Bands can get a lot done in a year.
For those musicians who operate on the DIY level (not just for punk rockers anymore), the progress that can be made by taking the bull by the horns and not relying on a manger or promotion company can be limitless. When there’s nobody to tell you “no” or that you are doing something the wrong way, the only way you really should be able to go is up.
The music industry is a disaster; the wrong way has proved to be the right way in many cases. Bands that muck through the music industry by the industry standards tend to churn out lowest-common-denominator product. That’s fine if you want to create a product for people who use music as a way to pass the time while sitting in traffic, but it doesn’t work for people who really like music.
Forging your own way works, and it’s working for Copper & Congress. The Tucson, Ariz.-based indie pop band formed in March 2012 and quickly launched an aggressive marketing campaign, hit its Kickstarter goal with help from 116 donors to record its debut, “The Leap Year,” and got Joey Burns from Tucson’s beloved Calexico to play on a few tracks.
The trio – Katie Haverly on guitar and vocals, Patrick Morris on bass and Kai Lindstedt on drums – will be playing the Derailed Pour House tonight and The Summit on Saturday. They’re friends of local indie-soul outfit Hello Dollface and are recruits of Hello Dollface’s booking agency, Independent Artists Management. Their style of indie-soul-pop music is similar, both bands have a strong woman in the lead vocal roles and their marketing strategy is more than ambitious. It also helps that their brand of original music is unique, presenting more than what a basic bar cover band can offer.
Their accelerated pace at forming and recording comes from an instant bond between the musicians. When Haverly moved to Tucson from upstate New York, she started poking around open-mic nights for like-minded musicians. She found them.
“We really connected and we really clicked, and we made a record three months after we started playing together, which is insane,” Haverly said last week from Tucson. “We raised $12,000 on Kickstarter to do the record. We’ve been working hard and are dedicated to the music that we’re making.”
Tucson embraced them. It’s a town that is very supportive of local bands, with a radio station in KXCI that got behind Copper & Congress and their recording project.
“We all took a leap together, and that’s why we call it ‘The Leap Year,’ because it was pretty ambitious to say, ‘we’ll raise $12,000 to do this record,’ and nobody has really heard of us,” Haverly said.
Band members already are looking ahead to their next record, which they will record in September.
“As you grow with other musicians, you find each other and you figure out how to bring out each other’s strengths in the work that you create,” Haverly said. “We’ve really started to find that together, and it’s exciting.”
Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu. Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager.