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Charlie’s debut album Americana And Whatever’s Left is a story of heartbreak, loss and growth. We dive into the writing process, performing in a pandemic, and what inspires storytelling through music.

Big thanks to Charlie for joining me for the podcast and for performing for us as part of the show!

Check out Charlie Cope Americana and Whatever’s Left on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/5AyZ1iItYevoQRvBIHDYjt?si=QF0xwqO4S_aXwMUUdUiqKg&dl_branch=1

Listen to Charlie on Apple Music here: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/charlie-cope/1352517889 

Transcript powered by Happy Scribe

Welcome to the show. This is DiscoPosse podcast host, Eric Wright. Thank you very much for listening. We’ve had an amazing 2021 as far as the podcast listenership and really great response, so thank you all for coming along for the ride. This is a perfect, really neat soulful ending to the year, with the show featuring Charlie Cope. Charlie is a singer-songwriter and his brand new album Americana or Whatever’s Left has just been released. So this is a really cool opportunity to share in a storytelling experience through the power of music. I was really happy with the discussion I had with Charlie, so I hope you love this as much as I did and it even features some actual live music, or at least it was live when we recorded it. While it is not as awesome as his album, which you’ll have links to the Spotify and ways to listen to Charlie’s music, I definitely recommend. So hang tight. Listen to the song and the whole story. Charlie’s got such a fantastic story, that’s an absolute must listen. And speaking of must listen, please just take a second to think about what you need to do as far as supporting this podcast and supporting the great people that make this happen and support yourself in your own safety when it comes to data protection, to information protection, to info security, ransomware protection, this is the way to do it.

You can visit my fine friends over at Veeam Software. They’ve been super cool, not only in the amazing platform that they offer, which you can find, of course, by going to vee.am/DiscoPosse. On top of that, they’re a great team and they really are doing some fantastic stuff around cloud protection, on-premises data protection, physical servers, Cloud-Native with their CAST. And offering much more around SaaS, things like Teams and SharePoint. You need to protect your stuff. It’s real, right? Ransomware and all this crazy stuff is real. So go check it out, go to vee.am/DiscoPosse. And also protect your data in flight while you’re traveling around or even while you’re sitting at home. There are incredible amounts of risk in just your data being picked up, your identity being captured. A really great way to solve that is to use a VPN. I’m a user of ExpressVPN, so I highly recommend it and I’m really happy that they’re also supporters. So if you want to check that out, you can head over and try expressvpn.com/DiscoPosse.

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. This is Charlie Cope.

Hey, this is Charlie Cope and you’re listening to the DiscoPosse Podcast.

So for the folks that are new to you, if you want to do me a favor, give a quick little bio. We’re going to talk about the new album. We’re going to talk about the industry in general and touring in a pandemic. And this is a lot of craziness that you’ve got to deal with right now. But, yeah, give us the elevator pitch and why people need to get your album. And I’m telling you, there’s links below. It is wicked good.

Thank you. My name is Charlie Cope. I’m an Americana singer based out of Texas, singer songwriter. I write all my own songs, and a couple of them are co writes. And like you said, I’ve been touring a lot, especially during the pandemic. And this album took me seven years to release, to write and create and live. And I’m hoping that a couple of people that have heard these songs might have lived through similar situations that may need a little bit more understanding in life, that need to feel a little bit less alone, might hear these songs and feel a little less alone in the world and maybe get a little connection between me and them and a couple of print stopping catchy songs along the way. It’s just a bonus.

It’s funny that you bring this up, right? Like the Americana style and your roots in that really come out. And it’s funny. I grew up as a kid, like just nothing but Highway Man records. So I grew up with Waylon and Willie and, like the classic stuff. My dad was really digging that the only guy that worked in the tech industry that had cowboy boots. It was kind of wild that I had this really diverse set of influences. And when I started playing my own music, it was funny because it comes out in this really strange diversity of my background of listening. And then my playing would swing and move around. Now far beyond me saying I’m a musician relative to the work that you’ve done and how much you’ve created. But it gives me a super, really good appreciation of bringing it through and maintaining your voice. But hearing the roots of it, it really just hits home to folks like me who grew up with a lot of that stuff.

Appreciate it. Yeah. I also grew up on that Willie and Waylon and the boys. When I was younger, I wanted to sing like Wayland Jennings, and I wanted to write music like Merle Haggard and lyrics like Chris Christopherson. Obviously, back then it was all country stuff. Now it’s a little bit more diverse Americana, like you said, kind of a bit of everything.

Well. And this is the thing maybe set the stage for folks that are fresh of the phrase. Right, because we went through, like, classic country, and then there was new country. And the new country is not new anymore because it’s old, new country. And you had that sort of wave of the next generation of it. And then Americana is this beautiful, sort of almost like a throwback, but it’s just a reminder to the origins of the whole genre.

So Americana music is basically just kind of everything old school, kind of put in pot and mixed together. It’s like a little bit of folk, bluegrass, rock and roll, blues, country. Like you said, I try to touch on every side of it as I could in this album, starting with, what about you obviously being a very big rock song and to use somebody, which is pretty country kind of folky, if your grandparents listen to it.

Yeah. The interesting thing of the music and the lyrics as a combination, the stories are super strong, and it’s amazing. I’ve always found that there’s so much stuff out there today in the sort of traditional, like, serious hits, one crowd, God bless them. Right. They’re making money and they’re still supporting the business. But I don’t even know the lyrics to any of the songs because you don’t need to. You just need to know the hook and it’s catchy. But what I found with listening to your songs is you really genuinely listen to the story. And then the more I play it, the more it’s you feel like that emo kid. Listen to the words, man, because it actually does have a real true start, middle finish as a storyteller. This is exciting to me that you can do it. And also, again, diversity of styles. Like you said, you got some stuff that’s more towards rock, and then you’ve got those real cool sort of bluegrass tones that are in there.

Yeah. Thank you. A lot of people ask me where the genres came from and, like the bluegrass, the rock and everything. And right now I’m wearing a David Bowie T-shirt, and that style really came from because I wanted to tell a story, like you said, but not just with the lyrics, also with the music itself. So taking What About You, the first song in the record, which is by far the most popular, is it kind of in the Kia-C? Kind of not, because I don’t want to talk to musician wise and people that aren’t musicians that understand, but it never really ends on a C major, so it never really has, like a period. It’s almost like you’re just talking for ever and ever. And I felt like that built anxiety. And that’s what I wanted to infer in that song and tell a story without the lyrics and then with the lyrics and then make them kind of come together and sometimes even make them say two different things at once.

The sort of the walking style of the story along with it reminded me even like the Stones Far Away, I was always one of those ones where it just has this beautiful rolling back tone. Like you almost picture just like the movie set going by behind them. And that’s what the music is. And then the story, and then it comes into the hook and then you’re in a song again, and then it goes back to story. I love that interplay and the style.

