Little Rock, Arkansas band Knox Hamilton really worked it out with their last record. 2017’s The Heights did incredibly well for the band - Boots Copeland (vocals/guitar), Cobo Copeland (drums), and Drew Buffington (guitar.) Songs like “Work It Out” and “Washed Up Together” gained the band an audience and kickstarted a following that will hopefully continue to grow as the band releases music independently in 2019. Knox Hamilton’s latest single is ‘Cool’ and the name fits. Produced by Matt Hubert, the lyrics, the production, the instrumentation, the vocals – everything is just… well it’s cool. Alternative Addiction recently chatted with Knox Hamilton drummer Cobo Copeland about the band’s new single, the possibility of an upcoming LP, and working as an independent act.
“It came from Drew,” explained Cobo on how guitarist Drew Buffington started the band’s latest single, ‘Cool.’ “He was messing around and had a real cool demo. We kind of all put our heads together when we were jamming on it. It kind of had a punk feel to it at first that transitioned to something else. Boots had an idea about a song about just being cool – it says you’re cool in your own way – don’t let anybody tell you you’re not. He wanted to say that in a song, and he did that and it took on a life of its own.”
Speaking of taking a life on its own, that what Knox Hamilton is doing by switching from working with labels to releasing their music on their own. It fits the band’s lifestyle, sure. But more importantly, and there’s a theme here, it fits the spirit of what the Copeland brothers and Buffington are trying to do with Knox Hamilton these days.
“It’s been great. This is nothing against anybody that we worked with, but when you’re independent you can put stuff out when you want to. There’s nobody telling you to let a song breathe or whatever, we can do what we want. There’s a whole lot of artistic freedom that we’re really enjoying right now,” explained the drummer.
The band can switch to being independent musicians thanks in large part to the success they saw with The Heights. Cobo and the rest of Knox Hamilton weren’t just satisfied with what they were able to accomplish with growing an audience, they were pleased about finding a home for songs that he and his brother had been sitting on for years before the release of the record.
“A lot of those songs were pent up for a couple of years because we didn’t have an avenue to get them out. It felt good to get them out. Evan Peters at Virgin/Capital was great, and we felt super-supported and we were stoked to get it out there. The reaction was amazing. We still feel like we’re getting brand new fans from that album every day.”
The Copelands and Buffington spent a full cycle working on The Heights. They pushed it throughout 2017 and most of 2018 until they decided to take a break and take care of more important business. They might have lost a bit of momentum by taking a break, but according to Copeland, it was well worth it.
“We’ve been staying at home with families for a while and making sure kids know who dads are [laughs.] We’ve been taking some time to be with family. It’s not anything to do with the band. We’re writing and demoing every single day, but family is more important than touring year-round.”
Knox Hamilton has released a couple of singles recently, but here’s hoping that leads into them working on releasing a new LP. Talking with Cobo, he wasn’t completely sure if they were going to be able to record a full-length record, but it didn’t seem like it was out of the question.
“We’d love to do another album. I guess it just depends on what happens from here. We have five or six songs that we’re trying to record right now. We’re just going to keep cranking them out. We’re shooting videos on our own and with some buddies here around Little Rock. We’re trying to have fun. We’re trying to get back to the basics of when we were doing music in high school because it was fun. We would jam until 2AM rather than hang out or watch a movie. We’re back to that, that’s exciting. We’re doing whatever we want on a song. Whatever happens, happens and we’re stoked about that,” added Copeland.
As for what’s next for Knox Hamilton, they’re trying to get out on the road. They’re working on possible angles and they might not be up for a full tour, but they’re trying to play shows.
“We’re making plans now and trying to get some stuff going. We’re trying to partner with some different bands right now. We’re trying to get everywhere. We’ve done a week on and off trying to get back into touring shape. We want to see all of our old friends around the country, show them the new stuff and get them excited about it.” -aa