He was into sports as much as the next kid, but Austin Coupe never really got picked first on the playground. What he did excel at, however, was music.
The 22-year-old guitarist started playing at age 10 when his dad taught him basic chords. Less than half a decade later, Coupe started Bradenton hardcore band Adaliah, which got picked up by Mediaskare Records (Bury Your Dead, Silent Civilian) on the way to becoming one of Florida’s most popular recent metal exports. Adaliah — which most recently toured with genre heavyweights Knocked Loose — is playing its final show at Orpheum in December, but Coupe has plenty to keep him busy.
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Prison — a band Coupe started for fun with Johnny Crowder of Dark Sermon — has already been on tour with Suicide Silence and Combichrist and just announced a tour with Lansing, Michigan metalcore band For the Fallen Dreams. He spends his time off the road producing records for other bands like progressive Tampa hardcore band NOMVDIC. Bay area promoter J.B. Betz says he’s seen Coupe hanging out at local shows for as long as he can remember. Coupe, for his part, can’t point to a singular point when he knew music would be his life, but it did start to snowball when he saw people singing along to songs he’d written.
“There’s something about knowing that people care about what you create that just gives you the spark to keep doing it,” Coupe told CL, adding that going on nationwide tours and witnessing people pay money to see his band was mind-blowing as a teenager. Recording bands, on the other hand, was an easier decision to make.
“The moment I realized I could get paid for doing a job that didn’t feel like work, I was all in. I fell in love with the process of taking nothing and turning it into a polished recording,” Coupe said. He knows music is a questionable career option, but acknowledges that kids with four-year degrees worry about their futures, too, so Coupe is OK knowing that he’ll have to live a bit more uncomfortably — or work longer hours — than other folks in more traditional jobs.
“I think life is what you make it,” he said. “My life has always seemed to revolve around this in one way or another.“
See more of his work via austincoupe.com.