(added September 2011)
INTERVIEW WITH BEN COOPER
(DRUMMER AND ORIGINAL MEMBER WITH RESTLESS, BRAIN OF BEN COOPER TRIO)
How old were you when you first showed an interest in music and
who was it that interested you?
I think I was interested in music for as long as I can remember.
My first memories of liking Rockin' music was liking the
commercial stuff like Buddy Holly,
Why the drums ?
The drums were bigger, shinier and louder than any other
instrument. I always liked the chrome.
Who's your favourite drummer ?
I am mainly playing guitar and singing in my own band now
but......if you're talking about Rockin' drummers they would be
Dickie Harrell (Vincent),
Dick Richards (Haley), and
Earl Palmer (just about everybody). Contemporary favourites
are Steph Edwards (Blue Cats),
John Buck (Polecats &
Guana Batz), and Adam Seviour (Frenzy).
It must have been really exciting times
when you had your first releases as Restless
a single on a Swedish label? (Ed. Sunrock)
It was great, it was odd that the record company called us "The
The record company spent a lot of money on
the 'After Midnight' album, I remember
you were even on Saturday morning kids TV-did you like the album
and did you think it could have got you into the official
did have an impact but
we'll never know how many it sold because the record company
never sent us royalty statements. Also we never got any money
from it apart from advances. Yes, it could have made the charts.
We were doing radio one live sessions, getting daytime national
radio airplay, and supporting bands like the Clash,
, and the Ramones
as well as packed Klub Foot appearances.
was one of John Peels
favourite Rockabilly bands.
Can you remember your first meeting with
Mark Harman and do still see each other/speak today?
Yes, we were both at the same school. I approached him after
seeing him and his brother Paul rehearsing
Johnny B Goode for an upcoming parents
entertainments evening. Yes, we still speak. I did a couple of
dips for Restless recently. One in
Brazil and one in the USA at Ink'n'Iron 2011.
Did you all have day jobs in
Restless if so what ?
We all had day jobs to start with but we ditched them as soon as
Restless got more successful.
Any idea what some of the guys
who past through like Jeff Bayly and Mick Malone
Jeff was playing often with
Porky's Hot Rockin until recently and he does the occasional dep
with Restless. Last time I heard about
Mick he was playing in a
local Punk band in Suffolk.
Why and when did you leave
Restless... any regrets ?
I originally left Restless
1990 and then again after we re-formed from from 2002 to 2007 (I
left in 2006). Yes I had regrets leaving Restless after all it
was my band to start with. It was me that started Restless
also I pushed to make our sound more modern. In the end, I
decided to leave because I had no say in how the band was run
anymore. Also after 10 years I thought it was time to move on.
You played with the
Sharks for a bit what was it like and did you
record with them ?
Playing with The Sharks was
great, we did some great gigs all over Europe. Unfortunately I
didn't record with them.
What else have you done and how did the
solo album come about ?
I did loads of different
things after leaving Restless including fronting my own Funk
Rock band in the early 90's. The solo thing was about me trying
to do some decent Rockabilly with me fronting. Up until 2007
when I started the project, I hadn't really written rockin'
songs I was happy with since I left Restless. All of a sudden I
got a load of great song ideas. I put 4 of them up on MySpace
and people went mad for them. I got many offers from people to
play in the band and now "The Ben Cooper Trio" has been doing
club gigs and festivals ever since. I released an album on
Cherry Red Records that also was well received and got radio
play and good magazine reviews.
What does the future hold for Ben Cooper?