Interview ~ Dash Cooper of CO-OP

The offspring of famous musicians don’t always follow in their parents’ footsteps and venture into the world of music. If they do, then some people automatically think they get special favors or preferential treatment because of who their parent might be. I am sure there may be cases like that, but to flip the script, it must be extremely frustrating for those same acts who are busting their asses out there only to have people think they didn’t truly “earn it.” Let’s look at Dash Cooper who is the son of the Godfather of Shock Rock Mr. Alice Cooper. First off, Dash’s band CO-OP has its own style and sound and he doesn’t look or sound anything like his dad. Alice has offered advice and given the band some input, but here’s a talented bunch of guys who are out there battling it out in the musical trenches and doing this on their own. Their self-titled EP was recently released on Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group and they band’s sound is more in the stoner rock groove than anything you’d expect from Dash’s dad. The EP has already caused a big buzz for the band who is already working hard on their full length debut album which is due out in 2017.  I had a really cool talk recently with Dash about the band’s EP, having a famous dad and much more.

One of the coolest things about this band is that I was drawn to the music without even knowing who you were. You can’t deny the connection although you don’t look or sound anything like him. I’m guessing that being the son of a music icon like Alice Cooper can be both helpful and a hindrance. What’s that been like for you and your music career?

Dash Cooper/CO-OP: As far as CO-OP goes, we’ve been trying to do this on our own. Yes, I am Alice’s son, but it’s not one of those things that we’re going to absolutely rely on in order to get us to that next step. I think we have the talent to get there on our own and with that being said, we also love the input and direction that Alice gives us. He works with us every now and then and we jam with him; those are great times and we wouldn’t trade those for the world.

I know you go way back with Mark (Savale), so tell us how the rest of the pieces of the puzzle came together.

Mark and I have been best friends since I was five years old and he started playing drums in high school. We started a band together in high school called Runaway Phoenix and we did that for a while with friends of ours who wanted to jam. We started taking it more seriously after high school and we wanted to do another project and pursue music as a career. A lot of the guys who were in the band at the time didn’t have time for it and wanted to pursue their own careers. We went out and found the personnel that had the same passion as us, the same drive that we do and now we are CO-OP. We’ve finally got our EP out and we’re super happy!

Yes, let’s talk about this kick-ass EP that you guys. You are signed to the EMP Label which is owned by Dave Ellefson of Megadeth. Your dad took Megadeth out on their first big US tour “back in the day.” Were you working on the EP when you were signed to the EMP Label?

We were already in the process of recording the songs because we were going to put our EP together regardless. We got a little more professional about it once we were signed to the label; we took a couple of different directions and now we’re working in Full Well Recording Studio in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re getting some really great sounds out of there and a lot of people are really digging the sound. That’s where we’re staying now and we’re going to do the full length there.

I know that release dates can change, but do you have any idea when that might see the light of day?

You should expect it by the mid to end of summer. We’re already in the process of working on it and while the EP is out there doping its thing, we’re going to be writing and recording and finishing it up hopefully by the end of June or early July.

“Sleep” was my first exposure to the band and probably many other people as well and it looks as if it’s being received really well.

It really has and it has this stoner rock kind of thing going on. It’s also kind of our tribute to the band called Sleep because they’re just like that. A play on words, but it just happened to be the same thing which is kind of cool.

The EP consists of five songs and was there any one that was tough to nail exactly how you envisioned it?

I’d say between “Sleep” and “Desert Dreams,” we really wanted to wow the people who listened to those two. We wanted to get the guitars just right and to get the vocals just right so that they were impactful.  It’s was one of those things where we kept going back and we would turn this up and this down. We probably did about eight mixes on each song before we got it right to where we wanted it.

Do you guys have a method to the madness as far as songwriting goes?

Quite honestly, we all get together and sit in a circle in a practice studio and throw ideas off of each other. If only one or two are writing songs and three are being left out, then I feel as if you are setting yourself up  to miss out on ideas. For the most part, we‘re a band that sits and writes together.

Photo Credit: Soundwave Brigade

I thought it was a pretty cool thing that Johnny Depp wore one of your shirt onstage and then you guys had this massive run of CO-OP t-shirts!

It was one of those things where I was backstage at a Hollywood Vampires show, hanging out with my mom and dad. Most of the time, Johnny’s off on his own and has his own dressing room. I mentioned that I had brought him a CO-OP shirt and dad thought that was cool. His assistant came by and grabbed it from me and later that night during the encore, he came out wearing the shirt. I happened to know the guy who was taking pictures that night and I texted him and asked him to take as many pictures as he could. We were really excited by it and Johnny’s just one of those kind of guys who would do anything for you.

As long as he’s been in the business, and the same goes for your dad, he just seems like he is the most down to earth person.

Oh absolutely and a lot of people don’t realize that he actually came to Hollywood to be a musician, not an actor. I think the story goes that he went on an audition with Nick Cage and they picked him instead of Nick for 21 Jump Street.

I’m having a tough time picturing Nick on 21 Jump Street (laughs). We always work a fun question into our December interviews about Christmas. What’s the first thing that pops into your head if someone asks you what you best or worst Christmas gift was?

I may not look it, but for those who don’t know, I am a huge Star Wars nerd. I have every action figure from 1977 to now. I have them all put away for my kids now, but I think the best gift they ever got me was the original Deathstar from 1977. It was unopened and it was in the ox for 40 years or so and I still have it in the box today. It’s one of those things where you open your Christmas present, but then you don’t open your Christmas present (laughs). As for the worst, I think my sister got me this pink like giant onesie, like a baby onesie and she made me wear it all Christmas. I still have it to this day, but that was a pretty bad one.

Oh the blackmail material if anyone has pictures of that (laughs)! I see that we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else on your radar that you want to mention? I did see that you guys are opening up for Steel panther on New Year’s Eve. Those guys are so crazy and so much fun; I can only imagine how that will be turned up a few notches for New Year’s Eve!

It’s going to be crazy! We really don’t know what to expect; we’ve heard their music and it’s hilarious and rocking, but we haven’t seen them live yet. At this point, we want to let people know that we’re working hard in the studio to get that thing ready. We may pick up a few local shows, but as far as anything else goes, we’ll just be in Phoenix working on that. Keep a check on our website and Facebook page for updates!

CO-OP’s Self-Titled EP Is Available On iTunes & CO-OP’s Website

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