Surely you remember the Counterfeit. boys fronted by our FAULT issue 22 Cover Jamie Campbell Bower. Long story short, they’re basically part of the FAULT family now. When we last caught up, the boys were only just releasing their debut EP. Well, fast-forward six months and they’ve got a brand new record out. We caught up again with the group and here’s a little teaser for what’s about to come out in our FAULT Issue 25.
It’s been 6 months since we last caught up and back then you were only just releasing your EP. Look at us now, with you guys releasing your debut album! What’s the vibe in the Counterfeit. camp at the moment?
Jamie: It’s pretty good. We’ve made an album over the past six months since we saw you last. We’ve sort of been gearing up for the release ever since, while being locked away in a tiny room.
Now that you’ve got a full body of work that represents Counterfeit. if we were to listen to your EP back to back with your album, would we notice any differences?
Tristan: Yes definitely, it’s a step up from our EP. Mitch, the guy who we worked with on our album, is really talented. He’s worked with people like Rattlesnakes and the sound that he’s created for us is really raw.
Jamie: The album in comparison to the EP is a lot tighter and closer. Sonically, it’s a lot beefier and thicker than what we’ve done before. The sound that we wanted for the album compared to the EP comes from this love of a nice kick and a heavy snare rather than a roomy sound, so that’s definitely a step up in terms of how we went about it. But it’s still very much Counterfeit. It hasn’t changed. There’s room for mistakes in the record and those moments of ‘Oh what’s that?’ are really nice on an album. As opposed to, you know, something general and clean-cut from beginning to end.
I remember you were saying that most of your songs come from a very personal and honest place. Which one was the hardest for you to write and put out there and what’s the back-story?
Jamie: There are a few out there that are quite tough. The record opens with a song called ‘Washed Out’ and that’s a reflection of a period of my life from about 15 to 26 when my life was going in a direction and I didn’t really know which way it was going. I would actively do things that were negative that would have a negative impact on my life. Just the way that I acted or certain actions that I did, I wasn’t really ready to accept life on life’s terms. It was more about blowing everything up, because I didn’t really feel I had control. I was always trying to put a brave face on, like ‘No, I’m fine, I’m cool, I’m grand!’ But the past like two and a half years, I think all of us collectively just did some growing up. I also made some significant changes in my life, in regards to the way I behaved and the things that I did. ‘Washed Out’ was probably one of the first tracks that I wrote. It was a tough song to write. It’s hard to talk about being a mess and it’s not an easy thing to look back on.
What was the most difficult part of producing this record? You already had quite a solid body of work beforehand, but surely there must’ve been times when you felt stuck.
Sam: We all had moments when we went away from it for a little and when we came back we could discuss what troubles we had with the others with a clear head. We work quite well together when it comes to communicating ideas.
Jamie: There was one song – You Can’t Rely – that we’ve never played live, it was written at home and it was still very much in demo format. The chorus part needed to be changed and as soon as we got into the studio we realized that it needed some work. But it wasn’t like something that took a week to get over; we did it in like 4 hours. But the record was made quite quickly; it just took a while to find the time to do it, because we’ve all got our own things going on. But if you were to accumulate all the time that we spent together, it basically just took us 25 days to make a record. And I think that’s a really important factor in terms of what this record is. It’s frantic and struggling to survive and I think recording it over such a sort time-span contributed to those feelings.
Come March-April – you’re going back on the road again. Will we see anything different from Counterfeit on stage?
Jamie: I think the show this time is going to get like bigger and better. We’re getting our own technicians in to do our stuff for us. This band is very much home grown and passion grown, so it’s very important to us to have our own people with us on the road. We want to continue to take the show to bigger and better places. The way that we see it and the way that we see it in our minds is like a huge fucking rock show, and that’s what it needs to be and that’s what we have to provide for these people. We’ve done the tours already, it’s great, cool, and fun, call it whatever and we want to step it up. We want to give it the beans in terms of visuals as well. But yeah, Sam will definitely be put in danger again. I’m thinking less boat this time. I don’t know, maybe an inflatable whale.
Sam: Or just floating from above. Hang me from a cable. Sounds fun.
Without getting political – but taking into account the current political climate, you come across as the kind of band who is not afraid to speak up. Now that people have something to rebel against, is this an area you’re willing to explore?
Jamie: I don’t think we are the kind of band that is afraid to speak up. We are reactive to what we experience and what we’re shown around us. Would I be afraid to take it into a political direction? No. But would I consciously make an effort to be a beacon? I don’t think I would do that either because I’m sure as shit no pillar of morality myself. Of course there are some horrifically negative people in this world and the things that are happening around us right now tare very scary. I think that maybe if we feel the desire and burning passion to make a socio-political comment on that, then we should and it would be right to do so. But I would never force us to go into that direction. It wouldn’t be a conscious thought. If we were to do it and if we had to do it, it would have to be genuine.
Roland: Another interesting thing is the fact that the album is called ‘Together We Are Stronger’ and for us, it’s like a thank you to our fans. But at the same time it’s a message of unity and coming together. We seem to just live in a world where people just cut you off and simply don’t care. Our message is basically that whoever you are, it’s all good.
Jamie: The world does feel very fractious. I definitely get the sense of fracture and isolation and I think that’s terrifying. Because I don’t come from a place where I want to live on my own and lock all my door and shut all my windows. I’m not a small-minded individual. I truly believe in acceptance, love, understanding and peace.
And on that happy note, have you guys acquired any new FAULTs over the past few months?
Sam: I’m still losing things! I’m losing fewer things though cause I’m taking less things with me.
Jamie: He’s losing less things cause he lost most things already.
Roland: I used to be very good at bowling, but last time I went I lost, so that’s a fault.
Jamie: Over the last six months, I think I’ve been under a lot of pressure and haven’t actually managed to deal with stress in a positive way. I let it get to a point where I just blew up.
Tristan: My fault was disappearing for two days while doing the album.
Jimmy: I’m perfect.
You can order Together We Are Stronger here – available NOW
In anticipation for FAULT Issue 25 – check out an exclusive behind the scenes video with Counterfeit. More to come!
Words: Adina Ilie
Photography: Chris Moore