Salt Lake Tribune article - September 19, 1997

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Print interview with Jason Cropper
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Publication Salt Lake Tribune
Interviewee Jason Cropper
Interviewer Martin Renzhofer
Date September 19, 1997
Title Cropper's Family Values Give Chopper One a Lift
Format Print
External link Via Newspapers.com
References See where this interview is referenced on Weezerpedia

Cropper's Family Values Give Chopper One a Lift
Author: Martin Renzhofer (Salt Lake Tribune)
Published: September 19, 1997



Amy and Jason Cropper of Chopper One are giving rock 'n' roll a bad name.

Not only do this married couple prefer to spend all their time together, they have a cute daughter, parental support on both sides of the family and a debut album chock full of catchy, high-powered pop songs.

"When we started playing together four years ago, we actually got through the terrible times right away." says Amy. "We get along great on tour and feel lucky we can be together. Ever since we met we've spent all our time together.

"Love does exist," she adds with a laugh.

And when Chopper One concludes its tour tonight at Ogden's O' Town, the Croppers will head back to their home in Cleveland for a family reunion with their daughter, Kiefer, who not only adorns the band's album cover, but also concludes the recording by singing a cute a cappella riff.

"Amy wanted to do that." says Jason. "We gave Kiefer a mike and she jumped up and down on the bed for a half-hour. We took the best parts. We figured, she's on the cover, she might as well sing a song.

"Every once in a while, when she sees the album, she says There's our record.'

When the band, which also includes drummer Tyrone Rio and guitarist Steve Garvy (he sometimes gets mail meant for the former Dodger baseball player), goes on tour, family members from both sides look after Kiefer.

The current tour almost ended before it started. A drunk driver hit the band's van. No one was hurt, and though the band's driver was cited for a wrong turn, everything else took a positive turn.

The drunk driver was carted off to jail, and Chopper One got a new vehicle. "We got a van with windows," says Amy. "We were driving a cargo truck with no windows and it was totally hot."

It otherwise has been a successful tour for the new band. Chopper One began by opening for Goldfinger in Boston, New York City and Washington. D.C. The band's album, "Now Playing." has become part of the regular гоtation on Boston radio.

"The best part is making new connections and meeting people after the shows," says Amy.

Chopper One was born by accident. Amy, who graduated from Bowling Green, left Ohio for Los Angeles and a shot in the entertainment business. She met Jason, a member of Weezer.

Jason left Weezer as the band was recording its debut album. It was, at first, a dubious decision. Weezer became the hot new band.

Meanwhile, Jason was teaching his pregnant wife how to play bass.

"Every once in a while someone says, 'Man, don't you wish you were still with Weezer?'" he says. "Part of me says yes. But when I really think about it, I'm glad I'm doing this. I got to stay at home when my daughter was born and I'm playing all these songs that I wouldn't have been able to do.

"Striking out on my own took guts."

As Chopper One was taking shape, the Croppers released an independent single, wrote songs and performed for the band 22 Jacks (which recently played Salt Lake City). Jason also produced an album for another group.

Finally, with a drummer in place, Chopper One was ready to fly. The band was signed by Restless Records and recorded "Now Playing," produced by Don Fleming, who has worked with Hole, Sonic Youth and Teenage Fanclub. "I still listen to the album and get goosebumps," says Amy.

The music benefits from a unique combination of Jason's musical knowledge and the novice musician that is Amy.

"She probably didn't have the mumbo jumbo in her head that would mess her up." her husband says. "Amy went with her gut instinct, which helped me get in touch with my own vibe for writing songs."

Jason says his wife just blossomed into a good songwriter.

"That's something Jason loves about the writing process," says Amy. "I came into this with no knowledge of how to play or writing songs, and it worked out."

What the band created was an unabashed pop album, filled with plenty of hooks and energy to spare. And now that Amy is a recording "veteran," she has plans for the band's next album.

"I'd like to do a lot of little things to make it extra special," she says. "What we have now. though, is special for now."


■ Sky Pilot
Chopper One performs tonight at O' Town Tavern, 2550 Washington Blvd., Ogden. Admission to the 9 p.m. show is $5.

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