Interviews -

Home On the Rise - August 14, 2002
Marc Copely: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Singer-songwriter Marc Copely survives a car accident and songwriting camp to release his major-label debut

Manhattan-based singer-songwriter Marc Copely.

His major-label debut, "Limited Lifetime Guarantee."

Why he might sound familiar:
Copely has recently toured with Sense Field, Our Lady Peace and the Tragically Hip. His first single, "Surprise," is currently in rotation on MTV2.

You'll like him if:
You like hard-edged pop-rock tempered by an emphasis on melody and the occasional drop-dead gorgeous ballad.

His story in a nutshell:
A native of Worcester, Mass., Copely got his first guitar at age 13 and played in cover bands throughout his teens. Getting encouragement from Boston-based indie favorite Mary Lou Lord, with whom he toured extensively, he began writing his own material. Last year he attended Miles Copeland's famous songwriting camp with Carole King, Tracy Bonham, and Ed Robertson from Barenaked Ladies.

After returning home, he enlisted drummer Josh Freese (from A Perfect Circle and the Vandals) and bassist Dave Hull (from Pete Droge's band) to form the backing unit for "Limited Lifetime Guarantee." His most significant collaborator by far, however, was producer and co-writer David Werner, a former RCA artist who released a trio of acclaimed glam-rock albums in the 1970s.

What songwriting camp was like:
Copely describes his experience at the Copeland songwriting camp as energizing and educational, but also humbling. "Every night we would have dinner together and listen to the demos from the previous day," he says. "It was pretty heavy to listen to myself singing something I wrote with a couple of chaps in three hours, with Carole King staring at me. Sometimes I [found myself] trying to hide under the table."

Why he considers the late '60s and early '60s a formative period, even though he wasn't born yet:
"As far as records go, I always had people 10 years older than me pushing things at me," he says. "I was really fortunate in that way. Music from that time felt more pure and more soulful, to me. People like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed took risks and had their own identity. [Today] you might have a band that's really unique, but then all of a sudden you get 20 more bands that are watered down versions of the same thing."

How a car crash helped give him focus:
Three years ago Copely suffered near-fatal injuries in an automobile accident. That event, and the ordeal of recovery, served to fuel his ambitions. "When you're in your early '20s, touring around and playing in rock bands, you tend to think you're pretty invincible," he says. "You don't think about things like death. Suddenly I was forced to think about that and to accept it as a reality. Afterwards, I was determined not to be shy anymore and to go out and sing, and to write honestly. If I were to sum up one thing [I've learned], it would be to not be afraid to let everything hang out. It's sort of a Buddhist thing: Go where it's dangerous, and say, 'Yes.'"

- Interview by Russell Hall

CDNOW Contributing Writer


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