Michael Lacopucci played 50’s and 60’s music at the senior center for his Eagle Scout project in his home state of New Hampshire. He noticed an unusual road sign outside the senior center which read, “maximum speed limit 19 miles per hour,” and took a photo of it.
“When me and my brother were growing up, my dad would always see street signs like ‘falling rocks’ or something like that and be like, that’s a good name for a band,” Lacopucci said. “I found the picture of 19 miles per hour and was like, okay that’s actually a pretty good name for a band.”
Now Michael Lacopucci plays drums/vocals for 19 Miles Per Hour, the band he formed with his brother, Danny Lacopucci (lead singer/rhythm guitarist), and lead guitarist Brady Ellsworth.
“At first it was just me and Michael, and we kind of went through people,” Ellsworth said. “Then Danny came back from his mission and that’s when Danny started playing with us, so then it was like a band, and we actually started.”
Brothers Michael and Danny Lacopucci are both students at BYU. Michael Lacopucci was recently admitted into the music program and Danny Lacopucci is an experience design and management major.
19 Miles Per Hour welcomed a new member to the band in January. Bassist Ben Iba is a senior at BYU and plans to apply to medical schools this summer.
“(It was) super easy to just jump right in and start playing with them,” Iba said. “They’ve already got an established fan base. They’re already well known and so it’s easy for them to get concerts.”
Band members said they’ve had a hard time pinning down their style to one genre, but believe their style falls somewhere between the Killers, Coldplay and U2 with a pop-punk rock vibe.
19 Miles Per Hour has begun using its local popularity to raise funds and awareness about a variety of charitable causes.
The series of benefit concerts are part of a movement the band calls #BeTheReason. The title is based on one of 19 Miles Per Hour’s original songs, “Reason I Live.”
“It’s kind of about promoting connection and love for everyone no matter what,” Michael Lacopucci said.
The band hopes to raise mental health awareness and a lot of its songs have to do with mental health and mental health challenges.
Over the summer, 19 Miles Per Hour performed a series of live stream benefit concerts for a variety of causes.
“COVID was, at least for me, kind of the inspiration for our live stream benefit concert series that we did over the summer,” Danny Lacopucci said.
The benefit concerts raised money for Feed America, local food banks and Cuddles for Kids. The band also did a Black Lives Matter tribute show for UNCF, an organization that funds scholarships for black students.
Just recently, 19 Miles Per Hour played an LGBTQ benefit concert in Orem which raised money for Encircle.
On April 15, the band is playing a show that benefits the Alzheimer Association.
“It’s a way that we’re helping bring people together and raise awareness for something that a lot of people are scared to talk about or it’s just too taboo to talk about,” Michael Lacopucci said.
Local Utah Music Award
19 Miles Per Hour was recognized for its talent in January when the band won the Local Utah Music Award for Utah’s Favorite Overall Band.
The award was based solely on votes from the public. 19 Miles Per Hour was up against big-name bands including National Parks, Backseat Lovers and Foreign Figures.
“I can speak for all of us when I say we didn’t necessarily expect it, being in that category with those bands,” Danny Lacopucci said. “It showed a lot for our fan base to be willing to take time and support us and vote.”
19 Miles Per Hour is currently working on new songs and hopes to eventually come out with a full album. Its most recent release, “Ruined Reputations,” included three new singles.
“Ultimately I think we all want to get to the point where we’re successful enough to sustain a living with our music,” Michael Lacopucci said.