Keyboardist and composer Alex Kopp is making his mark as a member of the famed rock band Third Eye Blind. Get to know this artist on the rise.
NAME: Alex Kopp
HOMETOWN: Canton, Ohio.
MUSICAL TRAINING: I grew up in a musical household, where just about everyone played an instrument. I started taking drum lessons around the age of seven and continued through high school. Playing keyboards started in middle school - I had a piano class at a public art middle school that was discontinued shortly after I left.
FIRST GIGS: I believe my first gigs were school-related jazz band gigs etc. Then by the age of 14-15, I started my first band with some friends. ( All of whom I am still close with to this day). We started by playing little coffee shops and event spaces that were usually in or associated with churches. Out of that, we helped grow a pretty decent-sized high school music scene where we were playing for anywhere from 200-600 people a few times a month. We also played tons of "Battle of the Bands," VFW’s and other typical midwest shows.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: My musical influences today are all over the place. I grew up on things like The Beatles and The Who. Then through high school I was heavily into pop punk and straight-up pop music. Today I am into a lot of different things; Hip hop is always something I am checking out because I think the soundscape is super unique. I also take time every week to just browse the top charts on iTunes to see what people are liking and what sounds are happening (or not). For me, I often listen to the production and the studio side of things more than the song. I follow producers and writers just like artists.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Kanye West: Ye, The 1975 Give Yourself a Try, plus 70’s soul records on YouTube, Childish Gambino, Foster the People, and Underoath's Erase Me. I also constantly listen to “And The Writer Is” podcast. I love "behind the scenes" type stuff.
MY BIG BREAK: I’m not sure if there is really one specific moment I would consider my big break. Instead, there were a bunch of smaller ones that have lead me to where I am now. With Third Eye Blind, the story is that I was a guitar and drum tech for the band for a couple weeks, which lead to me doing that as well as some backstage auxiliary musician type stuff. Then one day in early 2012, singer Stephan Jenkins brought me out on stage in front of the crowd in Asbury Park, NJ unannounced, and asked me to be in the band. That was a really special experience. Since then, I have been playing and writing with the band.
LATEST PROJECTS: With Third Eye Blind, we just finished a covers record of some unique songs that should be out soon. I am also constantly working on other projects. I am really happy about a score I worked on with a company called “Adaptive Life Co” who are working to bring awareness and inclusion to kids with disabilities. Working on projects like that is something that I really enjoy.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I think maybe my all time favorite keyboard has to be the Minimoog Model D. I think it’s one of the best sounding keyboards for basses and leads. (I am obviously not alone in that thought)! A couple more favorites are the new DSI prophet REV 2 which I use on tour, the Teenage Engineering OP-1, which is such a cool and unique little piece of gear, and the Roland Juno-106. Growing up, my dad was a keyboard guy (and a studio owner to this day), and he had all kinds of awesome gear. So I grew up around a Synclavier, Moogs, ARP 2600’s etc. What a time that was!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I'm currently in the studio working on the next Third Eye Blind record. I am also always producing and composing for various projects. I’ve been working on some solo stuff as well, so maybe that will come into existence sometime soon as well.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Create, no matter what or how, and put it out there. Making some sort of art and putting it out in the world is an experience like no other. It can be the most fulfilling and the most crushing all at once. But it feels good to make something from nothing and see how people react to it. Also, if there’s something you want to pursue badly enough, do it. Just put in the work every day and something will happen. It may be tomorrow, or it may be in 10 years. But just put in the work.
For more information visit www.alexrkopp.com