Wonder Twin: You must see the Copper Thieves!

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Detroit’s Copper Thieves are ready to move you with the kind of melodic, smart, guitar rock one can usually only hear when tuning the radio 94.7 WCSX and playing an Archers of Loaf record at the same time. If you’ve been in the mood for some totally unpretentious, turn-it-up-to-11 anthemic ditties, their new record II might make Copper Thieves your fave new band. I talked to John Nelson (guitar, vocals) and Tony Rochon (organ, guitar) - who along with Christian Doble (bass, vocals) and Andy Roy (drums) make up the thunderous foursome - about their music, their upcoming record release show and copper plumbing.

Metro Times: Usually when a band can be described as having a "70's rock feel" I run the other direction. Your music - particularly on this new record has an undeniably 70's rock feel. Why do I not hate you?

John Nelson: For every terrible band like Aerosmith, there was an incredible band like Thin Lizzy. Maybe we were just influenced by the good stuff.

Tony Rochon: Although our music might not be all that contemporary-sounding, I think the straightforwardness of it is appealing. Some lyrics might be tongue-in-cheek here and there, but there's really no pretension to us at all. Maybe that's what you're hearing.

MT: All four of you write songs for the band... Are the songwriting duties evenly split between the four of you? Which is your favorite song on the record written by somebody else, and why?

JN: Sometimes one of us has the bulk of a song already written, sometimes a guitar riff originates with someone and the rest of us take the initial idea and run with it. For me, my favorite is a song Andy and Tony wrote called “Take Me To War.” On the surface, it's super catchy and seems like a very straightforward song, but if you listen carefully, there are some vocal harmonies and guitar bits that are pretty complicated.

TR: I like just about everything these guys come up with. I’m a huge fan of the first Copper Thieves album, which they recorded before I joined, except for some organ I played on one song. If I thought I was going to have to play crummy music written by someone else, I wouldn't have joined the group - I have enough crummy music of my own to play! "Water Sign" is a song that I contributed some parts to, but it was mostly written by John and Andy. We almost left it off the record, but I really wanted it to stay. John saved it by re-working certain passages right before we went into the studio. I think that's probably my favorite song on the record.

MT: Your record release show at the Belmont has three other bands on the bill: The High Strung, Noman and The Mood Elevator. Why should people get their at a reasonable hour to catch these bands as well?

JN: Noman writes really honest, no bullshit songs. The Mood Elevator has been making consistently good music for over a decade now. The High Strung's new album is called Dragon Dicks.

TR: The real question is, why should everyone stick around until an unreasonable hour to see us?

MT: So what is the fair market value for stolen copper pipes these days?

TR: Not sure. Maybe I'll find out tonight while watching Detroit 187.

JN: No comment.

The Copper Thieves will celebrate the release of II with a show at The Belmont, 10215 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck; 313-871-1966, this Saturday w/ Noman, The High Strung and Mood Elevator. Doors at 9 p.m.

You can hear both “Take Me To War” and “Water Sign” at the band’s Facebook page.

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