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Interview: Knox Hamilton talk favorite songs and the Music Modernization Act

Retro indie pop quartet Knox Hamilton makes the kind of music that inherently feels like summer: a danceable fusion of synths and classic rock that evokes 80s pop and long road trips down the coast.  

The group began with brothers Boots and Cobo Copeland (vocals and drums, respectively) growing up in Little Rock, AR, where church and its music were huge influences of the region’s culture as a whole. They noticed the power of music, both in church and with classic artists like Hall & Oates. They also discovered their musical connection where they could pick up where the other left off while writing or playing a song. Thus began their two-man act, yet unnamed until rifling through thrift store yearbooks. The brothers saw “the most rock and roll looking guy ever” in one yearbook, and his name was Knox Hamilton.

Friends Brad Pierce (keys) and Drew Buffington (guitar) joined the project later on, and word began to spread about the band that was playing synths in the South. First noticed for their bubbly 2014 single, “Work it Out,” the group has since released an two EPs and a full length with Universal. They’ve been on tours with Colony House and Fenech-Soler and played slots at Austin City Limits and Firefly.

Now, they’re headlining their own tour and stopping in Phoenix on August 14th (tickets here.) Copeland answered some questions over email in advance of the show.   

Atlas: How has this tour supporting Beach Boy different from the tours you’ve been on so far?

Cobo: We’ve never headlined before so that’s been an adjustment. But a really fun one. Having people come specifically for you is a very humbling feeling.

Atlas: What are some goals you’ve met and ones you still have?

Cobo: Playing Hangout was a dream of ours and having that opportunity was incredible. The Grammys are next!

Atlas: Any particular songs you remember being the most fun to write and record?

Cobo: Sight for Sore Eyes was one of our favorite songs ever to record. It just has so much energy and attitude.

Atlas: What are some songs/albums you’ve had on repeat lately?

Cobo: Listening to all of the new Death Cab for Cutie stuff as I write this.

Atlas: Describe your dream tour–setup, accompanying bands, famous attendees, etc.

Cobo: We would be support on a Beatles-Killers tour. And that’s all you need.

Atlas: What are your thoughts on the proposed SESAC amendment to the Music Modernization Act?

Cobo: I’m not hip on the fine details but people I trust aren’t big fans of it and are fighting to defeat it. 


Concerned songwriters can contact SESAC by calling them at (615) 320-0055, email: or tweet @SESAC to express your concern regarding their proposed change to the Music Modernization Act.

Story by Taylor Gilliam
Photo courtesy of Connor North

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