On the cusp of a dream tour for any early 00’s punk and emo kids, utterly polite Antiskeptic drummer Nick Coppin took a minute to reignite some dormant interview skills with Wall Of Sound, chatting deftly about the unique culture and time in which their band rose to fame, and what the future holds for him and his now older and wiser bandmates and tour supports.
Hey Nick! Thank you so much for chatting to us. I’m privileged to do so as a huge old school Skeppers fan.
Oh man, thank you. I haven’t done an interview in quite a while, so we’ll see how it goes!
So, welcome back and congratulations on being a band again here in 2020.
Thanks dude! It’s been a trip. We never thought we’d get the chance again, so it’s unbelievable. Grateful we’ve got the opportunity again to play together and write some more music.
Well then let’s get the obvious out of the way; when’s the new album dropping?
Well I can confirm that there is some killer demos floating around at the moment within our camp. We’re really excited, but now it’s just about finding the time to make it happen/ We’ve got the east coast tour coming up, but in the second half of this year we’re just gonna work at how we can go about doing it because we live in different states now, and all got families, kids, and jobs. It’s not as easy as it once was! But we’ve earmarked the second half of this year to sort it out.
Some baby sitters are gonna clean up that weekend! So how’s the expectation vs reality been with reforming and playing some gigs so far?
We were blown away. After we got back together and played with Anberlin last year having been mates with those guys and brought them out on their first tour here way back, it was really nice to be asked to play at their shows. I guess we didn’t know what to expect! If people would care, and then there was a really good response when it got announced. Andrew, Shaun, and I hadn’t played together for about ten years, and there was a lot of thought with me personally… I hadn’t played the drums intensely for so long, so whether I could play drums at all. But it was a bit like riding a bike, and once we all got back together it almost felt better in a way, because we’d all matured, I think?
Anyway, it felt really good and then the shows were just incredible. There’s some videos on the net of the crowd response after we finished our last song which was nuts. We just thought “Woah’ (laughs). We totally didn’t expect that. It’s been really exciting ever since. We then did a big 20th Anniversary tour celebration show at the end of last year which sold out a month in advance. So the reaction has been amazing, we’re humbled, and it’s blown us away.
So how did you get some of these old school emo and punk bands like For Amusement Only and Wishful Thinking back together to tour with you!?
I think it’s just been a strange coincidence that all these old bands got back together, really! Wishful got back together at the start of last year, I think, and then the Anberlin thing happened to us, followed by murmurings of things happening in the Seraph’s Coal camp. Luke (Seraph’s Coal) had been hounding us for a while and obviously got in touch with the FAO boys; another amazing band from back in the day we played with a lot. That scene back in the day was just so special and so much fun to be a part of.
And it was such a huge thing all across Australia. Freeza underage gigs were on every weekend, everyone was in bands. It was like the last great music subculture.
Yeah, it was wonderful. I think with the rise of mobile phones and screens everywhere connecting everyone, that all wasn’t around. It’s harder to put on shows and all ages gigs these days than it was back then. But what a time; such a strong community, gigs were a lot of fun. I’m just so excited to get the bands back together and play! And people really love that nostalgia. They have so many good times associated with the music and that time in their life.
What do you think caused such a huge local scene to erupt at the time and be so important to so many people?
I remember going to gigs as a youngster when Silverchair blew up at the end of the grunge era, and suddenly there was just an explosion of Australian music. I’d go watch all these bands like Bodyjar or The Living End and it made being in a band all I wanted to do. Frenzal Rhomb too, nearly every weekend. It seems like more people wanted to be in to live music and be in bands. I’m not sure it’s happening so much anymore.
So how long did you stop playing drums for before this reformation?
In 2015 we did a show and walked off stage kind of all thinking that was it. We’d done as much as we could, and we felt like we were pushing things, and they weren’t’ happening organically. And I pretty much packed the drums away and hadn’t played since 2015. So yeah, it’d been a good four years without playing at all.
I think when we finished up we were pretty burnt out. It’s hard to describe, but we basically left high school, started Antiskeptic, and went hard for so many years that in a way I thought I’d given so much to this thing and it hadn’t worked out exactly as we wanted it to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for what we received and achieved, but I think at a point in time nothing was happening. I was pissed off, maybe a bit of a dummy spit like “I’m done playing the drums” (laughs).
It’s always there with you, and I could never really fill that void, so I think I eventually hit a point – with a lot of anxiety – where I got back behind the kit. I didn’t even know if I could still play! SO when we got asked to play that first show, I had to work myself up to it, and was stressing out. It did take a while to set the kit up and get behind it. But once I got back into it, it was so good, man. I realised how much I’d missed it, and how it was really a part of me. Andrew, Shaun, and I have a really unique chemistry that doesn’t always come along that easily or often between people. It feels really special when us three are together, so it’s great we’re back at it.
I can assure you that us fans feel exactly the same way. Mate, we have to finish up, but lastly – and since you’re in a reformed band touring with a bunch of other reformed bands – which band above all others would you love to see reformed these days?
Ohhh… (a long pause and several um’s and ah’s) Oh man, you’ve really put me on the spot! There’s so many I love that never broke up, like Frenzal Rhomb and many others from back when were started… Like I said, I’m a big Silverchair fan, so I’d love to see them get back together. That would be huge!
Well you guys got back together against the odds, so you never know! Thanks so much for chatting mate, we’ll see you on the tour come March.
True! Thanks mate, see you there!
Words by Todd Gingell
Blast from the Past Tour is fast approaching
Tickets via Chopdog Entertainment
Blast From The Past Tour 2020
FRIDAY MARCH 6 – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE
feat. ANTISKEPTIC, SERAPHS COAL, FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY, WISHFUL THINKING & THE BLACK CATAPULT
SATURDAY MARCH 7– MARY’S UNDERGROUND, SYDNEY
feat. SERAPHS COAL, ANTISKEPTIC, FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY, ANGELAS DISH, WISHFUL THINKING & CAMBRIDGE
SUNDAY MARCH 8 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
feat. FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY, SERAPHS COAL, STR, HIGHTIME & JAPAN FOR