Kopecky Family Band is a six-piece outfit from Nashville that blends pop-rock with a touch of the orchestral. Though not technically related, Gabe, Kelsey, Steven, Corey, Markus, and David are as close as family. On the way to New Orleans, frontwoman Kelsey Kopecky spoke to Pop ‘stache about the band’s upcoming album, Kids Raising Kids.
Pop ‘stache: Kids Raising Kids will be released Oct. 23. What can we expect from it?
Kelsey Kopecky: Well, we’ve been a band for five years now, so it’s definitely a more mature compilation of our songs and a reflection of our growth as a band. Musically, it ranges from more poppy, fun songs to the more intricate, instrumental melodies.
P ‘s: Where did the title come from?
KK: Initially, the title came from an idea Markus had. He has a little girl named Ella who’s three and a half and it made us think, it was just that idea of young people having kids. After we started playing with the idea, we realized it was more than that.
At heart, we’re all kids raising kids in this world. We’re all in this together with this sharing of experiences.
P ‘s: Are the songs on the album bits and pieces that you’ve worked on since the band formed, or did you start working on them after you took a break from touring?
KK: Well, we never stopped songwriting. I think the majority, if not all, of the songs were created in the last year, year and a half, so they all feel really relevant.
P ‘s: I heard that the video for your new single “Heartbeat” had a budget of only $9. Is that accurate?
KK: Kind of. It was like $30 because we had to buy a tripod and some tennis balls, but yeah, it was really low-budget. I think we all share that love for the visual element of our music and that’s why we decided to do it ourselves. I think it turned out great.
P ‘s: Who came up with the dance moves for the video?
KK: Gabe and I came up with it together. I was actually very impressed with the seriousness of Gabe’s dancing. He had it down, but we were just cracking up the whole time, it was really fun.
P ‘s: On a more serious note, what inspires your music?
KK: A lot of things. I think it’s mostly life, love, emotion. We write about anything that moves us and I think that’s kind of the inspiration, just whatever comes into our path.
P ‘s: In what ways would you like to grow as a musician?
KK: From a creative perspective, I’m being inspired by all different types of people, whether they’re rock climbers, poets, politicians, or whatever. I’m just inspired by the goodness in other people and I hope that’s reflected in my art.
From a craftsmanship or technical standpoint, I hope to keep flirting with instruments and just not be afraid to pick up something I’ve never played.
P ‘s: What’s one instrument that you’d like to learn to play?
KK: I guess I’d like to learn the drums more. I can do basic beats, but I’ve always wanted to learn better drum skills.
P ‘s: Tell me about your songwriting process.
KK: Every song was created differently. Sometimes he’ll write a whole song or I will and sometimes Gabe and I write the whole thing together, but the nature of the band has become more vulnerable with our time together.
P ‘s: What do you mean by “vulnerable?”
KK: When you create a song, I always feel like it’s channeling your thesis. It’s like your real self, your creative self that you’re not hiding. Normally, you wouldn’t share your real thoughts, frustrations, sadness, whatever.
When you’re creating music, if you can tap into the truth and tap into those innermost feelings, I feel like that’s where the creativity really lies.
P ‘s: One of the cool aspects of your band is that you incorporate instruments like cello and trombone into your music. How does that fit into the songwriting process?
KK: Normally, all those instruments like trombone, cello, and any additional instruments –I play ukulele and we all dabble in a lot of different things – come into play after we have the structure of a song down, then we add that melodic instrumentation to the back bone. The beauty of this band is that we don’t have any rules. We’ll all just trade instruments or decide to pass the bass around. When we work on something, we’ll just say, “Well, the sky’s the limit with this song.”
P ‘s: What do you think is the best work you’ve done?
KK: How we love each other despite our challenges on the road and how when we don’t see eye to eye on something, we’ve really learned how to consider each others’ opinions. I think that’s the most amazing thing, because with this whole being in a band thing, the journey is the destination. Each part of the journey is more fun with people you love.
P ‘s: How do you make fans “part of the family”?
KK: I think first and foremost it happens because of the music. Then, when we meet people that like our music, we’re so flattered and thankful that they like us and show up to hear us and buy our records. We’ve become friends with so many people over the years. Our family is always growing.
P ‘s: What was your favorite part of creating Kids Raising Kids?
KK: The nature of that record is all the little memories. Each song is kind of a time capsule. I’ll listen to it and remember, “Oh, we started that song when we were in L.A.,” or, “Oh, we wrote this one after we got to see Dave Matthews, that was so much fun.”
Every song on there is a scrapbook of memories with my best friends. These guys have seen me in the most growing part of my life. I’m 26 now so when we started out I was only 21. So much has happened since then, so it’s cool that when I look back and show my kids, I’ll have so many stories to tell.