An Interview with New Alternative-Pop Duo, Cooper & Gatlin
By: Amelia Zollner
Hailing from Franklin, TN, siblings, Cooper and Gatlin Green are an indie-pop duo guaranteed to make their way into your playlists. Despite them only have one of their own songs released, “Break”, the duo have plenty more music under their belts that set is to be released within the new year. Keep your eyes and ear on Cooper & Gatlin!
Amelia had the chance to catch up with them and discuss working with siblings, coming from a musical family, and releasing new music. Read the interview below!
HEM: How did you both get into music and what made you decide to start a duo together?
We grew up in a super musical family. Our mom traveled with a band when we were young, and our dad is a Grammy-nominated producer, so we were always surrounded by music. We didn’t start playing music together until we were both teenagers. We were both kind of doing music by ourselves, until we realized that we both specialized in something the other lacked when it came to songwriting and music in general.
HEM: How has being in a brother & sister duo affected the way you make music? Do you think being in a band with family is different from being in a band with friends?
Being in a band with your sibling definitely has pros and cons, but mostly pros. On the pros side, we tend to have very similar or complimentary ideas when we’re writing. It’s either sibling telepathy, or the fact that we grew up together, listening to a lot of the same things. It’s more fun to say it’s the first thing, but it’s probably the second.
HEM: Congratulations on your single “Break”! What has inspired you to write it?
Thank you! Break was inspired by a relationship Gatlin was in that didn’t quite go as planned. He ran in similar circles, so the last thing she wanted was for him to have the satisfaction of seeing her struggle with the break-up. On the production front, we were (and still are) super in love with ‘80s synths and more ‘90s drum sounds, so Cooper had a field day working with the producer, Cameron Jaymes, who absolutely killed it on the track.
HEM: I really like the acoustic version of “Break” as well. Do you plan to create more stripped-down songs in the future?
Thanks again! Every song of ours tends to start as just two voices and a guitar, so it was nice to take “Break” back to that place. It’s kind of a goal for us that every song we write works stripped-down. We call that the “campfire” test. We’d love to have an acoustic version of as many of our songs as possible, since they seem to take on a new identity.
HEM: What’s your songwriting process like and where do you typically start?
Our songs usually start with a Gatlin lyric meeting a Cooper chord progression or production idea. We both approach songwriting from different sides, and meet in the middle. If we don’t go into a session with an idea that feels good, sometimes it’s nice to just start throwing ideas until something sticks. We end up being a good barometer for each other, because we know an idea is good if the other person can vibe with it.
HEM: What artists and bands have influenced your style?
This is a fun/tough one to answer cause we both love so many artists. We both try to listen to as much as possible so that we’re pulling influence from a variety of styles. Gatlin is definitely influenced by artists like Kevin Garret and anything moody. Cooper tries to listen to at least one new album a week, so he’s all over the place stylistically. At this very moment in time, he’s really into Matt Corby’s new album, Rainbow Valley.
HEM: You only have one song, “Break” (and its acoustic version), out right now. What are your plans for the future and where do you hope to take your music?
We definitely have more songs lined up for release, and we’re super excited about those! On top of that, we’ve been playing shows around the LA area, and we’ve been having a blast with those. We’d love to be able to get our music in front of as many people as possible. Honestly, we love the creative process so much, so anything that allows us to continue to create and share what we make.