Tuesday 12th, June 2012 / 11:10

pop punk grows up, but doesn’t grow old

For a lot of kids who grew up on punk rock in the ’90s, life wound up catching up with them. Suddenly playing music and going to shows isn’t important anymore.

But that’s not the case for Liam Copeland, vocalist and guitarist for the Old Wives, who’s been consistently playing in local bands for more than 15 years. But it seems like now, during the ’90s skate and pop punk revival, that this newest musical endeavour for him, which has been active for the past four years, is finally gaining some recognition.

“There was a time when I was exploring other styles of music,” explains Copeland. “I guess it was a time when I wasn’t so concerned with writing music as much as just lyrics. I always wrote these songs on my own just for myself really. It’s kind of amazing because we’re still playing some of the same songs that we were when this band started out.”

For Copeland (who, after the breakup of the Kasuals, ventured off into other styles of music in bands like A Last Goodbye, Down the Hatch, and the Depression), it was inevitable for him to go back to playing pop punk, a music that Copeland explains is simply what he and the rest of Old Wives live by.

“One of the main reasons we do what we do is to be able to perform,” furthers Copeland. “The music may be stale in some communities but there are a lot of people who still want to listen.”

Many of the people who still want to listen are the younger bands in the punk rock scene who’ve adopted some of the traits from bands with which Copeland grew up. Now, Copeland feels something like an older brother guiding along many of these bands.

“We ain’t no better than them and they ain’t no better than us,” Copeland comments about his young friends.

But as young as some of the bands with whom the Old Wives have been sharing the stage are, there are also the older bands that have been reuniting and taking notice of the Edmonton quartet.

“I got to open for Screeching Weasel. I didn’t even think I’d get to see Screeching Weasel, let alone open for them,” iterates Copeland who also mentions that Old Wives will be playing with Chixdiggit on June 2 at Edmonton’s New City and with Teenage Bottlerocket on July 20 at Avenue Theatre in Edmonton and on July 21 at the Gateway in Calgary. “It’s seriously been a dream come true.”

Amidst the band’s hectic show schedule this summer, Old Wives are still finding the time to write and record new material. After the success of the band’s debut LP, See You in Hell, in 2010 and last year’s seven-song EP, Backed in a Corner (recorded by Braden Sustrik, who’s also a member of the Depression), the band recorded and released a two-song 7-inch on Italian label Surfin’ Ki this past February and is preparing the next full-length to be released on Where’s Lunch Records (the current label to hold such classic pop punk bands as Pulley and Jugg’s Revenge).

“We’re approaching this differently,” Copeland says. “Where before we would just write ten or twelve songs and then go and record, we’re writing ten or twelve songs each and we’re looking to record as much as possible.”

Old Wives hope to be finished writing and in the studio by October and are looking to the winter for its next release.

“People have been asking why we didn’t have the record ready for the summer when everything else is happening,” Copeland concludes. “Really, it doesn’t matter when this happens for us. We just want to write and get this music out for people to hear. That’s all that matters to us.”

by Christopher Schieman