INTRODUCING: Carpool Tunnel

Credit: Michael Hanano

We’re putting the spotlight on the hottest and most exciting new bands around with our Introducing feature, ready to highlight the artists with the biggest potential to make an impact on their scene.

San Francisco’s Carpool Tunnel are preparing for the release of their debut album, ‘Bloom’. Vocalist/guitarist Ben Koppenjan had this to say about the forthcoming full-length.

“We were all trying to come out of adolescence and find ourselves. The message we came up with was, “Like a flower, you too shall bloom.” We were all blooming into ourselves and finding our sound at the same time.”

We managed to catch up with Carpool Tunnel to talk about their origins and what the future has in store for the band.


60s and 70s classic rock and blues/SoCal-soaked surf rock

San Francisco, USA

The Strokes / Vampire Weekend / Beach Slang



DP!: How would you describe yourselves to someone who has never heard Carpool Tunnel before?
Carpool Tunnel: Our music has a lot of nostalgic elements of old 60s/70s music that we grew up on and a lot of modern elements from the pop-punk/indie scene bands in California that we took inspiration from. Spencer and Ben are from Southern California. Spencer (bass/vocals) grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and Ben (lead vocals/rhythm guitar) grew up on a lot of surf rock and reggae. Brad (lead guitarist) and Danny (drummer) grew up listening to a lot of pop-punk. Naturally, when we met, our musical upbringings tied together perfectly and I would say you can hear a little bit of all of our inspirations shine through in our music.

DP!: How did the band form?
Carpool Tunnel: Well 4 of us just happened to have swiped right. Yes, we actually met on an app, basically tinder for musicians. Soon after we connected we met up to jam and found that all of our musical interests really went well together. About a month went by, we had already bought a van and after 9 months we had already moved into a house in San Francisco, recorded and released our first EP, and completed our first west coast tour.

DP!: What plans do you have for the future?
Carpool Tunnel: Our plan is to continue writing music that reflects the world around us. We want to write music that sends positive messages to the world. Especially during tough times like now, we hope our music can be a little bit of light through all of it. We want to continue to support and contribute to the local scene here in San Francisco because, without it, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today. Besides that, we are just so excited for the future and where it will bring us.

DP!: Which new bands are you listening to right now?
Carpool Tunnel: We all have our own unique tastes, but someone we are really hooked on right now is Durand Jones & The Indications. We love their album ‘American Love Call’, which came out last year. More recently, the drummer of the band, Aaron Frazier, released his first solo debut record and its phenomenal. They are one of the bands that is bringing a lot of that old soul back into music and it’s amazing to see that kind of music being revitalized right now. It is something that is really inspiring for us and has definitely affected our current writing.

DP!: Which bands do you aspire to and why?
Carpool Tunnel: We have always aspired to bands that spread positivity and love. In particular bands like The Eagles and The Beatles stand out not only because of their stellar musicianship and songwriting but also because of the messages that their members and music stood for. As a band, we all play music for a lot of therapeutic reasons and we want our music to feel the same way to anyone who listens to us. Our first album ‘Bloom’, we wrote with the intent of accomplishing just this. We want the listener to feel better about something in their life by the time they finish listening to it, whether that be learning to live more in the moment or even to just listen more to the world around them.

DP!: What’s the stand out moment in your career so far?
Carpool Tunnel: Tough to say… every show we play always seem to continue to get better, despite the size. We are always looking for the silver lining in everything we do. Most recently I would say that getting to hear ourselves on vinyl for the first time was pretty profound. We got our test presses for our debut album ‘Bloom’ about two weeks ago and all of us were ecstatic to have reached this moment. This was always a dream of all of ours so reaching this point has been an amazing accomplishment for all of us!

DP!: Where do you want to be a year from now?
Carpool Tunnel: On a stage playing to other members of our big Carpool Tunnel family! Oh how we miss this the most. We wouldn’t be where we are without all the people we call family in the Bay Area and all the music scenes in so many cities we call home. Shout out to Reno, Nevada who has always made us feel like family every time we are there. We can’t wait to get out on the road and share all the amazing tunes we have been working on. That’s all we could truly ask for!

Carpool Tunnel‘s debut album ‘Bloom’ is set for release on February 26th, via Pure Noise Records.

You can pre-order the album online from Pure Noise Records‘ official store (here), Apple Music (here) and Amazon (here).

You can keep up-to-date with the band online over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.