Listen Now: Music Spotlight on Counterfeit.

Listen Now: Music Spotlight on Counterfeit.

This week's spotlight is on Jamie Campbell Bower of Counterfeit., who alternates his time between the silver screen and sold-out festival stages.

This week's spotlight is on Jamie Campbell Bower of Counterfeit., who alternates his time between the silver screen and sold-out festival stages.

Text: Christina Cacouris

Every week, V shines a light on an up-and-coming artist. Polymath Jamie Campbell Bower is no newcomer, having enjoyed great success as a top actor (and model), with roles in the Twilight saga, Harry Potter, and most recently, in the period-drama Will as playwright Kit Marlowe. But Bower is steadily rising to music superstardom with his new band Counterfeit., who have been touring the world with their latest album Together We Are Stronger, a fast-paced, punk-inspired, riotous debut. We caught up with Bower to talk about how he channels creativity into music and acting, how Marilyn Manson inspires him, and more.

Acting and singing are both creative, but what does music allow you to do and express yourself in a creative way that acting doesn’t, and vice versa?

Well, I think the other side is, what you’re doing is you’re taking somebody else’s vision and you go on a journey with that character. Whereas with the music, what I’m able to do is be honest as myself. In a performance, the material that you’re given is not necessarily by you and for you. So that’s what the music side is for: it’s me, [and] it gives me the opportunity to be the individual that I have come to understand that I am.

You were first in a band called The Darling Buds; tell me about the progression from that to the music you do now as Counterfeit.

The Darling Buds was something that I started when I was at school—it’s one of those homeschool projects that just was facilitating me being creative in some way. And it had taken many different forms, and we got to a point or rather I got to a point with it where I didn’t feel like I was representing myself in the most genuine, honest way—that I needed to at that juncture in my life. So we all went into a studio and [were] working on the material, and the new material that was coming out was a lot heavier and a lot darker. It became apparent to me that we needed to start from scratch, and not necessarily erase history, but start again and not have the baggage of what we’d done before.

Sonically, it’s really different from what you were doing before with the Darling Buds, and I’ve seen people say that your music is punk-inspired, so tell me about what’s inspired you and how you would define yourself.

At the heart of it there is definitely a punk element to it in the sense that it’s very raw and very much like—let’s pick it up and go. It’s born out of that feeling, just picking up and going at it. We can all play, but it definitely has that feeling to it… sort of aggressive, but underneath it’s got this rock and roll part to it that I’ve always been in love with. Sonically, I wanted it to sound like daggers, and a bit like broken glass. I always had that image in my head, like being involved in a bar fight, that’s kind of how I wanted it to be!

Your first album is pretty cohesive, so do you think your next record will stay in that same element, or will you experiment with different sounds?

It’s an interesting topic and one that is timely, because obviously we’ve had the record that came out in March, we’ve done the touring side of it and we’ve done the festivals, so we’ve recently jumped back into the writing stage again, and it is very much that feeling of: do I have to follow with the mold that I’ve created for myself, or can I go out and try something new? And that’s something I tend to struggle with because by doing that, one tends to limit oneself by thinking about the development. I’ve always been a massive believer [in] picking up and playing your instruments and writing it how it feels. I’m always a big believer in the feeling of the songs. And I would very much like to remain on the path of the genre, but that’s not to say necessarily that other influences may or may not work their way in there. I’m a huge fan of Marilyn Manson, and I think sonically what Manson does, he takes a gnarly, rocky kind of sound, and hones it and develops it into something that’s pretty well organized, you know? Our first record is wild, and that’s great; who knows, there may be elements of that that work their way in [to our next]. But I’m trying to avoid putting myself in a scenario where I am bound to one specific thing. With all art, its purpose is to just be free.

"Together We Are Stronger" is out now. Stream the record below.

Credits: IMAGE COURTESY OF COUNTERFEIT.

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