With eyes closed or backs turned, An Horse sounds like a full band busting at the seams. It could be assumed that several powerful musicians are behind such a boundless sound, but the reality of An Horse’s unique beat-driven music is there are only two musicians on stage. When you’re lucky enough to lay eyes on them, you see just two people, rocking twice as hard – making stellar rock music.
Cooper met drummer Damon Cox at a record store in their hometown of Brisbane, Australia. They were co-workers and then friends for a few years before a band formed. “We talked about it for a year before we actually did anything about it,” said Cooper. “Talked about it as in drunk texted each other being like ‘lets make some music.’”
Both were involved in other musical projects and were apprehensive about getting their act together. Cox was on tour with a heavier band from Brisbane. Eventually Cooper approached Cox with some songs she initially had trouble presenting. “I was like no, I don’t want to give them to him, just because they were silly little songs I recorded in my bedroom”.
An Horse went from those ‘silly little songs’ to opening for Tegan and Sara before their first album release, and playing with Death Cab for Cutie, who dedicated a song to them every night they played together. When the dynamic duo was able to musically walk in stride, big things happened immediately and it was obvious they were embarking on a brisk walk toward stardom.
When asked if they have ever considered bringing a third or fourth member into the band, they were adamant about remaining with their not-so-terrible two. Some notable musicians have even shown interest in joining. “I don’t know if they are serious, but people are like, ‘Do you need a bass player? Do you need a bass player?’” said Cox. Not only are they trying to maintain the authenticity of their unique two- person sound, but Cooper mentioned that upon first getting together, all their equipment fit in her car, so it was easy.
Now calling different parts of the world home, Cooper and Cox find ways to remain a close knit musical team from Montreal (where Cooper lives) to Melbourne (where Cox lives). They are able to see each other when they tour and write. “Kate came to Melbourne for a couple of months while we were on tour, that is another advantage to just having the two of us, when we have to move around.” When asked about the writing process, Cox explained: “Sometimes it takes longer than others, sometimes it comes together quickly.”
Cooper revealed that not all songs end with audible masterpieces. “At times, it’s a dangerous labor, sometimes the mother dies in child birth,” she said. From that stemmed a long-winded tangent on the correct terminology for babies being birthed backwards. “We were eventually able to recover from our digression, to move on to more important things,” she said. Recently, An Horse released an EP of remixes entitled Beds Rearranged. On the EP, they remixed five of their already released tunes, and were able to work with Gerry ‘Ghosthouse’ Smith (TV on The Radio).
They are set to work on their next album in Vancouver this coming July and August. Cooper has high expectations for An Horse, they’ve had a long arduous journey to fame and have always desired to be musicians by profession. “I’m prepared to be way bigger than this, like 10 million records sold, I mean its hard work, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.”
The power duet have a special fondness for Toronto – they have played more shows here than any other city. Most recently, they played the Garrison on April 26 where they were accompanied by the lovely Hannah Georgas, another indie Goddess. The modest venue could hardly support their enveloping sound. The show in its entirety left little to be desired, starting with “Company” off Beds Rearranged and finishing reluctantly with an encore. Both members masterfully dominating their instruments, satisfying the loudest of expectations. By the end of the show it was apparent, An Horse needed no company, two’s a party.
For more information on An Horse, check out: www.myspace.com/anhorse
Photos by Afarin Fallah and Laura Lesliei.