Within the microcosm of punk rock, there are many warring factions. Like hostile religious sects, the punk sub-scenes agree on much but vocalize their differences with pride. The hardcore scene decided that they no longer required the melodicism of the early punk scene, the pop-punk scene decided that it needed even MORE melodicism and and the ska scene just wanted more horns.
Every now and then, a band will emerge that will truly (and briefly) re-unite two estranged sub-genres. The Descendants helped bridge the gap between the punk and hardcore scenes, The Hold Steady unites punks and indie rockers, Operation Ivy melded the ska and punk scenes under one hectic umbrella and The Copyrights are doing their best to make amends between the pop-punk and hardcore scenes.
While The Copyrights are not the only band working on reuniting pop-punk and hardcore kids (see: Dillinger Four, None More Black and most of the Fat Wreck Chords roster after 2000), they are the only national act that consistently plays in Indianapolis. Their infectious melodies and snotty lyrics are easily tagged as pop-punk, but their rowdy choruses and chaotic gang vocals often lead them to cross the hardcore boarder.
“To be honest”, said Copyrights frontman Adam Fletcher, “we were surprised when we first played in Indianapolis. We didn’t think anyone was going to show up. We didn’t even know there was a scene here at all.”
What Fletcher wasn’t expecting was that the good people of Indianapolis would ready for a reunion of pop-punk and hardcore and they wanted to see it live. “Indianapolis kind of had a reputation as a place to avoid. Even though I grew up in the midwest, I had never even been to Indianapolis, let alone played a show there. No one I had ever talked to knew anything of any scene in Indianapolis.”
The four-piece, which hails from Carbondale, IL, played their first show in Indianapolis at the original Halloween House (at 47th and Winthrop) in the Winter of 2007, right before their epic album, Learn The Hard Way was released. They managed to come back through town two more times that year, and each time the crowd got bigger and bigger.
“Mutiny Pop (the band’s breakthrough album) was released on Insubordination Records, which was a small DIY label that appealed to mostly intense pop-punk fans,” Fletched noted, “But Make Sound was released on Red Scare, which has a much broader appeal through the punk world. Since we’ve released our last two albums on Red Scare, we’ve definitely notices a spike in the turnout at our shows. It’s not just pop-punk message board people anymore, it’s hardcore kids and punk kids too.”
Before embarking on their current tour, the band finished recording their as of yet untitled fifth full-length record. “It’s just about to be mixed,” Fletcher mentioned enthusiastically, “but we’re still not sure about the label. We’ve been shopping around a bit, talking with other labels. We love Red Scare and they provide us with a lot of opportunities, but we’re also interested as to what other opportunities are out there.”
So as the band prepares to unleash it’s fifth album, they are touring the country on a path to the massive Riot Fest in Chicago. Their stop in Indianapolis will be the band’s first gig at the new Dojo location. They will be playing with a slew of regional pop-punk bands including Iron Chick, New Creases, Stymie and Like Bats. Hopefully this punk rock peace summit will help to mend the schism between pop-punk and hardcore, if only for three sweaty hours.
The Copyrights w/ Like Bats, New Creases, Iron Chick, Stymie and It’s All Happening.
@ The Dojo (2207 N. College)
6 PM, $7