Mt. Joy is set to release their new album Orange Blood on June 17 and if guitarist Sam Cooper has any message he wants to get across to fans, it’s that the record is the proudest he’s been of any material the band has made in their career.
LISTEN NOW: Mt. Joy’s Sam Cooper talks about new music and how the band came to be
Cooper joined Audacy’s Nicole Alvarez as their conversation began by looking back at the band’s earlier days. Their first single, “Astrovan,” brought Mt. Joy success on streaming services as it was a frequent inclusion on several big playlists.
The band was still in their early stages and weren’t even sure what the road forward looked like. “I think it was more like, if we don’t follow through on this, then we’ll regret it forever,” Cooper recalled the band’s thoughts at the time.
While “Astrovan” brought more recognition to Mt. Joy, Cooper said there’s a big misconception about how people perceive new artists with a hit single and what actually goes on in real life. “People think that it’s just this thing that you put this song up on Spotify and ‘yay!’” He exclaimed. “You get in a van for 200 days out of the year, minimum, for five years before you even think about a bus and making money.”
Listen to the greatest Indie tracks ever made on Audacy’s Indie Vibes
Cooper also touched on Mt. Joy’s upcoming studio album Orange Blood, which is due out June 17. “It’s a pandemic record in that in order to not go crazy, Matt [Quinn] & I were in Philadelphia and we rented out this barn in the woods outside of Philly,” he said. “We would treat it like a 9-to-5 and just work on songs. We had, I don’t know how many songs, and just narrowing it down to ten songs.”
That experience led Cooper to exclaim that “this is the most proud of any Mt. Joy record I’ve ever been.”
He listed two reasons for that. One, the band worked with the producer Caleb Nelson, whom they made their breakthrough single “Astrovan” with. Secondly, the group felt at ease without the pressure of a deadline that normally comes with working in a studio. “For us, it was just like no, we’re not going to release these songs unless they’re the best ten songs we have and the best recordings of the songs,” he said. “And I think we did that.”
Cooper also shared a hilarious moment that he’ll never forget for the rest of his life. It was after a show the band performed at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and involves the actor Kiefer Sutherland. Cooper caught wind that Kiefer Sutherland was in the crowd for the show, which he had no idea about while he was up on stage.
The two met up backstage as Cooper recalls, “I walked up to him, and he’s like ‘great show man!’ He’s got the coolest voice in the world.”
“I was like, ‘dude if I knew you were here I would have crapped my pants.’ And then he looked at me and said, ‘If I knew you were here I would have crapped MY pants!’”