UK 5 piece Counting Days are very much on the up and up. A strong album release in October of last year (Liberated Sounds) which received huge support from the likes of Metal Hammer and Kerrang has culminated in a 2016 tour supporting established acts Hacktivist and Crossfaith ahead of their Download Festival appearance.
GIGsoup contributor James Cousins chatted to Thomas (Vocals) and Charlie (Guitar) at a sold out show at The Met Lounge in Peterborough supporting Hacktivist
So you guys have come together from various other bands. Was Counting Days a formulated plan or did you guys come together by chance?
Tom: Charlie and I had always planned to do something together ever since we met on tour. We never thought it would become our main full time band. Charlie: We didn’t actively sit there and say right, we want him because he is from this band or we like that guy from that band. We are fortunate to have the guys we have now.
In such a short period of time you guys have had some amazing reviews from places such as Kerrang and Metal Hammer. Team Rock said “Quite simply the most exciting band to come to come from the UK since Bullet for My Valentine!” How does that make you feel? And do you feel that there is more pressure on you now to keep up that view on the band?
Tom: It’s more motivation than it is pressure. It’s nice to get good reviews, but at the end of the day we’ll continue to play music that we want to play and have fun hanging out as a band. As long as you focus on that you can’t go wrong. If you start focusing on reviews to much you can miss out on the fun, which is what it’s all about more than anything.
So, the album Liberated Sounds came out at the end of last year and has done amazingly well. Did you think that it, and indeed the band would be this popular so quickly?
Charlie: It’s hard to see it like that from inside the band, we’re more focused on stuff that’s going on and what’s going to happen as opposed to things that have happened. We knew it would do well after the EP came out, and when we were recording the album there was a lot of industry people getting behind it as well so we knew something would come of it. We were really happy with it. We’ve only played like 20 shows, which is made to think, so yeah we’re really happy! Tom: We were really surprised when the album came out and we had made it on to the ‘ITunes chart’, we really weren’t expecting it, which was really nice. Charlie: We were really lucky because of our past bands and musical history, we were able to gain fans quickly that had followed us from those past bands.
The album was recorded in Sweden, and produced by Fredrik Nordstrom. What was it like to work with him on the album? Do you think his input helped with the success of the album?
Tom: We also worked with Henrik Udd. Fredrik’s name is the one thrown about everywhere but we worked really closely with Henrik also. Charlie: They work together it’s pretty much a 50/50 split but Henrik is always like the un-sung hero of the two. I think working with them did help. It would have been the same songs, but with slight differences. Fredrik is like the best person to go to in Europe if not the world for what we do. The production completely blew our EP to bits! Just the huge step up in sound quality worked so well for us. It also worked well as a good press angle. When we announced we were going to Sweden, magazines we getting really excited, and we didn’t even intend for it to be like that. Tom: We wanted to go there because he’s recorded so many good albums; loads of our favourite albums were recorded there. Charlie: We weren’t even sure we could go, I mentioned the idea to the head of our label being a little bit cheeky, and he came back and said yeah let’s go!
I understand you had a string piece recorded in Australia for the track ‘Die Alone’. Why Australia, and where did the idea come from?
Charlie: I wrote the piece on my laptop, and it didn’t sound right, and I wanted to stay clear of the electronic sound that you hear from a lot of bands today. So I basically found these guys through a Google search, and it turns out they had worked with ‘The XX’ who I love! So I was instantly sold. Tom: We always wanted to get some sort of big orchestral type mid-section and thought yeah, that would work to actually get a string piece in for the track. We were really lucky to make that happen. Charlie: The guys on the music video aren’t the same people that recorded the music in Australia. They came from a highly recommended Will Harvey, who has worked in the past with bands like ‘Bring Me The Horizon’.
You guys are currently on the road with Hacktivist, what is it like being on tour with them, do you guys get on?
Tom: This is the second show with them so it’s early days yet, but they’re really cool. Like us, they are a band that has come together from other bands and backgrounds, so we’ve known a couple of the guys for a few years now, but yeah they’re really cool. They’re doing some really cool things, making some new and interesting music. Charlie: I’ve known Ben and Timfy for quite a long time, so once they heard our band they invited us to come along.
If you could work with any other band or even tour with another band who would it be and why?
Charlie: I’ve always wanted to do a song with ‘The XX’, I love them! Tom: I’d like to tour with ‘Mastodon’. Charlie: Touring wise, the list is endless! ‘Slipknot’ would be sick… pun intended. There’s a lot of good English bands about that the moment that would be good to tour with, like ‘Bury Tomorrow’ and ‘Architects’. Tom: ‘At the Gates’ would be awesome. We had Tomas feature on the album so would be good to play some tunes with those guys.
You guys are playing at Download Festival this year, how does it feel to be on the bill of the UK’s biggest metal festival?
Tom: Super excited! Charlie: We’ve all done it before in other bands, so it’s nice now to do it with this band. For me personally this band means more to me than any band I’ve been in before. No disrespect to my past band mates, I just feel that the people in this band are all on the same page and same level. I feel more of a brotherhood which I didn’t really have anywhere else. It just feels nice to be performing with these guys and I think there will be a moment there before we go on stage at ‘Download’.
So you have a couple more shows coming up over March, Camden Rocks and Download Festival in the summer, what does the rest of 2016 and indeed the future have in store for Counting Days?
Tom: We’ll start focusing on album number two a little bit more. Charlie: We’ve already started working on the new album. We are about 6 songs in; not completed but we have good ideas that we are working on. Tom: We’ll try and jump on a few more tours, lots and lots of touring! Charlie: We want to just keep pushing forward having fun and do what we love to do.
With a great start, Counting Days definitely add to the ever growing list of great new metal bands to hail from the UK right now. With great reviews and an ever growing fan base, Counting Days are set to be massive. They have recently finished touring with Crossfaith playing 5 very successful shows across the UK.
The debut album ‘Liberated Sounds’ is out now via Mascot records.
This Counting Days article was written by James Cousins, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Fraisia Dunn.