I first met Kate Cooper of An Horse while shooting on tour with Tegan and Sara in Australia. At that time she was working on the band’s debut album. It’s just been a couple short years and a lot of hard work, but now An Horse has released their second full-length record and have been around the world making fans and friends in every town they visit.
Kate took the time to answer some questions about moving from Australia to Canada (for a girl!) and what she’s been listening to lately.
AfterEllen.com: Your record had its US release — how do you feel?
AE: You have expressed that you were going through a lot when you were writing this new record, Walls. What tracks on the record are the most personal to you? Which ones do you dread having to break down and explain to people, and why?
I dread having to explain any songs to be honest but I know if I make songs that are personal that comes with the territory. I also really like people giving songs their own meaning. I often think songs are about one thing and then I read some press that explains what it is really about and I am always way off track. It changes the way I initially thought about the song.
But to further avoid answering this question, some of these songs were written when I was a long way from my family, my mum had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball, I was tired from touring and I was lonely. Not all the songs dwell on those things though! There is definitely some positivity in there, I promise.
AE: So all that being said, with your mother’s health improving and you not being as lonely anymore (correct me if I am just assuming), what is it like knowing that you are going to be performing these songs on tour for a long time? Are you able to separate yourself from the meaning when you are performing?
It was a very frustrating feeling. I am able to separate myself to a point. I don’t dwell on the songs or the feelings I was feeling when I wrote them. But I can go to a healthy place where I can remember how awful a time I was having but walk off stage and drop it. I actually kind of feel victorious when I play some of these songs because at the time I felt so awful and I thought I would never feel normal again but lo and behold I feel pretty good.
AE: Are you touring with Alkaline Trio now?
AE: Oh man, that sounds awesome! Do you have a favorite Alkaline Trio song?
AE: Manchester Orchestra, are they label mates?
AE: How long will you be on the road for?
AE: What was the first concert you ever went to?
AE: What was the first album you remember owning?
AE: Did you have a person that you wanted to be when you were a child? Superheros count.
AE: Did you think that being in a band and making/playing music was going to be like this?
Making music is one of the best things in the world. I get to be by myself, in a very quiet room with my guitar. It’s the best.
AE: You have moved your home base to Toronto to be with your girlfriend. Has the moved challenged your ability to be in a band with Damon who lives in Melbourne? How do you guys deal with the distance? Or is it more of a challenge to be on the road away from your partners?
KC: You know, the more we tour with other touring bands, the more I hear that a lot of them don’t live in the same place. It surprises me that we get asked about it so much. I think the longest Damon and I haven’t seen each other in the last year has been six weeks despite living on other sides of the earth. We are writing in the same way as we did when we lived five minutes from each other — 10 in traffic.
It is definitely more of a challenge for us to be away from our partners. This is half of the reason I live in Toronto. My girlfriend loves Australia and would love to live there but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s a lot easier for her to fly out for the weekend to see me. It’s obviously harder for Damon’s girlfriend to come out for a weekend. She is going to come out for a couple of weeks later in the tour. So we just make it work. It is hard though but we are both very good Skype-ers. I am sure you know all about it!
AE: Yep! What does the next two years look like for you and your band?
AE: What are you most looking forward to right now?
AE: What are you listening to on your iPod right now?
AE: What are your upcoming plans?
AE: Maybe I will try to meet Anvil again!