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Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Joe Kopecky of Kopecky from 2006
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at

Can you catch the readers up on the history of the band?
Kopecky is a Wisconsin based intrumental band consiting of my two brothers: William (4 and 6 string basses), Paul (acoustic drums) and myself, Joe (6 and 7 string guitars). We formed in 1995. We have 5 CDs on 5 different record labels, including our latest release Blood on Canada's Unicorn Digital. We have performed at progressive music festivals such as: Progday, Baja Prog and Progman cometh. We have performed with prog luminaries such as: Spock's Beard, The Flower Kings, Uriah Heep, Planet X, Tunnels, Cab, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Thinking Plague.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their art described or pigeonholed, but how would you describe it?
Technical, dramatic, progressive rock with hints of metal and experimentation.
MSJ: What are your musical influences?
As a teenager, I listened to soloists like Hendrix, Blackmore, DiMeola, Uli Roth, Van Halen and Malmsteen. As I got older I got into supergroups like Return To Forever, Rush and DreamTheater. I am also a fan of Bozzio/Levins/ Stevens, Hellborg /Lane/ Sipe, King Crimson, Lamb of God, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Meshuggah.
MSJ: Are there musicians out there with whom you would like to work in the future?
Locally, I am going to do a couple of recording projects. One with stick player Jason Blake of Aziola Cry, and brother Paul on drums. The other is with bassist Chad Novell from Strangeland. My dream project would be Billy Sheehan on bass, Chris Alder on drums, Rob Halford on vocals and Matt Guillory on keyboards.
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that its essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales would you agree?
From a major label view, I think downloading music would hurt sales. If they stick millions into promoting an artists new release, they expect millions back in CD sales. From an unsigned or indie view, I think downloads help. It circulates material and aids in promoting the band.
MSJ: I understand you guys will be opening for the Flower Kings in October. How did that come about, and what can you tell me about it?
The promoter and organizer of that show, Cristine Holtz, runs Music News Network. A long time fan and friend of Kopecky, she saw our CD realease concert a few months back and mentioned the possibility of performing with The Flower Kings.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
I bought Derek Sherinian - Blood of a Snake. If you looked in my vehicle's CD player, you would find: Spaced Out - Unstable Matter, Lamb of God - Ashes of the Wake, Meshuggah - Catch 33 and James Labrie - Elements of Persuassion.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Shank Hall in Milwaukee, WI. I saw the B3 tour featuring Stu Hamm, Jeff Berlin, and Billy Sheehan.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I was in a Hard Rock band in the early 90's. We were performing at TA Verns in Milwaukee, WI. opening for Ace Frehely from Kiss. Our intro soundtrack started and we were walking up to a dark stage. Our stage tech tripped on the PA horn cable and knocked the horn off . It fell on my guitar and broke the neck in half! The soundtrack stopped and I just stood there in shock! The gig turned out ok, though.
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
I believe it's important to keep an open mind and to welcome diversity for whatever music or instrument you play. Kopecky is performing Friday October 20 at Lot 4 Chicago, IL. with The Flower Kings and Friday Nov. 3 at Waterford Auditorium, WI. for KOPECKYfest II

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