Collin Brace, Troy Akers and Nate Fleming form the intriguing trio known as The Co. What I love about these these guys is that while anyone can rock out, they do so with a passion and purpose and you can hear it with every note. The Co. is a band that knows how wear their hearts on their sleeves and captivate their audience. I recently stumbled across the bands' music on YouTube and was instantly hooked! I had the opportunity to interview the band and learn more about them and their unique sound thanks to members Collin and Nate. Check out our interview!
Reality by Rach: How did the Co. first come together??
Nate: The band originally started with Collin (singer) and Troy (piano) in 2005 during their freshman year of college. It wasn’t until 2007 when I (drums) met the guys in a creative writing class that I (drums) joined the band. At that time we were more of a straight ahead rock back called Kennedy. After some personnel changes and some redirection we became The CO in 2009.
RBR: Now you guys are from Nashville, what is in the water there that allows their artist to make such good music?! Are there specific things about Nashville that contribute the bands music making?
Nate: Yea, we call it Cumberland punch! Seriously though, Nashville has an incredible music community. There is so much talent and inspiration in this town! Everyone is basically going for the same goal and for the most part they are eager and willing to help each other get there. If you ever need someone to play on a record, write a song with, or just hang and talk about music; they are right around the corner. It’s also great to see established artists and producers helping out bands like us that are trying to get off the ground. There is a fantastic support system here that encourages creativity and rewards great music making.
RBR: How would you describe the bands' sound?
Nate: I think if you put it as an equation it would look like this
One Republic – The Fray2
Coldplay x ÖKeane = TheCO
Or pop rock with powerful themes and a positive message
RBR: What artist out there have inspired the band?
Nate: This is funny because all three of us have very different tastes in music. Troy is really into songwriters like Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams, Brandie Carlile, and Leonard Cohen. I think right now a lot of Collin’s inspiration comes from pop guys like Ryan Tedder and The Smeezingtons with a mix of Jet and Black rebel Motorcycle club. I, on the other hand, I tend to gain inspiration through bands like Phoenix, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. I know that one band we all really look up to, as far as how they carry themselves and their business, is The Fray.
RBR: What do you think it is about your music that resonates with people and makes it so relatable??
Nate: I think part of it is that we tend to stick to kind of powerful heavy hearted themes that can relate to any number of emotional situations. Mostly, I think that it is because we simply write about things that are very close to our hearts and are important to us. Because of this, we naturally play and sing with such conviction that it is hard not to get sucked in. This is why I think that our live show is so powerful. I mean, I still get chills playing songs that we’ve played hundreds of times. I feel like we are able to instantly connect with fans because it is so obvious that we strongly believe in every single note we play and sing.
RBR: What’s your favorite thing about making music??
Collin: Having something on your heart and mind to say, and figuring out how to put it to music. I’m a big believer in having something to say before you start writing. Troy and Nate and I grew up with lots to say about the world, how we feel, and what we think, making music is fun when you have something to say.
RBR: For your song ‘Heartbeat’ you got together with another one of my favorite artist Tyler ward! I absolutely love the song. How did that collaboration come about??
Collin: Tyler is a really good friend of ours and we met him and hung out one night as friends sitting around a campfire. Over –time we decided to try working together and we really enjoyed it with our first collab “Keep It Together” so naturally “Heartbeat” followed. We are always talking about another collab together, we’ll see! ~CB
RBR: Now I’ve gotta say, every time I see photos or videos of you guys you’re ALWAYS so stylish! Is fashion an important of your guys lives or do you just happen to wake up looking that way?!
Collin: Well fashion has always been on our minds! It’s always been an idea to open our own line of denim, but I’d say for the most part we all dress our own way. I don’t think any of us are high-maintenance enough to call each other and see what the other is wearing, we pretty much stick to our own personalities and in the end hope that we look original.
RBR: The video for your new single ‘Camo’ was recently released and has a super cool look. Can you tell us a little bit about the song? Where was that filmed??
Collin: I have to thank my brother Evan Brace for the look of that video, he knocked it out of the park for us. We shot that video in 3 hours time, and it was shot “warfare” style with my brother on one camera, we got the rough back and were all blown away. The song is really something special to all of us, there are lines in the song that apply to each of us individually. “We don’t have to win this war” isn’t really a shot at politics or our friends serving our country, there’s nothing to say about that really, we just want our friends to come home safe. Instead the song is more about personal wars and battles that we fight everyday, a father losing his job, a marriage falling apart, not enough money to pay rent… this song is for that soldier.
RBR: What can fans expect from your forthcoming album??
Collin: What they should expect from every CO album, believable music from real hearts. No short-cuts or cheap shots to the ear & heart.