Counterfeit: “We’re going to drive each other insane”

Counterfeit: “We’re going to drive each other insane”

By Becky Mount

Oct 10, 2017 9:55

“We could make a Counterfeit counterfeit! Maybe after we’ve played the show…”. No, that isn’t a typo. With the London five piece heading out with Don Broco next month - a support slot alongside State Champs at Alexandra Palace, no less - conversation soon turned to Technology: a mobile video game to run alongside their single release. And while the conversation deviated towards an intense debate about Nintendo, there’s no chance of any bad blood or bootleg video games from Counterfeit.

“We’re big gamers so we’ll download the game and beat all the high scores…joking, but it’s really cool that the Don Broco guys are having us on that bill.” Cool is one way to put it, but the sheer scale of the upcoming show doesn’t pass guitarist Tristan Marmont by, or the rest of the band for that matter.

“We have played quite a few big, great shows, like in Poland and Italy. But Ally Pally is just massive, it’s certainly a milestone venue.” No mean feat for any band, at any age, but particularly impressive when you consider the band’s current incarnation have only been around since 2015. In fact, this year saw the boys play their first ever Reading and Leeds festival. And with the bank holiday weekender increasingly becoming a rite of passage for so many British youths, Tristan has a particular affinity with the weekender.

“I’d never even been before! When I was 16 all my friends would go but I always got dragged on family holidays. But I always said that the first time I’d go, my band would be playing…that was 10 years ago, and here we are.”

The magic (and maybe the naivety) of festivals and touring life still hasn’t faded for the band. But can you blame them? They are, for all intents and purposes babies; one debut down and the world at their feet. As bassist Roland Johnson puts it “our longest tour has only been a month and a half, so we might not have the experience of the ‘veterans’…we’re probably still in the honeymoon period.”

It sounds promising, at least, considering they’ve just come off tour. But after the Don Broco show – followed by two dates in Russia – what comes next? With debut ‘Together We Are Stronger’ having only been released earlier this year, you’d think some time off would be on the cards, no? Not according to Marmont. “No time off…I could tour forever, I think we all could. It’s exhausting, but how it makes us feel? It’s special.”

And in true Counterfeit hit-the-ground-running style, album number two is already on the horizon. No rest for the wicked and all that, “there are ideas floating around, emailing back and forth, demos…”

“Nothing has been fleshed out though!” Johnson is quick to remark, “we’ve got bones though, and it’s good to have that. To take them to the house, see where things go and take things further.”

House? Yes. There is a house. Counter House, Counterfeit Castle, Count Counterfeit…call it what you will – and they sure as hell haven’t decided on a name – but the boys are heading out to the unidentified sticks to tackle that tricky second album. It’s almost too obvious an approach to writing and recording, but in an age of voice notes – that the band are all too familiar with – maybe that pared back approach is just what they need. “We’re going to drive each other insane.” It sounds promising.

“I think the plan is to go thick and fast, just say goodbye to what’s done and keep rolling with it.” A little bit of catharsis this time around, maybe? According to drummer Jimmy Craig, a little shake up could be the way forward. “This time around we all just get to play together as a band and work songs out rather than relying on emails…”

A sentiment echoed by Marmont, “we’ve done that in the past; the first album was kind of done through voice notes which was great when we started out. We were getting the band up and running but we’ve done a year and a half of shows, we’ve learned more about each other and we’ve tightened things up.”

“The house is going to be a creative space for us to go and immerse ourselves in. We’ve been looking at remote locations where we’re away from everything. We can just plug in and give it our all.” And “play badminton on the lawn, play some Nintendo”, Craig has his priorities right. Gaming aside, friendship and camaraderie is an important part of just how and why Counterfeit are quickly climbing the ranks of the British rock scene. As Johnson puts it “we might tap into a different writing process, a different approach to songs…but we want to just hang out as friends, bang the songs out. And that’s really exciting.”

So, just how long do we have to wait for that follow up? “We don’t want to jinx it and we have a lease, but we’re in a good place and we’re sailing this ship.”

Counterfeit support Don Broco alongside State Champs at Alexandra Palace on November 11.