COUNTERPOINT (from l-r): Martin “Ted” O’Neil (guitar), Ed Sutton (drums), Dom Lucock (vocals), Mikey Gaffney (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Originally from Liverpool, but now based in Manchester, alternative rock/metal four-piece Counterpoint pride themselves on crafting a hard-hitting sound that is also colossal and infectious, taking influence from the likes of While She Sleeps, letlive., and Papa Roach.
With this, as well as live performances abundant in energy, the band have amassed a steady fan base.
Recently, they have been in the studio working on their debut EP, out next February, and Dom Lucock, the outfit’s frontman, spoke to me about how that went, as well as what can be expected from the release.
How did the band form?
Almost by accident, really. Me and Ted were writing all this stuff, so we turned to the internet and contacted a 16 year-old Mexican dude called Cameron and a jazz fusion bassist named Jack.
We muddled through as best we could, but eventually, we all sort of parted ways, but Cam then put us in touch with his mate Ed, who became his replacement. He just fitted straight in, and for a while, we worked well as a three-piece.
However, we were given a decent festival slot, but we had to find a bassist. We got in touch with Mikey, who we knew from college, who was definitely a guitarist, but we were sure he owned a bass, and so, we drafted him in. After just one practise, we felt something was a bit different, and we were just like, “Mate, this is it, isn’t it?”
How did the name Counterpoint come about?
We went through about 70 different names before we started getting angry with each other, and we just ended up throwing Counterpoint on our Facebook page!(laughs) I do feel, at this stage, that it really suits us.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Basically, one of us will come in with the skeleton of a song, usually a nice riff or melody, and we will savagely tear it apart and build it up, then strip it back and build it up again, then Dan will put some reverb on it. Done.
Our song, ‘Between You And Me’, is a prime example of this, as it started off life as a slower, almost acoustic song, but now, it has a filthy breakdown.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Well, I write around 95% of the lyrics, and I do try to put together songs that are positive and uplifting, whilst drawing from bad experiences. A lot of it is mostly trying to get people to believe in themselves, and to try and not be held back by those around them, where they’re from, or even themselves.
Next February, you will be bringing out your debut EP, ‘If Not Now, When?’. How has the recording process been?
It has been amazing. We recorded at Treehouse Studios, which is a stunning gem hidden away in Sheffield. At one point we were playing Bullet For My Valentine’s snare, Fightstar’s guitars, and using the same mics that bands like While She Sleeps had used, it was all really quite inspiring.
The producers, Dan Jeffries and Jim Pinder, are insanely talented at what they do, whilst making you feel really relaxed about the whole thing at the same time.
Recording went very smoothly, except for when I was recording the vocals. At the time, I had a lung cancer scare, so I was having really serious problems breathing whilst trying to scream out the lyrics, sometimes, I could only do two words at a time, so it was quite a job!
Fortunately, everything turned out well in the end, so that’s good!
What can be expected from the release?
Not a lot, really, you should probably give it a miss! (laughs) In all seriousness, though, there are some great songs on the EP, we have literally poured everything into it. There’s some big riffs, some catchy choruses, a bit of gang vocals, all that good stuff.
How, for the band, is the experience of playing live and touring?
We’ve had a really good reception to our live show, we’re quite energised, and we like to get around the stage. We’ve just come away from playing with Crazy Town, and we’ll be going back on tour around the time our EP comes out.
What else have you got planned for early 2018?
EP launch, more touring, and new merch.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We’re working-class northern lads, so we’re just happy that people out there want to listen to our music, listen to our experiences and also, what we have to say.
However, if 20,000 want to come down to Manchester Arena to see us, then I’m down with that, too.
‘IF NOT NOW, WHEN?’, THE DEBUT EP FROM COUNTERPOINT, WILL BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 9.
MORE INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.