London hardcore crew COPE are gearing up to release their new album The Shock Doctrine on 22 May, and have led into this brutal release with politically charged lead single ‘Life In 3D.’ The track discusses the dangerous impact that the release of 3d printable gun blueprints as an opensource download has had on American society, and the lack of social conscience that would have driven the decision to release these online.
With the entire album “COPE take aim at the systems all around us designed to wear us down and grind us into submission,” and their politically charged messaged is conveyed through some brutal riffs and venomous vocals.
What is The Shock Doctrine?
The Shock Doctrine is a warning. It’s a calling for urgent global change. We took the name from a book by Naomi Klein, but a lot of the inspiration actually comes from David Wallis-Wells book ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’. The overall theme of the album is best explained in our track ‘Damned If We Don’t’ featured on the record.
‘Life in 3D’ draws from the 3d printed gun, are there any specific incidents in recent history that influence other songs on the album?
It was the release of the blueprints for that 3D printed gun that drew me to it. I couldn’t believe that someone could be so irresponsible by putting those on the internet, free of charge, for anyone to download. I’m not going to go into my thoughts on guns nor America’s gun policy specifically, but denying society even the most basic of restrictions when it comes to purchasing arms just seems utterly crazy. The whole idea of it all is crazy to me.
“Denying society even the most basic of restrictions when it comes to purchasing arms just seems utterly crazy.”
You say you hope this album conveys the urgency of the situation we find ourselves in today, how do you think you manage this?
Mostly in the lyrical content, but I also think the arrangements are pretty unrelenting. We don’t hang about and the last song is actually the longest song we’ve ever written, but still only clocking in at around 6 mins. Overall though I think the lyrics convey what we’re trying to get across best.
What was the hardest part about making a full-length record as opposed to shorter releases?
Financing it all, without a doubt. As anyone who’s ever done it knows, self-releasing a record can be super expensive due to the amount of studio time you need. We did manage to reduce some of the costs by recording some parts in our houses, but we still had to pay our producer. I think doing it in multiple locations can be a challenge and can also put on the pressure, cos you’ve only got that set up for a day or two so need to get it absolutely right.
How was it working with Lewis Johns who has worked with some of the biggest British bands and produced some incredible records?
Lewis did a great job, and managed to get pretty much what we were looking for. We unfortunately didn’t get to work with him all that much as he simply mastered the end product, but he was super nice and helpful throughout. Luke Yates, who actually produced the record, is someone we’ve worked with pretty much since COPE’s inception, so I’d keep your ears open for whatever he does in the future. He’ll be a big name for sure.
Obviously the tour dates have now been postponed, do you think the fever and energy when touring finally resumes will make up for missing out now?
really hope so! People are going stir-crazy already and it’s only week 3, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that everyone comes out to a show when they can and makes up for lost time. I think this whole thing has shown what really matters and what we shouldn’t take for granted.
How do you think that you as a band will come out of this pandemic? Do you think this experience is going to have an undeniable impact on your music and hardcore as a whole?
t’ll have a financial impact for sure, and we’re all due for a savage recession by all accounts. It will depend on how our government deals with the problems as a direct result of this pandemic and subsequent recession. I always say something that I wish I’d come up with originally – ‘Bad governments make great music’ so I think we’ll see some truly visceral records in the future, brimming with urgency, anger and hopefully, a call to action.
Do you think this forced isolation is going to revolutionise live music like some people predicted after the Code Orange stream?
Revolutionised is a strong word, but I definitely think it’ll produce some innovation for sure. I think the remixes and covers people are coming up with are really cool, and I hope that we continue to support each other’s music in a way that inspires people and keeps them entertained. The community feel right now is awesome and reminds me of the scenes in the early 00’s, so I hope that continues.