Yeah, for sure. A bunch of, I didn’t just want to have 14 stories. I wanted one big story and so it’s not really more 14 stories, it’s more like 14 chapters of the story. So there’s different parts and as you go through it, it gets more word I’m looking for. It gets more mature as it goes through because all my best songs are true stories. I’ve written around 1500 to 2000 songs now and all my best ones, when you’ve written that many, you’ve written them every which way but loose. But my best ones are always true stories and I was looking at them and trying to figure out what I was going to do for this album years ago and I was like, well, something just hit me. All my best songs are true stories and I’m going to sing about anything. Well then I know exactly what I’m going to sing about. And then I sent out to I think it was Prince or Michael Jackson that said if they would release an album with twelve songs, they’d write 120.


Well, I figured I’m no Prince, I’m no Michael Jackson. So I wrote 1200 and I wanted to pick the top twelve and ended up being 14.

That’s an interesting thing to talk about the process of choosing the order because there’s this sort of this amalgam of music you’ve got in your back catalog, it’s in your head and you’ve played it everywhere and it’s in notebooks all over and snippets of recordings and to really bring it together as both individually small stories and then the real true overplay of this story throughout as a theme and it’s not easy. How do you approach that whole process with the truth?

It’s the best way to do it. I really believe in putting emotion and soul, heart and soul into what I do, really anything I do. And at first it was like I got to make a new album, I got to do this when I was younger and then I grew up a little bit and it wasn’t so much I need to make an album, I need to tell a story and that story was really the heart and soul of it and that was really just a big part of my life growing up, especially because now I’m only 20 years old and of course this has taken so long to create and that’s why I say seven years because that’s the span that I listed this from. For the most part, it wasn’t that hard getting the order down just because it was like, okay, well this happened and this happened, this happened. There was a few things I had to mix around in order to make it less complicated but that was relatively easier. But writing and rewriting and rewriting again, all these songs in order to make number two, connect with number eight more and have this come back at this and have this guitar riff and slipping away, match the trumpet riff and putting myself through and all this sort of thing.

And it all had artistic symbolism. It meant something. It wasn’t just there to be cool. It all meant something. That was definitely a lot harder than picking the order.

You’re interesting that you’ve mixed a lot of dynamics of sound, like instrument selection. You’ve got fantastic players who are supporting you through this. And I saw some of the making of recording stuff, and it’s like, especially recording and producing and mixing down during pandemic while touring and all the stuff going on. It’s a very different process than just kind of seven guys going into a studio for nine straight days and just banging, hanging it out. Like it’s a laborious process. But I love the mix of what makes you bring those different instruments sounds and those different styles in.

Well, like you said, the musicians are amazing. Most of me or the other guys, my backing band, and there’s a few extended members. We call those the other other guys. And they’re all fantastic musicians. But like I said earlier, they all have meetings. For example, the horns are more triumphant. That’s what they’re trying to symbolize triumphantness. And so, like in Big River to Cross, for example, there’s the big horn section that comes in on that song, and that’s supposed to seem like there’s a Big River to Cross being like, we have to break up and we have to in this and move on with our lives and, like this big goal that we’ve been trying to accomplish for so long. And then we finally do. And then I had also been putting myself through. It wasn’t a full horn section. It was much smaller. It was just a trumpet. But that also had symbolism with growing maturity. Same way with the rock and roll kind of. There’s sirens in my background. Living in a college town, it happens.

Yes. It’s sad to hear more often than you’d hope.

Yeah. But like the rock and roll side and let me go easy. And like, the guitar solo, in a lot of that was very kind of like a battle between good and evil. And also, depending on what part it is, it also symbolizes immaturity and growing up. And this story started when I was about 13, and this album where it ended, I was 18. So there’s a lot of immaturity there. Like I said, I try to be as honest as humanly possible in this album, and I think it definitely helped in being honest.

You’re wise beyond your years in the way that it comes through, and it’s always amazing to hear, like, just the strength and the depth of your voice. But more than that, like that, sometimes you could get away with just pure raw talent. Like, just the physical talent of singing is one thing, but there’s an emotion that’s buried inside it, and it’s hard. Like, when you think most folks you see that are blues artists, they got a few decades of hurt in them. So for you to come at it and to be able to give this kind of storytelling and to have seven years in at age 20, it’s a pretty heroic amount of work that you’ve been doing to put this stuff together. I imagine it was probably buried in you long before even 13.

I’ve always wanted to be a musician. As long as I can remember, it was pretty highly discouraged from friends and family as I think would probably be wise. It is now. But starting out wasn’t the most lucrative job, wasn’t the safest job by far. And a lot. I know I’m in the vast minority of musicians that can actually make a living and then some. And for a pretty long time, I wasn’t nothing against anybody that said I wouldn’t be able to make it or anything like that. Totally cool. It worked out for the best for me. So I’ve always wanted to be one and I just kind of put it off. I was also really shy. I’ve always had problems with self confidence. Still do. And just like, well, if they can’t make it, there’s no way I could ever make it. So I just kind of put it off for a really long time. But it was always there. And then I guess when I started when I was 13 and I kind of started falling in love with this one girl, and that was just kind of the whole story of an on again, off again relationship, especially trying to keep it under wraps, not being able to talk to anyone because it was secret.

I guess art is a great way for your own therapy. So it was almost just like I needed to get it out somehow. And a great way is to pretend like I made it up.

Yeah, that’s always the funny part. People don’t realize how much truth is buried in those words that you’re probably not supposed to reveal. And it’s like you’re like most of it is made up except for the parts that are all real. I always appreciate whenever Taylor Swift gets into a relationship, I’m all right. Two years to a new album. It’s just fantastic. She seems to be this wave of good relationship realize it doesn’t. Sadly, I shouldn’t make fun of it because it is, unfortunately, a bit of a feeder for really fantastic stories and music because that emotion gets poured into it. On that, though, the longevity of a song versus the longevity of the original emotion. What do you feel about this idea that you’re going to be playing songs that really meant something immediate and distinct when you were like 17 and you’re going to carry that 10, 15, 20 years down the road, you’re going to bring those songs up and it’s going to be a hit. Not the story of 17 year old Charlie, who is suffering.

Yeah, I’ve thought about that a lot. I think it was Joe Walsh said about one of his tunes that if I’ve known that was going to be the song I’d sing for the rest of my life, I would have written a different song. I don’t know, because the story hasn’t necessarily ended yet. So I’m kind of even though the last song, Best Thing Ever Made, that part of the story, ended when I was 18, when I just graduated high school. So it hasn’t really ended yet. And I totally thought it did but it totally did not.

Even you get surprised by the story sometimes.

