The last year has shaped up to be the biggest year in the history of Counterparts, and they’re showing zero signs of downsizing anytime soon. Vocalist Brendan Murphy took the time to talk to us about their latest release You’re Not You Anymore and his outlook on the hardcore culture.
’’I feel like in hardcore and metalcore you’ll have a way easier time finding a place to fit in.”
2017’s critically acclaimed You’re Not You Anymore was recorded by legendary producer Will Putney (The Acacia Strain, Body Count, Miss May I, The Amity Affliction) with whom Brendan also plays in powerviolence side project ‘End.’ Brendan reflects of the importance of Will’s input – ‘’Working with Will is great because on top of being an insane producer he is also a very good friend of ours. It gets tedious for sure, but it never feels like “work” because you’re essentially hanging out with your friends for 12 hours a day. I can’t see Counterparts recording with anyone else as long as we’re active. Unless ofcourse, something wild happens to Will and he can’t do it…’’
Since the release of the new record, Counterparts have toured the world relentlessly including a sold out 12,000 Alexandra Palace date in London in support of Architects. “It was insane. Kids went fuckin’ crazy for us too which was unexpected. I figured we were the warm-up, but our set was pretty nuts. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to playing rooms that big… Unless we somehow get huge and that becomes a norm for us. But pretty much anything over like 1000 still makes us feel wild.’’
One of the key elements that makes Counterparts so loved is the sincere nature of Brendan’s lyrics ‘’As with every Counterparts release, the lyrics are directly related to my own personal experiences and how they’ve shaped and affected me thus far. I guess in a sense that is very broad because I’m not writing entire records about one specific thing that’s happened, you know? It’s a mix of everything going on.’’
“There’s not much art that I turn to when up upset, so I try to create it myself.”
Brendan has opened up musically and publicly about his struggle with depression. For Brendan, it’s important to manifest what’s going on inside into some form of art ’’Honestly, my way of dealing with my own mental health issues is creating. There’s not much art that I turn to when up upset, so I try to create it myself. I try to take how I’m feeling and express that, whether it is through music or writing in general.’’
Brendan also emphasises the importance of community within these experiences ‘’I’m not a psychiatrist so I can’t offer much help but I feel like the most important things to understand is that you’re not the only one feeling a certain way. I think a lot of people are nervous about confronting these feelings because they are ashamed or embarrassed. I really do think that being open about mental health issues and trying to confront them whether through medicine or counselling is the best way to combat it. Don’t suffer in silence.’’
The hardcore scene acts as a safe haven for many who do not fit into ‘normal’ society, and Brendan understands the importance of solidarity ’’I feel like in hardcore and metalcore you’ll have a way easier time finding a place to fit in. I think that’s why I gravitated towards this scene so much growing up. It’s the only place you can enter a room with a couple hundred other people, beat the piss out of each other and walk away going “wow fun night.”
“I feel like it’s hard to put an exact label on the band and I feel like that’s special.’’
It is interesting that amongst the belonging of the hardcore scene, Counterparts have often struggled to find their place ‘’I love it. I feel like it’s hard to put an exact label on the band and I feel like that’s special.’’ Counterparts heavy but melodic sound affords them the opportunity to tour with bands of a huge variety ‘’not that we are groundbreaking in any sense of the word, but I love that even on tours where we’re the oddball band we still do really well. It’s nice that people care about us so much when it’s kinda hard to really describe what we do to people who’ve never heard it.’’
Being on the road has been known to test the friendships of even the tightest of bands ‘’It’s hard but it’s for sure the sickest job on the planet. Obviously, I miss being home when I’m gone for so long out of the year, but I know that everyone will be waiting for me. My loved ones know that I’m doing something I really love and they support me 100%’’
Counterparts release their EP, Private Room, via Pure Noise records later this month. The band will also be headlining London’s Upsurge Festival. Grab your tickets HERE.