Premiere: Citizen Cope’s New Song from First Album in 7 Years, ‘Heroin and Helicopters’

February 14, 2019
Premiere: Citizen Cope’s New Song from First Album in 7 Years, ‘Heroin and Helicopters’

photo credit Alex Elena

On March 1, Citizen Cope will release his first album in seven years, Heroin and Helicopters, via his own RainWater Recordings label and Thirty Tigers. The title was inspired by a few words from from Carlos Santana. Cope, whose given name is Clarence Greenwood, recalls,  “I was at The Fillmore when Carlos was thinking of using ‘Sideways’ for his next album [2002’s Shaman]. Carlos came to meet me, and in the course of that conversation said, ‘You gotta watch out for the two H’s.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ And told me: ‘Heroin and helicopters—they don’t mix well with musicians.’ He was talking about the helicopter crashes that took the lives of Bill Graham and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as opioids. It all made sense to me, so I never took a helicopter and never did heroin.

“Those ideas are just as important today. When I was making the record, I had a of couple friends lose loved ones to overdoses. It also became a theme at my shows where people would come back and say, ‘I was struggling and this record really helped me and saved my life.’ I really wasn’t aware what an epidemic it was. I had read about it and, even though I knew people who were suffering from it, I didn’t know how vast it was. It turns out that there were more than 70,000 deaths in 2017 due to drug overdoses. And the helicopter represents something that moves fast but isn’t very stable. It made me think of technology in general, and also our society’s inclination to hyper-speed into things that are indulgent, as opposed to things of quality.”

Today we premiere “Hours on End” from Heroin and Helicopters. Cope tells Relix, “I cut the basics in D.C., at the old studio [Central Recordings] where I did “Bullet and a Target” and “Son’s Gonna Rise.” Then, I came back and did the overdubs in Los Angeles. It explores the realization that we’re living in a time of argument and discontent. By doing that, we’re missing out on the chance to take in the moment and enjoy the natural things we have in life—what the earth gives to us. That includes relationships, the experience of feeling loved by someone else and feeling love yourself. You can’t buy those things.”

Heroin and Helicopters is now available for pre-order. Citizen Cope’s upcoming tour dates appear below the music.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
3/1/19 – Franklin Music Hall (Philadelphia, PA)
3/2/19 – Beacon Theatre (New York, NY)
3/3/19 – 9:30 Club (Washington, DC)
3/5/19 – The Fillmore Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
3/6/19 – The Orange Peel (Asheville, NC)
3/8/19 – State Theatre Greenville (Greenville, NC)
3/9/19 – Lincoln Theatre Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)
3/10/19 – The Buckhead Theatre (Atlanta, GA)
3/12/19 – The Pageant (St. Louis, MO)
3/13/19 – The Truman (Kansas City, MO)
3/15/19 – Paramount Theatre (Denver, CO)
3/16/19 – The Depot (Salt Lake City, UT)
3/18/19 – Knitting Factory Boise (Boise, ID)
3/19/19 – The Wilma (Missoula, MT)
3/20/19 – Knitting Factory Spokane (Spokane, WA)
3/22/19 – McDonald Theatre (Eugene, OR)
3/23/19 – The Showbox (Seattle, WA)
3/24/19 – The Showbox (Seattle, WA)
3/25/19 – Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR)
3/27/19 – August Hall (San Francisco, CA) –
3/28/19 – The Novo (Los Angeles, CA) –
3/29/19 – Brooklyn Bowl (Las Vegas, NV) –
3/30/19 – The Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA) –
4/1/19 – The Marquee (Phoenix, AZ) –
4/4/19 – The Bomb Factory (Dallas, TX) –
4/5/19 – House of Blues Houston (Houston, TX) –
4/6/19 – Diamond Ballroom (Oklahoma City, OK) –
4/7/19 – ACL Live at The Moody Theater (Austin, TX) –
4/9/19 – House of Blues New Orleans (New Orleans, LA) –
4/11/19 – Cannery Ballroom (Nashville, TN) –
4/12/19 – House of Blues Chicago (Chicago, IL) –
4/13/19 – The Fillmore Detroit (Detroit, MI) –
4/15/19 – Byham Theater (Pittsburgh, PA) –
4/17/19 – Lincoln Theatre Washington (Washington, DC) –
4/18/19 – College Street Music Hall (New Haven, CT) –
4/19/19 – State Theatre Portland (Portland, ME) –
4/20/19 – Orpheum Theatre (Boston, MA) –