Suburban musician Matthew Kopecky heads online for solo debut livestream
Throughout the pandemic, Matthew Kopecky has been fortunate to keep playing gigs fairly regularly since summer.
Just a man and his guitar, Kopecky has entertained crowds on patios and outdoor stages, mostly in the Western suburbs, well into this winter.
But he's turning to the internet -- and a group of talented musicians -- for a livestreaming EP release show Friday.
The Warrenville musical artist will be celebrating his solo debut, the six-song EP "Home Cooked," with a full band, a luxury in these days of social distancing.
"These folks that I've lined up for the band, it's really a treat to be able to play with them," he said.
Joined by longtime friend and collaborator Kevin McMahon (from Piece of Cake), as well as Ryan Cooper, Anna Rogers, Colin Drozdoff, Jenna Heerdt, Emily Douglas and Nate Hockenberry, Kopecky will be performing the full EP from The Cooley Underground studio, a renovated performance space offering a full-production, multi-cam livestream.
"One of the benefits of having a band is you have that energy in the room of the group and something being created in the moment," he said.
The livestream will be presented on The Cooley Underground's YouTube page at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Kopecky said he and his fellow musicians will play through the EP, as well as other originals. He'll also include a solo set along with an interview.
Fans of the Glenbard South grad's music may have already heard his bright, alternative sound on the first few singles from the EP: "Coda Coding" out in October, "Take It or Leave It" in November, and "Fade," which he unveiled last week. But since the "Home Cooked" EP won't be available to the public until Feb. 4, the livestream will be the only place to catch the rest of Kopecky's new songs.
Much of the new EP was written before the pandemic about the disbanding of Oblio And Arrow, his most recent musical act, which split in part because of the death of his friend, the band's guitarist.
"Family and band were kind of interchangeable," he said, "so it'd be hard not to say that a lot of the recent songs are dealing with the loss of friends, processing the loss of him and things like that."
"I get weird talking about it because I feel like it sucks a lot of the air out of the room," he said. "But it's a profoundly life-changing moment, so it's kind of unavoidable. But I tiptoe around it. That's where the microphone comes into play."
With the help of Mike Krieglstein, who produced and mixed the tracks, Kopecky captured a slice of life pre-2020.
"I haven't even gotten to COVID yet timewise, so that will be the next record," he said, addressing the inspiration many artists are drawing from the turbulence of the last year.
Up next, Kopecky has a solo set livestreaming from The Bunker in the Western suburbs (8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28), but long-term goals still remain to be seen.
"I feel like there's no grand five-year plan. There's just a lot of 'this next step, and then this next step' and just keep reassessing what would make sense the next three, four steps down the road," he said. "I'm seeing these goals or things get completed, and it makes it a little bit easier to feel like there's a momentum to keep going, to stay inspired by that and get new stuff out."
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Matthew Kopecky "Home Cooked" livestream release show
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15
Where: Livestreams on The Cooley Underground's YouTube page