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

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