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Meet Ivan Copelli

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ivan Copelli.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, son of physicists, Ivan Copelli is a full-time drummer. He’s a self-taught musician, who fell in love with the drums after watching a Kiss concert with his mother in 1983, at the age of ten. His life and soul would never be the same after that night. He started playing drums with his mother’s knitting needles and phonebooks. When he was 14, already with a real drum kit, he played his first gig.

On the road now for over 30 years, Ivan has gone through all kinds of situations on stage. From small and badly equipped stages to big arenas, he gained experience and shaped his style, driven by the desire to always deliver an unforgettable performance regardless of the size of the audience. From a humble background, he learned very early to value every little detail of his instrument, as well as the value of being respectful and cordial to all who appreciate his work. These concepts were crucial to building his own fan base. Ivan has played in many bands throughout his career and is recognized for his solid work in the Rock scene in Brazil.

He played in bands such as Bomba-i, Motores, Kiara Rocks, Burlesca to name a few and participated in the recording of eight albums, several videos and has a solid fan base now. With Motores, Ivan featured the MTV LA’s reality show called Rally MTV and won first place, leading the band and the career of its members to unparalleled international levels. His music and image became known from Tierra Del Fuego to the USA. After Ivan left Motores, he joined Kiara Rocks and his drummer’s days reached an incredible pace, playing 2 to 3 gigs a week. With Kiara Rocks, he recorded an emblematic album, produced by his friend Matt Sorum (former drummer for Guns’N’Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver). At the beginning of 2013, he left Kiara Rocks and founded Burlesca, loyal to his music style and respect he has for his fans. With Burlesca he had a blast nationwide after their first CD was released achieving great reviews amongst the specialized media and, most importantly, packing the venues where they played.

Ivan Copelli is also the proud owner of the acrylic Drum brand called Hutch Drums and because of it, has made contact with thousands of drummers within Latin America countries and overseas. However, in 2015 a whole new level twist came through and he moved to Los Angeles. Bringing his company to America was not the only move but his drummer career too. After a while, his talent was immediately recognized and he joined Voodoo Kills, a rock band from Hollywood. They released an acclaimed album, followed by some music videos with great producing behind. He decided to leave Voodoo Kills after been invited to join the band Stranger Things, a solid and successful band from Los Angeles. They are about to release the second studio album in the first semester of 2020. America has been generous to Ivan’s career!

Ivan Copelli was strongly influenced by Eric Carr, John Bonham, Ian Paice, Nicko McBrain, Alex Van Halen, Phil Rudd, Bill Ward and Steven Adler. Early on he realized that a good Rock ‘n’ Roll needs to be consistent. His energy comes from this, and not from physical strength or a hundred notes per bar. His motto is: “Play for the music and not for yourself”. Ivan is sponsored by Contra Grife that provides the clothes he wears; Spy Eyewear, that provides his sunglasses, Urbann Boards that provide his special drumming shoes and he has also his own signature drumsticks, provided by the Canadian company Los Cabos Drumsticks.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an artist is never smooth. It’s really, really hard to have your art-recognized as your business. I had to have a double life both as a Marketing Executive + Drummer and eventually Drums manufacturer + Drummer for my entire life. As a drummer, I had to face countless bad venues, bad instruments, bad bandmates egos and especially self-doubt regarding my career options.

My humble childhood made me be a self-taught musician, which brought me some additional challenges, like a lack of references and proper guidance. Obviously, lack of theory and foundations would be forever missed… until today… lol. However, all these downsides were part of my growth as an artist. I had to develop other sides of my artist skills to compensate for the struggles.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I’m a drummer and I’ve been doing this for almost 35 years now. People know me as a Rock and Roll drummer. I’m proud to have always been involved with original song bands and with a solid career in this genre. I’m probably more distinguished for my live performances, charisma on the stage and personally with fans and definitely for my drumming solid skills.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I definitely believe that success is defined by how happy and satisfied you personally feel by doing whatever you love. It’s always about happiness. Of course, we always look for the means to make money, pay the bills, etc. But if you think in the opposite way, not necessarily making money will make you happy, From that perspective, it’s important, as an artist, to have a very clear understanding of how you want to direct your career. If it’s for your personal satisfaction or for making money. Sometimes you can have both. Whatever is your direction, you have to be happy with your decision and the results. Again, if you’re happy with the results, that’s how I understand success.

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