Interview: A Sunny Day in Brooklyn with Emily Kopplin, Stoner Rock Princess

Mount Salem Interview October 2014 Vandala MagazineInterview by By Matt Bacon
From October 2014 Vandala Magazine  READ MORE ARTICLES 

How have you been Emily?

Emily: Great, we’re stoked to be here, it’s a really cool festival, Mothership is playing as we speak which is a band we’re really connected with. We did our first tour with them, they’re really awesome, good guys.

Maybe it’s not the apogee, but it’s definitely a step forward…

Emily: Anything that we get to do outside of Chicago, even shows in Chicago are rewarding. We do it all because it’s fun, but anything that takes us outside of Chicago is fun. It’s a weekend where you get to drink with your friends and listen to loud music and meet some cool people, it’s awesome.

How much do drugs impact your music?

Emily: We’ve been asked that question before, it’s not something we consciously think about, I’m sure it has an impact because people categorize us as stoner music. This kind of music is more about the high of writing the music, being stoked about the sounds that are coming out. It’s really natural for those of us who partake in illicit things. We’ve been friends for a long time though and it’s something that we are really stoked on. It has a part but it’s more about just being stoked to be around each other and getting a good feeling from writing cool riffs.

There’s a marriage of old and new with your sound how do you do that?

Emily: We never had a certain concept or vibe that we were going for. We’ve all been friends for a long time, the guys always rode motorcycles together. That’s why we’re here this weekend, because of the Brooklyn Invitational It’s happening the same weekend as the festival. We wanted to get together and play music just because we had all done music previously. It was very organic the way it happened. Obviously we’re all fans of bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram, I think that shines through in the music we play. It wasn’t a very conscious effort to go for a certain sound. I think that comes through in the music, that it’s not something too overdone or forced. You can kind of tell that we’re just having a good time and not trying to do anything crazy.

There was no Black Sabbath cover, I was let down.

Emily: There is no Black Sabbath cover, yet. When we get back we’re going to learn one to break out for everybody because why not? It’s always nice to have a cover to throw in there, to have something in your arsenal that everyone can relate to.

Any hint as to which song?

Emily: I don’t want to give anything away! Master of Reality record, nothing too crazy from what we do. Not Sweet Leaf. I’m not going to tell you yet, you have to wait!

I wanted to ask about your rings, can you tell me about them?

Emily: I’m a girl hanging around a lot of dudes, and if I ever have to get in a fight… I’m just kidding! I love jewelry, I’m a sucker for girly things, I love to accessorize. A lot of the rings I wear are vintage turquoise pieces handmade by artisans from various places. I love collecting vintage pieces in general, artwork and clothing. I think it’s really cool to be able to wear a piece of artwork that somebody handmade and put so much time into. Some of the things that I put on are different pieces that were important to the artisans themselves. I’m an artist appreciation for other artwork, it’s something I hold very near to me.

Earlier we were talking about the work/music balance, how do you negotiate it?

Emily: It’s tough man. It’s never easy. I feel like anybody that’s doing anything outside of ‘normal life’ and has a passion or is coming out to a show like this has to face that. It’s definitely worth making time for this kind of stuff but when that kind of hobby morphs into a second career, it’s really hard to pull back from your traditional life and find a balance. I think it’s no secret that people in touring bands don’t make a lot of money, we do it because it’s fun and rewarding in so many other ways. Being out and doing this is worth it. You do what you have to do and I think a lot of people are hustlers and make it work because its way more worth it to do something you love.

What do you do?

Emily: I work in a women’s clothing store a boutique in Chicago. We’re all really lucky we are all kind of our own bosses and can make this thing work with timing. As far as us being able to do what we do it’s good. That’s the pitfall for so many bands, they can’t take the time off to play. I think that shows how lucky we are that we can take time away from our schedules to do it.

To move towards the end, I want you to finish this sentence for me “I’ve never told this story before and probably shouldn’t but…”

Emily: I’ve never told this story before and probably shouldn’t but…F*ck, I can’t think of anything too crazy. Kyle has the smelliest farts of anybody that I’ve ever met and we have to be in a physical space together and it’s horrible. I know it’s not very juicy, but hey now you know not to hang around Kyle at least!

Any final words of wisdom?

Emily: Final words are I’m stoked to be in New York, this festival is rad, the weekend is going to be insane, the European tour we have coming up is awesome and as soon as we get back we’re going to be in the studio working on our new album, so I’m very excited for things to come.


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