JY: How did the Annual Hang at Hazelnut Isle start and what was the inspiration for it as well as all the other fantastic fan-based events?
Copeland: We had been playing the Jammer for years and always had such a great time there. After some time, we would do two nights out there and had great shows!! The Rock Boat has always been our flagship event that started as a way to give back to our fans and to make ourselves more accessible. We decided that this venue and beach community would be a perfect place to crank up another fan driven event. Since then, it has grown and changed, and we just feel very fortunate to continue to be able to connect with people this way.
JY: The charity work that Sister Hazel does is amazing and I wish other artist would step up to your leave and do the same. Why have you incorporated charity work as part of the bands image?
Copeland: Early on when we discovered that there were ways for us to contribute to some great causes by just doing what we love… it was a no brainer. It’s hard sometimes, because we get a lot of satisfaction from being able to contribute to so many good causes. Sometimes our schedule simply won’t allow it. I’m very proud that giving back has always been a part of who we are as a band.
JY: Have you been able to see the impact of your charity work happen in real time?
Copeland: Not always in real time, but occasionally we get to see the looks of appreciation on kids faces, or families faces, when they are a part of what we’re doing to raise awareness towards a cause. Those things can feel like seeing our work make a difference in real time.
JY: As a band you have one of the most loyal fan bases and you also do more for your fans than most. How has this influenced your creative process?
Copeland: Our fan base is incredible. I would say we absolutely take our fans into consideration when we’re working on events, or putting together albums, or really every aspect of what we do as a band.
JY: Now after the release of the EP “Water” what can we expect from the rest of the “Elements” releases?
Copeland: We are basically putting out music at a quicker pace. All of us are writing songs and trying to give our fans something really creative and of the highest quality. We’ll focus on making the albums connect and make sure they work thematically.
JY: What made you want to do a themed multi-EP release? It’s a very cool idea.
Copeland: I really have to give credit to Jett Beres. The musical landscape is drastically changing and the days of putting out full length albums may soon be a thing of the past. People are hungry from more music quicker, and it seems the attention span is really shorter than it’s ever been. This was an effort to achieve multiple things, including lighting a fire under our butts to put out music quicker and servicing our fans with new music and a total experience that spans multiple records.
JY: What lead to the band to transition from the rock to the country in 2016? Will we see Sister Hazel go back to rock? How do you feel the transition has been so far?
Copeland: Anyone that has been familiar with our music for a long period of time would tell you that our music hasn’t changed stylistically. I firmly believe that the country genre widened enough to include what we’ve been doing all along. People used to call us pop, alternative rock, acoustic rock… whatever. We’ve been playing Sister Hazel music from the get go. Hopefully our song writing and performing has continued to mature and get better as time’s gone on, but I think we’ve done a great job of staying true to ourselves.
JY: As a music group Sister Hazel as been going strong for more that 20 years now, how do you keep it going?
Copeland: The five of us (now six with Dave LaGrande) are in a great rhythm of touring, making records, and continuing to make family first. If we all keep our heads, we can do this for as long as people keep coming out to shows.
JY: How has your musical influences changed over the years?
Copeland: I would say our influences haven’t changed… they may have matured but not changed. We are always striving to be better!!
JY: What can we expect from you guys in the future?
Copeland: As long as we continue to connect with our fan base, we’ll be at this as long as we can.