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INTERVIEW: Brendan Murphy – Counterparts

Just ahead of the release of their fifth album You’re Not You Anymore we were able to get in touch with lead vocalist and the solo original member of COUNTERPARTSBrendan Murphy. Hailing from Canada, COUNTERPARTS have amassed a dedicated following over the last few thanks thanks to their deeply emotional take on melodic hardcore. After significant line up changes this almost feels like a new beginning for the band and there seems to be a lot riding on this album. So we were excited to be able to discuss the writing of the album, how COUNTERPARTS have grown and even the thought of them playing in an arena here next year.

So you’re releasing your fifth album this month, have you felt nervous at all in the build up to its release?

Brendan: A little. Not too nervous because obviously we’re very confident in You’re Not You Anymore. If we weren’t sure about the record those no way we’d put it out. I’m definitely curious to see how it is received by fans and new listeners alike though.

How do you feel this album differs from your previous four?

Brendan: I think the main difference is with You’re Not You Anymore we focused heavily on trimming fat and writing shorter, more concise songs. No filler. We wanted a record that was exclusively bangers. I think it was very important to put out material that will not only grab the listeners attention but also be received very well in a live setting.

What are the main characteristics that define the sound of You’re Not You Anymore?

Brendan: Honestly, it sounds like COUNTERPARTS to me [laughs]. It’s not that different, I think the production is the best we’ve experienced with Will, so that will play in to defining characteristics of the record. Also like I said above, we focused mainly on music that we know will have a high replay value.

The lyrics and themes on your albums are always very dark and emotional and this album is no different. How much of this is drawn from personal experience?

Brendan: Literally all of it. Everything I write about is directly influenced by personal experiences I’ve went through. You’re Not You Anymore just happens to cover the last two years of my life.

Do you ever have fans talk about how much they relate to these themes and if so how does that make you feel?

Brendan: Of course. It’s flattering. I think that’s the main reason why we do what we do. That’s the biggest pay off. It’s hard hearing that so many people also deal with the things I have to every day, but the relief comes from knowing that we’re not alone.

You’ve often been seen as a melodic hardcore band but this album does draw more from early 00’s metalcore as well. What sort of scene do you see yourselves fitting into right now?

Brendan: I consider us a metalcore band. We’ve always tried to emulate that early 2000’s sound that we grew up with. We still do to this day. I think we are lucky to fit in the basic umbrella of metalcore but what I love about our sound is that there are many aspects of the band that could appeal to people who don’t particularly consider themselves metalcore kids. We have a lot of crossover with many different genres. It makes touring so easy because we’ll literally go out with any type of band.

So as well as seeing the release of your fifth album, 2007 also marks 10 years of COUNTERPARTS being a band, how does it feel to reach this milestone?

Brendan: It’s actually insane. The band started when I was 16 and I had no idea it would consume my entire life, but I’m not complaining. I love it. I will do this as long as I can.

Do you think there has been a constant growth and development to your sound over these 10 years?

Brendan: 100%. I feel like if the band wasn’t constantly growing and adapting it would have felt stale after we released our first record [laughs]. We have been on a gradual incline since the band started and it hasn’t plateaued yet.

Looking ahead to the touring for this album, you have a UK headline tour coming up very soon, are you excited to start promoting this album live?

Brendan: Hell yeah. Plus I like that we have a few months before the heavy touring starts so the record can sit with kids, and hopefully by the time we’re in their city they know all the new songs well enough to take the mic from me.

Even further ahead than that, you’ve also been announced to support ARCHITECTS in Alexandra Palace, how does it feel to have a slot on an arena show over here?

Brendan: It doesn’t make sense. We have no business playing in front of that many people [laughs]. But for whatever reason, ARCHITECTS love us and the second we got the offer we confirmed. ARCHITECTS have had COUNTERPARTS‘ backs since like 2009. I love those guys.

Do you look at these sort of shows as good ways to introduce the band to new people and hopefully win over new fans?

Brendan: That’s exactly what I’m hoping for. I know that no matter the size of the venue, we will have our fans show up. There’s never a worry anymore of like “oh shit do you think people will know us?” because a lot of people do. Especially in London. So that being said if there’s 10,000 people there and 1000 people already love the band, that’s 9000 other strangers we can hopefully convince to give a shit about us. Then when it comes time for us to headline, if even 100 more kids come out that contributes to the growth of the band, and allows us to keep pushing forward.

You’re Not You Anymore is out now via Pure Noise Records.

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