CMW 2010: Interview – Copeland

With The Farewell Tour commencing, it’s hard not to think about the band’s earlier days and the music that built Copeland‘s foundation. Scheduled to perform during Canadian Music Week in Toronto, singer Aaron Marsh shared his thoughts on the tour and what the future holds for the group.

© Jeff Parsons

You just recently kicked off The Farewell Tour this month, how has the reception been from fans?

It’s been great. The shows have been well attended and it seems everyone is really appreciating the fact that we’re lapping the country one last time.
It’s been difficult for fans and even critics to acknowledge that this is the last tour for Copeland. Has everyone that’s currently involved with the tour been joyful about giving it one last go?

I don’t know about “joyful”. I think the prospect of being home and focusing on our families is comforting, but it certainly wasn’t an easy decision.
The band has played The Opera House before so it’s no surprise you’re playing it again for your last Toronto date and Canadian Music Week 2010. But is the venue a personal choice and if so, why?

I don’t think we’ve played enough Toronto venues to really have a personal favorite. I like The Opera House though, so it’s good for me. There’s a good Jamaican restaurant nearby that we all look forward to going to.

How do you feel about being a part of Canadian Music Week this year?

I didn’t really know that we were a part of it. I’m excited now.
You’ve been to Toronto a few times now. How have you enjoyed your time here and do you have any memorable moments you’re willing to share?

We don’t get to spend enough time in each town to really get a feel for it. When I think of Toronto I think of:

1. The Jamaican Restaurant
2. The disastrous show where my amplifier broke and I had no back-up so we had to cut the set short
3. One show where I got the urge to cut off all of my hair in the bathroom right after we got off stage. No one recognized me at the merch table.
Back in October, you announced the Farewell Tour but you also made a note on a subject that sparked a lot of excitement in longtime fans. Will Copeland be recording one more album? If so, when do you plan to record and hope to see it be released?

This is still a pretty big question mark for us as well. Last time we talked about it, I was the only one who wanted to do another record. Everyone else is ready to move on and do other stuff. I don’t want to do a record unless everyone is on board. I also don’t have any songs written that seem like a good progression from You Are My Sunshine.

I don’t want to make something that is either not as good as that record or something that takes a strange turn. If You Are My Sunshine winds up being our swan song, I’ll be satisfied. So I guess I’m saying I would make another record if I had the right songs and the support of the whole band. Otherwise, I’m not interested.

If you do decide to pursue another album as a group, do you think people should expect a few guest appearances by a few of the band’s friends?

Copeland has had guest vocals from up-and-coming artists on all four records. I imagine we’d do the same thing on the fifth.
Are any of you moving on to different projects once the tour is over?

We all want to be involved in music if we can. I think Stephen and Bryan are doing a record together. I’m going to primarily produce records and I’m starting a new band for fun. I want to have an outlet. I doubt it would be something I would tour with or try to do full time.
As a producer, you are constantly exposed to musicians polishing their sound. What do you think about the artists these days and the music they are creating?

Its always great to hear new artists and how their doing new things.
Are there any artists you think people should take the time to listen to?

Nikki Kummerow. I produced a record for her a few years back. I think it’s finally going to get a release here soon. She’s the real deal.

It’s great to see artists like yourself re-releasing old material on vinyl. Are any of you vinyl collectors yourselves? What are some of your favourite records?

Yeah. I collect somewhat. My favorite is probably the “In Rainbows” disc box. I pre-ordered the new Sade record. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I’m pretty excited about that one too.
Many of us hold a lot of albums and even songs close to our heart. Have you decided what’s the last song Copeland will perform during the last date of the tour in North America?

“You Have My Attention” has always been our closer. I can’t imagine deviating from that for the last show.
For a group that’s released a number of memorable records and performed across the globe, what’s one piece of advice you would give to musicians hoping to make a living by expressing their emotions through the art form that is music?

Make music for yourself. You’ll regret the moment you started considering other people when it comes to your art.


  • Noni Joynt says:

    What a great interview! Love the feel of the Questions and Answers.

  • Derrick says:

    I wonder what kind of band Aaron wants to start. Guess he’s done with Anchor & Braille

  • Nicholas says:

    I hope Aaron’s new band has the same delightful, lovely sweet sence to it. I never got to see a Copeland show and always wanted to so badly so I hope maybe one day his new band decides to tour or Copeland does one more show for some crazy reason. I would find my way there, and that I guarantee.

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