“When you first opened up your eyes the world was big and bright”

When you first opened up your eyes the world was big and bright

Giant peaceful beasts roamed free in an earth so full of light

Your fantasies grandiose and your dreams bigger than life

Every waking moment was new like an eternal sunrise

 

Then one day, your finger pricked, you saw the blood and the universe dimmed

You learned that dreams are just daydreams and perfection is as fleeting as the wind

 

Yet in a courageous and optimistic fight you scale the mountainside,

Find beauty in the snow – such innocence – a wonder seen with child-like eyes

Imperfect lines soon lead to love, such a longing satisfied

Your naive heart bursting with joy like fireworks in the night sky

 

Then emptiness filling up your home, you find yourself alone

A nauseating numbness creeping in… could this be the end

Like porcelain you break – a million tiny pieces shatter and begin to descend

Fractures pervade your soul like vines on a wall too tall to ascend

 

But through a crack… I see a light…

It is faint yet familiar… warm… and bright.

It is my hope… a candle flickering, pushing back against the night

My tragedy will not define… though my lungs collapsed, still I fight

 

And now I realize…

Not every crack is meant to be understood

I can’t un-break my heart

But I know that God is good.

 – Cooper Brown

On Band, Family, and Why Good Bands Make Great Families

“Lee would learn the truth about music: that it was the third rail of life. You grabbed it to shock yourself out of the dull drag of hours” -Joe Hill

Hey, cooperthefam! Matt here. For those who don’t know, I play bass in the band. If Will is the foundation, I’m like the cement between the bricks (good thing we click so well together, love you boo boo). I live in Middle Tennessee, which means I have to miss out on a lot of the hangouts, almost all of the full band practices, and some of the smaller shows. It hurts my heart to not be able to be at every one, but I just had to chase my music industry dreams. Oh, I work at ASCAP (Music industry thingy).

The hardest part isn’t not getting to play music with the rest of the band except at some shows (although that is really hard), it’s that I miss their faces. A great band becomes a family, leaning on one another more than just acoustically.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life here and I love my fiancé Sarah more than any one of the cooperthenerds. She has to win, guys, she got, like, the entirety of my heart on March 5 (pictured below)

And then there’s the dog that’s cuter than all dogs (save Baxter), Pete:

But music is and always has been an integral part of my life. I grew up obsessed with it. I didn’t start playing anything until 10 years ago (bass 8 years) but I’ve always studied how it’s made, who made it, everything. Heck, I studied music in college and I work in the freakin industry now.

I have been in and a part of other bands, but never anything like Coopertheband. It’s a family. Cooper has a contagious energy that is addictive once you sample it, and us other cooperthenerds are mere appendages of said energy, reaching out, willing the crowd to feel even an ounce of what we feel on stage. The emotions in the songs come to life as part of a tapestry woven between Trish and Joe, each letting their instruments converse with the crowd. Their keyboard and guitar are not separate from them, but extensions of their hands. Will, my brother in the “holdin it down” section of the songs, I mean I have never clicked so well with a drummer in my life. Must be his beard. His sticks whirl with a speed and finesse Bruce Lee would bow to. And Phoebe. I have worked with many female singers (both on stage and behind the scene), and she is at very least top 3. She trumps singers who have performed live for decades, and she can’t even boast 2 decades to her name. She’s the only person I know who can bring a crowd to tears while simultaneously worrying if her ‘voice sounds weird‘.

I have no idea what I’m doing in this band, as I am 190% sure I am the least of these. It baffles and tickles me that I get to play with such giants, and I am humbled every time I step foot on stage with them. Music is truly my third rail, and this mismatched family is the wheel I get to navigate it on.

 

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-Matt

Found my way home!

 

Hey guys!

Cooperthejoe here, with a brand spanking new blog post! Since many of you don’t know much about me, let’s get ourselves acquainted, shall we? Cool! Music has always been an important aspect in my life. My earliest memories revolve around family gatherings, where everyone is dancing and singing to whatever music that was being played. I would hear all the wonderful sounds in the house singing along with the records that my parents played. Around 10 years old, I once expressed to my mother that I wanted to perform on stage and become a singer…… She soon gave me a guitar and signed me up for lessons. I’ve been playing guitar ever since and I love it! However, things got really exciting after I joined up with cooper last summer. It happened so fast. I went from practicing in my bedroom, to gigging almost every wee
kend and I became addicted! I’m getting better as a musician and having fun with some of the most talented people I know! I’ve been able to take part in song writing, performing and any and all shenanigans that may take place. (Here at Coopertheband, we love shenanigans and encourage others to include them in their daily lives.)

Joe_monsterOver the winter break Coopertheband has upped the ante in the gear department, and ya boy has stepped up his game! Now this next one is for all you gear heads. Ready? Okay. The rig I use is an orange OR 50 and a 4×12 slant cabinet and an assortment of pedals accumulated by both cooper and myself (well mostly cooper
lol). My favorite pedals to use are the Boss DS-1 (to live and die by), the Electro Harmonix Little Big Muff (fav fuzz pedal) and the Strymon Big Sky (unparalleled reverb). I’ve been in the band almost a year now and I am just enjoying the ride. I’m playing with professional musicians who know how to have fun. I’m always having a good time with these guys whether we’re on stage or off. To be honest I don’t know what else to say except….. I think I’ve found my way home.