Yeah. But I can’t talk too much about this, but when I was on tour, I was touring through Houston, and I’m from a really small town near Houston, so I got to be in town and I was there and kind of all hit me back. All those memories and stuff. I drove by my old school and all those roads we used to speak down in private and those 30 miles an hour roads, we all used to go 85 on all that sort of thing. And even though it’s changing a lot, that really small town in just a very short amount of time, all those memories and feelings and even songs I forgot I wrote, came back. And when I actually got to meet again with some of these people and figured out that, oh, crap, this story kept going because I actually met with someone special a few times. And I remember that night I had a show because I got into an argument with her, and I had a show in Houston, a really small joint. It was called the 202 Main just in Conroe outside Houston. And I put on probably the best show I put on all year.

It was just a little one man show joint, but it was definitely top five. And I’ve been looking back on that show like, man, I got to do that again. I don’t know if that emotion is ever going to go away. Every time I sing these songs, I think about how I wrote them, how I felt after I wrote them, how I feel about them now, at least in the short span of time, because I realized that could be a different story when I’m 40 years old. But as of right now, the emotions haven’t gone away. I don’t really see them going away anytime soon.

This is where the collaboration stuff comes into, because there’s a real emotion to pairing with somebody and co writing, and you really hear it and feel their contribution to it through that. I mean, I pulled on the old country roots, too. I remember watching as a kid, Honeysuckle Rose, and I love that movie. It’s a Willie Nelson, which is basically like a biography of him. This idea of going on tour with a girl but realizing his wife was like, I was that girl. And I see how you’re looking at that girl now. So I know something’s going on because I was the one that took you from somebody else. And I don’t want you to do that to me because it’s Willie’s band. I always loved that he would just use his guys and watching this thing of the moment that they’re on stage, and then they connect, and it’s there. That emotion comes even with just connecting with the audience, with connecting with the drive on the way to the venue. And you’re like, oh, man, that’s that pizza joint that we used to go to. And I remember having this big argument out there, and just like, that kicks in, and all of a sudden you’re on stage and you close your eyes and that’s it.

That memory just takes over.

Yeah, man. And that’s really why I’m doing this. I’m trying to connect the audience. Like I said in the beginning, it’s a big deal. So if I can carry that emotion through the rest of my career and into the audience and into the bands and everything, well, then I guess I did something right.

When you’re performing, how adaptive is the performance? Because obviously you got it set up by you guys and there could be nobody in the room, and you can nail down the songs. You’ve already got the music’s in you, the stories in you, you’re ready to perform. You guys rehearse. Everybody knows that. It’s funny. Just like any job. It’s like, I know I can pull this off, but then situationally things adjust. How much do you do? Things like move around set list or extend parts of the song. How much do you like to mix that in?

A whole lot. I actually try to never play the same song the same way twice, especially with the band. I throw in extra verses. I put in new lyrics that’s more for, like, the acoustic stuff when there’s not a whole lot else you can do. But I’ll modulate it. I’ll add in extra instruments, take instruments out. I always make it fun. I try to make it because I don’t want people to think if I wanted to hear this song, I could just listen to his album on my phone, come out to the show, and it’s always different. It’s always more fun. I’ll get people’s names from the audience. I’ll slip their names into the song just for the hell of it. I’ll even write songs on the stage with the band. They’ll be like, you give me a word. Okay? Flowers. You give me a word. Umbrella. All right. This one’s called Flowers and Umbrellas.

That’s awesome.

It’s always different. And the set lists are different every night, which makes practice extremely hard, but it makes the shows extremely fun.

I remember doing medley’s when I was in, I would never want to play, like, a whole song. We would do our original stuff. And the funny thing, actually, the story the name of DiscoPosse, where this came from, that we were in this heavy band. And we were sort of like toolish, very melodic, heavy music. So you got that style. And then what we would do is we would open our own band with our own bands, but we would put on, like, funky wigs, and we would play really heavy versions of disco songs. So I called it the DiscoPosse. And we would just play Wild Cherry and Chic and just like me, or just rocking out with a seven string, and it was a blast. And then you would just go get a couple of drinks. Now you’re relaxed and you play your original stuff, and people really kind of playing originals sometimes when you go into these small venues is a good sign. If you want to go to the bathroom, now is a great time because you’re not going to know what the song sounds like. But they would know that we were there twice, and they would really kind of dig into it.

But that was the thing is, playing stuff that was dynamic. You start to play and you see. You can see the room. You can feel it, not like just the vibe wasn’t right. And so we would switch up and just like, go with it. And you had to know. You had to be ready to kind of throw away the set list, because there’s nothing worse than if you’re just like, the next song in our list is X. And if they didn’t like the last one, and this sounds just like it, why in the hell are you playing? Figure out what they want to hear.

You got to be able to adapt.

If you were to say, the first song that you played end to end, that you wanted the room to say, check this out, I learned this song. What was the one that made you ready? This is it. I’m a performer. I learned this whole goddamn song.

Actually. You know what? I think it was an original. I do remember it because it has followed me around for years. It was a God-awful song. It’s called Angel. I didn’t really know how to play guitar. I knew, like a chord and a half, and I was 14. And so I played a few of my first open mics and that sort of thing. Nothing real. And I actually did have, like two gigs just through some people I knew. They had, like, some charity events, so I got a few bucks for that. But Angel, that was it. When I was 16, I made a terrible record. It’s terrible. You can check it out. It’s awful. I wouldn’t suggest it.

You definitely know I’m putting things into that one now.

Yeah, well, it’s not that great, but I knew nothing about music. Nothing like Americana or Whatever’s Left. But it was called Good Time Charlie. And the first song on it was Angel, and it was pretty awful. I’ve actually rewritten all those songs just to see if I could just to make them suck a little less. Actually, they don’t suck that much anymore. But the original recordings you can look at, they’re all awful. It was Angel. I was so proud of that. Terrible.

That’s the other thing, right? Evolution of the music is something that I remembered going through. Like I said, my singer in the band, he’s just got this notes, like, basically like a poetry sell book with weird stuff all over it. And he would just be like, all right, tapping into a rhythm, you’re like, okay, cool, let’s just go dig. And he’s like. He remembers a word and he’s like, all right, find some sentence, some phrase that he wrote. And then from there we would like, carry on. And we would do stuff. And I remember recording on this, like, , sorry, I’m an old dude. So I recorded on four track, old school cassettes, putting four tracks and then bouncing it down on physical tracks, which means that basically you get bleed between the tracks, so it just destroys the dynamics of it. But hey, to us, it was like, Holy crap, we recorded a song and we actually managed to squeeze in layered guitars and stuff, but we would do this, and then you would record it, and then a month later, you almost forget how that song was recorded because you’d listen to something else and it would start to adapt, and then you realize, like, oh, man, that’s the real song.

Like, it’s living, it’s breathing, it’s organic. And that’s actually one of the best things because the emotion just gets carried forward into a new vessel, I guess.

