Interview: Counterfeit [2000 Trees]

By Lais

We spoke to Counterfeit at 2000 Trees, and a lovely time was had by all. In case you’re not aware of Counterfeit yet: they only played their first gig in December, and they’ve absolutely smashed it ever since. They’ve spent the summer playing European shows, including a support slot with Billy Talent, and they’re in the process of recording their debut album, which is due out early next year. Plus their frontman, Jamie Campbell-Bower, is also known for being in Twilight and Harry Potter too, but that doesn’t even come into it when they’re as good as they are. Plus they’re pretty bloody funny, so make sure you read on.

How are you guys doing?

Jamie Bower: Great, yeah. Living the dream.

Are you excited for the show?

Jamie: Oh yeah, nervous. Always nervous before we play any show.
Sam Bower: It’s my first festival. I’ve never played a festival before. I’ve never played outside.
Tristan Marmont: It’s our first UK festival actually, so it’s quite a big deal.
Jimmy Craig: It’s not too big for it to be daunting. You know where everything is. I’m really excited.

I’ve never seen you play before. What can I expect?

Jamie: General insanity.
Tristan: Chaos.
Jamie: It’s gonna be a good one actually, because we’re gonna be playing to a lot of people who have never heard of us.
Roland Johnson: We’re stoked to get in front of people who have never heard us. We’re here to win over people and give everything we’ve got.
Jamie: And then they’ll be like, ‘Who are these dickheads?’
Tristan: “Yeah, who are these guys? They’re shit.”

Incorrect. Everyone’s going to have a lovely time. I’m excited to see you live for the first time. I feel like the video for ‘Enough’ was a good taster for me.

Jamie: Hopefully. It’s interesting playing to a crowd that’s not your own. I think you automatically become slightly more reserved and we’ve gotta fight against that instinctive nature. Actually we don’t wanna do that at all. If anything, we wanna be more outrageous. I might throw up. It depends. I’ve eaten a burrito.

Well, that is quite outrageous.

Jamie: Isn’t it? “This guy’s had a burrito! Calm down!”

When you first started talking, it sounded quite outrageous, and then you said burrito.

Jamie: Yep. You can expect a watery sick. I’m just happy it’s a beautiful day, but I’m happy it’s not sweltering. We played a show in Budapest the other day and it was sweltering and I honestly thought I was going to die.
Tristan: Roland almost passed out.

And were you dressed like this (all black)?

Jamie: Yep. Full black. Full goth.
Roland: I nearly passed out from sun stroke. It was like 6.30 or 7pm and the sun was directly in our eyes and really low and I almost fell over.
Jamie: We’re still rock and roll. We get sun stroke. I wasn’t wearing full garb there actually now I think about it. I was wearing a vest. It was very 2005 of me. A vest in Budapest. Shit, Budavest. I wish I could turn back time and make that joke. Might fly back to Budapest tomorrow just to announce it in the main square and then leave.

Incredible. How were those Euro dates?

Roland: Amazing. We went to Poland for the first time. We did three shows in Poland which was mad. Such good fun. We played four dates in Germany and every time we’ve been to Germany we’ve had a really good time. We did new cities this time and they went down really well. Budapest was madness. We did Austria and Prague as well which we haven’t been to before. The whole thing was a really good run.

And you played with Billy Talent…

Jamie: Yeah, that was the one in Budapest, which was amazing for us. That was, as far as I’m aware, our first support ever.
Tristan: It’s a little bit silly actually when you think about it. Our first support slot being with Billy Talent.
Jamie: It’s mental. I’ve been listening to that band for over ten years. And they’re fucking lovely guys. They’re just so kind and gentle and nice and Ben’s vocal is out of hand and brilliant. We were standing side of stage watching the show and it was mindblowingly awesome. It was one date with them and the rest was headline, and as Roland said, we did three dates in Poland which was pretty bold, and we went down really well. We did Rockcamp festival in Germany which I was bricking it for. Backtrack and Turnstile were on before us which was sick, but they’re so fucking heavy. I thought, “That’s it, we’re gonna get weed on, or something’s gonna happen”. And actually we went down okay. People started to get into us by the end which was really nice for us.

You’re doing a lot of firsts right now. So your first show ever was only in December, which you sold out, and your first UK tour was in April. How did it all go?

Jamie: It was great. I don’t think I’d ever been to the venues on that tour before aside from the Ballroom which we ended with, and I think it’s a scarier prospect playing on your home turf. These venues are really established old school venues and you get the people who go every week just to go, and they know their shit. They know what they want and what they like and what’s good and what’s not and I think we were a bit nervous but it went swimmingly, without a hitch, and it was wicked to play at home more than anything. It was sick. Obviously playing London, the Ballroom show like we did, was absolutely barmy for us. For a thousand people to come and watch this band that’s been around for a year and doesn’t even have a record out, it’s just bizarre to us really.

So do you have any news on a record?

Roland: It’s coming. We’re in the process of planning the finishing bits of recording ready for the start of next year really.
Jamie: We’ve gotta record between now and September. We’re doing the album in 25 days basically, and that’s gonna really bring a sense of urgency to the record. We’ve just done the new single with Tom Mitchener who plays bass for Frank Carter and did the whole Rattlesnakes record. Mitch is amazing and we’re ready to go. We’re doing it ourselves. We haven’t got anyone else pulling the strings at the moment which is great but at the same time it puts a lot of pressure on the band. But the record will be out at the beginning of next year, that’s when we’re looking to do it, so we have from September onwards to get everything polished and preened and start the run up to the record and book the shows and just go out next year and tour the balls off it basically. That’s the plan. Just do everywhere and anywhere. We’re focusing predominantly on the UK and Europe. We haven’t really reached out yet to the other markets. We really wanna build a solid home fanbase and spend the time that is quite frankly right to spend here. We love touring Germany. Any band loves touring Germany, and I’d like to spend more time there. And here as well, we want to do more shows and festivals here, because this is our only UK festival this year. So next year we’ll really go out there and do everything.

Is there anything you want to add?

Jamie: The next single will be coming out in September. We’re gonna do the video for that fairly soon. Other than that, I think we’d like to say thank you, to you and anyone who’s reading this and anyone who’s come to a show. The support is overwhelming. It’s really incomprehensible to me that this was only born a year ago and now we’re here. Thank you so much.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]