|Sean B. Delson - Agent Cooper - Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 11 March 2012 05:30|
Hey Sean firstly many thanks for taking the time to talk with us at Uber Rock it's really appreciated,
Any time.... any place, just let us know and we will happy to do it!
For someone who has yet to hear Agent Cooper introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about your history?
Agent Cooper (Formerly Salem Ash), goes back a long way. We first formed in Hollywood, CA back in 1986. Like most bands, we started out gigging as much as possible playing covers and writing music. Because we were all from the East Coast originally, California wasn't really our scene so we decided to set up base camp in Atlanta, Georgia in 1989. There we started working hard within the local music scene, doing the odd session work, writing, recording, and gigging. In 1994 we made our first trip over to London to seek out a record deal. It was a great experience!! I still remember the record executive listening very intently to our demo. He stopped the tape, pondered his thoughts for a moment, and said... "I see what it is you're searching for... but I just don't think you have quite found it yet." We still all laugh about that to this day. Our first official release was in 1999 (Agent Cooper) on Prog Rock Records. Then, in 2005 and 2006, we twice released "Beginner's Mind". It was never our intention to take so much time in between records, but various members got caught up in touring and recording with other bands.... which was GREAT, but it took away from Agent Cooper time. We all got together around New Years Eve and made a vow that 2012 would be all about Agent Cooper. We made a pact amongst ourselves to really focus on finishing this thing we had started so long ago. A few phone calls later, we were on a massive tour with Tony MacAlpine, and signed to Binary/Universal records! BAM! It all happened so fast. I am typing this from the dressing room of the Underworld in London. Tomorrow we head for the Netherlands and all across Europe from there. (For complete tour information, please visit www.agentcooper.com) So far, 2012 has been a dream come true for us, and I can't wait to see what happens next!
I note that you list band's as diverse as Genesis and Dixie Dregs as your influences, so what exactly does Southern Prog Rock sound like then guys? Please explain what you sound like to our readers.
That's a tough one! It's like trying to describe to someone what an apple tastes like if you have never had one. Try to do that. My heartfelt advice to everyone reading this is to simply download our new 6 song EP. Then you will know what Southern Prog Rock sounds like! Thanks in advance for that.
As you say Agent Cooper have been recording since 1999 with you guys releasing two albums to date, but your last album 'Beginners Mind' was released way back in 2005-2006. So what are plans for a new full length album given you're also out on the road right now promoting that all new 'From The Ashes' EP you just ruthlessly plugged (laughing) ?
We have a pretty large back catalogue of songs to pick from that we have written, and we are also writing whilst we are on this tour. The exact schedule for recording a full length record will be determined around the 1st of April. Our hope is to hit the studio hard when we get home, but our booking agent may have other plans for us. We will see. One day at a time... Everything seems to falling in to place for us as they are supposed to. It's a great feeling.
The EP sounds a bit more direct and less prog song wise than your previous 2 albums ('Mother', 'The Stand' and 'Power' being perfect examples) is this due to the new line up of the band bringing new influences into the writing mix?
I think it just happened that way. But in regards to those 3 tunes you mentioned. They're not exactly straight! I think there is a real trick to playing odd time music, but doing in such a way that it's smooth and doesn't sound "prog". On this latest EP, we all agreed that we needed to try and "re shape" our sound. Going for what I dubbed, "Old School Modern". Bringing in old school sounds with lush harmonies and more acoustics. Something a little more organic if you will. I am very happy with the ebb and flow of 'From the Ashes'. It's a great mix of all worlds. We are who we are, and we write what we write. All these guys have so much to offer, and that is what gives us so much diversity.
So once again where was it you said our readers can get a copy of this excellent six tracker from then Sean?
The official release date for "From The Ashes" was Monday, Feb. 18th, and it is available through Universal Records on all the standard digital outlets. (iTunes, etc.) We also have a physical CD (which the whole band has personally signed) available through our website. www.agentcooper.com
I have to complement Doug on his vocals, he's certainly got a set of lungs on him, has anyone said he sounds a hell a lot like Dennis Churchill Dries before?
HA HA! I have heard that a few times actually... Doug can really sing. He's no joke.
Doug Busbee (chipping in): Thank you for the compliments.
Doug's voice really does bring you an almost AOR crossover potential though, what is your vision for the band? Is it to cross over into the more mainstream market?
Thank you for "hearing" that, and for noticing. Of course we would be thrilled for that to happen. Much in the same way that RUSH, YES, and Genesis did. So "yes", I would consider that one of our band's visions.
You are out and about touring with Tony MacAlpine, right now and you've got a fair few dates to go it seems, we hope the chemistry and vibe is good?
This all came about through our agent, Adam Elfin. He knew it would be a great "marriage" and he was right. We are having a blast so far. The entire band are true professionals right down the line. We all have played with so many different people, and that gives us a lot in common... which leads to shared stories and experiences on the tour bus. I could not have asked for a better band to tour with. As fate would have it, it's called "The Dream Mechanism Tour". What a perfect name! See what I mean about fate?
Some of our readers may recognise you from your work with Rich Ward, Fozzy and Stuck Mojo, what are your fondest memories of working with those guys, and why did you give that all up to concentrate solely on Agent Cooper?
YES! I was with The Duke, Fozzy, and Stuck Mojo for about 9 years. Doing the records and all the tours. I got Mike Martin involved on guitar and our keyboard maestro Eric Frampton doing all the keyboards. Like I said, we all go way back in the Atlanta music scene together. It was a lot of fun and we did accomplish so many great things. I always knew that I was meant to be in a BAND, and not just a hired gun. It was this reason that really pushed me to move on and get back to my musical family. It was a mutual decision, and I told everybody in the Fozzy\Mojo camp that I would be there for them if their current bassist could not make a show. I could easily sit in for some gigs, and would be all too happy to help them out in a time of need.
I take it from the band's name one of you must be a David Lynch fan? Who came up with the moniker, what's your fave Lynch movie and would you say you brought any of his off the wall qualities into your music?
I'll lay this one off on Doug. He was, like you said, a Lynch fan.
Doug Busbee: Hmmmn? I never thought about David Lynch being a part of our music, but I think you may be on to something. I guess maybe some of his madness may have crept into some of our music. Good call!
Just to finish off then and on a little lighter note if we were to do the random five tracks on Agent Cooper's I Pod/I Phone MP3 player right now what would come up? (No cheating OK !!!)
Ganesh Giri Jaya (drums) -- Miles Davis - 'Four and More'
Doug Busbee (lead vocals & guitar) -- King Crimson - 'Frame by Frame'
Mike Martin (lead guitar) -- Animals As Leaders - 'Weightless'
Eric Frampton (keyboards) -- Kevin Gilbert - 'Last Plane Out'
Sean Delson (bass) - I don't have an Ipod
And with that we'd like to thank you guys for taking the time to speak with us at Uber Rock, we wish you every success with the ongoing tour which ends in Paris on the 21st of March.
Pick up some Agent Cooper from their Amazon.co.uk store