Yeah, I think that if you release it, I know that’s different. Just keeping it on a track in your bedroom. But if you release it out to the world and it’s on the radio and stuff and people hear it and connect with it, it grows even, because obviously I can’t change them now. They’re there. I mean, I could do a remastered version one day, but that’s them. I also think that they evolve and they grow and they’re living in a different sense. By the way people look at them all the time. People come up and tell me, Use Somebody is my wife’s song or whatever, and they’ll tell me why. And they’ll give me their little life story, and I’m just thinking, and I’m telling them, that’s great, terrific. Thank you. But I’m just thinking, I don’t know how the hell you got that. That’s not a great song to have with you and your wife, man. You didn’t listen to that song properly, but it has a different meaning and a different connotation to them. So beautiful that this thing that I wrote so specifically about my life could mean something so similar to somebody in a completely different situation.

And I did have that intent to give it a little bit of vagueness so that could happen. Yeah, it took off so much further than I thought it ever could.

Well, this is the interesting thing. You’re handing it to the listener for them to interpret, and you have to sort of surrender to how it’s going to be interpreted. That’s got to be a weird feeling, because he almost was like, no, man, it’s not what’s about. Like poetry, songwriting, artistry. When the artist is not there, we’re all like, oh, yeah, this is what he meant when he drew it. You could see the shades of yellow that were in the sun and the sunflowers in the side of France. And you’re like, no, just the dude’s kid really like yellow.

So that’s like yellow.

But you’re doing that. You have to effectively give this thing and then listen to how people enjoy it and interpret it. What’s that like?

It’s like I made something that’s better than myself. I don’t know. Like, I’m Dr. Frankenstein and now the monster is designing skyscrapers crap. You did a better job than I did. I made you and you can barely talk. It’s humbling and a little awkward at first sometimes. I once played acoustic show, just a little one man show, and I think it was in Fort Worth. And some people came out and they were sitting in the middle, so I couldn’t really tell who it was. And at the acoustic show, sometimes we’ll tell little stories. And I wrote this. I was on the road and about this, and that. Not all the time, just sometimes. And some lady went, no, it’s not. I’m like, okay. And I just started playing it. I didn’t even know what to say. I wrote it. I don’t know what to say.

Fair enough. Good point. You got me.

You get heckled at a show that’s definitely a new. But it is amazing to see how people can connect it to their experience at that time. Just in the same way that when you drove by your high school, you remember the car you had, you remember the music that was on the radio every morning for the last semester that you were there. Like, there’s all this connective memories that are there that are very situational, that are very specific. And then years go by and they’re there. They’re always there. Like, some of it leads and fades. But it really is funny how, now that you’re the guy that’s creating that point in time experience that you have and giving it to somebody, in 15 years, they’re going to be driving by their high school going like, man, I remember listening to that Charlie Cope album, and this was like, I got some stuff done in that car or whatever it’s going to be, right?

It’s pretty amazing. I don’t always think about that. It doesn’t always hit me that these songs could. I definitely didn’t expect them to be as popular as they are. I didn’t expect them to get on the charts, much less seven of them. And so many different charts as well, and all around the world, and I see bands that are covering it and everything, and I didn’t expect it. I knew I’d get a couple of fans by this time in my career, but I didn’t think I’d have nearly as many as I do. It’s a little weird.

Yeah, well, it’s earned and deserved and all that. Charlie, when did you know this was your career?

It’s going to sound corny. When I told the girl, this is what I was going to do. When I told someone special, this is what I was going to do. I don’t know. She didn’t really say anything. She just kind of looked at me funny, and she had this look in her eyes I’ll never forget, we were kids a million years ago. And then I started showing her all my songs. She’s like, all right, Charlie, you need to shut the hell up now. But it was a cool feeling because she knew the first song, she knew it was about her, and it was kind of a really cool feeling. And then years later, when I started seeing people, they were telling me about the songs and how they feel for them. The career grew. I knew this is what I was probably, the only thing I was actually capable of doing and then finding more and more and more reasons to it. The career itself also was also a living entity and also grew, and so did my reasoning behind it.

The business is weird, especially now. People don’t get this that you going to produce and release an album. There’s lawyers, there’s craziness, there’s leaps of faith. There are contracts that you’re going to look back on in 20 years and weep about. You know, you hear some of the stories, even just the simplest things, like co writing credits and songwriting credits, like stuff like that. I remember hearing Billy Corgan talking about it. He’s like, Be careful what decisions you make at the start, because 15 years in, when you’re the one getting the check, and the five people that are on tour with you for 15 years aren’t getting the same check. There’s a very weird thing about being the voice, the songwriter, the creator, and having a great support and crew. But you have to think about weird future stuff when you don’t even know it’s real yet as you’re like, just trying to get yourself out there. That’s got to be a strange sensation of seeing it as a business while also just being a performer.

Yeah. And especially in my head, I’m still that 14, overweight kid with the goofy haircut. So I don’t necessarily think I need to get my band some NDAs, because when I give them the schedule for the next album, we can’t tell that on the radio. We can’t tell that magazines or my mentor is like, hey, Charlie, I just bought a magazine. Your face is on it. Like, do you put it there? Put a sticky note? That’s a weird feeling. And then the whole business side, I don’t necessarily think of those things right away. It’s more of like, hey guys, you want to go grab a burger and I can show you the new songs that I have, not here’s your NDA before I show you these songs. It’s very weird. But, luckily, I have a lot of great mentors on the music side and the business side. And they’ve helped me out and I found those really early in my career. So I did have a jump start for when things start moving. I kind of already knew what I needed to go down.

Yeah. And especially in my head, I’m still that 14, overweight kid with the goofy haircut. So I don’t necessarily think I need to get my band some NDAs, because when I give them the schedule for the next album, we can’t tell that on the radio. We can’t tell that magazines or my mentor is like, hey, Charlie, I just bought a magazine. Your face is on it. Like, do you put it there? Put a sticky note? That’s a weird feeling. And then the whole business side, I don’t necessarily think of those things right away. It’s more of like, hey guys, you want to go grab a burger and I can show you the new songs that I have, not here’s your NDA before I show you these songs. It’s very weird. But, luckily, I have a lot of great mentors on the music side and the business side. And they’ve helped me out and I found those really early in my career. So I did have a jump start for when things start moving. I kind of already knew what I needed to go down.

How much of the scene sort of impacted your ability to get close to music? Because I’d say in Texas there’s definitely a very strong music scene and there seems to be an understanding of the talent that’s in the area. It’s a beautiful thing to go through there. There like Tennessee got its own scene. Of course you got New Orleans got its own style. Everybody’s got these very localized groups. But having sort of close proximity access to a real industry, not just big oil, but big music, it must have been helpful, I’d say, versus some poor guy that’s up in North Dakota just trying to make this happen.

