Cooper Trail and I hooked up via phone to talk a little bit about the band Misé he has with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Nevada Sowle. The first Misé album had a folksy Americana feel to it. Their latest album is more eclectic and electric. Misé — pronounced “MEH-zee” — is gearing up for a tour through the Northwest late this spring/early summer. Let’s get to know more about Cooper and his musical journey.Marvin Lee: How did you and Nevada hook up to form Misé?
Cooper Trail: We started playing music together when I was in seventh grade and he was in eighth grade and we formed a cover band called The Skinnies and we would play at school dances. He did some hip-hop music and worked on music production for a couple years and lived in Seattle while I was doing solo stuff. When the time came for me to find a drummer, I remembered Nevada and I knew he would fit pretty well, so I called him up and we got back together and we have been playing music together ever since then, which was about four years ago.
ML: How did you come up with your band name Misé?
CT: I thought of that when I was in 10th grade in high school. I was doing a project involving music production and recording and how that all fit together. I was trying to put an album together, so I needed a band name instead of just using my name. Cooper means barrel maker. So I took the first part of the French phrase for barrel wine — misé en rose — because I wanted a short name.
ML: Who are some of your music influences and how would you describe your music?
CT: I would have to say my biggest musical influences are local musicians — I’m from Moscow, bands from around (Astoria, Ore). A lot of folk, Americana, and indie-sounding bands. I would say if you like ’60s pop or Wilco or later Beatles stuff or Paul Simon you would enjoy Misé as well. I would also like to say I would like to take Misé into a more experimental territory. Explore genres. Experiment with some jazz, psychedelia, and soul music as well.
ML: You are from Moscow and then you moved to Enterprise, Ore.?
CT: We actually spent the last year in Astoria, Ore., which is two hours from Portland, Ore. We went over there because our friends The Holiday Friends lived there, and in that time I had written a bunch of songs and wanted to record them.
ML: What’s your favorite song from your new album “Arts and Crafts?”
CT: We had a very long time to record this album. It took us about three years. As you can expect, it went through a lot of changes with some songs deleted from what it actually is now. With all that being said, I would have to say my favorite song would have to be “Echo,” which is a ballad or a lullaby and is melancholy. It is the song I am most connected to. My favorite song to play live is “Delilah in the Living Room,” which is a song we put out a couple months before the full album came out. It’s cool because a lot of the people that come out to our shows know that song and sing along, and it’s one of the best things.
ML: Jupiter or Neptune?
CT: Jupiter … because I don’t get no stupider.
ML: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into playing music?
CT: I would say read books as much as you can. Don’t ever set down an instrument. Sometimes people will get two years deep with an instrument and then give up. Keep plugging away and don’t become discouraged.
Cooper is a laid-back, solid dude devoid of any pretention. Misé is a fun and complex band and sure to entertain. Viva la original music!
Cooper Trail will play a solo show on April 2 at the Bayou in Moscow
July 14, Rendezvous in the Park, Moscow
Lee is a musician and aspiring poet in Lewiston. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.