Haircut Actual is a local band based out of Mount Pulaski and is
made up of very talented musicians who know how to put on a show and
draw in a crowd. After all, it's not every day you hear Beatles
songs being played by teenagers.
The band consists of Garrett Johnston, 16, from Elkhart on drums;
Andrew Moody, 16, of Cornland as lead guitarist and vocalist; Brady
Walsh, 16, from Mount Pulaski, bassist and rhythm guitar; Brandon
Smith, 14, of Riverton, bassist and guitar; and Caleb Coppinger, 18,
from Mount Pulaski, rhythm guitar and lead vocals.
Haircut Actual formed almost two years ago with the help of the
Mount Pulaski High School Band instructor, David Helm. Walsh, Moody
and Johnston went to Helm in their eighth-grade year with the idea
of starting a band. However, the band was missing a few key pieces,
such as a lead singer and another guitar player. The band officially
formed in October of 2011 but would remain nameless until early
Now, how in the world does one come up with the name Haircut
Actual? Heck, you've probably already turned to the nearest person
beside you and said, "Haircut Actual, what does that even mean?" It
seems a bit bizarre, but you will remember it.
The birth of the name came from none other than the
self-proclaimed leader and bassist, Brady Walsh. Walsh was a part of
the 2012 MPHS drama department's "Seussical the Musical," as was
lead singer Caleb Coppinger. Coppinger played the defiant role of
Horton, the elephant, in the production. But before taking the
stage, Coppinger had to get a haircut to allow for his elephant ears
Walsh was already on a roll of giving every cast member a
colorful, military code nickname, and Coppinger would be no
different. His new haircut even made things easier in more ways than
one. Coppinger was "Haircut Actual." Thus out of impulse and a joke,
Haircut Actual was born.
Early gigs were rough, and all things considered, not always
easy. Even though each member is basically as talented as they come,
lead singer Coppinger says, "Learning anything from scratch is
really hard, especially because we're teenage kids."
The band doesn't give themselves enough credit, though. Each
member is extremely gifted, and critics who would know say that
together they sound awesome.
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Things are starting to get busy for the guys. On Friday night,
they play the grandstand at the Logan County Fair, after the talent
show. Then the band is playing at the Illinois State Fair on Aug 13
from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Apex Stage. Upcoming gigs for the band also
include the Black Sheep in Springfield on Aug. 22, the Lincoln Art &
Balloon Festival, and the Mount Pulaski Fall Festival.
The band plays a variety of hits and even a few originals. "We
play pretty much anything from like the '50s until now," Coppinger
"Basically, say you don't like country, wait one or two songs and
we'll be back into the '70s hard rock," adds Johnston.
Haircut Actual plays whatever because they can make whatever
Smith is the only band member who does not attend Mount Pulaski
High School. Moody met Smith at a church that they both attend in
Riverton. Smith is the youngest of the bunch and will be just a
freshman at Riverton High School.
Walsh, Moody and Johnston will all be juniors at Mount P.
Coppinger is a 2013 graduate of MPHS and will attend Lincoln College
in the fall.
They say that "as long as no one plans to go far away for
college, we will continue playing as long as we can."
Haircut Actual recently placed second in the "Battle of the
Bands" at the Black Sheep in Springfield. Which is a pretty big
Not only does each band member have supportive and influential
parents, the parents also help book gigs. For booking information,
you can contact Terry Coppinger at 217-871-1928 or Pat Walsh at
217-414-6501. You can also like them on Facebook, follow them on
Twitter, subscribe to them on YouTube and check them out on MySpace.
Haircut Actual is a group of teenage boys with a bright future
and an irreplaceable talent to play great music. They have a dream
to be somebody big, and they most certainly are on the right track.
[By CADY LOWERY]