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Interview: Indie musician David Lareau on selling chicken to vegetarians

Indie band David Lareau and The Copperpots has been making a splash throughout the Southeast with non-stop touring of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. From big festivals to solo acoustic shows, the Americana band has been steadily building a dedicated fan base with their riveting live performances.

David Lareau
courtesy of David Lareau

Frontman David Lareau is a music business veteran. The musician/singer/songwriter has seen both sides of the fence for musicians. He’s had what many bands strive for, a major label contract and now he is out there plugging away as an Indie artist.

In a recent email interview with the Indie Music Examiner, he was asked if he’d go back on a major label. He said, “Sure. There’s a lot of other people’s money I would love to spend and it makes things a lot easier as far as touring or having people behind you to do all the leg work so you can focus mainly on writing the songs and being a performer. On the other hand you lose a lot of the freedom to do things your own way and there are a lot of people wanting to get their sticky fingers in the pie. There are benefits to both. Being on a label doesn’t guarantee success. It just looks good on your resume at the end of the day and leaves you with some great stories to tell to your drinking buddies.”

Lareau has always been around music. “Growing up there was always a Moody Blues vinyl lying around as my parents were fans,” he said. “I was always enamored with the beauty of records and how the artwork and the music was all part of the experience. The Moody Blues always did a fantastic job of that especially with their core 7.”

As a teenager, British rock music continued to be an influence for Lareau, from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to a band that continues to be a favorite to this day, Oasis. Through the years his musical taste has evolved to include a wide variety of musical genres. “Realistically, I am a fan and listen to all music. I love older country like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash and find newer acts such as American Aquarium special as they are out there slinging dirt to get their music heard. That’s one of the hardest working bands out there right now and they tell great stories with their lyrics. They are a songwriter’s band for sure. Ryan Adams and Stereophonics have put out some brilliant albums as well. Beck’s ‘Sea Change’ was and is to this day one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard. Any artist that make real sounding records I am a fan of.”

“Any musician I listen to I admire simply for the fact that they created something from nothing and I know the hard work and passion that goes into that,” said Lareau. “Then I get frustrated because I didn’t write their song first! It’s a race. I remember when Coldplay, who I am not so much of a fan of now, but their earlier work on ‘Parachutes’ was amazing. When they came out with the song ‘Paradise’ I literally had to go to the bar for a drink because the song was so obvious. Why didn’t I think of that? Such a great hook and melody.”

The singer/songwriter has some great in-depth thoughts about what sets his music apart from the rest of the pack. “I was told something when I was younger that always left a big impression on me. I was told to be unique and to find your own sound. It’s the only way that makes you who you are and it’s the only way you survive in the music industry as trends always come and go. I think we stick pretty close to the formula as far as writing good catchy folk-rock/Americana songs.

“With that said I feel we’ve taken those songs and added elements of ethereal guitar mixed with orchestral arrangements and mellotron to make something of our own. Most genres stick to their tones and don’t dabble into other realms. I think that’s a bit closed minded but it’s traditional and I respect that. The idea jokingly was to always create a folk/space cowboy sound. I think we touched on that on our first album ‘Hugs From Distant Neighbors.’

“With our newer songs and soon to be new record I think we’ve really honed in on that and perfected what we were going after. I’m excited about capturing that sound and getting it out there and exploring how far we can push it. It’s a very Wilcoesque idea, but instead of deconstructing a song the way they do I feel we are more interested in building layers.

“I think I tell pretty entertaining stories through the songs and the songs will leave you humming the rest of the day. I say some stuff that might make you think a bit. In the end we are all chicken salesmen trying to sell chicken to the vegetarian. We are all forks in a world of soup. Trying to get your music to the public is a tough little profession and trying to explain in words what makes you special is even harder. The World Wide Web is available to everyone these days, jump on line and listen for yourself. Kids if you like it, buy the record. If you really like it, buy a shirt and one for your friend too.”

Lareau’s favorite song of his to play live changes frequently as new songs are written. There is one of his songs that he would like to drop from his set list. “I can tell you my least favorite song to play live is ‘The Rising.’ I love the song on the record but there is something about playing that song live that makes my skin crawl and my blood boil. And of course it’s a fan favorite on the record so we tend to have to play it. Bastards.”

As an Indie band, building relationships in the business is important for a band on the rise. “Nothing is more disgusting to me though than other local acts dissing other acts. That’s stupid. Once you get big enough then sure slag off on as many people as you want. It’s good press. With that said it’s hard enough dealing with all the other people against you in this business. I can tell you personally that our career has only gotten better the more friendly and the more we help other acts. Friendships and building relationships is the only way a business works. Take Publix as an example. If you want your business to run successfully run it like Publix. And yes your band is a business. Treat it like one and treat your fans as customers. Make sure they have the best shopping experience they can with your band and make sure they are happy.”

David Lareau and The Copperpots have two albums out, “Hugs From Distant Strangers” and “Souvenir,” which are both available on iTunes. Music fans can check out the band on their official web site, Facebook, Twitter and ReverbNation.

The Tallahassee based Indie band’s upcoming tour dates:

June 27 - Salty Dog - Tallahassee, FL

June 29 - Tropical Trader - Panacea, FL

July 5 - Front Porch - Tallahassee, FL

July 10 - Liberty - Tallahassee, FL

July 16 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

July 17 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

July 24 – Pug’s Mahones Live - Tallahassee, FL

July 27 - Front Porch - Tallahassee, FL

Aug. 1 – Loosey’s - Gainesville, FL

Aug. 8 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

Aug. 9 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

Aug. 27 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

Aug. 23 - Backbooth - Orlando, FL

Aug. 28 - Harry A’s - Saint George Island, FL

Sept. 6 – Smith’s Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA