Copehill Down Interview 20/2/23
Interview with Dave Warr of Copehill Down
MM: Thanks for your time, can you give a brief Background about your Band and why the name Copehill Down
Sure! We're a South Wales based metalcore band of five members. We’re a happily independent and very ambitious unsigned band who’ve existed in some form since 2015 but we’ve only really been playing together as our full line up since 2021. Our main influences are bands such as Unearth, August Burns Red and Parkway Drive.
As an independent band, we do pretty much everything ourselves. We record, mix and master our own songs, create all our own artwork and merch, and even shoot our own videos. All the money we save by doing this is put into PR, promotions and putting on our own shows.
Our name came about because Neil (our lead guitarist) had a book lying around 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. After a bit more research we discovered 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 – we’re not soldier material.
MM: You recently released "World one", what’s the feedback been like so far.
Feedback has been really positive so far and the song is already racking up a lot of streams which we’re really excited about! “World One” is named after a computer programme which predicted the collapse of civilisation by 2040. The song is an apocalyptic reflection on global climate events and how we are already on the trajectory towards collapse. We’d describe it as the epic centre-piece of our upcoming debut EP that will be released in April, called “The Design, The Disaster: Part One”. As the name suggests, the EP will be part one of a two-part double EP, with part two planned for release by the end of this year. Together, they will effectively form our full-length debut album. Both are concept EPs hinging around the collapse of civilisation and how human nature has attributed to it. We wanted to tell a story that raises questions and addresses issues about the trajectory of the ‘end times’ of our civilisation. Cheery stuff haha! We’re a miserable bunch who thrive on being pissed off generally. The EP is an explosive onslaught of highly energised metalcore from beginning to end. We’ve poured everything we have into it and we’re really proud of the end result.
MM: What can we expect live from you guys
We are definitely a live band at heart and our real focus is on providing ‘stand-out’ live performances; unleashing organic, raw energy and feeling, unrestrained by click tracks and pre-recorded samples. I don’t think we ever play a song quite the same twice. We have several upcoming shows already lined up for this year with more in the works. We will be entering the South Wales Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition, playing our first heat on 31st March at Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff. We’re also going on a mini UK summer tour with two other South Wales based metal bands (and good friends of ours), ‘State Of Deceit’ and ‘Collapse The Void’. We have shows booked at The Crofters Rights in Bristol on 27th July, The Hobbit Pub in Southampton on 28th July and The Engine Rooms in London on 29th July. Each show will also include a special guest band! All three summer shows will be free entry and limited capacity so we’d advise anyone interested to get down early to avoid disappointment. We’re really excited to be touring with two other awesome bands and spreading our wings to play outside of South Wales.
MM: What do you like best about being in a band and what's the worst?
I think we’d all agree that playing live is what we enjoy the most, it’s the ultimate rush and the main reason we do what we do. Writing songs and music is also a huge part of what we enjoy, it’s a really satisfying creative outlet. As a self-managed band, we take on everything ourselves and some parts are obviously more enjoyable than others. Booking our own shows can be challenging to say the least. Financially, there is no reward at this stage, everything is an investment in the future, which can be really tough when times are as tight as they are right now. Although we save a lot of money by recording, mixing and mastering our own songs, creating our own music videos and designing our own artwork, we’re still spending a lot on promotional activities like PR and social ads, plus venue fees, fuel costs, accommodation, printing merch and weekly rehearsal room hire to name just a few. We all have day jobs and family commitments to juggle as well so we do it because we love it. But yeah, it’s hard work!
MM: how do you rate the importance of being seen live and meeting fans whenever possible?
Being seen live and interacting with fans is what it all boils down to for us, nothing is more important. Absolutely everything else is simply aimed at increasing the number of fans at each show.
MM: Can you tell me how difficult is it to stand out from your peers
Incredibly difficult! There are so many amazing metal bands out there and everyone is having to become better and better at what they do to have any chance of standing out. That means writing songs as good as, if not better than everything else out there, including the most well known bands in the genre, just to get people’s attention. With streaming platforms, you’re up against, and being judged directly next to, hundreds of bands who have been doing what they do full time for decades. Most have big label backing and management, world-class recording studios, in-house artwork designers and the best equipment money can buy. Somehow, we need to try and compete with that, recording in a small bedroom with entry-level gear, just to convince someone to give us a go when they are already saturated by constant releases from the big bands they already know. So yeah, it’s tough but it’s a good thing we love a challenge and we are more than up for fighting for attention. To be honest, we try not to dwell on it and just create the music we want to create and hope people enjoy it.
MM: Which three Bands would you love to go on tour with?
Well…we’re really excited about the mini tour we have booked with our good friends ‘State Of Deceit’ and ‘Collapse The Void’ in the summer. They’re all great guys to hang out with which makes all the difference. As far as more established bands go, I think we would have to say Unearth, (who are arguably our biggest influence), Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. All three bands are legendary, they’re all incredible musicians, plus they all seem like genuinely decent guys!
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why?
For me, I’d actually have to say System Of A Down at Reading Festival in 2001, that was the year they released “Toxicity”. I was 17 at the time and they absolutely blew my mind! I hadn’t heard much of their stuff before that show and they were just so different and fresh. The energy, power and emotion was like nothing I’d seen.
MM: Which are your Two favourite albums of all time and what they
Wow! That’s an incredibly hard question to answer! How do you just pick two? I’d say ‘The End Of Heartache’ by Killswitch Engage is an absolute classic and would be up there. ‘Dig Deep’ by After The Burial is also an incredibly good album. But then there are the more classic metal albums like Metallica’s ‘Master Of Puppets’ or ‘Powerslave’ by Iron Maiden. Please don’t make me choose!
MM: Can you remember the first time you played live and what it meant to you
The first time I played live was actually in a Rage Against The Machine / Alice In Chains tribute band when I was about 16. We played in a small but pretty well packed pub. It was exciting and utterly terrifying but I couldn’t wait to do it again! I couldn’t sleep for about two nights until the adrenaline wore off haha!
MM: Can you tell me why we should check out Copehill Down
We play fierce, technical and emotionally charged metal, capturing the raw aggression of the early metalcore of the 2000s and 2010s (Unearth, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying), but we are also heavily influenced by classic metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Metallica. We combine crushing riffs, epic hooks, brutal breakdowns and gritty energy with profound lyrics. Our roots stem from metalcore but as we continually develop our sound, we’re infusing elements of progressive and djent styles with a view to forge a unique sound that can’t be labelled as any specific genre.
MM: Ultimate goals for your Band
To just take things one step at a time I guess haha! We’d really love to play at festivals both in the UK and in Europe, I think that would be our ultimate goal for now.
MM:If their was a heavy metal song about yourself what would it be called
Driven By Misery, haha!
MM: Four Words to describe Copehill Down
Raw, Emotional, Uncompromising, Metalcore
MM:Final words for your fans and our readers:
We’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who already follows us, streams our songs and comes to our shows, it means everything! Anyone interested in checking us out can please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for more updates and announcements! You can also find us on all major streaming platforms! Thank you so much for having us!