Citizen Cope: Arizona is "Really Spiritual Place" But "Rigid Politically"
World-traveled and somewhat of a spiritual guru, blues-folk songwriter Citizen Cope tours incessantly, sometimes pushing 200 shows per year. He's collaborated with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Dido and Sheryl Crow and landed his tunes in a few major films, from Accepted to The Lincoln Lawyer to Fracture.
Danny Clinch Citizen Cope
We spoke to Clarence Greenwood (Cope's given name) about Arizona politics, SB 1070 and how he felt about One Lovely Day, his fifth studio album and his second under his own label, RainWater Recordings.
Up On The Sun: Let's talk about your latest album, One Lovely Day. So far it's your highest charting album. How do you feel about that?
Citizen Cope: You know, I feel good about it. It's kinda funny doing it on an independent, but I don't look at records in week-long periods, I look at the life of the record. It's a little more telling than first quarter sales or first week of sales or any of that. Even though the number was up, I look at them like seven-year projects, like lifelong things.
Were you happy with the release?
I'm always happy when I can put the record out and be inspired and have something to say. I feel fortunate to have found music, as it's sort of a spiritual shield for me.
Anything you would have done differently?
Uh, it would have been cool to have John Bonham play on a couple drum tracks, but he's not around anymore. [Laughs.] I just try to make a record and feel good about it.
It seems more optimistic than some of your other works. And by that I mean, more upbeat. Was that intentional? Are you in a more positive place in your life lately?
When you're younger, I think you concentrate on some of the things you don't have. It's been my struggle and the tendency is to concentrate on the negative. When you're older and you realize some of those negative things, uh, you really need to look at yourself in the mirror. There's records that I've made that I don't feel that way anymore. There's a song from my first record that was like a revenge song, but I don't feel like I want revenge anymore. I guess when I was in my twenties, I felt like that. I don't feel like that anymore.
How do you think One Lovely Day is bringing your message of peace forward?
It just talks about something that's more important than the daily possessions and what we fight for on this earth. We all fight for the dollar, fight for recognition, fight for something over that is basic to us all, which is our inner spirit and our true purpose.
I don't know that our true purpose is to be an astronaut or a professor or a football player or a rockstar or whatever it is. Those are things you do, but I don't know that that's your true purpose or your destiny. I think it lies a little closer in something you're born with and you look around trying to find it all your life and it's within you.