With the release of his second album, Underneath It All, and upcoming extensive national tour Hein Cooper has proven that an early bad encounter with music can be overcome.
Underneath It All is Cooper’s follow up record to his incredibly successful 2016 debut album, The Art Of Escape. Given that it has taken Cooper quite some time to return there have been some rather dramatic changes to the recording process, the music itself and even his live performance.
“Being my second record I took a lot more ownership of the whole thing this time,” explained Cooper, “I was able to make a lot more of the production decisions myself, whether they were the right ones or not because I was more confident.”
When speaking with Cooper it became apparent that much of these decisions were influenced by live performance opportunities. Where the first record was built around a full band set up the opportunities that were coming along didn’t reflect that.
“I was receiving a lot of opportunities to play solo shows. So I had to figure out how to do a show by myself, which meant I had to learn how to use drum pads and program my show to be much more of a combination of electronic and acoustic sounds so that I could be more dynamic performing live.”
Given that change in performance style, a change in the creative process was the natural next step, with Cooper saying Underneath It All is “much more a combination of the two styles.”
This entire process was and continues to be, an incredibly difficult one explained Cooper. However, he is no stranger to overcoming music hurdles having done so already at a very early age.
Despite having a love and passion for music instilled him by his parents the passion was quickly squashed with one bad experience.
“I had a really bad primary school teacher who taught music in a way which really put me off it,” Cooper told J.A.M.
It wouldn’t be until Cooper’s family moved to Milton, on the New South Wales south coast, that he would rediscover the love and actually come to look back on his primary school experience in a somewhat positive light.
“Looking back it was probably helpful because my teacher in primary school made it so black and white that when I was able to start playing by myself later it was almost a rebellion to do it in a more freeform feeling based way.”
This free-flowing, emotive performance style is something which Copper maintains in his performances today.
“With this new setup I feel like an octopus up on stage at times but it’s so satisfying because I’m in full control… I love this album so I simply wanted to play as many shows as I could all around Australia.”
Aug 9. The Lansdowne Hotel, 2-6 City Rd, Chippendale. $17.83+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.heincooper.com
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