Today we settle down alongside Jamie and Sam Bower, Jimmy Craig, Tristan Marmont and Roland Johnson of the London Punk/Rock outfit called Counterfeit.
All of whom made us feel extremely welcome when we arrived at the O2 Academy 3 Birmingham. Eager to get on stage, and fresh from sound checking, we managed to get some insight into their latest release Together We Are Stronger and some other finer details surrounding the bands creative process.
You have just released ‘Together We Are Stronger’ how do you feel about the reception the album has received?
Jamie: “It’s been amazingly positive overall, I think personally I tried to stay clear of reviews, and things like that. I have read a few, but I have friends or people I’ve been around with for a very long time who have spoken highly. In terms of our experience, from a year ago, where we played shows before the record was out, and then playing now, we’ve had fans come up to us talking about the album, it’s been overwhelming. It’s truly amazing”.
Invicta: “And what has the Tour been like thus far, are there any particular places you have enjoyed playing?”
Jamie: “Tours been amazing”.
Tristan: “Oslow [Norway] is pretty fun, it was quite a small show, very intimate in a pub, and we ended up all of us, playing on the floor!”
Jamie: “Just turned it into a floor show!”
Tristan: “Well, all of us apart from Jimmy!”
Jamie: “For me playing in Germany has obviously been amazing, I think most rock bands will tell you that! It will be one of their favourite things to do, It has a very special place in our hearts. Italy too and even here [United Kingdom], which is very important for all of us too! It’s where we are from you know, the shows over here have been amazing, Scotland is always a fucking riot! Glasgow went off, last night was amazing [Nottingham], our third time there. Manchester, is Jimmy’s hometown, which was incredible, but each show is very different, which is exciting!”.
Of course with you [Jamie] and Sam being brothers, what is it like for siblings to tour?
*[Sam and Jamie exchange looks and laugh]*
Sam: “It’s brotherly love, it’s great, it’s fun, and the band just knows how to function”.
Jamie: “Of course we love each other, but the best thing about this band is that we are a unit. It’s not like we are 18, where we are kinda figuring out who we are, I don’t think I personally would have been able to tour in a band if I was 18. Purely because it would have been a fucking disaster. But now we have known each other for so long, it’s like family. Even-though of course Sam and I are related, there’s no bullshit, it’s always straight to the point and honest”.
With your former project ‘The Darling Buds’, you possessed a very different sound of course, what caused this transition and progression to the sound you have now with Counterfeit, do you feel it is a reflection of who you all truly are now as of current?”
Tristan: “I would say so, yes, I have roots in heavier, heavy music. But we all really enjoyed doing the Darling Buds stuff as well in the past, It was a different time in our lives. But as you said, how we sound now, represent who we really are in an honest way”.
Jamie: “I think it was more a necessity more than anything, the stuff with the Darling Buds was that I started that band whilst I was at school, it took various different line-ups, it was just one of those things. It kept on going, purely because of the love of what we do! Which is playing music. And in doing that, I think in hindsight, I wasn’t really being honest about myself, where I was writing songs for the sake of writing. Then I look at what we do now with this band, I took a lot more time with the creative process”.
What has been your favourite song to perform live?
Jamie: “I love playing ‘Enough’, love it!”.
Jimmy: “I like playing ‘Addiction’ as well”.
Sam: “Yes, ‘Addiction’, I love playing that too!”
Tristan: “Hmm, ‘Enough’ is a fun one, but I love playing ‘Addiction’ too”.
Sam: “It’s got a very heavy pulse all the way through it”.
For the creative process of the album during recording, did you happen to have any musical influences that went into it?
Jamie: “Well it’s quite difficult to answer as this band is quite an amalgamation of everything we have ever really listened to. For me as a songwriter and as a kid, I was inspired by bands such as ‘Biffy Clyro’, I would have been 15/16 when those influential records were emerging. ‘The Gallows’ are highly influential in what we do, even more classic rock bands such as ‘Guns N Roses’ – even Sam here loves his Country stuff! This band sorta loves everything, and it would be unwise to put this band in a specific mould. We are organic, we didn’t set out to go and make a specific band. We just do what comes natural to us. It’s another tough one to answer, but in terms of how we wanted the album to sound, we only had one thing, and that was you know the old punk records, with the closeness of the drums. And sometimes it almost sounds like there is a sock, over the microphone. We kinda wanted to give that area some clarity, so you take the sock off and it just attacks you, goes straight for your face”.
Final question: are there any plans for the future, i.e. EPs, albums, tours etc?
Jamie: “I think it’s one of those things where we really are going to need to wait and really see how we develop. One thing that is very obvious in Album #1 is our love of the riff, without it being too constant. Similar to ‘While She Sleeps’, and we fucking love that band, so amazing. And that band is all about ‘the riff’, verse, chorus, middle-eight. The riff is there. But with us, the riff is a strong feature, but it doesn’t define us! I’m very interested to see if that continues, or if we step away from it, it’s just always going to relate back to honesty. But we want to express these very human experiences, like what defines and makes us ‘human’, we will all have to wait and see”.
We thank the guys in Counterfeit for being so humble, down to earth and taking their time to talk to us. You can catch them at the upcoming “Slam Dunk” festivals across the UK over the May Bank Holiday weekend on the Impericon stage – and check out our LIVE Review of their performance alongside Tigress and FAUX.