Interview ~ Dash Cooper of CO-OP

CO-OP, fronted by Dash Cooper, is gearing up to release its full length debut album on June 15 via the EMP Label Group. You may have wondered if there’s any chance that he’s related to the King of Shock Rock Alice Cooper and the answer is yes as Dash is Alice’s son. You may think Papa Cooper would pull a few strings for his son, but Dash is determined to earn this and not have it handed to him. The guy has a ton of passion for what he is doing and it comes through loud and clear in his words. The band’s sound has classic rock elements to it, but it’s been with a good balance of modern rock. I caught Dash as he was traveling home after a recent run of dates with Flaw and we talked the upcoming album and much more.

How’s your day been?

Dash Cooper/CO-OP: Great, we’re just traveling back to Phoenix from the tour.

Dude, it’s really great to talk to you again.

Yeah, we talked back when the EP was coming out.

Yeah, that’s awesome that you remember. So, I saw that you guys just wrapped up a run of dates with Flaw.

Those dates were so good and we had so much fun with them. We were out with Flaw and The Crowned and they’re both such great bands. It was a really good run of about two and a half to three weeks. All of them were in the Midwest and places we haven’t been to before. It was a really good experience and I think a lot of people really dug the tunes.

What’s it like going into these new markets? Did you know anything about them or did you go in blind?

We kind of went in blind, but at the same time we knew that if we were going out with Flaw and The Crowned that they are similar enough to us that the people would dig our sound. Flaw is more of that rap/rock influence where The Crowned is more like that heavy, industrial metal. We’re kind of a blend of classic rock meets modern rock, so it was a good blend that kind of filtered into each other. You definitely get a little bit of everything when you come to see those three bands.

There’s nothing wrong with a little variety!

Exactly! It gets a little boring when you come to see the exact same band over and over.

The full length debut album is set to drop on June 15 via EMP. Will the five songs from the EP be included on it?

Yes, but they’ve all been re-recorded and remastered; they’ll sound a lot bigger and chunkier!

The cover art for the album is pretty wicked!

That was done by a good friend of ours named Melody Myers and she’s a wiz as that stuff. It looks really good and we’ve had nothing but compliments on it out here on the road. We put it on t-shirts and those are flying off the shelves. We can’t think her enough because she really nailed it.

Did you describe a vision to her or take an example of what you wanted?

We had an original draft from a good friend of ours named DL that we took to her, but we wanted to expand on it just a little more making it a little more robotic, steampunk. We wanted it to look a little futuristic and dated; we wanted something new that looked old, a little grimy, but still looking modern. It was like a blend of everything!

I’m guessing you guys may have been testing the water with the newer songs on the dates with Flaw?

Yeah, actually about six months ago we went out with One Eyed Doll and Doll Skin and we were playing stuff from the new record. It was cool to get it out there and give the people a teaser of everything.

I’m not sure how many of the new songs that you were playing, but did any them surprise you? You know, maybe a certain song went over better than expect or vice-versa?

It’s funny because I thought that people would gravitate more towards the heavier of what I consider to be two of our heavier songs. Our opener, N.O.W. and our closer “Overdrive,” but a lot of people are going to a track of ours called “Condemned” and it’s a more melodic in the verse and heavier on the chorus. They really seem to be liking that one.

After April 21, which is the last live date that we were given, and release date, which is actually about two months, what are you guys up to?

We are hoping on going back out on tour in hopefully the Midwest or even the east coast and that will be between the album release date and before summer ends. In the meantime, we’ll hopefully be doing some dates around Phoenix plus working on new songs for hopefully a new album.

You have to keep that momentum going forward.

Dude, you can’t stop writing!

I know it has to feel good to get back home, but I bet it doesn’t take long to get that itch to be back on the road.

Absolutely, there’s always that itch that pulls you back out on the road, but I have twin boys that are three and they’re home with my wife. I’m missing them the whole time and I have a third one on the way on July.

Oh wow, congrats dude!

Thank you, yeah it’s another boy and we’re really excited. I can’t wait to get back home to them and take them to the swimming pool and stuff. Man, we went to the Midwest and we were not prepared for the April that they had. We were in Iowa and it was like six degrees.

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor sometimes! There’s something that I read about that I made a note on it so that I wouldn’t forget to ask about it and that is the Alice Cooper Solid Rock Teen Center.

It’s a non-profit teen center that specializes in offering teens an outlet in music and art with tons of programs that they can come in do for free. It’s one of those outreaches that gives kids tons of alternatives to what’s out there whether it’s drugs or gangs or whatever. It gives them the opportunity to go in and learn a new craft. We don’t know if a kid goes in there and picks up a guitar whether they will be the next Hendrix or if the next Picasso might go in there. You give them that creative outlet that they didn’t have before and you let them thrive in them. It seems to be going really well so far and it’s totally free, so the kids don’t have to worry about paying a dime. I think they’re just about ready to start doing recording classes and live mixing classes as well. They can go in and learn a trade that may help them get a job, so it’s a really cool opportunity for the kids.  I know my guys do drumming and guitar lessons every now and then and I go in and do vocal lessons as well. They can learn more at www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.

Is there anything else on your radar that you want to mention?

We’ll be having a lot of stuff coming up on our social media from the tour, so I hope people will check that out. Be on the lookout on June 15 for the new album which will be available on disc and all of the other download outlets.

Is there any chance that it will be on vinyl as well?

I am pushing hard for that and I think our label EMP just might indulge me a little bit (laughs).

I know you’re a huge Star Wars nerd, so I know you have to be pretty excited about the Han Solo movie coming out in May.

Yes, I am very excited about that!

I never thought that we would be getting all of these one off movies.

In a way, I am very happy that Disney bought them because they’re really bringing it back. People are getting a new Star Wars movie every year or two now, so it’s phenomenal considering that it used to be about every five years.

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