Five Years!

Today, July 30th, marks what I consider the Official Anniversary of this Musoscribe blogzine. Five years ago today I began what would quickly become a daily blog: every business day since, I’ve posted something here – an interview, a review, an essay – generally in the 500- to 1100-word range.

At right: Bill Kopp with Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree (2007)

The blog started in the wake of the effective death of the print magazine where I was Editor-in-Chief; for some time I had worked for them in various capacities. I got my start as contributor of a column (the still-occasionally-seen-here “Bootleg Bin”) for their online arm. In fairly short order I started writing album reviews, and since assignment of those was luck of the draw, I found myself covering hip-hop acts, black metal bands, crypto-Christian hardcore groups, and insipid singer/songwriters. Soon thereafter, I scored a few feature assignments, doing interviews and writing about some bands you may have heard of: Fall Out Boy, The Flaming Lips, KT Tunstall and several others. A few of them were even cover stories.

Things progressed from there as the magazine (which, owing to how things ended, I won’t dignify by naming) sought to increase its stature and credibility. I took on the role of co-copy editor, honing into shape the often very rough copy submitted by paid (but often inexperienced) reviewers and writers. When my co-editor found he couldn’t keep up with the demands of the workload, I took on the entire responsibility for the final edit on every word that appeared in or on the magazine (except advertisements). Things went well, the magazine expanded, and I was soon able to enlist the expert talents of some of the best writers-on-music working today, including J. Poet and Evie Nagy (the latter of whom went on to top positions at Paste and Billboard), while incurring the enduring wrath of some lesser lights who were sent packing. I also scored feature/interviews with Yoko Ono, Dungen, and Neil Finn.

Bill Kopp with Keith Emerson

In April 2008 I traveled – on behalf of the magazine – to New Orleans for Ponderosa Stomp #7, where I had the extreme pleasure of conducting an in-person interview with the mysterious ? of ? (Question Mark) and the Mysterians, and with no-hit wonders Green Fuz. Upon arriving home, I learned that the sole benefactor of the magazine (yeah, one guy was keeping it afloat while the “ad exec” did f**k-knows-what all day) had abruptly closed his purse, and that forthcoming issues of the print magazine would not be…forthcoming. To make matters worse, a few months’ pay owed to me would also not be arriving, ever.

Bill Kopp with Todd Rundgren

Thus ended the magazine and my association with it. I remain grateful to the people who put their trust in me to help produce a quality product, and I am proud of the work my team and I did during my time there.

But I quickly found myself at loose ends: I had made writing about music a major part of my daily life, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I had no wish to stop. I began doing a bit of writing for my hometown’s excellent altweekly, Mountain Xpress, including feature interviews with The Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Henry Rollins and other big names. (Today I write a twice-monthly blog for MtnX, called “30 Days Out.”) I wrote for some other outlets as well, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my creative urges.

Bill Kopp with Shuggie Otis

A good friend of mine (and a left-high-and-dry magazine subscriber who never got the lion’s share of her money’s worth) suggested I start a blog. I had a decent number of written pieces (about a hundred or so, including work I had done for other print and online outlets), so why didn’t I publish them on a site of my own, say, one a week or so?

Good idea, I thought. If nothing else, it would be a place to store all of my music-related content. So I started, initially hosted on a free (read: crappy) web server. I loaded all of my written pieces on there, including full versions of some pieces that had been edited down to fit in a printed space. And there were also a handful of pieces slated to appear in the magazine: written, edited and laid out, they nonetheless had never appeared in print. The most notable of these was an interview with David Johansen of The New York Dolls. This new site wasn’t really a blog; it was more of an archive.

Not long after I took my friend’s advice (which also included getting active – against my initial better judgment – on Facebook and Twitter), I decided to go ahead with the blog idea, but with new material. And since I remained on good terms with many industry and publicity people, I was continuing to receive music for potential review, and offers to conduct interviews.

Bill Kopp with Henry Rollins

And that’s how I got here, five years ago today. For the first month or two, I did in fact post just weekly, and the pieces were very short. But on July 30, 2009, I posted three reviews, and since then I’ve never looked back…

Well, of course I have looked back: I’m doing so right now. But what I really want to say here is a big, sincere thank-you to anyone and everyone who’s ever read one of my reviews, features or essays. Even if you didn’t agree or didn’t like what I wrote (or how I wrote it). Thank you also to all of the fine music label and publicity folks who keep me current on the surfeit of great music that continues to come out every day (about that: reader, don’t let anyone ever try to convince you otherwise). And a massive, heartfelt thanks to each and every recording artist who has had their album reviewed or covered by me, and/or who has taken the time to talk with me about their life, career and music.

I have so much stuff in store for this blog’s future that I’m nearly bursting with excitement. Stay tuned. And once again, thank you.

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