music: interview: The Copycats
The Copycats are Nick Delap, Alex Hewitt, and Jake Lucas Nolan. This young Manchester band haven't been going all that long but have attracted attention for their energetic, fun mix of beats, guitar, and voice. We chat! ...
How did you guys get together?
AH: we all met through friends of friends, we just hit it off and we just used to hang out at nicks house every weekend. then we eventually started forming a band after i encountered a guy i knew worked for a magazine in london, who offered a gig to my old (and truly awful) band, who had just split up. so i was like, yeah let's form a band so we can actually play. the guy never did give us a gig but it was definitely what pushed us to get out there.
ND: me and hewett started jammin together, and liked what we heard. but after playing an appalling gig at parkside social club about 3 weeks after forming, we realised we needed an extra pair of hands and old friend Jake answered the call.
Did you form a vision of what you would do beforehand or did you just get into it and see what happened?
AH: we didn't plan it so much, we just wanted to start writing songs and playing shows, which is what we've been doing since really.
ND: well we knew what sort of music we wanted to make, but to be honest i didn't have a clue if it would take us anywhere and was pretty suprised when we got asked to play with the Teenagers etc. so i guess we just dived in.
Who are your musical heroes?
AH: for me its definitely Joseph mount from metronomy, the guy's a genius! also people like jean michel jarre and david bryne.
ND: thanks to a guitar based upbringing, Johnny Marr, Neil young and Arnold schwarzenegger cos he's epic.
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How do you work together in making the songs?
AH: we often just write songs ourselves at home, then we get together and try to recreate them but a lot better than the original. but other times we just jam a bit and see what's sounding good.
ND: Me and Hewett write the music between us, and hewett writes the lyrics himself. jake chips in with the music as well
What equipment are you using?
AH: at the moment for synths we use a Korg dw 8000 and a korg poly 61, we also use the akai mpc 500 sampler. we write and sequence our stuff on reason, ableton and sonar. guitars wise i think nick's been using his fender telecaster with his fender amp and sometimes an akai delay pedal.
Are you lusting after any new stuff at the moment?
AH: we're thinking of getting some Electronic drum pads, just for something to hit really haha.
ND: Im listenin to a lot of plugs at the moment, not sure why, i just find them pretty sick. must be those tasty riffs.
On some of your tracks guitar sounds are predominant but on others the synth wins. Are these instruments battling it out in a way or is it just coincidence which might end up on top?
AH: i dont think there is ever much of a battle, they tend to work in unison. it really just depends on who's written the song, nick writes most of his songs based on guitar, and me and jake write most of ours based on the keys.
ND: nah not battling at all, just coincidence!
Your first gig isn't that long ago - how did it go? Did you get pretty nervous or were you confident and well-prepared enough that it wasn't a bother?
AH: It was pretty good i guess, there was a slight aspect of nerves, but i was more excited than anything! we were quite prepared and confident as we had rehearsed quite a bit before the show.
ND: WHACK. aha we weren't prepared at all, but it was a bit of a joke so neither of us were really nervous.
Is the Manchester area good in the way of places to play etc?
AH: yeah, manchester has a lot of great venues and promoters, although these days ive been finding it too small. copycats might be moving to london just for its size and bigger scene, sometime soon hopefully!
ND: Manchester's music scene is really really overrated. There's loads of venues and nights to play at but most are run by shit promoters who moan at you if you dont sell 54767 tickets and are only interested in money and awful indie pop bands who think they are the next oasis. but a few are good. Deaf institute, dry bar, Saki bar to name a few.
What have you got coming up?
AH: we have some some shows planned, like on 5th feb we're playing a cribs after party in manchester at the retro bar, which should be pretty good. probably have some more booked soon. other than that we're going to start working on a load of brand new stuff for 2009. so keep your ears open for that.
ND: well for now, recording and playing Cribs aftershow party on the 5th of Feb BOBOBo. for the future? Who knows, world domination hopefully. our aim for this year however is to play at Leeds festival. that would be dutty.
Thanks a lot!
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