Striving for and dreaming of a career in metalcore/hardcore music whilst in the shadow of hugely successful bands such as Bullet For My Valentine might be daunting to some people, but not to the five guys that make up UK band Counting Days.
Instead, the group, formed of ex-members of Heights, TRC, Last Witness and others, know all too well what it means and how hard you have to work to make yourself stand out in an industry fueled by fierce competition.
Now signed to the same label as Black Label Society, Mascot Label Group, Counting Days are achieving the success and critical acclaim so many bands can only dream of, and, with their album "Liberated Sounds" out now, they kindly agreed to this interview with our staff writer Rebecca.
PW: Tell me about Counting Days, please.
Counting Days: We are a 5 piece metal core band from the mean streets of London, England. We formed about a year and a half ago and are currently signed to Mascot Label Group, Rebellion Noise and United Talents. Our debut album ‘Liberated Sounds’ is out now.
PW: How do you all know/did you meet one another?
CD: We all met through the UK touring/festival circuit, playing in different bands. We all found ourselves pretty much band-less or in search of something new and decided to make a project together.
PW: How do you think your previous band experience helped when it came to creating Counting Days?
CD: I think it helped massively, We kind of knew how to ‘launch’ a band, we knew the right way to go about certain things like releasing our first single, getting an agent, etc. and we had some contacts within the industry which we had met through our previous bands which helped us out in whatever way they could.
PW: What would you say makes you different from the other bands and artists around today?
CD: Well we wouldn’t say we are trying to break the mould with our music. We’re not trying to create a new genre or change the game -- we are just making music that gets us pumped. We are a strong, honest band that are working hard to make good, strong music.
PW: Who would you say are your key musical influences, and have they changed as you've gotten older?
CD: In some way or another, like most people, we’re constantly discovering new bands all the time that can influence us. A lot of the bands we first got into like Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. still are heavy influences on us, but sometimes new bands can influence us, too. If we see a fresh young band play live or they release a new record and it slays, it can certainly influence us to write some new jams just as much as the old stuff.
PW: Is there any band you think you're similar to, or are you making a determined effort to be yourselves through your music?
CD: Honestly, I don’t think we can really answer that. Obviously, we have our genre and category, but we’re just being ourselves and doing and writing whatever we want -- if people hear similarities between our style and that of another band, then that’s cool, too. We get told we sound like bands most of us have never heard of every day.
PW: Where do you find inspiration and influence for your songs?
CD: The world around us. Musically, there’s an emotional connection many of us make when we write. I would say that, more than anything, we write music to mirror how we’re feeling, but being in a metal band means it’s often pretty easy for us to get pumped up and excited -- that energy influences us for sure.
PW: Where did the title of your debut album, 'Liberated Sounds' come from?
CD: It comes from how we felt writing the record. We didn’t put any limitations on ourselves, and that made us feel very free in the creative process. We just wrote exactly what we wanted to hear with no fucking about.
PW: Which of your songs are you most proud of, and why?
CD: I think we’re all big fans of “Die Alone” -- the main riff and the string section is awesome -- but all our songs rule.
PW: If you could have written any other song by any artist, living or dead, which would it be, and why?
CD: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, as it’s sold 50 million copies.
PW: You've been championed by the likes of Metal Hammer and Rock Sound -- how important is critical acclaim and support to you?
CD: It’s great and means a lot that they feel so strongly about us. Saying that, if one of our albums get a bad review somewhere but we sell loads of copies and the fans are digging it, it would be hard to care.
PW: How has social media helped you grow your fan-base, and would you agree that being socially interactive is vital for bands today?
CD: We’ve still played under 20 shows and I think our fan-base, getting signed, etc. has all come from the power of the internet, so it’s certainly helped us and is a great tool for all bands.
PW: You've got a number of UK tour dates coming up, but, aside from that, what are your future tour and performance plans?
CD: We have some festival appearances and tours booked for 2016 -- we’ll say what when we can.
PW: What can fans expect when they come and see you?
CD: Riffs. Lots of riffs.
PW: If you could play any one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be, and why?
CD: Wembley, as it’s the big one on home soil. Other than that, we’d love to play the Garden in New York. That would make one hell of a live album!
PW: If you had to put together your dream show line up, featuring yourselves and three other bands or artists, who can be living or dead, who would you choose, and where would you play?
CD: Off the top of our heads - us, Slipknot, Pantera and Hatebreed at Wembley or Madison Square Garden. We’d all buy a ticket to that!
PW: Finally, what's your ultimate ambition as a band? What would you have to achieve for you all to say 'yeah, we've done all we wanted to, let's call it a day?'
CD: We want to push the band as far as it can go and have fun while we’re doing it. Once we feel that has been done and it’s no longer fun, I think that’s when we’ll call it a day.