I asked Aaron Marsh, lead singer/guitarist of Copeland, whether he prefers touring to recording, the stage to the studio;
“Heavens no,” responds Marsh. “I prefer the studio. I love to create.”
Copeland spent the better part of the last five years on the road; touring non-stop in support their first two records, Beneath Medicine Tree and In Motion. Naturally, I thought Marsh would love touring. This is the first of several things I assumed about Marsh and Copeland that turned out to be wrong. When asked if they plan on touring in support of their new record, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Marsh offers another possible reason why he prefers recording to touring.
“We plan on doing all that we can without running ourselves into the ground,” says Marsh. “We came dangerously close to burning out altogether a couple years ago.”
In Motion found Copeland picking up the pace from Beneath Medicine Tree; exchanging slow-building, wistful songs, for anthemic, rock songs, injecting adrenaline into the band’s music. When I first heard Eat, Sleep, Repeat, the record sounded like a conscious attempt to stray from the up-tempo songs of In Motion. Perhaps, the energy of the live setting Copeland became familiar with during their relentless touring, influenced the band to write the type of songs that exude the same energy as the live setting, and Eat, Sleep, Repeatwas their deliberate reaction to calm things down a bit.This is another thing I assumed wrong.
“[The slower tempo] definitely came naturally,” says Marsh. “We were just trying to write the best songs we could. It just happened that they were all a bit slower and more moody. “We wanted the record to be very lush and layered, but still maintain an intimate feel. This meant we had to be very deliberate with the different parts and instrumentation to keep it from becoming a wash or becoming muddy. I do feel like we accomplished this. I’m pretty pleased with the way it came out.”
While Marsh simply wanted to “make people move” with In Motion, he has grander aspirations for the way he would like people to be affected by Eat, Sleep, Repeat. “I feel like Eat, Sleep, Repeat has a bit of a cinematic quality,” says Marsh. “I would hope that this record would act as a soundtrack to people’s lives and that they would associate the songs with specific moments or specific feelings that they’ve had. I’d love if it were simply the score to something mundane like a late-night drive or a rainy evening home and turn the mundane into something memorable.”
If Copeland was hoping to score a late-night drive home, it certainly will not be the mundane drive home that Marsh suggests. The personal depth of Marsh’s lyrics on Eat, Sleep, Repeat will be the soundtrack to agonizing, introspective late night drives. “This record definitely has more blatant bits of my life than In Motion had,” says Marsh. “It was a time of re-evaluating my thoughts on God and Love. It was a time of desperate insomnia and frustration with the way others were seeing me and the way that I saw myself.”
“I would hope that this record [Eat, Sleep, Repeat] would act as a soundtrack to people’s lives and that they would associate the songs with specific moments or specific feelings that they’ve had.”– Aaron Marsh
Prior to In Motion, Copeland released the EP Know Nothing Stays the Same, which featured covers of artists such as Stevie Wonder, Carly Simon, and Billy Joel. I thought the covers on Know Nothing Stays the Same was a glimpse into the bands influences; or at least their influences on In Motion, considering “Kite” is very reminiscent of Billy Joel.
Again, I assumed wrong.
“The songs on the covers EP weren’t necessarily things we were currently into, but artists that we listened to at a very young age,” says Marsh. “Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder were artists that my parents listened to when I was very young. That is some of the first pop music that I remember. For me, it was a study in early childhood development for all matters of songwriting.”
Marsh’s main influences on Eat, Sleep, Repeat, ranged from Swedish pop-group The Cardigans, to Swedish songstress Stina Nordenstam, to film composer, record producer, and solo artist Joel Brion; especially Brion’s film score work, says Marsh. “Maybe a little bit of Radiohead, Beatles, Coldplay, and Sunny Day Real Estate influence found it’s way in as well as I’ve been a fan of those for years,” adds Marsh.
The Beatles influence definitely found its way into Eat, Sleep, Repeat, in the form of Copeland’s strongest musical trait. “Bryan and I are definitely melody lovers,” says Marsh. “We both spend hours dissecting Beatles songs to study how they put melodies together so well.”
Aaron Marsh tours constantly but prefers recording, naturally progresses from aggressive, rock songs to sleepy, lush songs, and is not influenced by Stevie Wonder as much as he is influenced by the Beatles. While I may have assumed several things about Marsh and Copeland incorrectly, I can safely assume that it is only a matter of time before Copeland starts appearing as a major influence of the next batch of up-and-coming bands.