Yeah, his neighbor lives a mile away. Yeah, it was a huge impact on me actually. So like I said earlier, mentors. I take mentors everywhere I can. I’m always trying to learn something. No matter how much I think I know about something, I don’t know much about it. And especially like we said earlier, this business is very weird and constantly adapting. So advice that I had or lived by or even gave just a year ago might not be true anymore, especially with Covid. So a lot of my inspirations came from local musicians, probably even more so than Tom Petty or Bob Dylan that I might have grew up listening to. I think those local guys, especially around Houston, I think around Dallas, but Fort Worth is a little bit more country. Around Houston, there’s a lot more blues and there’s a lot more Americana. So it’s really folky, kind of John Prine is big Townes Van Zandt is huge. So listening to those guys, that’s a lot of storytelling there. And really intricate lyrics hanging out with those guys. And like this person taught me how to write a set list and this person taught me how to put on a show other than the music.

And this person, my buddy Van Buchanan taught me how to write a catchy song, right. Actually, I met Van at JP Hops House, which is one of my favorite bars in the whole world. Weird thing to say when you’re 20 and it’s been one of my favorite bars since I was a lot younger. I don’t want to say how younger cause I don’t want to get them in trouble. I wouldn’t drink there. I would just go there to play, but some of the top singer songwriters come around and they’ll hang out every now and then. I was part of the National Summer Association. I was part of the Houston Summer Association. A few other things, too. And just everyone would go there and play. And it was just like one of the hot spots. I would go do that and do open mics before I had a bunch of gigs. I would even do, like, seven or eight open mics in one day. Just so I was like, okay, this song was too slow. They said it needs to be faster. This one was too fast, it needs to be slower. And this person did this, and this person did that.

I try to learn from everywhere I could go. So the scene around there was very big.

The interesting thing, too, is the weird transparency to the writing process. There is a lot of that, right? And some people, maybe especially later in their career, they’re like, no, ef oh, y’all. This is what the song is going to sound like, whether you like it or not. This is how it’s going out. But early on, as you find that voice, find your style and figure it out, sometimes just through that creative process, you got to test it and audience testing. It’s like comedians do this all the time, right? They go out and they just do little, like eight minute spots here and there. And even big, huge comedians. Chappelle shows up at The Comedy Store and he’ll do ten minutes, which really blows up the poor bugger who’s on after him didn’t know that he was going to show up. But then that material gets matured and tested and worked on. And then sometimes it’s the room that’s wrong. Sometimes it’s you that’s wrong. Sometimes it’s the timing that’s wrong. And then over time, all of sudden, a you’re like, all right, now I’ve got this song that’s really ready, and it’s kind of automatic at that point.

But do you like that collaborative audience style writing?

Oh, yeah. It’s called road testing. Yeah, it’s really important. I’ve done it on every one of these songs, some more than others. Yeah, that’s really important because I’m trying to connect with the audience. I know that’s different from a show to a studio, but I’m trying to connect with them. So to get their opinion on it is so huge and especially because I’m always asking everybody’s opinion, even if they don’t know anything about music. So whoever I ask, I always take it with a grain of salt. But that’s really important, especially for me, because like I said, I’ve always had an issue with self confidence. So I’m like, I don’t know, does this work? Does this work? And then, Charlie, that’s like one of your best songs ever. Okay, cool. I’m always asking them, and I’m always very cautious about my music. I don’t want to release crap that I think is good. No one else does. So I’m always road testing it, and it helps them evolve a whole lot.

Have you ever known that someone was just wrong?

They’ve given me some terrible advice. I’ve had one of them, won’t say who, won’t say who, but one person said and was telling me something. I was like, oh, well, actually, that’s illegal. You can’t do that. But I saw a TV show about it. Yeah. There’s a sitcom about a rapper. And I just like, okay, I’m not going to argue with you. He’s like, I know more than you because I watched this sitcom. I was like, okay? I’m a professional. Cool. I’ll take your word for it. I got to run, though. I’ve had people and family tell me to stop playing shows for money, start playing gigs for free. But that’s an interesting approach. Ton of people told me to quit so many times, it got so annoying the amount of times they would tell me to quit. Not every one of them, of course. A lot of, like, my grandfather on my mom’s side bought me my first guitar, and he was the first person to tell me, I can make it. He’s even on the album.

Wow, that’s awesome.

Yeah. I got him in the intro track with the clapping, so I got him on that. But yeah, a couple of them are just, like, terrible advice. Drop out of college, get a regular job. It’s like, okay, well, at least get a regular job as, like, a waiter or in fast food or something until you really make it big and just hold off on the music. Why would I do that? Even at this point, I was probably 18. I was like, make less money than I am now. Why and hold off on the career? It doesn’t make any sense, but it’s all good. You always have to take it all with a grain of salt.

Yeah. And you think about every musician, every artist, every creator has had somebody just say, like, trash, right? Like, somebody got the First Kiss album. They’re like, I’m just not hearing a hit here. That was one of the famous Joan Jett, talks about this thing of going to, like, shopping. I love rock and roll to 40 different record producers, and they’re all like, I just can’t imagine hearing this on the radio. And today she’s probably still getting six figure checks for it.

It’s a great song, but if you really think of it, like, try to step back, it’s a great song. I love Joan Jett. One of my favorites, but it’s so extremely cheesy.

Right. Yeah.

This is the interesting thing, too. Have you got songs that people love that you hate or not hate as a bit of a dark word, but songs that you’re like? I wish people didn’t like this as much as they did, because I kind of feel like it’s either boxed into a period of time or maybe the style wasn’t quite how you want it.

Breaking Down Never Felt So Good is one of mine. And that’s a great song. I love to play it. It hurts my arms to play it, but it’s a great song. It’s really fast. It hurts, especially the poor drummer, because he’s going to town on that tambourine. When we play it live, it’s longer. So that one. But if you do it at, like, a one man show or like, a two-man show or something like that, it’s not always as good that way. So I’ll get, like, people to clap along and stuff. But if the crowd isn’t as responsive, it just doesn’t work as well. So I don’t play it in that event. Like you say, you got to update the set list in those.


But sometimes people just, like, request it. I’ve even had people request it, like, three times in one four hour show. The crowd was so not into it. It was just a one man show. So I didn’t have the band. I was like, don’t think okay, because, I mean, I wrote it. So if I get a song request for one that I wrote, it’s kind of hard to avoid playing that, but it’s also just a pain to play, and I got to do all the solos by myself.

If I’m playing acoustically, that don’t get no easier.

