Feedback: Kevin Copeland of Lightning Bug

Janice Headley
photo by Ingmar Chen

Welcome to the latest edition of Feedbacka look (down) at the pedalboards and equipment of some of our favorite musicians. Today, we hear from Kevin Copeland, guitarist and vocalist for the Brooklyn-based shoegaze band Lightning Bug, whose brand new LP A Color of the Sky (out today via Fat Possum) drew inspiration from the beauty of the Northwest, when vocalist and songwriter Audrey Kang attended the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach. The new album captures the effortless flight of riding on the wind, against a vast, open sky. Copeland tells us below what tools he used to portray that gorgeous feeling.

This is my favorite guitar. It's a Fender Telecaster that was made in Japan somewhere in the '90s or early 2000s. The woodworking is so beautiful on these guitars, but they were usually covered in really thick polyeurethane. I bought this from a guy in Minnesota who very painstakingly stripped all the paint and refinished it in a very thin clear coat. The neck fits my hand like an old baseball glove, and it resonates almost like an acoustic. The electronics I put in, but I'll keep the nerd level low(ish). I love this guitar more than any original '50s Telecaster I've ever played, not that I could afford those anyway. :)

This is my very trusty amp. It was put together by a very smart builder in NYC who goes by Dr. Steam Whipple. It's sort of a mutt between an old tweed deluxe and a bassman. It's the best amp ever, truly. Makes me feel like a grand piano. Suits me perfectly and never fails.

The box near the amp is really my most consistent “pedal”. It's a spring reverb and tube bias-varying trem that I had made for myself and that I subsequently modified. I love the sound of a real spring, and there’s something about actual tube tremolo that can't really be duplicated in a pedal. More lifelike. When playing lightning bug shows i do always have a digital delay for long washy sounds, a memory boy for the gain and squishy sound of that circuit, plus some kind of overdrive and a fuzz face. I used to have more pedals, but I found I could accomplish everything I needed to with just those four. Hopefully see you out there with all of it soon!

Tour Dates

9/3/2021 Spokane, WA at Lucky You Lounge
9/4/2021 Seattle, WA at Neumos
9/7/2021 Portland, OR at Mississippi Studios
9/9/2021 San Francisco, CA at The Independent
9/11/2021 Los Angeles, CA at Lodge Room
9/13/2021 Phoenix, AZ at Crescent Ballroom
9/14/2021 Tucson, AZ at Club Congress
9/15/2021 Santa Fe, NM at Meow Wolf
9/17/2021 Austin, TX at Mohawk
9/18/2021 San Antonio, TX at Paper Tiger
9/19/2021 Dallas, TX at Deep Ellum Art Company

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