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P.S. This verse has been on my heart this week. It’s now what I think about before and after I play…

Mattew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

 

Wait, I’m in a band now?

Hello Cooperthefans!

My name is Tricia, and I am one of the newest members of the CTB family playing keys and singing backup. Because I am so new (I have only been playing with the band for about a month), I thought I would take this time and share a bit about who I am.

When I was 5 years old, my parents signed me up for my first piano lesson. I had grown up around the piano with both of my grandmothers playing and a lovely upright at our house, and it is needless to say that I was hooked. Playing piano is in my blood, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I haven’t stopped playing piano since that first lesson. Yet it wasn’t until I moved to Jackson for college that I began playing from chords. For those of you who don’t know, playing from sheet music and playing from chords are completely different worlds. I would be lying to say it wasn’t a bit of an adjustment, but I love it! I now play for CTB, my church kid’s choir, and even the church band on occasion and am loving every minute of my music filled life!

Outside of my musical world, I stay pretty busy. I am finishing up my MBA and am graduating in May (Whoohoo!!) and am working at a local bank. But the most exciting thing in my life right now is that I am recently engaged!

I gotta admit, I think we are pretty stinkin’ adorable (but I’m a bit biased). Spencer is a wonderful, godly man (not to mention musically talented) and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together!

I am so excited about where God is leading my life right now and can hardly wait to graduate, play shows, and plan my wedding.

So that’s a bit about me. Come say “hi” at our next show so I can get to know you all too!

Tricia

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On being the beat of the band, and how I got here

Hey cooperthepeeps!  It’s your friendly neighborhood Will coming at you today on my background and how I came to be involved in one of the biggest blessings of my life.

 

I started playing percussion in the 7th grade. I was sitting in my Art class and was thinking to myself “Man, why am I even in this class? I have no interest in this. I’d rather be in the band.”  So, that afternoon, I went to the bandroom and talked to the band director about being involved, and what I would have to do to audition. He told me to come back the next day, and we would see what I was naturally good at. The next day I came back and tried out all kinds of instruments. Come to find out, I was absolutely terrible at everything except percussion. I was one of the few kids who play quarter notes with my foot and play various rhythms with my hands. And thus, my love affair with percussion was born.

I played all kinds of percussion instruments throughout middle and high school, and I loved it so much that I wanted to continue my musical career into college. When my senior year of high school came,  I decided that The University of Tennessee at Martin was where I wanted to continue my education because of the phenomenal percussion professor, Dr. Julie Hill, and I had heard nothing but wonderful things about her and her program. Before I even had the chance to back out, I emailed Dr. Hill and scheduled an audition.  I was incredibly nervous about this decision, almost to the point that on the day of my audition, I seriously contemplated staying home and not auditioning, because I just knew I would never be good enough to be a music major. On the day of the audition, I woke up with a sense of peace about my future. I was incredibly calm and collected on my drive to Martin, despite my mother freaking out that I had forgotten something.

I got to my audition, and everything went great. God was with me the whole time, and it lead to by involvement in one of the most talented undergraduate percussion ensembles in the States.

To fast forward a few years, I was a senior at UTM, playing drums/percussion every day at school, and I get an email from the music minister of West Jackson Baptist Church, asking me to come play drumset one Sunday because their normal drummer was going to be out of town that weekend. I went and played that Sunday, which went better than I was expecting. This lead to me playing every Sunday, which was a blessing in and of itself, because I hadn’t been in church consistently in about 3 years.

West Jackson started having two services at church, and the pastor asked me if I would be interested in playing with the band, to which I said “Duh, I would absolutely love to!” This is actually where I met ya boy Cooper. Time goes by, and eventually, Coop asked me to drum for him. At first, I had to turn him down because I was working second shift at the hospital. I was super bummed out about this because I had heard his music, loved it, and I really wanted to be involved, but given my work schedule, it was going to be near impossible for me to make it work. God had a different plan for us! My boss called me the next day, offering me a position to work on first shift, which was a huge surprise, and it mean that I could actually play music! Cooper was actually the first person I called and told about my new shift.

I have been playing with Coopertheband for almost a year now, and I couldn’t be happier about where I am in life. The band has been a huge blessing on me. They have become some of my very best friends, and all of them are wonderful musicians. This past year has taught me a ton about who I am as a person, as a friend, and as a band member. It has taught me that as a person, I love who I have become outside of school. I love the fact that I have a passion for making music with friends who have the same goals as I do. I’ve learned that true friends will do anything to make sure you know you are loved and appreciated, and I’ve learned that being the beat and the tempo of the band is very important, and it requires me to always be on my game and be ready for practices/shows.

2015 was a great year for me and for Coopertheband, and 2016 is already shaping up to be even better!

Thanks for even reading this. I have never blogged before, and I know I’m terrible at it. So feel free to act like this is the most inspiring thing you’ve read!😉

Will.

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P.S.