No, sir. No, that’s it. The acoustic fretboard and string tension is not designed for that kind of playing. There are guys that I’m always amazed. There’s a guy who’s a subway musician in Toronto where I was raised, and I remember going through every day, and he would play. It’s like bitter cold. He’s wearing fingerless gloves, and he’s playing this crazy, like, high speed, like, Spanish Flamingo stuff. And then he’s, but then it turns out he also played, like, Heavy Duty, like, prog rock as well. And he started playing on an acoustic, and he’s like, I can’t do this, dude. You break down fast. And he plays all the time. And he’s like, no, this is not good for your soul or body to do this.

I have several guitars on the stage, but one of my main guitars, one with a lot of the pictures with Jesse. Either custom strings, so they’re really thick and they’re really heavy. Yeah, they’re hardly guitar strings. They’re more like steel bridge cables.

What’s the gauge on that from? This is where we nerd out for all the people that if you want to tap out for a few minutes, we’re going to nerd out on some guitar tech. You can even hear you fighting to bend. Like, you know that. Those are some thick strings. But what a beautiful tone, though.

Oh, yeah. Love this guitar. I named her after Jesse Coulter.

Oh, yeah. Very cool.

Yeah. All my guitars have names. Oh, yeah. We’re going to nerd out over here.

There you go. Just because I got a collection of guitars around to show you. This is when my wife got this for me and I was actually particularly proud of this one. So it’s hard to see, it’s not going to focus. That’s signed by Ed Sheeran and it says ‘Please Play, Don’t Display’. Yes, sir. I play this thing all the time. This is a Martin, it’s like a baby guitar. This is Ed Sheeran’s, like model. I think Ed Sheeran must be 4ft tall because this is tiny. It’s just like a little wee guitar. So it feels funny because I play a seven string. So when I pick up even a six string, I feel like Jimmy Hendrix’s hands wrapping around the neck. So this thing, it feels like junior size. But it’s fantastic to sound like this little tiny Martin guitar. But it’s just like just big thick sound and I love the warmth of it.

‘Please Play. Do not Display’. I like that. I might steal that.

That is. You got to put that on someone’s guitar.

I’ve signed plenty of guitars, man. It always freaks me out. Are you sure you want me? Do you want me to sign your beer can or something? I do that a lot.

That’s an interesting thing too, right? Is that there’s this different level that you get, right? Because some people want you to sign a thing. It has both a meaning in that moment and they see this longevity of the meaning. And it’s really amazing to be able to mean that to somebody, right? That’s got to be pretty well. And then at the same time you’re just like, this is like a $3,000 guitar, dude. Maybe you should, can I sign a piece of paper? Like maybe a book or something?

Yeah. One of my biggest fears is like I’m going to misspell their name on their guitar.

With a nice big thick Sharpie.

Yeah, exactly. I would feel like such a tool if I did that. You could see me. If there’s like every now and then at the bigger shows, there’ll be like a line of a couple of people that want me to sign stuff and they’ll take pictures of me and stuff. You can see the panic in my eyes.

Now this is the fun part because I know there’s nothing worse than be like dance for me. Right? Because you, come on, we want to talk. But at the same time, I don’t even know the legality of, ‘can I play your songs’? If you’re playing your songs on my podcast, am I going to get busted for a DMCA? I don’t know how that all works.

You have my permission. You can play my music as much as you like.

There you go, folks. That’s for the lawyers. There you go. Charlie, it’d be a real honor if you want to play a little bit for us. I would love to mix up. Be the first time I’ve ever had a live player on the podcast. And we can jump back into some more of the tech.

Sure. Do you have a favorite?

No. You know what I’m going to say. This is artist pick. If you had the song that you wanted people to know that this is the start of your listing journey, throw down.

Make sure I’m in tune. I’m not.

This is half the battle.

Yeah. At least I’m inside, not out in the cold.

There’s nothing worse than playing outdoor gigs. And you’re like, this is not going to go well. Temperature changes make a mess.

Your fingers turn the sausages.

Yeah, I’m in New Jersey now, but I grew up in Toronto and it was disturbing. We’d go and play outdoor games. You’re sitting around a campfire. See, your guitar is, like, hot on the front. Your back is cold from the winter and it’s a bad scene that I’ve got an old Seagull guitar, which is basically almost the same style as a Martin. It’s an open top, so not laminated. This thing has been through wars. I still have the price tag on it. I bought it when I was, like 22, so it’s like 25 years old. And I still love this guitar, but, man, it’s a miracle it’s still with me these days. And the action is still, like, super low. It’s a beautiful play. I’m a big fan of it.

I see, like, William Prince playing outdoor in the snow on New Year’s Eve in Canada. I was like, oh, God, not just the guitar, but also your vocals. I’m wearing a Carhartt if I’m outside and like, anything below 70.

All right, ladies and gentlemen, there you go. I got to say, Charlie Cope.

Can you hear the guitar okay?

Yeah, it’s actually pretty cool. The cool thing, the signal wire platform that I use, it actually plays pretty cleanly and technically I can actually talk while you’re playing. And it records both. It’s not like Zoom, where it cuts out one when someone else starts talking. It actually multiplexes audio. That’s another nerd bit for the folks that are used to networking and speedy recording, but, yeah, that’s why it doesn’t cut off as bad. Zoom is horrible to play on because any change in dynamics, it tries to auto adjust and it just blows up the dynamics.

Very cool. Yeah. So we talked about the best tape ever made, a couple of times. See if I can get work. We’ll do a little different version.

You heard that’s driving stop.


And if we work out, our story was riddled with disaster. We were never meant to make it anyway.

I look back and all I see is the laughter. So I showed you Willie Nelson’s song.

I love it. Beautiful.

My voice might be a little bit out of tune. I didn’t warm up or anything.

No, I know that’s the worst, too. It’s one thing as a guitarist, you can always sort of mess with your fingers and get ready. Thank you for being on the spot and nailing it too. That was very cool. I tell you a perfect setup because one of my favorite questions that I love to ask people, which I’m very sure I stole from somebody like Tim Ferriss. And it is thematic to the song. What is the worst thing that’s happened to you that you’re the most thankful for?

Good one.

One worst thing that’s happened to me that I’m thankful for. It might not all be great, but I was going to say it might not all be great, but it all worked out in the end. So none of it’s terrible, but there’s quite a bit of terrible stuff. I mean, as you can probably tell if you Google me enough, look up on the magazines. A lot of people know I have my history battling addiction and I was homeless for a little while. But actually the homeless thing wasn’t that bad at all. I also don’t want to spoil any future songs.

It’s all good.

I had some problems with this girl and she had some problems in her personal life, and it just killed me to see her and her struggling with her own problems. But I think that made both of us a lot stronger. And if she didn’t have to deal with those problems, she would have been able to brace the ones that were coming. I know that didn’t really happen to me, but seeing someone that I love struggle, it’s definitely worse than anything that could ever happen to myself.

That’s good. That’s why you never open with that question.

Or end. That would be a weird ender, too.

