Coming all the way from our Northern neighbor, Canada, Counterparts trekked across the country on their tour with Shai Hulud, A Plea For Purging, and Dead Icons. I met up with lead singer Brendan Murphy to talk about some upcoming shows in 2012 and the only pair of shoes he wears.
Introduce yourself and what do you do for the band. My name is Brendan Murphy and I do vocals for Counterparts.
How has the tour been so far? It’s been awesome. I think we have just about a week left, but the tour has been going great. Everyone in the band is having a lot of fun. The East Coast was kind of not boring, but we’re there so much that it’s lost so much [momentum]. We’re in Las Vegas right now and [went to] California, which is all very new to us. We’ve only been there one time. Definitely since being on the West Coast, being good weather, Hollywood, Las Vegas, all that stuff, it’s made the tour a lot more fun.
Is this your first time playing here in Vegas? Yes. It’s the first time any of us have been to Las Vegas ever. This place is cool. Hopefully we’re going to gamble all of our band money tonight and hopefully we win. Hopefully we won’t lose the van and trailer.
Has anything crazy happened during the tour? Pranks pulled? Not necessarily. We kind of relax a little bit. On this tour, we’ve played at some cool places and definitely had a lot of fun. The way it works is that we’ll wake up in the morning and then we’ll try to find a skate park or a record store in the city. That’s how we usually spend the day up until the show. Nothing has really stuck out as crazy but we’ve definitely played some cool spots so far like skate parks. Nothing out of the ordinary, just normal tour stuff.
You guys recently released a new album, The Current Will Carry Us. How has the response been? The reaction has been good so far. Obviously there are people who are going to hate it. There’s no escaping that. As far as negativity towards the album, I haven’t seen too much of it. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. For the most part, people seemed pretty stoked on the album. There have been a lot of positive reactions, so we’re happy. We don’t exactly make music to please other people. We do it for ourselves. The fact that other people can get into it is actually awesome. That’s the coolest part about being in a band, I think.
Can you describe the recording process that went into it? We recorded with Jay, he plays guitar in Defeater and recorded in Boston. The only thing different this time was that we wanted to lay off on sampling and making the album too polished. It’s definitely us playing and it’s not fake. The fact that people think it’s fake turns us off. We wanted to get away from the perfect recordings. We told Jay that we didn’t want anything sampled over, we didn’t want anything that wasn’t real, we didn’t want anything that we can’t recreate live. It’s definitely harder. [For example], with past stuff [like] drums, if Ryan is off time a little bit you can go into the computer and fix that. Whereas with Jay, he would say, “It wasn’t good. Do it again.” That’s why drums took 8 hours to get it straight. Obviously everything had to be in tune and sound good, but you can hear the string noise. That’ the coolest part about the CD. It’s how we really are. Certain bands would go record and it’s so polished. Then you see them live and it sounds nothing like them. We want the exact opposite. We want people to [say], “That’s good, if not better than the CD.” I think we do an okay job of playing it. No one has really complained about it yet. Maybe tonight may be the night we screw up beyond belief.
Three words to describe Counterparts. Without sounding egotistical, aggressive, intelligent, … I don’t know that’s a tough call. Pissed-off music I guess. At the end of it all, [our music] is still positive in all aspects. That’s how I would describe [our music]. Nice, hardcore, melodic edge, and me being angry at a lot of stuff.
If you were a stripper, what would be your stripper name? I’ve done the quiz on the internet to match it up. But, I don’t know. Off the top of my head right now I would go with Joe Pesche. I don’t know why but I would just go with that. It would be funny to see on a strip club billboard.
What can fans expect when they see you live or hear your music? When you see us live, the best way to describe it is that the five of us go on stage and try to have fun. That’s the whole reason why you should be in a band, is to have fun. You shouldn’t be in a band to make money. What we’ve always set out to do is have a good time. We’re all young guys and all we really want to do is have fun. We’re in Las Vegas and it’s weird. It’s definitely really weird to us. I’ve grown up [with] everyone knowing about Las Vegas. The fact that I’m here and all I do is go on stage for 25 minutes and scream and yell into a microphone. It’s the coolest thing in the world. Obviously we want to put on a good show, but we want to have a good time and for others to have a good time as well.
Favorite pair of shoes? (Enthusiastically) Vans of course! Just the black Vans. I think 98% of people in this hardcore, metal scene like Vans. They’re just great, no crap shoes. They get the job done and not those 89 color fluorescent Osiris shoes I see people come to shows with. You see someone moshing and see this disgusting Picasso painting footwear fly across the room. Vans lasts until, well it depends if you’re skating with them they’ll last for like a week, most of the time a couple of months. I’d definitely go with Vans and maybe Nikes if I had to. Definitely nothing fancy.
What’s next for Counterparts? For the future, I don’t really know. Probably more touring. This tour ends and then we’re playing the Jamboree in Ohio, Hardcore Fest, and then May we go on our first headline tour in Canada with Your Demise, Hundredth, and Gideon. That should be sweet. Well I hope anyway. As for the future, I don’t know. We’re just going to keep touring and hopefully come to more places like Vegas and California. Hopefully towns with huge records stores that we could blow our money on. Hopefully we keep on the road, stay busy, and not break up anytime soon. Hopefully the morale stays as high as it is. Just fun and yelling for the rest of our careers.
Counterparts consists of Brendan Murphy (Vocals), Jesse Doreen (Guitar), Alex Re (Guitar), Eric Bazinet (Bass), and Ryan Juntilla (Drums). These five young guys put on a show that was filled with so much energy and intimacy between them and the crowd. Murphy did something that many leading vocalists don’t do and that was sing on the floor level with the crowd the whole set. That made their show a bit more personal for their fans. Doreen and Re were opposite of each other on stage. Both their performance resembled their talents and that was far from lackluster. The riffs that both Doreen and Re pulled off gave the crowd a chilling feeling. Counterpart’s set list consists of songs off of their new album The Current Will Carry Us as well as songs off of Prophets. These guys may be young, but they have everything going for them in this industry.
Check them out: http://www.counterpartshc.com