Using psychedelic soundscapes and experimental swirls, Zane Coppard is on a journey of self discovery in his album Of Self. Taking a step away from being a session musician, he is exploring his own sound and sharing it with all of us. We sat down with Zane Coppard to talk about his new album, his creative process, music and much more!
OSR: You started playing the drums at a young age. What drew you to this particular instrument?
Coppard: In my household, there wasn’t really an option to not play an instrument. My brother, whom I share the band Smash Boom Pow with, had started playing the guitar so I thought drums would be a good complementary fit.
OSR: Who was the biggest influence on your musical career?
Coppard: There are a few artists who I will always have an ingrained soft spot for, having been so close to their music growing up it feels like I grew up with them, if that makes sense. The main three that come to mind are Stevie Wonder, Thom Yorke and J Dilla. With that being said, I feel as though there have been friends and family who have influenced me just as much if not more. My dad for always encouraging me and making space for my pursuits, my brother for sharing the journey with me, and many of the artists I have had the opportunity to drum with over the years.
OSR: Is there a backstory to your album Of Self?
Coppard: At the time before diving into making Of Self I was a professional drummer for hire. I’d been touring internationally since I was 19 and I had found myself as a full-time member on a major label act. My father had unexpectedly passed away in May of 2019, basically at the height of activity in this band I was playing in. I had started dabbling in solo music properly in 2018, with this sudden change in life situation I found myself really dissecting why I am here on earth. What my life purpose is, as it were. I figured I have my whole life to drum for other people, I may as well give building my personal artist career a serious try. After all, what do I have to lose?
OSR: Is there a track on the album that holds a special place in your heart?
Coppard: The track called ‘Freedom’. My dad plays all the keyboards and strings on that song.
OSR: How different do you find working as a session musician to making your own music?
Coppard: It’s a lot more challenging. I constantly feel like I am just getting started. Pursuing musical avenues outside of drumming has been a remarkable way to learn about myself.
OSR: What was your creative process for Of Self?
Coppard: Showing up all the time. Capturing moments that weren’t always perfect but felt honest. Challenging myself to go deeper. Being open-minded.
OSR: What is the one thing you would like people to take away from this album?
Coppard: A broader perspective. That our actions affect so many others aside from ourselves.
OSR: What is the biggest hurdle you have overcome in your musical career?
Coppard: Being comfortable in my own skin.
OSR: If you could work with anyone in the music industry, present or past, who would it be and why?
Coppard: Frank Ocean. I feel like he is in touch with why he makes music. I feel like many people lose touch of what they are doing, they get caught up in climbing some social ladder or appeasing some crowd. I feel like Frank moves with unbending integrity. He is whatever the opposite of superficial is in his creativity.
OSR: What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Coppard: More music. Other projects. Assisting in creating space for those who need it.