Interviews: Copehill Down

This is a new interview with the Metalcore band Copehill Down from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

I had a book lying around my house called ‘Abandoned Places’. It was basically a book of narrated photography of various abandoned places around the world. This theme along with themes we’d been writing about lyrically at the time, just seemed to work together. We did some more research online and came across this abandoned, purpose-built army training village in the Salisbury Plains called Copehill Down. Neil and Dan thought it had kind of a cool ring to it, as in a ‘Parkway Drive’ kind of ring and that was that. Some people assume we’re ex-soldiers because of the name which makes us laugh – I can assure you we’re not soldier material.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

As a band, we all have varied and unique tastes and come to the table from different angles. However, we’re all avid metalcore fans so that’s the main factor that’s shaped our direction and the style we love to play. Also, in terms of writing, there’s been some pretty pivotal metalcore bands over the past 10-15 years that have had a major impact on how we play and write as individuals. We also love a good breakdown!!

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

The first actual realization of Copehill Down, after it had actually been named Copehill Down, was just a 2 person home recording project, consisting of myself on guitar and Vocalist, Dan. We picked up some more members along the way, the first being Rhys on drums and then Toby who was the second guitarist for a while. James, who Dan and I had been in a previous band with then joined, originally on bass. We only played a couple of gigs as this lineup, Toby then left, James jumped on guitar and James’ brother Tom stepped in on bass. Tom left after helping us out with a handful of gigs and we continued as a 4 piece mainly recording and writing until Dave came on board in April 2021 after he found our ad asking for a new bass player. Neil, Dan, James, and I have known each other since around 2011, which was when we were in another Newport-based band together. Rhys came on board in 2018 and then Dave just last year.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Rhys (drums) – Meshuggah

Dave (bass) – While She Sleeps and SikTh

Dan (vocals) – August Burns Red

Neil (vocals) – Unearth and After the Burial

James (guitar) – Monuments and Parkway Drive

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Musically it’s a mix of riffs or melodies just coming together whilst playing, a hook or something might just form, and then riffs are built around those. Or if there’s a sound or style that we think is particularly cool we’ll try and incorporate that into our overall sound. Not to copy it but just take influence from it. The classic example in metalcore is breakdowns so we try and incorporate some of that amongst the more riffy element of what we do. In terms of lyrics, we write about social commentary a lot, basically, things that p**s us off and those things we have to deal with in everyday life. For example, Type I is about the power structures in society and wanting to be independent of them. Other themes we’ve recently written about are all hinging on the decline of human civilization. So yeah, cheery stuff haha! I promise we’re pretty well adjusted as a bunch of people, well some more than others! Haha!

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was in Fuel in Cardiff in December 2021. We’re not actively gigging at the moment as we’ve got a tight recording and writing schedule leading up to launching an EP in the summer. It’s hard to fit it all in around full-time jobs so we’ll be looking to start gigging more heavily later in the year!

7. Where would you like to play?

We’d love to play festivals, that’s our aim is to get on to the festival circuit. I’d love to do the circuits in Europe, play the big German festivals.

8. Who would you like to support?

I’d love to support August Burns Red. They’re a band I’ve loved for a long time and have a huge amount of respect for. They’ve worked really hard and crafted their art and sound and they’ve just kept on slowly rising up the ranks to become the respected band they are today. They’ve just persevered, and they seem like cool guys! Also got a lot of respect for Parkway Drive, they’ve literally done it all themselves, the tenacity that takes is something to be admired!

9. Who not?

To be honest I’d happily support any band if they took us on tour and they weren’t dicks. I suppose we wouldn’t want to tour with a band who’s gonna make us look like little boys though hahaha! There are some hugely talented bands out there at the moment who are absolute machines when it comes to their instruments. A band like Erra for example, I would definitely feel intimidated going on stage before them!

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

I remember playing my first ever gigs and being super nervous. I think it’s just energy though and you have to channel it somewhere when you’re up there. I just used to go nuts on stage, head-banging and stamping around, just to channel it somewhere I think. You eventually learn to relax and just enjoy it though, that comes with a bit of experience.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Again, going back to Parkway Drive and their story, how they basically did it from scratch themselves, it just shows with hard work and determination it can be done. Musically though, more modern bands that inspire me are bands like After The Burial and Erra, bands that bring something slightly different to the table. The new wave of metalcore bands has a lot to offer though as well I think. Bands like Spiritbox and Landmarks.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Nothing too wacky actually, we’ve had the odd fan wanting to join the band after seeing us at gigs and the odd girl wanting in on the action ha ha ha but nothing too crazy. To be honest, at the moment we consider our fan base to be more established online.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Again, we’re a pretty new band and we’ve only just started to make a little bit of a stir around our music so I don’t think we’ve got a real established fan base as such. We get good feedback when we play, especially recently, and that’s all we can ask for. Hopefully a few people will like us enough to go and check out our music and become ‘fans’.

14. What do you think of our site?

Love the site. Breathing The Core is a great hub for heavy music fans and really supports bands like ourselves. It’s set up well and easy to navigate, really useful when it comes to providing exposure for bands. Love the work you’re doing for up-and-coming bands, feels like a real community!

15. Something to add?

Just a huge thank you for taking the time to feature us and provide us with some exposure. Just a last note to anyone who might be reading this and might be curious, if you like intense, hard-hitting, groovy, and emotive music we’re worth checking out -! Thanks.

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