5 Questions with Kopecky Family Band

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Kopecky Family Band is a sextet out of Nashville currently riding a wave of success following the release of its full-length debut Kids Raising Kids. The band will be at Crescent Ballroom Tuesday night for an intimate concert with local favorites Ladylike. While barreling down some lonely highway in a Dodge caravan Kopecky’s Gabe Simon took the time to help us preview the show.

Q: In these Pitchforkian times, every band has a label–Indie Folk, Post-Rock, Experimental Garage, Synth Pop, Dub-Step, New Wave Redux, et al. Where do you place your band on the sound spectrum?

A: I like to call it Adventurous Pop/Rock! I think we need to start using better adjectives in describing bands. I mean, how “post” or “experimental” can you get? Adventurous just sounds like something I would enjoy. That, or “Jules Verne-ish”!* We like to make records where all the songs have a unique and individualized approach that can sound very different. Music that sounds like each band member, if you will.

Q: You’ve had a big year, playing SXSW, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival. What’s the coolest and/or strangest thing that happened to the Kopeckys in 2012?

A: That’s a hard question because there have been so many crazy moments. Playing Lollapalooza right before the evacuation** was super bizarre. We sat in our van and drank tequila as these terrifying clouds rolled in and 10,000 people had nowhere to go. What was even stranger was walking around before anyone was let back in. It felt like the apocalypse or something. It was nuts. That’s probably not the craziest moment but I’ll never forget it.

Q: Kelsey is the only Kopecky in your outfit. Was adding the “Family Band” a statement about the close-knit nature of the group or an attempt to better position the band for an ABC Family sitcom?

A: Haha! I never thought about that but if you have a hookup… We had a song on “Parenthood,”*** which is probably the closest we will come to that.

You know, the name was more of a joke/idea that Kelsey and I had back in 2007 when I first got to college. Later, we needed a name and Kopecky Family Band was the logical option. With time, the name has become much more of a reality in that we are really a family. It’s hard for us to be away from each other. We just had a pretty devastating moment in our “family” when our cellist Markus’s brother passed. He was home with his folks in Texas and we just wanted to be with them and love on him and them. The band has a bond I have never experienced before. My best and worst have been with these guys and girl and we feel the music is an expression of that.

Q: What’s the food of choice on the road?

A: Definitely Mexican food****, which is why we will love Phoenix and the rest of beautiful Arizona. Love that state!

Q: What should Phoenicians expect at Tuesday’s show, beyond having their socks completely rocked off?

A: Hopefully that! Expect some vulnerability on our end. We think music is something that requires the player to be fully exposed and ready to experience whatever may happen in the moment. For the listener, come with open ears, heart and mind. And get ready to see six people who love what they do and want nothing else but to share that passion with people. Looking forward to seeing everybody. It’s gonna be a real honor to play Phoenix (and Arizona) for the first time!

* French author Jules Verne was a science fiction trailblazer, writing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea before submarines were even a real thing. He also penned Around the World In Eighty Days over 100 years before Prince & The Revolution released Around the World In a Day.

** On Saturday, Aug. 4, threatening skies caused Chicago’s Grant Park to be evacuated for about three hours.

*** “Heartbeat” was featured on the NBC family drama’s Oct. 9 episode.

**** Great answer, Gabe. Crescent Ballroom serves up some of the best nachos and burritos in the Valley.

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R.J. Price
R.J. Price is Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Downtown Phoenix Inc. His favorite zombie movie is Shaun of the Dead.