Singer Aaron Marsh and the boys from
Copeland have been pleasing fans live for some time, and after several
albums, are finally beginning to receive the radio airtime they deserve
in the crowded indie genre. One characteristic a new ear will hear right
away is Marsh's almost supernatural one-man harmonies that vary from
song to song.
Bassist James Likeness announced his retirement from Copeland on July
18, 2007. XMFan wishes Aaron, Bryan and Jonathan the best as they
continue to provide us with the music we've come to enjoy -- and need --
from this unique band of visionaries from Florida.
XMFan: My opinion is that you
have one of the smoothest voices in music today, as well as an awesome
range to boot. When did you begin to realize your voice would be a
powerful vehicle to relate to others through song?
Aaron: I've loved to sing my
whole life, but didn't really begin to feel confident until right after
high school. I was probably 18 or 19 when I began taking it seriously.
XMFan: Any other vocalists in
Aaron: No, I'm the only one.
XMFan: Which instruments did you
learn to play along the way?
Aaron: I started off with the
piano while I was about five, then went to a performing arts school
where I played trombone in the orchestra. Guitar. Tried the drums. I'm
not a great instrumentalist, but can hold my own on quite a few.
XMFan: Copeland's harmonies are
incredible. Would you tell us how they come together in the creative
Aaron: I do all the vocals on the
record, because the harmonies seem to sound a bit smoother when it's
"all me." I'll usually bounce ideas off our bass player, James, or the
producer, and try to find good but least-predictable harmonies.
XMFan: Let's talk a little about
breaking the mold. Exhibit A: Your latest studio album,
Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Would you
explain some of the steps the band took to keep it artistically pure?
Aaron: I think a lot of it had to
do with trying to keep things focused on melody, and keeping things
organic and intimate - while still trying to create a sound that was
lush and full. It's a balance we're always toying with; trying not to
record too much to keep everything pure, but to still fill out the body
of the sound.
XMFan: Your fans are very aware
of your unique inspirations for the songwriting process. Would you give
us one example of how you turned a life situation into a living,
Aaron: That's a tough question,
because every song I write is about real life - but it's kinda hard to
pinpoint one experience. Even within one song, the real life thing pulls
from so many different facets in my life, be it loved ones, my restless
mind... I guess it's more abstract than specific things or events.
XMFan: Here's an important
question. If we were in your living room, what would we be watching on
TV or listening to on your stereo?
Aaron: I'd probably be watching
American Idol, but I'm only
interested when the bad singers are on it. There's a Swedish artist
named Stina Nordenstam that I
really like, and listen to a lot.
XMFan: Favorite books?
Aaron: I most recently finished a
Dan Brown book, but I'm not
really a big reader.
XMFan: Over 400 shows in a year
and a half. Are you in the Guinness Book of World Records for this
Aaron: We do stay pretty busy. It
seems like we're calming down with the number of shows we do as time
goes on, but we've been out there pretty regularly.
XMFan: 2007 has apparently been
another year where you've needed a map in your pocket.
Aaron: It's been a pretty hectic
year so far. (Laughs)
XMFan: What other side projects
do you have going?
Aaron: I'm producing a band
called Anchor and Braille, which
is a side project from the lead singer of
Anberlin. We're basically a
bunch of friends from central Florida that are having fun writing songs
and making music together during or down time.
We've been doing stuff with Invisible
Children and UNICEF. I
was recently part of a UNICEF benefit that was put together by a bunch
of high school kids, and was super-excited about it, because when I
think about the insignificant stuff I did while I was in high school, it
just blows me away that the kids were so hard-working and thinking
globally. All I thought about in high school was, you know, going to the
movies or playing music. I'm really encouraged to see the way many young
adults are thinking these days.
XMFan: I would have to say the
indie sound is alive and well on Columbia Records, thanks to Copeland.
It seems like the label gives you the space needed to record your
vision, rather than someone else's idea of your vision.
Aaron: We did the album on an
indie label, and Columbia upstreamed it. So yeah, we had tons of freedom
and were really interested in making our best record yet. We stayed
focused and inspired, and our fans have been very pleased from what I
can see. I have to say that we have the best fans... Fans that have stuck
with us through all kinds of stuff, including tours in VFW halls,
basements, birthday parties - you know, those kinds of things. They've
been extremely loyal, and if my career ended today I'd feel good about
the run that we had.
Copeland's official website is