The Receiver brings fresh sounds to Blind Bob’s
By Zach Rogers
Photo: Bassist/vocalist Casey Cooper of The Receiver; the band performs at Blind Bob’s on Feb. 22
For The Receiver, a band from Columbus, Ohio, made up of brothers Casey and Jesse Cooper, 2014 couldn’t come quickly enough. After various snags and bumps in the road, the group is more focused and hungry than ever. Casey, who handles lead vocals, keyboards, bass and programming, and Jesse, who sings and plays drums, have been hard at work on their third full-length studio album due out later this year. The band specializes in melodic, dreamy, synth-based rock n’ roll mixed with the sort of symphonic haziness of some distant memory. Dayton City Paper caught up with Casey to talk about the band, the new songs and the new direction the band is heading in these days.
First, what can you tell me about the early history of the group?
We started playing together in 2005. I graduated from college and had a few songs I really wanted to perform live. Jesse liked the material, so we started building them up for a live performance. We had both been in bands before, but this was the first time it was just him and I writing our own material together. – Casey Cooper
How would you describe your sound?
I recently called it “synthphonic,” but I was also trying to be funny. It does point in the right direction, though. Our music is very melodic, a little progressive and hopefully easy to listen to. Some of it is very energetic, and some of it is very gentle and slow. I’m attracted to melancholic, dark, pretty themes, so that’s usually what people can expect to hear. On our newest material, beats and grooves have become more important. Everybody loves a good beat and we tried to focus on that more on our new album. – CC
Who are some of the biggest musical influences on the band?
I’m a huge fan of Blonde Redhead. I think almost everything they do sounds good and they definitely inspire some of my writing. I’m also a big fan of Air. I love a dreamy sound and Mew is a band I think does that extremely well. Some of the more popular influences are probably Pink Floyd and Radiohead. I think a lot of bands point to them because what they’ve done is so impressive and influential. – CC
You guys have been hard at work on your third album for a while now. What can you tell me about the new album and the recording process?
This album has definitely been difficult but extremely rewarding. The music has a lot of peaks and valleys, and we tried to cover the gamut from soft and intimate to aggressive and energetic. Dark, dreamy and colorful is the best way I can describe it. I started writing short, simple ideas back in 2010 and I just kept saving and piling up new ideas. The good ones started to stand out from the rest and we took our favorites and started expanding on them in 2011. That was when we started adding drums and bass, and soon enough they became finished songs. – CC
Why has there been such a long wait between albums?
I take a long time to write music, and with full-time day jobs we don’t have the luxury of working on it all the time. We also hit a few bumps along the way. Jesse and I spent a long time shopping our second album after a local release in 2009-2010. We found a couple labels who wanted to re-release it worldwide, but because we didn’t have full ownership of the recordings, we couldn’t pull the trigger and our label at the time wanted more than what they were offering. It was very disappointing to say the least. Then, when we started recording our new stuff, the original engineer/producer bailed without any kind of notice. It felt like a string of bad luck, for sure, but now that we’re finally climbing out of it we know it was for the best. Luckily, a really good friend of ours, Jake Remley, helped us re-amp a lot of the parts and record the vocals with his gear at his place. I’m not sure what we would have done without him. Danny Kalb mixed it and he did a phenomenal job. He was patient with us and we’re extremely happy with the final product. – CC
When do you see it coming out?
We’re shooting for a release later this year. We’re currently on our own with no label right now, so we’re waiting to see if that changes. It’s very difficult to find success with a label, and it’s even harder to do it alone. – CC
After the band’s stop in Dayton, what’s the tour schedule like for the rest of 2014?
We’ll tour nationally for sure, but the scheduling just depends on the release date for the new album. I absolutely cannot wait to tour again. I’m excited about the entire process of great shows, bad shows, sleeping in hotels, floors, the van, everything. I just want to present our music to as many people as possible. – CC
The Receiver will perform Saturday, Feb. 22, at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are New Vega and Grenades!? Admission is $5. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit facebook.com/thereceiver.
Reach DCP freelance writer Zach Rogers at ZachRogers@DaytonCityPaper.com