fools just for believin' That the lights are out When the lights go out Oh no, no Just don't look back Oh no, oh It was only just a hope That you could find your better half To see the man that you've become And fall in love with what you have And we still can't find the reason When the lights go out Are we fools just for believin' That the lights are out When the lights go out Oh no no Just don't look back Oh no, oh Oh no, no, I won't look back Oh no, oh Oh no, no, I won't look back Oh no, oh And we still can't find the reason When the lights go out Are we fools just for believin' That the lights are out When the lights go out And we still can't find the reason When the lights go out Are we fools just for believin' That the lights are out When the lights go out
"Family" is a word that encompasses a variety of definitions. With that in mind, let this introduction to Kopecky Family Band be taken with an open mind and with a grain of salt. This family is connected not by blood or by heritage, but by circumstance. No, this is a family bound by the miles on their odometer and by the songs they have crafted over the years. These six young musicians have created a family through their commitment to each other and to their craft. Crack open your dictionary, if you need to.
the Kopecky Family Band a non-traditional family, at that is dynamic, and they wield an equally dynamic slew of instruments. Their thoughtful songwriting is supported by a diverse backdrop of sound. And the musical canvas is covered with broad brushstrokes ranging from clanging tambourines and guitars, booming percussion, intelligent string arrangements, and triumphant horns. These six bandmates siblings, if you will swap their musical tools without a second thought, creating an emotive, adventurous, and energetic environment onstage.
In late 2007, founding members Kelsey Kopecky and Gabriel Simon became united with four friends who shared a mutual vision. They planted seeds that have been nurtured for the past five years through persistent touring and recording and those seeds are rapidly reaching maturity. With thousands of miles traveled, and surely thousands to come, the Kopecky Family Band is only just beginning their adventure and they want to bring you along for the ride.