The Copyrights' sixth full-length record Report is physically out on August 26 so we caught up with the band's drummer Luke McNeill to learn a little bit more about how it came together.
How would you say you approached recording this time around with Report?
Nothing too different besides the production process. I wrote the songs the same way, I donít really sit down to write an album or anything like that. When a song or melody comes to me I just sort of write them as they come and I had enough to put out a record. But this time the production was different, this was the first time we worked with [All-American Rejects guitarist] Mike Kennerty, which was a big change for us. It was the first time we worked with a producer who had a bunch of ideas as far as the song writing and arrangement went.
Why did you choose Mike? Is it because heís worked with another Red Scare band?
Yeah, he did the new Direct Hit! Record which I was really impressed with how it came out. Toby got us in contact with him and we kind of went from there and hit it off, heís a great guy. We ended up doing drums at Sonic Iguana at a friendís studio in Indiana and we did the rest at Mikeís house.
What was the best thing about working with him?
Well he really actually cared about the songs and he had a ton of ideas which was cool. Me and Adam and Brett have been playing together for I donít know, probably 20 years. So we kind of, our brains kind of think the same way so it was cool to have someone else in there with different ideas, some of which were more left field. Some of them we didnít go with, but a lot of them we did and I definitely think itís a better record because of that.
What were some of the ideas he specifically proposed?
Well he trimmed a lot of fat from the songs I guess. He cut parts here and there that seemed maybe too repetitive or too long or whatever and the songs I think are better for it. He added some different harmonies and guitar parts, my drums arenít as boring as usual I donít think.
How long did you spend recording?
I did the drums in three days which is by far the longest I spent on drums, the rest of the tracking was another week. While we were gone he put in some guitar leads and harmonies himself, which kind of makes him like a member of the band on this record. I mastered it at my studio here in Illinois after, probably three weeks altogether which is the longest weíve ever spent on a record.
Why did you choose Report as the title?
Fireworks are sort of the recurring theme or metaphor in the record and I sort of wanted to do something along the lines of relating to fireworks, report also means explosion in the fireworks world. It doesnít make it into all the songs, a couple of songs I wrote at the time did. We live in a state where fireworks are illegal, which is odd to me especially since all the states around us have fireworks. The only time they sell them is right along the border and only people from Illinois really bought them there. It was kind of a taboo thing to buy and people in those states didnít care about it much, but for people in Illinois it was a good thing to buy and something that was thought out or something like that. It seems like whenever you cross state lines thereís a fireworks stand right there.
Whatís next for the Copyrights?
Yeah the Copyrights are on tour right now with 7 Seconds, but I personally couldnít do that tour because of my job. [He works as a state's attorney.] But after that weíre going to Europe for a month or so, weíre doing the Gainesville fest thing in October and heading to the U.K. in March.
Nice interview! Judging from the two(?) songs released, "trimming fat from songs" was indeed a good idea (Of course I don't know if these specific songs needed that treatment, but whatever, ha). They seem straight to the point and i think it works well.