Kopecky Family Band

July 30, 2013 7:13 PM

Interview with Gabe Simon

Musical roots hold a bond thicker than blood for this "family."

The Kopecky Family Band, an indie group made up of rhythmical "siblings," came together in 2007 with its original members Belmont College students Gabe Simon and Kelsey Kopecky. Now, the six-piece band is a musical family brought together with a variety of instruments  and raw vocals telling the trials and tribulations of being on the road.

The band recently signed with Dave Matthews' label, ATO, and released its first full-length album titled "Kids Raising Kids," including foot-taping beats and lyrics singing of sobering life trials. 

As life on the road proliferates, so does the band. You may have spotted KFB at SXSW, Austin City Music Festival, and Bonnaroo. The band has also been featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone and MTV's Teen Wolf.

If you haven't caught a chance to check out this band, be sure to tune in to this Wednesday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But watch with caution — this band's chemistry will be sure to steal your heart.


Tell me a little bit about who you are, who the band is and what you guys do.

G: I am Gabe Simon, the rhythm guitarist, I also play the horns, bass Kopecky Family Band and I co-lead sing with Kelsey Kopecky. And the band is made up of David Krohn, Kelsey Kopecky, Steven Holmes, Markus Midkiff, Corey Oxendine, and myself. And we’ve been in the band since 2007 but we’ve really been touring pretty aggressively for the past two and a half years, had some pretty cool opportunities and it’s been an amazing ride so far.


Where do you gather most of the inspiration from for your work?

G: A lot from being on the road and from the people that we meet. We tend to do two things—either we tell stories of our own that we’ve experienced while on the road, or the feeling of coming home or something of the conflicts that we face while we’re on the road…It’s a record about longing and challenges and how you overcome those challenges but I think those inspirations come from all over the place, but mostly from our travels.


What, in your opinion, is the hardest part of the creation process.

G: Having the time to do it. We travel so much that when we come home it has to be quick to just either come into the studio and start working or start writing in the green room or sound check. It’s just difficult having the time for it. And when we finally do get home you kind of just want to spend time with the ones you love and care about and just sleep, actually. Catch Up. Really that is the most difficult part of the creation process. Once you get the time for it, it comes. And that’s the beautiful part about it. You sometimes hit a wall and need someone to push you over that wall and that’s why you get a producer, but it’s definitely the time thing.


What are your goals for the future, where do you see yourself in the next few years and what do you want to accomplish?

G: I’d like to have a number one song on the radio. It’s funny to have those types of goals but I think we can do it and we’ve worked really hard for it. I want to have great tours and keep playing the big festivals like we’ve been doing. I can’t wait to put out another record, that’s the next goal. There are so many things. I have a lot of things I’d like to do. I’d like to play late night TV. That would be really fun. It would be really cool to have the opportunity to do that and I think that’s going to happen within the next three months.


Tell us a little bit about whom you were recently signed with.

G: We were signed to ATO records. It’s home of bands like My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, Old Crow Medicine Show, and it was actually founded by Dave Matthews. And so it’s been pretty cool to get to know those guys and be part of that family. They’re a really cool label. They love music. They’ve let us do what we want and kind of just guide that hurricane for us, wherever it wants to go. So it’s pretty cool. We love working with those guys.


TWELV Magazine is big into giving back. We donate 12% of all proceeds and I am aware you guys do a similar thing. Tell me about that.

G: I think music is great, and playing shows is awesome and I think having crowds at your show is amazing, but it’s all worthless if you’re not doing it all for something. At the end of the day were just people and it either just goes into our pockets or we take it and give it to someone else, so we have been sponsoring two kids internationally. A little boy name Borus in Equator and a little girl named Narti in Guiana and the two of them have become an extended part of our family. We get our little letters from each of them for birthdays and Christmas and we send them things. It’s amazing because I grew up in a home where I was given everything and I never had to experience having to be in a situation were you don’t know if you’re going to eat that day or be able to go to school, and we want to give that back to these kids. We think that’s what music is all about, what having success is about…

By Caroline Hafer

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Kopecky Family Band

Interview with Gabe Simon

Musical roots hold a bond thicker than blood for this "family."

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