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The Counteracts present their new album “Caricature”. A interview by Martina Doerner @th

Today I am very lucky to have an interview with The Counteracts who will release their new album ” Caricature” shortly. Thank you very much that you answer my questions.

For those who don’t know you yet, it would be nice if you could introduce yourself briefly.

The Counteracts are a Duo of songwriters who are Simon J. Biscoe, Lead Vocals & Bass, and Doug Smith, Keyboards and Backing Vocals.

How long have you both be on the music journey and how did it all start? for example, did you play in school or college band ?

We both got interested in music at school, and were in Bands while we were there. Simon remained in his School band on and off through the years, whilst also playing live with a couple of covers Bands. Doug was a classically trained pianist whilst at school, but didn’t play an instrument seriously during a 30 year gap until 2010, so our musical journey has been 40+ years, but with many interruptions.

How did it come about that you wanted to make music together?

In 2015, Doug joined the Band that Simon was already in, and Simon had some songs that he had written that the Band didn’t feel were right for them. We both recorded 2 of these songs, and released them as a side project, named The Counteracts. The reaction was so good, that we decided to carry on with more songs, as our original Band started to implode around this time.

When you work on new songs, it is always harmonious or there are sometimes disagreements?

It is usually very harmonious, as we bring different strengths to the Band. Whereas Simon is very good with words and melodies, Doug can hear the arrangement in his head, so we normally get to a point where we are both happy with our areas of expertise. We write both separately and together, but we always collaborate on each other’s songs, so it’s a good Team effort.

What would you say who your music is influenced by?

Simon is a huge Beatles fan, and also likes The Kinks, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and the B52s.

Doug’s favourite bands are Yes, Genesis and Queen, and he also likes1980’s Electronic music.

You are producing some cover songs which are without a doubt great, how did you come up with that?

When we started, we didn’t have a lot of songs, so we decided to release one song a month, alternating between Originals and Covers. It was a fun thing to do, as we only chose to cover songs that we both liked, but it was also a good discipline, as we got to learn how musicians who we greatly admired wrote their songs, and it was also great practice.

A question that cannot be avoided in times of social media …. What do you think about it and how active are you on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms?

This is Simon’s area, and we have a Counteracts page on both Twitter and Facebook. We also have a separate fan page on Facebook called The Counterettes, which is a more fun-based place where we can just chat and have a laugh with our fans and friends.

Do you think that streaming services are rather harmful to the music business?

And if you had the chance, what would you generally want to change in the music industry?

It depends where you are in the Music hierarchy. Professional artists are understandably unhappy with streaming services, because they are losing revenue streams because of them. Thankfully, The Counteracts aren’t in it for the money, so for us it’s all about getting heard on as many platforms as possible, so we’re generally in favour.

We would like to rid the world of Auto-tune, and manufactured Bands and music, and allow real talent to flourish. There’s a whole host of brilliant Independent and Unsigned Artists out there, but the General Public are just fed a diet of processed, formulaic music. (We’ll get down from our soapbox now, lol).

You are  independent artists, where do you see the advantages and what are the disadvantages?

Advantages – We can work at our own pace, and no one tells us what to do.

Disadvantages – We do our own networking, marketing, promotion, mixing and mastering, which are all things that take us away from the main area that make us tick, which is writing and playing.

Are there certain artists you adore and would like to be on stage with?

Simon would like to be the 5th Beatle, and Doug would like to be the 2nd Freddie Mercury!

What are you doing in your free time? Do you have hobbies that you pursue and you still have time for leisure activities?

Simon collects vintage memorabilia, including radios and record players, and likes to play Vinyl by stars of the 50s and 60s.

Doug is currently a presenter on 2 Internet Radio Stations, playing a mix of genres on one show, and dedicating his other show to Progressive Rock

You will be releasing your new album shortly, were there any special things while working on it? And how excited are you about new releases?

The best thing about the new album is that we actually wrote half of the songs together, whereas the songs on the first album were mainly songs that Simon had written with his previous song-writing partner. We’re very excited about the release, as it’s been over 2 years since the last album, and we can’t wait to show everyone how much we’ve developed in that time. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The cover art for the new album is very cool and interesting, who had the idea and why this one?

Doug was at a wedding last year, and a guy was going round with a sketchpad, doing doodles of all the guests. When Simon saw the result, he suggested we get in touch with the artist, and he was really up for it. His name is Rich Nairn, and he is known online as The Artful Doodler.

And my last question, what’s next? Are you planning the next album, new singles or any appearances as soon as this is possible again?

We will be releasing new songs from the album over the coming months. There are no plans for the next album yet, but I’m sure we’ll start writing a new lot of songs before too long, as it’s what we enjoy doing.

Thank you very much for the interview and I wish you much success and luck with everything that may come and hope that we will hear a lot from you!

It was our pleasure, Martina, and may we just offer you our sincere thanks for the interest and support you have shown to The Counteracts, as well as being such a great ambassador for Independent music in general.

Written by Martina Doerner



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