updated 8/9/2007
James Kopta, Hero 1972-2002

James Kopta passed away on August 9, 2002.
James was laid to rest at Jonesville Cemetery on Thursday, August 15, 2002.
He was a brilliant artist, musician and writer and dear friend.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Northeastern Chapter,
6 Greenwood Drive, East Greenbush, NY 12061, in memory of James R. Kopta.

There is an archive of friends memories of James on a message board -
anything else you care to share abot James can be sent to marc [at] wowcool dot com

UPDATE: The Frang Budgen record is now out on Specific Recordings and several other old projects of James
are much closer to realization. Please stay tuned for more details.

The Boomerang Project has been created to release previously unseen works by James Kopta. There is a special section in the DeptEx shop devoted to James. All money from the sale of these items goes in to the Boomerang fund. You can donate directly using PayPal or your credit card.

You can also support the project by doing your online shopping through iGive.

James' work included:

  • Instrumentalist and songwriter for local bands including Brown Cuts Neighbors, Exploding Corpse Action, Hail Mary, Frank Budgen. An accomplished guitarist, pianist and composer, he released several records, CDs and cassettes and performed all over the country.
  • James was a prime moving force behind the art and music collective Department of Experimental Services.
  • Coproducer of videos shown in festivals and galleries, locally and internationally.
  • Sculptural welder who created his own figurative works as well as working with artists George Rickey and Larry Kagan.
  • Author of numerous short stories, collected in the books "All of it's a Turkey Shoot" and "The Pipe Fitters Companion".
  • He was an active researcher into areas as diverse as biochemistry and the decoding of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

Anyone familiar with his work can testify that he had a rare, distinctive talent and style. Local bands cover his songs, friends trade CDRs of his music, and his video work with the group Brown Cuts Neighbors has been excerpted and remixed by a number of video artists in the Capital Region. He was a quiet, unassuming presence in the Arts community who affected a great number of people with the intense sincerity and passion he put into his creative work.

To see and hear further examples of his work go to the main DeptEx page at: http://wowcool.com/deptex.

    --Jason Martin & Marc Arsenault


The Icarus Project
  • The Icarus Project is a website by and for people struggling with manic depression. Like James, the creators of this project are artists from past the outer edge of the mainstream. We encourage you to explore their site.
Non-Brown Cuts Neighbors Discography (In Progress)


James Kopta played guitar, wrote most of the music (if not all), many of the words and occasionally sang in a series of upstate New York punk rock & grind bands (and other genres in that general area) during the 1990s. These are just the few releases we know about. The best description of his playing is "blistering".

Conniption had a single on Framework Records and two split 7" records on Reek Havoc, one with Scapegrace and another with Half Man (Jim does not play on the Half Man split recording, but is credited as a band member). The Heavy Hardcore HEADROOM CD compilation - from Bill T. Miller - has the track Perverse Creation from the self-titled Conniption 7". The HHH CD also includes Drop Dead, the current band of Conniption and ECA guy Devon Cahill.

Exploding Corpse Action had a split single with Dead Baby, a track on the Tomb of Grind compilation 7" and a cassette. The best source for these is Noise Squatch in Albany, NY. Jim is credited as "Dr. Sadismo". A full-length CD collection of ECA is planned for release on Armageddon Records.

Gigantopithecus released a single-sided cassette demo in 1995 and also appear on the Tomb of Grind 7" (1998) and Audio Terrorism: "The Soundtrack for Weirdness an Blind Hostility" CD compilations. The later, featuring the song "Compounded Damage of the Sleep of Reason"--despite being a mere 14 seconds length, and one of 99 songs in 47 minutes on the disk--is intense and pure Jim.

Jim co-wrote and played on the first three 7" records by Hail Mary. Hail Mary's debut single "Glorious Morning" is on Prank Records (a second pressing is now available). Interbang magazine said, "It should be a crime not to own this." The second two 7"s - "Crashing Down" and "My Will to Die is Dead" were on Vermiform Records. They are now out-of-print. James also wrote about half of the songs on the bands CD, "All Aboard the Sinking Ship", but does not play on the sessions.

Please send any additional music info to: marc [at] wowcool dot com
It will be added here.