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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Copper & Congress to jam out this Friday at Plush

    Kevin Brost
    Tyler Besh / Arizona Daily Wildcat Tucson startup band, “Copper and Congress” feel comfortable in the local circuit after the group officially anounced themselves in March 2012.

    There’s just no stopping Copper & Congress. Since its fantastic inaugural performance earlier this year on 91.3 KXCI’s Locals Only, the local four-piece has achieved more in six months than most bands do in two years.

    With a summer spent in a whirlwind of gigs and adoring critical reception, everything culminated in July with the release of its debut album The Leap Year.

    Another group might have crashed and burned with a schedule like that, but Copper & Congress only seems inspired by it all, having booked six consecutive gigs in Tucson and Phoenix, including a headlining slot this Friday at Plush on Fourth Avenue. It’s a huge statement from such a young band, making it clear that Copper & Congress has its sights set on conquering the Tucson music scene.

    Band members prefer to think of their music as having something for everyone, and in that way, Copper & Congress proudly avoids any niche genre. Making music for all kinds of listeners is a bold concept, but they are a band fueled by such ambition, both in how they perform and how they plan for their future.

    Plastered to the wall of its practice space is what the band lovingly refers to as its “3-year manifestation,” an oversized roadmap of what each member wants from the band throughout the next few years of their careers. Scrawled across it are goals as far-ranging as “Play Club Congress,” soon to be crossed off when they play Club Crawl in two weeks, to “Australia/New Zealand/Japan Tour” under the heading “August 2013.”

    “It’s not so much a checklist of things for us to do as it is a great way for us all to get in the mindset of all we can accomplish with this band if we try hard enough,” said drummer Kai Lindstedt. “I mean, just the next day after we made it we were all out doing things for the band, getting shows, calling people up, all kinds of stuff, because we’d suddenly realized just how much it meant to all of us.”

    Despite every member’s equal contribution to the “3-year manifestation,” an enormous factor in having inspired Copper & Congress’ go-for-broke enthusiasm is lead singer/songwriter Katie Haverly. While music is her obvious passion, Haverly’s second career as a professional life coach has actually done much to keep the band on the path of positivity expressed so well by their career map.

    “I always knew it was easier to be pragmatic and get a job and not pursue my music dreams,” said Haverly, “but in the end I had to remind myself to stay positive. Anything is possible.”

    It was that attitude that led Haverly to launch a Kickstarter page to fund the recording of their album, a campaign that succeeded. That same attitude inspired Haverly to cold call WaveLab Studios owner Craig Schumacher, a gutsy move that worked in her favor when Schumacher agreed to produce the album.

    “WaveLab was inspiring,” said Haverly. “It was just this real-world example of these guys who wanted to live the dream and made it happen for themselves.”

    The fulfillment of the musicians’ dream is intoxicating to bands everywhere, but for Copper & Congress the kind of big-time success they’re chasing seems nearer now than it ever has.

    “There’s been tremendous support for us here in Tucson,” said guitarist/singer Corey Cottrell. Haverly added, “There’s such a healthy energy in this city, a building energy. I’m writing more songs right now than I ever have in my life.”

    Whether it’s Tucson’s energy or Katie Haverly’s, Copper & Congress’ passion for music is infectious. One listen to The Leap Year or one live performance is enough to see why of all the bands trying for success out there, Copper & Congress might just find it.

    Listen to an exclusive Copper & Congress single here.

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts.

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