WORDS BY : Michael Woodworth
One of the most exciting parts of being in a band is counting the milestones; from shows to releases, there are many different ways to collect notches along the way. London’s COPE, releasing a new album and getting through the pandemic in one piece as well as celebrating an anniversary in August, are pushing through the negative and creating a stand up and fight mentality.
“Our thoughts are with those involved in the live industry, particularly the crew who’re now out of work indefinitely,” shares Josh Bowles. “Without them shows literally don’t happen, so it’s really disappointing seeing how our government is treating those people & other self-employed people who’re in the same position.”
The Shock Doctrine is a culmination of honesty and awareness about the world today: the triumphs, the downfalls and everything in between
Amid everything going on, the five-piece heavy-punk act just released The Shock Doctrine, an eight song epic that is filled with everything a harcore / punk lover needs. Even though the pandemic has created unseen stress, the lads were able to kick it into high gear and release the album on time leading to happiness and relief.
“We’ve worked so hard on this and we’re just glad it’s finally out,” shares Bowles. “What with the uncertainties around the current pandemic, there were questions about pushing it back and whether it’d be worth waiting until later on in the year, but seeing as the rest of the industry is having similar thoughts, we felt it’d be best to stick with the original date. I’m happy with that decision now as it means people stuck at home have some new music to listen to”
The Shock Doctrine is a culmination of honesty and awareness about the world today: the triumphs, the downfalls and everything in between. The entire album is a flawlessly executed blend of hardcore and punk themes and lyrics that allow the listener to dig deep inside and really reflect about everything going on.
I don’t want it to be a taxing listen – it should be enjoyable, honest and leave you wanting more
“I hope it makes the listener stop & think about the world but I also hope that it allows the listener to escape the world,” says Bowles. “Whilst we don’t shy away from difficult subjects, I don’t want it to be a taxing listen – it should be enjoyable, honest and leave you wanting more.”
An escape from the world is exactly what most of us need now.There’s nothing better than bringing some good old nostalgia into the equation either as the band is celebrating its five year anniversary this summer. While working on the album, all members of the band were able to get it finished before the pandemic hit. Most influences stemmed from the metal and punk scene but they were also able to mix in a splash of seasoned instrumentals.
Looking back on what’s been a whirlwind in the real world, the last five years for COPE have been a learning experience. Between lineup changes and strained relationships with promoters, the band have still been able to make some amazing memories.
“A great moment for me was when we released Tooth & Nail,” says Bowles. “We had a show on the same day and we all invited friends down to London to come and see us. We had a party afterwards and it was such good fun – there was a real air of positivity and hope at the time. We felt we were really onto something funnily enough haha!”
Music is still thriving; even while the scene may not be. It’s something to rally around, however, and COPEis at the forefront of that fight.
Unfortunately, like the rest of the scene, they were forced to cancel a couple of UK runs, which are now up in the air. It’s a grind out there and you can only really count on yourselves. By putting out the record themselves via COPE Music, they embodied the “D.I.Y. Til I Die” mentality that is still well and alive and as relevant as ever now.
Even though the world is in an indefinite standstill, music is still thriving; even while the scene may not be. It’s something to rally around, however, and COPE is at the forefront of that fight. Leading the new revolution of punk and harcore artists, the message is clear; we are all in the same storm here.
“I think it’s also really important to have a message at the core of your song writing, but to leave it open for interpretation,” shares Bowles. “Not everyone is going to get exactly what you’re talking about so it’s important to be a little vague and allow people to interpret it how they see fit. I may be talking about a particular topic but it may resonate with you because of something completely different, and I think that’s awesome.