Copiers is an instrumental rock band formed here in Louisville, KY. Consisting of guitarist Brian Manley, drummer Jeff Komara, bassist Axel Cooper, and Eddie Campbell on horns and synth, the group bonded over instrumental music and recently released their self-titled debut. Finding a specific genre to place them in might prove to be a bit difficult, as their sound “slips between rhythm heavy post-rock to almost cinematic soundscapes while dipping into the multilayered knots of punk and jazz.” I spoke with guitarist Brian Manley about the history of the band, their creative process, and what they have in works.
How did the members of Copiers come together?
Sometime around late 2017, Jeff, Axel and I were in the same place at the same time, and discussed how we would all enjoy playing together. I think it was Axel that finally said, “We should stop talking about it and actually do it.” We began meeting monthly just to flesh out ideas, and that increased as songs started forming. Eddie was brought in pretty soon afterwards, and we’ve been playing as a four-piece since.
A lot of bands that feature vocalists have one or two primary songwriters. As an instrumental band, is there a primary songwriter, or is the process more collaborative?
The process is extremely collaborative. A lot of our songs are taken from hours of bouncing ideas made during practices. Some of them are created beginning with themes or riffs or beats or sounds brought in by one person, letting us form ideas and directions based on that impetus. I think the trajectory of what becomes a song is very influenced by listening to what the other members are doing and their ideas.
Without lyrics or an obvious subject for your songs, how do you create the song titles?
Song titles happen a variety of ways, although often they start by Jeff naming them in our shared collections of recordings from practices. Sometimes we keep those names, sometimes we debate and discuss other potential song titles if we feel like the sounds inspire themes. Sometimes we just come up with something goofy or a phrase is grabbed from a strange conversation and it sticks.
The members of Copiers have had their hands in many musical pots. Is this debut a one-off collaboration, or can we expect more Copiers in the future?
This was definitely not a one-off. We are currently masked-up and rehearsing new songs. Since we can’t play live shows, we are planning on recording our second album in the Spring of 2021. With such limited social interaction now, I consider our practices therapeutic, but for the social interaction and the creation of music. Maybe we will just continue making studio recordings until the pandemic is hopefully under control as a way to survive.
A limited-edition vinyl of the self-titled debut from Copiers is available on their Bandcamp page. Stream the album here!