Dublin’s Kopek get honest about the dying industry, working with Grammy winners in studio, and “White Collar Lies”

Kopek – a rock trio from Dublin, Ireland – sounds like the future of modern rock.  They’ve been working hard at polishing their craft since they formed in 2002, and have finally released a powerful debut called, “White Collar Lies.”  Daniel Jordan (vox/guitar) was gracious enough to entertain some of our questions …

Q: Let’s start with the explanation of your band’s name – Kopek. Where did it come from, and what does it mean?

A: We were looking for a name that could describe our sound; it had to be something that related to the band and the music alone. Shane suggested the name Kopek and it has stuck ever since. There are various meanings and spellings in other languages, but for us it’s simply the name of our band.

Q: The title track of your record, “White Collar Lies”, is a piercing indictment of corporate greed. Was there any event in particular that inspired you to write a song about this topic?

A: The list of events are really endless that inspired this song. Where do you start? Obviously, there were the various wars and corporate disasters that we all have to end up paying for. It was the stuff going on here in Ireland, in our own Government. All the greed and corruption that had taken place here, and globally. The fucking lies that we are told, and the cover-ups are just endless. Everyone can relate to it. Amazingly, the song was written a couple of years back, when things were not as bad as they are now, but “White Collar Lies” has never been more relevant to what’s going on in the world today. Spooky!

Q: How does the songwriting process evolve for Kopek?

A: It usually starts with what we call a “space jam,” and from that a killer riff is born, or a kick-ass beat is created, and we kind of just take it from there. We always discuss what we want to say in the songs; if we are pissed off with something or just generally have something to say. We have always written together and everyone is involved in the writing process from start to finish. It works for us and is the best way to keep everyone happy without killing each other.

Q: “White Collar Lies” was mixed by Tom Lord Alge and mastered by Ted Jensen – both always do stellar work.  How did you attract Grammy-winning talent to help out with your debut record?

A: When we finished the songs in the studio we felt the missing piece was a great mix. Our label suggested and asked Tom & Ted to check it out and thankfully, when the guys heard the sounds we were making they jumped on board. We reckon we hit their old-school rock nerve. Their work is amazing.

Q: On the first single, “Love Is Dead”, you pretty much announce that every form of music is dead.  What is your response to those who proclaim rock and roll is dead?

A: When we say “dead,” we mean that most of the new stuff is dead; dead lyrically, dead sonically, dead emotionally, and dead passionately. It’s just fucking dead! When was the last time that you genuinely heard an album and went, “Fuck me, that’s banging!”? Doesn’t matter what the genre is. Product out there is not as strong and as frequent as it was years ago. The further you go back, the better the music is. Especially in the rock genre. Like an addict or alcoholic; the first step is admitting there’s a problem, and as far as we are concerned, there is. Rock n’ roll is not dead because we’re bringing it back! We just won’t settle for anything less than banging, kick-ass tracks.

Q: Personally, I think bands like yours are opening up new chapters in modern rock music.  What is your view on the future of rock, considering that it is growing increasingly more difficult for new bands to breakout?

A: The industry has changed: it’s got too political and corporate at the major level. Don’t get us wrong, there are still some amazing people there, but the great bands out there were lucky to find great A&R guys who went with their gut. Nowadays, A&Rs are scared of their shadows. Also, there are too many people involved in the process, and too many “yes” men. Rock is here to stay and can only get stronger: independent labels and new music models are making sure of it. It’s only going to get better once the new digital and indie model dust settles.

Q: If you could choose one word to describe “White Collar Lies”, what would it be, and why?

A: “HONESTY.” That sounds cheesy as hell, but it’s true. The whole album basically is just a take on our lives, opinions and stories of the shit we have been through, and witnessed over the past few years. We wanted to make a record that spoke about us, our friends, and all the other lunatics that live in our crazy-ass world, and I think “White Collar Lies” does that.

Q: Are there any other Irish rock bands we should be turning our ears towards?

A: There’s plenty of talent in Ireland. It would be unfair to pick one or two bands to mention as there are so many with good stuff. They just need a break.

Q: What can fans expect next from Kopek?

A: Loud, kick-ass rock gigs that will blow your minds, offensive behavior, and all the other good stuff that rock n’ roll is all about.

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