Spirit Animal frontman Steve Cooper is a D.C. area-born talent, uncoiling a multitude of skills that go beyond the realm of melodies, production and body sweat into the worlds of cheffing and web content craftsmanship. KCRW calls him “unbelievable” and Last.fm compares his stage presence to that of “mid-’70s era The Who.” Spirit Animal joined us before their show on Saturday at Rock and Roll Hotel.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
The first real concert that I asked to go to — this excludes the Beach Boys on the National Mall when I was in a diaper — was probably Soundgarden at George Mason University’s Patriot Center circa Superunknown.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
Tough call. There was this pretty awesome show in New York last year where a guy tried to bum-rush the stage angrily and threw his beer at us and the crowd literally gobbled him up like that sandpit in Star Wars. All of our hugest friends just physically dragged him out. Straight up power of the herd style. That was very triumphant for us and got everybody going. But the very first Spirit Animal show ever, in LA, was a New Years Eve show at The Standard Hotel. They gave us a hotel room on the third floor and I went up to the balcony for the ball drop and did the countdown with the crowd below. Then, the band started playing a Reggaeton version of “Auld Lang Syne” (the NYE song) while I ran through the hotel, down the stairs and onto the poolside stage for us to start the set. Pretty cool.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
My most memorable concert moment was probably Rage Against the Machine at Merriweather Post Pavilion, right at the height of their fame. They did this thing during “Killing in the Name Of” where they turned the lights off during the quiet, fall-apart breakdown while Zach whispered “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” over and over. When the time came for the song to re-explode, they threw the flood lights on, exposing the entire crowd of thousands from front to back, and people just went absolutely ham-nanas. I can picture it now perfectly.
Gig you would most like to play?
You hear so much incredible stuff about European festivals. The scale of the events and the size of the crowd is just supposed to be bigger than even our biggest festivals in the states. So, I’d say Glastonbury, or something like it, even though I’ve never been.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Prince headlines. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers do their Greatest Hits album. Queens of the Stone Age play “Songs for the Deaf” with Dave Grohl on drums. Dave Chappelle does stand-up between sets.
See Spirit Animal , Dec. 15th at Rock and Roll Hotel