With its members coming from bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Heights, TRC and Last Witness, Counting Days are quickly becoming “ones to watch” in the UK’s metalcore scene. Their debut album, ‘Liberated Sounds’, is a vicious and uncompromising set of devasting songs. With themes such as mortality, relationships and religion serving as its lyrical core, ‘Liberated Sounds’ is an impassioned release for the five-piece.
Collectively they have plenty of road experience, so appearing at the Download Festival earlier this month should have come easy for them. However, the London-based metalcore quintet was still nervous ahead of their slot on the fourth stage. We spoke to vocalist Tom Debaere and recently recruited guitarist Curtis Ward ahead of their set to find out how past experiences has helped shaped Counting Days, how Curtis is settling into the band and their early plans to write the hardest album of 2017.
AH: This is your first time at Download as Counting Days. You’ve played here in other bands, how have those experiences helped you prepare for this?
Tom: I guess you know what to expect.
Curtis: I still feel nervous though. You don’t know what to expect.
Tom: Me too. I don’t think it’ll ever stop you being nervous but I guess you know what the deal is. It’s a good nervous though.
AH: Your line-up is from various other bands. How has that experience from those bands bring you together?
Tom: I guess it helped initially that I met Charlie (Wilson -guitar) and Lasselle (Lewis – drums) on tour years ago, and we talked about doing a side-project together, which then turned into Counting Days years later. Again Charlie had met Curtis through hardcore shows in London.
Curtis: I deleted him off Facebook and he added me again and asked me to join.
Tom: It helps with the band. We’ve been there and done that. We’ve made our mistakes. So we know what to do and what not to do.
Curtis: And we keep making those mistakes apparently.
AH: When you came together, did you have a common set of goals?
Tom: It was just to write some metal songs and have some fun. It was initially was meant to be quite casual but then it took off a little bit. People were into the songs. Charlie and Lasselle had drifted off from wanting to be in TRC a little bit, so Counting Days ended up being all our main focus. It still is to have fun with mates and write heavy songs.
Curtis: It’s very much gigging with mates and having fun.
Tom: It’d be nice to make loads of money at some point, but for now we’re going to have some fun with mates.
AH: So Curtis you joined the band recently. How have you settled in?
Curtis: They’ve made me feel really welcome. They’re a good set of lads. They’re quite organised. They’ve never made me sleep on the floor.
Tom: We tried.
Curtis: I’ve got privileges.
AH: ‘Liberated Sounds’ came out last October and has had quite a bit praise.
Tom: Yeah it was well received which was awesome.
AH: For fans at Download, does that praise add expectation when they come and watch you?
Tom: I guess so. No matter how the album had been reviewed, we still go into every show with the same mentality and try and impress everyone that is there. We just play our hardest and have fun. We don’t worry too much about what other people are saying. The praise is nice but we’re going to do our thing.
AH: On the album, you worked with Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd. How was that?
Tom: It was awesome. They’ve got quite different ways of working.
Curtis: One is the super precise, hard headed guy and the other is the easy, groovy guy.
Tom: Fredrik is bit more old school. They bring something to everything they work on. There was a bit back and forth between us in the studio, and I think that was for the best. It definitely had a positive impact on our songs.
AH: Before coming here to Download, you were touring with Coldrain. How was that?
Curtis: It was cool. Europe was really fun. They look after you really well. The kids were kicking off. They like to pump their fists quite a bit then they don’t stop.
Tom: They do keep going forever. It was our first time in Europe, so it was nice to get out there and start making some fans. It was good fun and Coldrain were nice guys to us.
AH: What do you have planned after this?
Tom :We’re going to do a couple of more festivals later in the summer. We’ve not announced them yet so keep your eyes open for that.
Curtis: We’re going to write the hardest album of 2017.
AH: That’s a bold statement.
Tom: It is! You heard it here first.
AH: Do you have any ideas for the new album?
Tom: Yeah we’ve got quite a lot of stuff kicking about. God knows if it’ll end up on the album but you’ve got to start somewhere.
‘Liberated Sounds’ by Counting Days is out now on Mascot Records.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Download Festival 2016 here.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)