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Interview – Danny "Count" Koker (Count’s 77)

Interview with Danny "Count" Koker from Count's77
by Dave " That Metal Guy" Campbell at 25 October 2014, 1:34 PM

Count's 77 has released their latest album on 29 April of this year. As anyone knows, releasing an album and constantly touring to promote the album is a lot of work,and takes up a lot of time. Our writer Dave Campbell managed to get in and talk to Danny "Count" Koker, about the new album, and even more! 

Hi there Danny, what’s up? Wonderful to have you for this interview for Metal Temple.

Thank you for having me and the band. Been a heck of a summer for the band.

Frankly it was my first time with Count’s 77 so if you would be so kind, take me back to when the band was forming…  How did you all come to meet and form the band?

I've always had music in my blood. My father was an accomplished musician and singer. John Zito, one of the guitarists, held an open jam at my Rock club, Vampd, with his band. (Which includes Bassist Barry Barnes and Drummer Paul Disibio) From time to time, I'd get up and sing some songs with them. Stoney Curtis, who's been on the Shrapnel label for a long time, who'd I go see at the Blues club here, would get up and jam too. When the 5 of us were together, it just felt like there was a magic. It made me want to get back into music. It feels good to my soul. As it progressed, we seemed to get more and more serious. This was before the Counting Cars show started. We came together organically and I think it shows in our sound and our music.

What was the vision of the band when it came to songwriting, as it shows on your new album?  What kind of sound were you looking for?

We're all about the 70's vibe. We started doing covers from that era. But we'd put a little bit of heat behind them. Imagine, Doors tunes with Les Paul's and Marshall's. As I stated, Stoney Curtis, the Lead Guitarist, has been working with Mike Varney and Shrapnel Records for 10 years. Mike would come see the band and felt what we did. There's something here. So, Stoney, Mike and myself went to work putting together a collection of good Rock n Roll songs that fit the era of music that we love, grew up on and felt was missing in today's music overall. To use an oxymoron. Modern Classic Rock. I think the term sums it up.

What are some bands that have influenced you?  What bands do you each like to listen to today?

Our influences include everyone from Zeppelin, Foghat, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Bob Seger Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, etc.  You know… Great 70's Blues based Rock Bands. There are several bands out there today that we all love. Bands that are out there keeping it real. Playing music from their hearts, their souls. Real musicians.

Do you have touring plans for after the album is released? Where can fans go to buy the album?

We have not stopped doing shows since the beginning of the year and before. Because of my shooting schedule, for now, we mainly do fly in dates. Every weekend. Soon, we'll do more and more dates. But we are all over the country and Canada consistently. The album came out April 29, 2014 and has been well received. We feel very fortunate and blessed.

The album is available on Amazon, ITunes and all the outlets that carry music. It's on Shrapnel Records, available on their website as well as ours. www.counts77.com or the www.countskustoms.com  website.

Danny, a lot of people know you from the TV shows such as Pawn Stars and Counting Cars.  Has this positively affected the band, and if so, in what ways?

Certainly. It gives us a promotional tool that money can't buy. That being said, it puts you under a microscope, but this band just goes out and blows people away. I'm proud to be a part of a great band. It's 6 guys. They are all amazing, accomplished musicians with a career and legacy themselves. So, sometimes folks might think it's a gimmick. I assure when you hear and see this band Live, you're seeing a real Rock n Roll band. The show gives opportunities, yes, but you have to deliver the goods. We do that.

There is a lot of “retro” type music coming out again these days, but I was impressed with how fresh and energetic your music was in particular.  How were you able to breathe new life into a style of music like this?

We love this music. We lived it. We grew up on it. We have great chemistry between us. We all love each other like brothers. Energy is contagious. We always play with intensity and heart. We have a great time and love doing what we're doing. That translates. Thank you for noticing and feeling what we feel. Great Rock n Roll never goes outta style. Sometimes it just needs a shot in the arm. Some good energy and belief in what you're doing and love. If you fake it, people know it. This is really our blood. We bring the heat every time. I believe people feel it too.

What is next for Count’s 77?  What are your goals when it comes to your band and the music industry in general?

We'll continue to tour constantly, promoting the debut record. We'll be recording a follow up around the holiday season of 2014 and more and more appearances.  Our goal is to keep spreading word.  Keep growing our show and music. Keep rockin and turn more and more people onto Count's 77.

Since you have been connected to the media, what do you think of what is going on throughout the music industry, especially with the everlasting debate of what to do with illegal downloading? As a band do you believe that it is actually promotes you to reach far or the opposite?

It's a slippery slope. Stealing is never a good thing. You want your music out there. But at what cost? If people only take it, it appears no one is buying the record, so how do you get a chance to make more music? It's a debate that can go on and will go on forever. Artists work their whole lives to make a career and living. Gotta think about that. Spend the .99 cents. Tell your friends about good music you like. Wasn't that how it was always done? Grassroots. Take it to the people.

Danny I wish to thank you for this interview. You guys totally rock and I really hope to catch you live one day. Any last words for the readers?

Thank you and everyone for taking the time to give Count's 77 a listen. If you love real rock n roll, we hope this gives you a great record of a vibe that is classic yet fresh for today. If you get a chance, come see the band live. You won't be disappointed.



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