Mark “Coop DeVille” Cooper
How many guitarists…change a light bulb…we all know the joke, right. In the case of Mark ”Coop DeVille” Cooper, the answer is a resounding ONE. Capable of stopping traffic at a NAMM show, performing in any size venue as a solo act, or representing lines such as DigiTech and TC Electronics in clinic appearances, Coop can be considered to have attained ”super-musician” status.
Auralex’s own Jeff Hedback tossed back and forth a series of e-mail questions to get to the core of Coop’s work.
JH: Coop, you are certainly a rare individual in the musical world. You are an artist, a performer, a representative of musical products, and the proprietor of two studios. Can you briefly describe your career path to date?
COOP: Well for me early on, it was all about guitar! Growing up in Canada I dreamed of playing with all my American and British guitar heroes. By the 80’s I was moving to Los Angeles studying with Pat Martino, Joe Diorio, Steve Morse, Howard Roberts, Robben Ford, Mick Gooderick, again, great heroes of mine. My first real pro gig was playing with recording artist Robin Crow (who now owns the amazing recording facilities, Dark Horse Studios, in Nashville). It was also the time when I first started dreaming of owning my own studio. From there I eventually went on to play with some of my heroes: Joe Walsh, Steve Howe, the amazing Danny Gatton and many others. Throughout the 90’s I was approached by many music manufacturers for workshops, endorsements, and clinics. And I began traveling the world doing shows and workshops from Asia to Africa and everywhere in between. Towards the end of the 90’s, I was burning to start a studio! Now living in Northern California in the early millennium, I started a humble home studio eventually upgrading to where I operate two studios that are really wonderful and finally fulfill this dream I’ve had for so long.
JH: How have Auralex products integrated themselves into your varied performance and recording situations?
COOP: Auralex is a must for me, especially in my studios. When it came around to getting rid of unwanted frequencies and getting a much more accurate mix, Auralex was essential. It started for me with the MoPADs. It’s amazing what they did for my near field monitors! Hearing the full sound without having to crank any EQing (that would have given me an inaccurate reading) was awesome. From there the Venus bass traps and Cornerfills allowed me to control unwanted ”events” in my studios, especially with the shape of my home studio. I also love the Studiofoam and how easy it was to install everything. What a difference it has made to both studios.
From a live point of view, as a guitarist, I have struggled with soundmen over the volume of my amps (always looking for that tone and I have to have some volume for that). Ever since I started using the GRAMMAs under my Koch and Rivera amps WOW(!) what a difference… all the sound and tone without having the soundman screaming at me with blood coming out of his ears! They ”feel” great.
JH: Do you have a favorite Auralex product?
COOP: That’s a tough one… I’d have to say GRAMMAs and the MoPADs… but truthfully it’s all GOOD!
JH: What events and projects do you have coming up in 2004?
COOP: I’ll be playing at winter NAMM 2004 in Anaheim. Right after that the 11th Annual Christian guitarist Conference with Phil Keaggy and others. Then I’ll be off to the Frankfurt Musik Messe in late March. In 2001 I toured throughout the Philippines with 16 members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and a CD/DVD of that tour should be coming out sometime in 2004. Plus I finally have a new CoopDeVille CD that I will have out entitled ”My own little Space”. I’m also co-producing a compilation CD called ”Shine Like Stars” for the label, Invisible World, that’s being recorded in my studios as we speak. I have another artist, Jon Gartman, and his sax CD, that’ll start mid March and go throughout the summer. Then an appearance at summer NAMM in Nashville and the MIAC show in Canada in August. Along with a tour in England for May and scheduled sometime in 2004 a tour in Japan I’ll be gasping for air in this busy time! It’s all good though.
JH: Good, undoubtedly! OK, that was a loaded question because Coop will likely be somewhere near you, supporting the Auralex ISO Series- GRAMMA’s, MoPADs and more.. Stay tuned to future Auralex newsletters for information on Coop’s 2004 clinic appearances.