Pamela and Randy Copus of the popular music group 2002 have an interview conversation with New Age Music World host John Olsen about 2002’s newest album titled Believe.
The newest album by 2002 titled Believe is scheduled to be released on October 15, 2012. Believe will be the 14th album by Pamela and Randy Copus since they released their first album as the duo “2002″ in 1992.
This year marks the 20th anniversary for the award-winning group 2002. During this interview taking place during September 2012, Pamela and Randy Copus each give individual responses about their newest release and what the future holds for the popular music group 2002.
John Olsen: Thank you both for giving me and your fans a moment of your time. I enjoyed getting to know you over the past few years, and more recently by our earlier interview in 2011.
Let me begin the conversation by saying your newest album Believe, due to be released on October 15th, is said to be unlike any of your previous albums. Knowing beforehand this release is more progressive from your earlier releases, what are some of the ways Believe is alike, and can you give some examples where Believe differs from your earlier releases?
Randy Copus: Believe is different from past albums in that we freely explored the use of lead vocals as a major component of the album. Over half the songs have lyrics. This is a normal evolution for us, I think, since we began our professional careers playing and singing in bands. Progressive rock influences are going to be easy to spot by listeners familiar with the genre. Having said that, there are elements and songs on this album that are quintessential 2002, our signature sound. It’s as though we took the last 20 years of our musical explorations and glued them together into one idea, yet no matter what direction the music takes, we still sound like “us.”
John: In comparison to earlier 2002 albums, was Believe a comparatively easy album for you to produce?
Pamela Copus: Actually none of them have been what I would call “easy to produce.” Some are more complicated and so have taken longer than others to complete. The fun thing about Believe is that each song seemed to really have a perfect spot as far as song order goes. It was magical!
Randy Copus: I think it was one of the harder ones to produce, mainly because of the addition of so many vocals and lyrics. But, all our albums have been more or less hard to create; we set a very high bar for ourselves.
John: Is this a one of a kind album or do you plan to produce more music arrangements that more or less contrast your earlier albums?
Pamela Copus: The “new age” genre contains dozens of sub-genres. There are so many more paths to explore. Who knows where we will go next? We don’t feel pressured to fit into a particular mold. I personally enjoy a great variety of musical styles. As long as a song is good, it doesn’t really matter to me what category it is placed in. Believe was a lot of fun to create because we got to return to the roots of the music we considered good when we were growing up. Isn’t it amazing how certain songs never seem to grow old – even after decades?
Randy Copus: I think we will do more albums that contrast with our earlier works. At this point, our body of work is large enough to be able to explore new directions without alienating existing fans. If an album is a bit too progressive for them, for example, they have lots of the older, more “classic” 2002 available. As artists we have to keep moving forward, evolving, or the music will stagnate.
John: You mentioned that your earlier musical influences are noticeable on this album. What were some of your favorite bands growing up that may have influenced this album’s sound?
Pamela Copus: Some of my favorite bands growing up were Kansas, Genesis, Boston, Heart, and ELO. I also enjoyed listening to Vangelis, Chuck Mangione, and Andreas Vollenweider. Of course I love most classical music as well and I enjoyed playing in the school symphony.
Randy Copus: In the early days as a singer, I was influenced by all the great rock and progressive rock singers- Steve Walsh, Steve Perry, Getty Lee, Jon Anderson, Lou Graham to name a few. You will definitely hear those colors in my voice. Also, we grew up with a lot of great pop music, and there are elements of those influences in Believe as well.
John: The popular bands and artists you named are nearly identical to my favorites, even today. More importantly the artists and bands you named are beloved favorites for millions of people worldwide. New Age music is like all genres by the continual changes from year to year. In your opinion, do you believe new age music will turn out to be more popular or mainstream than its present day standing?
Pamela Copus: The lines separating the musical genres seem to be getting fuzzier. I think with the demise of “brick and mortar” music stores, there is no longer a finite amount of shelf space with a finite number of genres being represented. This is both good and bad. It’s bad in that it’s harder to just pull up a category and do any casual shopping. For example, I see things all the time on the iTunes new age chart that make me scratch my head wondering how that is called “new age” by any definition. At the same time, it’s good because people that would normally not discover some fabulous bit of music now do so quite by happy accident.
Randy Copus: I don’t know about the genre per se, but I do believe “that sound” will become more mainstream, because more people nowadays are looking for popular music that touches them on a spiritual level. It’s interesting- so many of the great new pop songs we hear lately are incorporating that ethereal, “new age” flavor, along with everything else. The Green Children, my current favorite pop group, comes to mind.
John: The year 2012 is your 20th year as the group 2002. You are a popular, award-winning music group whose hit music made the Billboard New Age Charts 9 times. Looking ahead, what’s next for 2002?
Pamela Copus: I’d love to go even farther into musical exploration – maybe a Celtic harp album with 2002 icing on top – or perhaps even a 2002 chill release. I see Sarah becoming more involved too. She inherited perfect pitch from Randy. In fact, she composed the main melody for the second song on Believe using a set of toy water flutes.
Randy Copus: We are really in such a wonderful place, artistically speaking. We don’t have label executives telling us what kind of albums to make, or what degree of risk we’re allowed to take, so we’re free to engage in any musical adventure that inspires us, as it should be. This is where the best music is going to come from, because it is truly the journey we’re on.
John: Thanks again for giving everyone another opportunity to find out more about you, and your newest project. Is there anything you would like to express to the people who have supported you over the years?
Pamela Copus: We have made such amazing friends in the world. They inspire us to continue, ever onward. Releasing a new album is never the end of the road – It’s just one more milestone on the journey. I hope our friends and fans will continue to enjoy the trip as much as we do.
Randy Copus: We will always be grateful to our friends and fans for the encouragement and support they have given us over the years. It’s been an amazing ride so far, and I believe the best is yet to come.
Find more news and information at 2002Music.com and pre-order Believe. In September you can pre-order the newest release Believe and find 2002 albums at Amazon.com. Cover artwork and all interview photos courtesy 2002music.com.