And you shared before about your personal journey and some of the challenges you faced. And this industry, the music industry, I say this industry like I’m in it, but I know of it. And I got a lot of friends that are in the music industry and performers and everything, TV, radio, it’s just on a good day. It’s a weird life because it’s very non structured. It requires you to build a lot of coping mechanisms to normalcy. Right? Like there is no normal by the standard definition. And it’s funny when you see a lot of folks, right? People see like Dave Mustain from Megadeth, and he speaks three languages and he talks about all his philosophies, read and writing, and people are like, but you’re the lead singer in a heavy metal band. This dude’s got a lot of free time and he’s fighting addiction. So he has built a lot of coping mechanisms and things that allowed him to compensate for time. I could be on the tour bus and then going into the city copping and then heading back to the bus, or I can read a goddamn Shakespeare and really get into something that keeps me busy.

So when you go into an industry that is non structured, where you have to sort of build your own safety into your life, how does that work?

Well, I took control of a lot. I don’t really like depending on others, especially in this industry. I mean, there’s been so many times when people have asked me some other groups, some soul and pop singers and blues band, we were all going to go on tour together, and they came to me, they approached me, they gave me all the numbers, and we even had contracts. And then the whole tour kind of fell apart. I knew I had contracts, I could have done something. But it’s not like I was being taken advantage of or anything like that. So it unfortunately fell apart. So I rolled with it. I just said, no worries. Keep me in mind in the future. Let me know if you need anything, that sort of thing. Keep in touch. And we didn’t. But I really dislike depending on other people. I’m very independent. I’m a very independent person. So I did everything myself. So all the tours that I go on now, they’re my tours, and if I run in, they do sometimes intersect with other people’s tours. Parker McCollum and Lynn Clark Green and Random King and stuff like that, we will intersect.

But it’s always, if I’m on tour, it’s my tour, at least for the next few years. So when I’m the boss, I have so much more control. I don’t have complete control, but I have a lot more control. And I think the people that work for me, my promoters and agents and musicians, I think they realize that I am extremely professional in what I do. I’m also a man of my word. And so I will go above and beyond to see what I mean. I mean what I say. And sometimes, like I said, things happen, COVID happens. I don’t think anyone really has.

No one had that in their plan.

Yeah, only a couple of people really gave me a hard time. Like, why does this happen like this? Well, COVID. 90% of people are like, okay, that’s cool. No problem. Understandable. But I try to take control as much as I could and be very professional. And I also expect and ask that everyone that works with me try to do the same. I hold that very, somebody’s word means a whole lot to me. So I’m a very trusting person, but I think I am where I am because I learn everywhere I go and I get mentors and all that.

So I’m a trusting person, but I’m also going to learn. So if your word falls apart a bunch of times, I’m going to learn, unfortunately, as it may be. So I try to take as much control as I can, even if that’s not necessarily the healthiest way to deal with it.

I’ll say it’s not even as much control as responsibility. You put the responsibility on yourself, but because you’re giving back into it, right? It’s not just I’m taking controls and I don’t trust anybody. You’re taking controls, and I’m ultimately responsible for the outcome here. And I’m going to depend on other people occasionally, but I want them to be responsible. And if they fail to meet that bar, then the responsibility goes back to me. So it’s a weird thing that we still talk about the word control. And some people say, like, Charlie, you’re controlling because you do everything. There’s a very big difference between control and responsibility. Control is power. Responsibility is ownership. Big difference.

I definitely don’t have much power, but I definitely have a whole bunch of ownership.

You sure own the outcomes.


But it’s a huge lift because it’s not just you. You’ve got performers, AR, PR people. You’ve got contracts to uphold. You’ve got to take care of your body, take care of yourself to perform all the time. People don’t get like, if I get sick, I just call in sick. You’re out on the road, you’re sick. You’re gargling lemon and salt water and spewing it out your nose and doing weird stuff to flush your sinuses in between sets because you can’t stop. That’s nuts.

We have protocols. If any of the band members ever get sick on the road, we have protocols for that, because as a singer, that’s the worst thing that can happen. So terrible.

I remember hearing that was a funny thing. Billy Corgan was on. He was getting interviewed. I think he was on Opie and Anthony, they were in New York. They’re a talk show. And like, 40 minutes into the interview, the guy’s like, yeah, sorry, there’s water everywhere. Because I’ve been sick for two straight days. I’m just trying to stay hydrated. And Corgan just says to him, perfect. This is a great time to tell me, because it’s not like my voice is my job. I’ve been sitting in this tiny little glass room with you for 40 minutes, and you’re breathing on me, you bastard.

When I was in the Hill Country, like, Hill Country area of Texas on tour, I played 23 hours in eight days. I think it was like 13 gigs or something. I don’t know, something like that. It was 23 hours in eight days. And so I was sick as a dog because I can’t eat the day of a show until afterwards because it’ll mess up my voice.


So I wasn’t eating because I was having multiple shows in a day. I wasn’t eating until really late at night. And if I had a morning gig, then I’m not going to be able to eat. And I wasn’t sleeping because I also had to do all the business side stuff and soon to come and everything. So I was sick as a dog, and I got tested for COVID, and it was negative. So cool. But it was just like, you probably should try sleeping. I’m like, well, I can’t. I was terribly sick for, like, two weeks because I couldn’t get better because I couldn’t sleep, so I couldn’t heal. It was terrible.

It’s the strain on your voice. It’s a muscle, right. And it’s like people who have sore muscles, they take an Advil or Tylenol, whatever. There is no Advil for your throat. You can ultimately try it, right? Yeah, that’s right. The catch with having to do this, especially you’re doing morning gigs, you do morning radio for an evening gig and they want you to perform. It’s really hard to just be on all the time. And sometimes when you’re touring, that’s it. There is no real break.

Yeah, I’m a workaholic at this point. I have a very addictive personality. I’ve actually been awake for 48 hours, give or take. I’ve been working a lot since this will come out in December. So I can say this. We have two tours next year.

Unbelievable. Congratulations in advance, man. It must feel good to know that the road is calling again.

In many ways, yes. Absolutely love it. In other ways, like getting sick for two weeks because I can’t heal, that one sucks. The cheap Airbnb. The road is really weird because it’s trying to, like a coping mechanism. Kind of like you said. One night you could play for 1500 people. People could scream your name. You could be signing guitars. Music legends that you grew up listening to could just be hanging out in the green room and want to jam with you. And that’s just an amazing feeling. That could be like your Friday night and then your Saturday night, you could be playing in a small dive bar for 25 people. It’s such a weird, and it could be the very next night. It’s so weird. And just trying to cope with that, that just huge high and huge lows as you’re just trying to make a living and connect with people and do whatever you’re trying to do in your music or your job. And then just the ups and the downs are just so much bigger than any other ups and downs in any most normal jobs. And I think a lot of musicians try to cope with that.