I JUST GOT A BRAND NEW DW DRUMSET!!!!!!!!!!!IMG_0133

 

P.P.S.

Be on the lookout for new CTB songs, merch, and shows coming your way very soon!!!

On Being Royally Rejected…and Being Okay With It

Hola, cooperthefam! It’s your girl Phoebe, and I’ve recently had an epiphany.

On Saturday, January 23rd, I found myself out on a very large limb – I decided to go to an open call audition for NBC’s The Voice. As a big fan of the show – and an even bigger fan of Adam Levine – I had always wanted to try out, but I had just never gotten around to it. Aside from the fact that I thought it was a long shot, being in high school, having a part-time job, and performing with a fantastic band keeps a girl pretty busy. Nevertheless, when The Voice had their open call in Memphis, I decided that life was too short to not just go for it.

So, when the day came, I stood in a line for at least 27 years, and then finally got to sing my little heart out for a very nice woman who harbored an uncanny resemblance to Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Long story short, I got a callback. When Penny handed me the little red card with my name on it that said “Congratulations on your callback for NBC’s The Voice! We look forward to hearing more of you,” my eyes read, “Congratulations on your first sliver of validation! We look forward to helping you rub this big success in the faces of your many oppressors!” Looking back, I remember feeling like everything I had ever done had led up to that moment. Every note I had ever screamed at the top of my lungs, every ounce of ink that had ever spilled out of my fingers and onto wrinkled pieces of notebook paper – it had been for this little red card.

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My callback was scheduled for five days later. In that time, I picked four songs that I loved to sing, and recruited Cooper(theman) as my sidekick/accompaniment. On the hour-long drive from Jackson to Memphis, I was definitely nervous, but I felt confident. After all, I’d gotten a little red card, and Penny said I had a lot of potential. I was wearing a bowler for heck’s sake! It was going to go swimmingly. Remember this moment, I thought. This is the moment before your life starts. 

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We arrived at the callback location and were led back to a dimly lit studio room. There, Cooper and I faced a panel of very friendly faces. I sang my two songs, and then the lady at the table said, “Well, thank you so much for your time and your courage to come out and do this, but it’s gonna be a no for this season…but you’re well on your way! Thanks again, and Jeremy will show you out.” I heard, “Well, thank you so much for painting your face with makeup and putting on a hat, but it’s going to be a big, massive, definite no. You’re just not what we’re looking for this season…or any season…ever. Jeremy, get this thing out of my sight.” I smiled, thanked them all for their time as well, and walked out, my heart sinking deeper and deeper each step that I took.

I was devastated. I thought that this was it. I thought I would finally be living my dream. What had I done wrong? Did I pick the wrong songs? Did I not belt enough? Did I belt too much? What could I possibly have done differently? After I had my tears and my microscopic fit of bitter anger, the aforementioned epiphany began to take place.

I may not be the next winner of The Voice, and I may not be any closer to Adam Levine than I was before January 23rd, but this is not the end of me, even though it felt like it at the time. I’m going to be successful because I’m going to put the work in. I’m going to put my blood, sweat, and tears into everything I do, because that’s what I’ve always done…and if I need validation from a casting company to be strong, fearless, and ready for the world, I’ve got a longer way to go than I thought. The truth is, I have a lot to be grateful for. I’ve got a wonderful group of people (looking at you, CTB) who lift me up, encourage me, push me to do better than my best, and rock out with me when I need it the most, and I wouldn’t give that up for any red card – little or big. Cooper, Matt, Will, Joe, Trish, RP – you guys are the only trophy I need.

 

Dankest regards,

Phoebe

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P.S. I recently had a conversation with my English teacher about the word “dank” and how a word that’s so fun to say shouldn’t have such a derogatory connotation. So, “dank” now means  “pretty great.” Tell your friends.

Mercy!

Mercy!  It’s cold outside!  I definitely wore three jackets in to work today.  And an update to thaw your hearts… we’re reviving the blog!  We now have seven new songs in preparation for the new album and I couldn’t be more excited and proud.  Phoebe is auditioning for the voice this weekend.  Joe and I have been writing every weekend.  Batman has been declared our official sound guy (aka Robert Paul, or RP).  Patricia Taylor is a new face that you will all soon know and love (she totally bribed us for official member status with homemade chocolate chip scones).  And Matt and Will got stuck in a pocket groove and have merged as one entity… I can no longer tell them apart.  So they are now known as Mill Kwammonds.

One of my favorite new songs we have written is called “Mercy!”  It talks about how we often make tons of mistakes that lead us to places we never thought we would be.  But there is a grace that gives us second chances.  It redeems us and restores us. So..

“Come with me my brothers, sing a rebel song / Sisters and our mothers / We will dance tonight inside our homes / Because mercy we need saving / These wounds are growing deep / A savior walks among us / There is hallowed ground beneath our feet.”

Cooper(theman)

p.s…. things I love right now!

  • Mill Kwammonds’ new @alclair ears (like seriously I’m jealous)
  • Star Wars (my mom and I FINALLY got to go see it) IMG_1523
  •  Cards against humanity (may result in excessive jazz hands)

p.p.s…. #cooperhatesspaces (coming soon…)