Get to Know the Band We Know You’re Listening to: Breathe Carolina
Written By: Nicole Hakim
Photographed By: Stephen Panosian Breathe Carolina
Expert: Breathe Carolina
Credentials: Band from Denver, Colorado
Fun Fact: Breathe Carolina plans to go on a World Tour next year!
In 2007 in Denver Colorado, Breathe Carolina—currently consisting of David Schmitt, Eric Armenta and Tommy Cooperman, was formed. After creating an album using the program, Garageband, the band signed with Rise Records in 2008. Since then, the band has released a number of singles, two EPs, and four studio albums including It’s Classy, not Classic, Hello Fascination, Hell is What You Make It and Savages under a number of labels.
In its nine years, Breathe Carolina has seen members come and go and has gained a large fan base with its music videos garnering as much as 13 million views on YouTube.
Q: How did you guys get started in music? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
David Schmitt: Yeah. I think we all just grew up with music and love music, and it was just what the life path led us down. So, yeah, I think we were born to make music.
Tommy Cooperman: Yeah. I was born to fight fires, but I’m afraid of them, so here I am.
Eric Armenta: Dave and I grew up making music together. When we were in high school, we were in local bands together. It was a natural progression of life.
Q: How did you meet and become involved with the band?
DS: Eric and I started with another guy a long time ago, and we toured around together. Before the other guy left, we met Tommy through other bands in LA that we had known, and we clicked on a good level, and we just started writing together, and that clicked as well.
EA: Yeah, we met Tommy through touring with other bands, and he naturally just joined us.
Q: How would you guys describe your style of music?
TC: Energetic, emotional, dance music.
DS: I feel we don’t go into songs with a vibe; it always comes out. It’s very emotional. Dancey.
TC: Everything we do has a dark, ominous feel as well.
EA: I guess that’s where our inspiration comes from: the darkness.
Q: So, what’s it like to go on tour?
EA: It’s the best thing ever. I mean, it’s not for everybody, but when we get to do it, you get with your best friends, hit the road, play shows, do what you love every day.
DS: It kind of relates back to your first question. You’re kind of born to tour. You either do it or you don’t. There’s not really an in between. People can handle it, or they can’t handle it.
TC: It’s super hard to do, too. It’s really stressful. You’re always tired, and we never get to see anybody, and something is going wrong 24 hours a day. But, the good parts are so good they make the bad parts kind of worth it.
EA: Yeah, once you get home from everything, you’re just like, ‘Alright that was totally worth the sacrifices we had to make.’
Q: Do you guys have any musical inspirations?
DS: I feel like, personally, I always go through a couple of weeks and phases. Like, right now, GTA is my musical inspiration. The new Zeds Dead album is so good, I’m inspired by that.
EA: Yeah, we listen to eclectic genres of music, so I think we just kind of draw a little bit of inspiration from everything we listen to.
TC: We all grew up on Blink-182. So, that’s probably where our music started.
Q: Do you have any singers or bands you’d love to perform with?
TC: They got to play with Blink-182; I wasn’t in the group yet.
DS: We did two shows in Vegas, like back to back, with Blink-182, so that was cool because that’s how I got into music; pretty much everyone got into the band because of Blink-182.
EA: There are a lot of bands we’d love to play shows with because they’re our best friends, and we’ve done a lot of stuff together, but most of them aren’t bands anymore.
Q: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?
DS: Everywhere’s different and special. I think Tokyo, as a city, would be a really cool place.
TC: We haven’t been to South America, and our biggest Spotify numbers and Facebook fans are in South America. We’d really like to perform there.
EA: If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d go out of this world. Play a show on the moon!
Q: What is the creative process like while creating a song? What sort of struggles do you come up against?
TC: Honestly, it depends. We write separately and finish together. One of us will send the original idea to another, and the other person will elaborate on that. Our creative process is to email each other, get it to a place and meet up to finish.
DS: I think a big struggle is that now that we’re doing dance music, we work with other singers and DJs. Getting everyone’s team on the same page is a humongous struggle.
TC: Our next single was 265 emails in nine months of going back and forth to get it where it is.
Q: Do you have a song that is more significant to you than others? If so, why?
EA: I’m not going into too much detail, but there’re a few songs where the content and the emotion that inspired it is on a very personal level. So, when I listen to those songs, it makes me emotional because the place where it came from is always in my head every time I hear it.
TC: We also have milestone songs. They have a song before I joined that sold two million copies. There was the song that first made the Beatport top 10. Those songs hold special places because they’re milestones for us.
Q: Do you have any plans for the future you can talk about?
TC: Yeah! We’re going to tour overseas next year, like Asia, Europe—a world tour. We’re also going to work trying to do more music like the EP we did, which is like more put together stuff.
Q: What do you guys like to do when you’re not rehearsing or playing a show?
DS: When we’re not touring or writing or working, it’s letting your brain decompress. There’s so much that goes on that if we don’t have to do anything for a couple of hours, I’m going to chill.
TC: You don’t clock out of this job. You have to find time to go to a movie.
EA: When we have downtime, I honestly love to be domestic. I love to clean and do laundry and cook dinner. Just relax with my cats.
Q: Have you had any crazy fan experiences?
DS: It’s always crazy. There’s a line in your head that never gets crossed because this person really likes what we do, so it doesn’t seem that crazy to us. Even if it’s someone running and tackling us, that would be wild, but at the same time, it would be cool, so it makes that person not crazy…There’s no line that they can cross, but don’t take that as a challenge.
EA: If someone had such an emotional reaction from seeing you they attacked you with no regard for anything, it’s crazy at the time, but it’s pretty cool too.
TC: Most of our fans are really respectable and really cool, and we’ll hang out with them at any time. Our fans are awesome.
Q: If you weren’t doing music, is there any other profession you’d consider?
DS: If it had nothing to do with music, I’d cook. That’s my second thing I really love to do.
EA: I’d probably do something with my hands, like woodworking or building furniture. I love to create whether it’s music or something physical.
TC: I’d do business. I’d be a sports agent or something. I talk too much, so I need to be 100 miles an hour at all times.
In the Blink of an Eye: Though Breathe Carolina takes inspiration from many musical sources, the members credit Blink-182 as their starting point.
Rest and Relaxation: When they’re not working, Eric, David, and Tommy like to take the time to wind down.
1875 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Turn Up the Base and Listen to Breathe Carolina Talk About Fans and Who Inspires Them!