ECHO INTERVIEW: DOPPELGANGER - The Echo

Doppelganger – Photo by: Bleak Visuals

 OVER 1 MILLION VIEWS AND COUNTING…

Alex Coats and Kyle Delveau met in middle school and have been playing together since 2007. They started forming Doppelganger after graduating high school in 2013 with Kyle’s older brother. Since then, they have gone through multiple line-up changes in 10 years, which has led them back to their original origin-story duo, Alex & Kyle. Together, they create all of Doppelganger’s tracks (Drums synths, orchestral pieces, guitars, bass and more), and have amassed over 1 million views on Youtube for their cover of Yeet – “Money So Big”, which has since gone viral in multi million view range with reaction videos, covers, freestyles, dj remixes, & artist interpretations. 

The viral success led to larger audience views of their songs, like “I Was God Once”. The success story even led to their endorsement by elite custom american-made guitar company, Kiesel Guitars. { Cute cover photo Alex 😉 }

In light of their new single, “Shinigami” being released, January 26th, 2023, we sat down with Doppelganger to discuss their new music, Quad City roots, and rise in internet music stardom. 

 

“I think our music is defined by complex guitar work supplemented with modern elements. I enjoy that we can write melodies that express feelings and emotions without limiting the listener’s experience with lyrics”

 

– ALEX COATS. LEAD GUITARIST

“It’s a lot of fun to put together song ideas and figure out where we want a track to go. We challenge ourselves to write each piece in a way that sends a unique message from song to song, and it’s rewarding to see how different elements come to life.”

 

– KYLE DELVEAU.  BASSIST

Name/Band Name:

Doppelganger

Genre:

Instrumental Prog Metal

Members in band:

Alex Coats, Kyle Delveau

First paid gig:

2015 Variety show at the Blue Moose in Iowa City

Favorite venue to play at:

Current Favorite – Skylark    All Time – Blue Moose

Before gig/On tour Food choice:

Tacos and Reese’s peanut butter cups

IF YOU DIDN’T BECOME A MUSICIAN/MUSICIANS, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW?

A: I always thought designing video games would be cool, but being a musician seemed more realistic for some reason.

K: Outside of the band, I work in human services. I enjoy helping others, and prefer to keep songwriting as a secondary since the joy I get from songwriting could be squelched if pushing out music becomes an obligation.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PLAYING MUSIC IN THE QUAD CITIES?

A: I started playing guitar when I was 11 by taking lessons at Music Go Round! Billy Gardner Jr. and Mike Meinert helped me learn so much as a kid, and I can’t thank them enough.

K: I was raised in the Quad Cities and grew up taking lessons for piano and bass. Alex and I started a “band” in middle school and went from playing the talent show to performing in local shows in Moline.

 

WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR A FIRST TIME FAN AT YOUR SHOW?

A: Our goal is to be energetic on stage without missing too many notes. We definitely feed off the crowd’s energy, so we love to see moshing to our breakdowns and finger wiggling to the solos! You’ll always find us at our merch table talking with you before and after our set!

K: For a fan experiencing one of our shows for the first time, they can expect to see us on a bill with a few other bands with similar music styles. Fans will have the chance to interact with us at our merch table before and after we play. During our set, the fan will see us having fun on stage, which typically translates to other audience members moving with us ripping air guitar solos.

Doppelganger – July 30, 2022 performing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Where they have found success outside of the Quad Cities performing their progressive rock sound. – Photo by: Michael Feddersen Photography

DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS FOR MAKING NEW MUSIC?

A: It changes from song to song. Usually, it starts with a riff or a melodic idea on guitar. I record that on my computer and listen back while trying to imagine what should happen next and go from there! Once I have a riff or two, I’ll pull up some drums and synth virtual instruments in my DAW to add layers along the way. Sometimes this whole process happens backward starting with synth and drums, depending on the mood or feel I’m going for.

K: A lot of times I start out messing around with different sounds on my midi controller until I find an idea that feels worth pursuing. I typically find a chord progression or melody that fits, and layer guitars and drums to give some sense of dynamic. We share most of our ideas and – pretty naturally – that works its way into a song.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS IN THE QC MUSIC SCENE?

A: Consistency is key. We’ve been a band in the QC since 2015, so we can say from experience that if you continue to play shows, release music, and have a solid online presence, you will start to see it pay off in one way or another!

K: I think it can be helpful to build connections with other inspired local artists. From there, perform your craft, enjoy it, and don’t stop.

 

In the lab with Doppelganger – August 2021. – Photo by: Jake Will

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PLAYING IN THE QC AREA?

A: Being able to connect with other musicians in our area and see new local bands and artists!

K: We grew up in the Quad Cities, so it’s always great to play our hometown and see our family and friends supporting us

 

ARE THERE ANY REASONS YOU DON’T LIKE PLAYING IN THE QC AREA?

A & K: This can be said for most music scenes, but the venues that will allow original metal bands to play can be limited. We are lucky to have places like Skylark and RIBCO but places like that are hard to come by!

HOW DO YOU THINK WE CAN OVERCOME THIS VENUE VS. ARTIST ISSUE

A & K: If venues are more willing to take on a variety of musical acts from varying genres and communities then it could open up more doors for the music community as a whole to continue to thrive!

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO OTHER LOCAL MUSICIANS?

A: Post your craft on social media. Don’t be afraid to post things that aren’t perfect, whether it’s a video of you playing or just a funny clip of your band at practice. You’d be surprised what will take off on TikTok and Instagram!

K: Learn how to write and record by yourself at home. This will help you a ton when it comes to writing with other musicians in a project. It’s also helpful to have a pool of musical ideas recorded that you can take from when working on a new project. You never know when you’ll be reinspired by something you wrote in the past.

IF YOU COULD HAVE QUAD CITY FANS REMEMBER ONE THING ABOUT YOU?

A: The sentiment that we’ll have any legacy to be remembered in the Quad Cities is a dream come true already. But if we’re remembered for the passion and creativity we put into our writing and performances, that’d be even better.

K: I’d say, that one day QC fans look back and see that we took a risk in doing something different; by breaking the mold by being distinctly “us”. Maybe that could be something future musicians use as a reason to lean into their individual sound and message.

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