And the workload with chemical dependence, it’s definitely an easy thing to get into.

Yeah, that’s the challenge. And it’s just there people say, I don’t understand why people don’t even have to be a real pro musician. I used to do Tuesday night gigs that sound like, you’re playing with four other bands and there’s 25 people and then you realize it’s because it’s the bands and their girlfriends. That’s the 25 you’re playing for, but you’re playing for half price drink tickets. You’re not even getting paid. But it was like, hey, it’s just time on stage. It’s practice, it’s fun. Sometimes people show up, you never know. And even in those situations, you could see in the peer level, it was very easy to get into much more than just the beer behind the bar. And I was lucky enough to avoid that culture altogether. But it’s a tough and active choice that you got to make all the time. People don’t realize that it’s such a weird. Like, it’s intrinsic. It’s actually buried in the lifestyle.

Yeah. And it’s free. I don’t want to give peer pressure because everyone says that, but at some point it’s almost like just excessive guerilla marketing. I almost bought a T-shirt for, like, $80 yesterday. I was like, what am I doing? What am I doing? These aren’t even ten just because I see the ad everywhere I go. I was like, you know what? I don’t have any nice T-shirts. It’s just everywhere. And when you’re on the road, it really is everywhere. And that’s one of those things that it’s my tour bus. It’s got my face on it, or at least part of my face on it, because the wrapping didn’t come out great and it’s all mine. And I don’t care what you do, as long as you’re safe and it doesn’t affect the show. It’s none of my business, but I can take some control, some responsibility for it. Again, like you said, two different things, but I can. Okay. Hey, man, at this show, I’ve played this venue before with another group. They do have a lot of things going on backstage. Also, you’re going to meet a couple of celebrities, and it’s such a weird toss up.

And I know that they’re like, yeah, let’s do some coke with the “leave his name” celebrity. And then it’s totally something I get and something I’ve done so much more than any human being should have, but at least I did it got through. It got sober, the last time I got sober. And I can use it as an experience, even if I am a little bit terrified of it now. I can look back with experience and know how. And also, I mean, you meet so many people that they could be OD-ing or getting into dangerous situations or something like that. And like, hold up, I know exactly what to do.

Yeah. It’s kind of sad that you end up having to be part-time paramedic. You almost got to be ready for that kind of stuff. A lot of people don’t get off those buses.

Yeah, we have some clauses. Like I said, it’s on my business, but I do have a van, and anyone that needs a ride is encouraged. I used to say driving under the influence is cool as long as you can handle it. I don’t think that anymore. I’ve seen it go very bad, especially with musician egos. It can go very bad, even if it’s a home gig. We do have to drive sometimes an hour or two just for a home gig, and it can go bad. 02:00 A.M.

Oh, that’s it. And all it takes is just, it’s very easy. Yeah, you’re already tired, you’re amped up, you get a couple of drinks. Even like, comedians do this all the time. Like, I’m in a plane to New York, just going to drive back to Boston and it’s like that’s a three-hour drive, even if the ultimate intoxication, you’re just going to fall asleep. No other stuff. Like, there’s a lot of dangers that are present that are not normal for most people. And you have to think about stuff that’s very different, which goes to that thing of responsibility. And I appreciate you can tell in the way you even tell the story of it, how much it impacts and it’s inside you. So you got a lot of success. And I guess there’s the fun question, when will you be able to say, I’ve made it? What’s your mark?

Unfortunately, I don’t think myself as a person, I don’t think I’m capable, and I don’t think myself as a businessman, I don’t think I’m able to figure different things. But as a person, I don’t think I’m capable, because no matter how many people come up to Walmart and say, you’re the music dude, I just can’t see myself as someone who’s like a big deal. And that’s not even how my view has made it. My goal is to connect with people. And so there’s not a number on that. I don’t think there’s any real possible way to connect with everybody. So there isn’t a number. It’s not how many people come out to the shows or how much money or tour billboards have my face on them right now. The numbers too, by the way, not right now in total, but it’s just connecting with people. So I don’t think there’s ever that number to get to. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to actually make it. My little crusade of love, peace, and Kumbayah.

I think it’s cool because even if you do get to whatever the next level is, your personal responsibility won’t let you stop. And it’s a beautiful thing when you can take your band with you, bring other people. You can support a team of PR people around to be able to actually employ people and do what you love. And I got a huge respect for you for doing this. It’s really amazing and it shows in the music. It’s really fantastic. You’re a fantastic performer and writer, and if you hadn’t done that bad album, then this would be your bad album. So you got it out of the way.

I’m hoping that ten years down the road, I’ll think the same one about this one, because that just means I grew. I got better. That’s what I’m hoping.

Well, Charlie, you got a lot more than ten glorious and well earned years ahead of you, especially you got seven in there already and you’re 20, so it’s a good start. You’re not even able to drink legally. At most these places, they got to fire you in the back door and try and hide you from the bouncers. That’s always a weird thing too, right? When you’re playing and you’re under legal age, it’s like they can obviously do it. They can furnish you getting in and out, but there’s like all sorts of weird stuff that gets wrapped around that one, I imagine.

Well, I’ve had this beard on and off, actually since I was 14. So the beard and my hair is up in a bun now, so that helps, too. So it’s so weird because the bouncers have no idea how old I am. Nobody knows how old I am, unless they look at the magazine stuff. I’ve had like bouncers and venue owners hang out with me. Because I’ll hang out sometimes after the venue closes and they’ll just be complaining about these kids trying to sneak in. And I’m like, 16, I’m like, man, these college kids and like, I’m a sophomore in high school and I’m just like, they’re terrible.

I remember going to this. I grew up in this tiny little town. It was like a farm town and everybody knew everybody, right? Literally, like it’s a 2000 person town. And there’s a place called the Village Inn which is like the perfect name for the local drinking hole. And I would go into the Village Inn all the time and I remembered going there for like a year and a half and then celebrating my 19th birthday in Canada, drinking age is 19. And watching you pull out your driver’s license for real now. And they’re like, hey, what’s the big occasion, like turning 19th day? And they’re like, wait a minute. I reckon, I know you. You’ve been going here for a long time.

It’s all good.

We won’t tell anybody’s story. We’ll save that until the statute of limitation runs out.

There you go.

Charlie, thank you very much. This has been a real pleasure. And there you go, folks. charliecopemusic.com, lots of great links down below. Get the album and if you can’t afford the album, I’ll buy you the goddamn album. It’s that good. There’s lots of ways you can get it. So do so support amazing musicians and the whole ecosystem and, Charlie, I hope to see you on the road. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to bump into you backstage somewhere on the 2022 tour. Now that the world is opening up a little bit, It’s been a real pleasure here to chat.

Yeah. Thanks again for having me on.