A lot can happen in seven years. Growing families, new places to call home, and even a global pandemic. Despite all the expected and even unexpected life changes, The Copyrights pulled together to create their first album since 2014, Alone in a Dome. While the band were seemingly on an extended break, this latest release has been in the making for nearly half of that time.
“This album we recorded almost three years ago at this point, so it wasn’t as long of a break,” drummer Luke McNeill explains. “Like, it’s kind of been in the can for a couple of years. Just COVID happened and we didn’t know what to do with it.”
In their time between albums, the band didn’t limit their creative pursuits, with several members spending time on other musical projects. The creative flow never really stopped. It just branched out in a few more directions.
“I also have a band in Springfield [Illinois] that I write for, and kind of like a solo project, so I’m kind of stretched thin on material, and I kind of just alternate between the three bands,” McNeill says. “I finally got enough material for a Copyrights’ record, and we went from there.”
With time apart and distance between them, and all of it amplified by lockdowns and COVID concerns, the members were able to see their time together while creating the album in a whole new light. Being able to enjoy time as friends that had been separated brought a livelier element to the recording process.
“It wasn’t just another slog recording it, you know, it’s not like going through the motions,” McNeill expresses. “I kind of forgot how tight of a unit we were and recording [the album] was fun. Maybe if we did it a year after our last album it might not have been as fun, and spontaneous, and energetic as it turned out.”
When it came to writing and recording Alone in a Dome the band were able to do more than make the best of their time together. From recording demos in home studios to their time in the studio as a full band, they were also able to piece the songs together at their own pace.
“There’s something to be said for going to a studio, maybe out of town, and you’re going to be there for five days, that’s how long the album’s going to take,” McNeill relays. “It’s good to have that pressure sometimes, but I also really enjoyed having unlimited time on this album, to maybe throw a couple of bells and whistles on there that we wouldn’t have time for if we went to the studio and have that finite amount of time.”
Being in a position to take their time on the record proved beneficial to the band in other ways. The band have released a large part of their discography through Red Scare Records with Toby Jeg, formerly of Fat Wreck Chords. According to McNeill, releasing a full-length record with Fat Wreck Chords had been somewhat of a long-held dream for the band.
“[Toby] thought our albums were good and let Fat listen to them before, and they’ve passed on a few,” McNeill explains. “I guess [Fat] Mike or somebody at Fat heard it and really liked it and Toby let us know that they were interested.”
They’d previously released a 2014 EP, No Knocks, with Fat Wreck Chords, but earlier this year the band announced they would be releasing their upcoming album with the label, on October 22.
“If COVID hadn’t have happened, we probably wouldn’t have been able to put it out on Fat,” McNeill says. “We probably would’ve hurried it up and put it out on Red Scare just to get it out and be able to tour on it. That was kind of a nice benefit. I guess we’d waited long enough and were actually stubborn enough that we got a full length on Fat.”
With Alone in a Dome, the band aimed to take their signature, pop-punk sound and give it a bit of a twist, adding the aforementioned “bells and whistles” and giving themselves the freedom to break away from a more formulaic sound.
“I feel like it gets further and further, I think, from the kind of pop-punk blueprint each album that we do,” McNeill describes. “As I get older, and as I get more bored, or jaded, or whatever you want to call it, with just the regular standard structure of a song. I’d definitely say this one got a little bit weirder than that.”
After years of working on the album and the worldwide halt of COVID, McNeill says the band are ready to let this album out into the world at last.
“It’ll be more final when it finally gets out. I guess it’s kind of like a kid being born,” McNeill says. “We’re just proud to get it out, and hopefully everybody’s going to dig it.”
Watch the video for “Part Of The Landscape” here:
Photo courtesy of The Copyrights and Patrick Houdek