It’s just been The Counteracts’ 5th birthday! How did you get into creating music? What’s your journey so far?
Simon first got into music whilst still at school, where he helped form The Contacts, and he has also played in a covers band, The Ghostriders. He started out as a drummer, but now plays bass, and enjoys writing songs on his trusty acoustic guitar. Doug was a classically trained pianist as a child, but didn't realise his musical ambitions until 2010, since when he has been writing, recording and collaborating with various other musicians. He has also contributed to several Bands, including GLAD, SilverSmith and The Contacts, as well as releasing his own music under the moniker Dag Smith. We first met in January 2015, when Dag joined a Band that Simon was already in, and their initial intention was to record some of Simon's original songs as a side-project. However, the Band broke up soon afterwards, so they decided to carry on as a Duo, and so The Counteracts were born!
Who are your influences and what music do you enjoy listening to?
We are undoubtedly influenced by The Beatles in our song-writing, but apart from both loving listening to them, we have quite different musical tastes. Simon enjoys The Kinks, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and the B52s, and Doug's favourites are Queen, Yes, Genesis, and 80s Electronic music.
When was the last time you got to play live? How have you been keeping busy these past few months?
The Counteracts have never actually played live, we are currently song-writing and recording artists. We spent the early part of 2020 getting 'Caricature', our 2nd album ready, which we released on May 1st. It had been 2 years since our first release, 'The Curse of The Counteracts', and we were really keen to get it out there, to show everyone how we had developed.
Which artists did you grow up listening to and if you could make a record with any other artist, who would you choose?
Most of the artists we listed earlier were playing to us as we were growing up, which just goes to prove how immortal their music is. If we had the chance to work with any artist, dead or alive, Simon would choose Paul McCartney, and Doug would resurrect Freddie Mercury.
What do you think are the main challenges for independent artists today?
Getting heard is always the biggest challenge, it's a big old world out there! Being unsigned is great in some ways, as we can do exactly what we want, when we want, with no one telling us what to do. But it also means that we are our own Managers, Marketeers and Public Relations Department, all rolled into one. This can sometimes take us away from the main reason we're here, which is the music. This is where Tunebubble comes in, and we are very grateful for any help we can get along the way.
How has it been going with your current album ‘Caricature'?
Very well, thanks. As well as the Digital release, we produced a limited run of CDs, as some of our fans prefer to hold a product in their hands. And we've also been very pleased with the amount of plays the individual Album tracks are getting on all the usual listening platforms.
What plans are in the pipeline for The Counteracts?
We enjoy collaborating with other artists, so expect to see a few joint releases in the coming months. Apart from that, the plan for the rest of 2020 is to stay alive, first and foremost, carry on promoting our new album, and write some new songs that will ultimately appear on our third Album, in the not too distant future.
Is there anything else you want everyone to know about you and your music?
One of the unusual things about The Counteracts is that our output is split 50/50 between original songs and cover versions of other artists' work. It's a great exercise to get inside the heads of the original artists by learning and playing their songs, and it has undoubtedly helped us become better songwriters as a result.