SOUNDCHECK: Counterparts

Soundcheck is a feature piece on today’s best artists opening up about their favourite things associated with music and somewhat random facts we need to know. Gearing up for an Eastern Canada tour with Stray From The Path and Obey The Brave, COUNTERPARTS’ vocalist Brendan Murphy talks about his love for The Used, independent/punk hardcore and the subtle difference between getting a nose bleed at a show and getting hit with a shoe in the mouth.

My High School Music Taste.

Going into high school, my favourite bands were The Used, My Chemical Romance, From First To Last, Underoath and Fall Out Boy. Stuff like that is what I was into back then. Back in elementary school I was just starting to get into the “scene bands” which people are embarrassed about liking nowadays.
Favourite New Artists.

Lately, I’ve been listening to a ’90s band called New Radicals as I can’t get enough of their songs “You Get What You Give” and “Someday We’ll Know”. I’ve been listening to them a lot but not as much as The Secret – they’re a heavier band from Italy. There’s also bands like Balance and Composure, A Sight For Sewn Eyes, Disgrace and Homewrecker as their new full length is ridiculous. I pretty much listen to anything new from Run For Cover Records, No Sleep Records, Deathwish and A389 Recordings.

Favourite Record Store To Shop At.

The coolest record store I’ve been to is probably Amoeba Music in Los Angeles just because it’s one of the biggest stores I’ve been in. All they have are records and when we were last there, I ended up spending over one hundred dollars on just records alone. I walked in and the first thing I saw there was The Used’s self-titled album on vinyl and I was like, “I don’t care how much this is, I need it”. There’s some stores in Toronto too like Hits And Misses and Rotate This. They’re pretty wicked so every time I’m there I try and stop in and see if I can pick something up.
My First Music Poster.

I don’t know how old I was – I was maybe in Grade Two or Grade Three – but it was probably Eminem. Maybe Sum 41. They were pretty much what I listened to then so it’s definitely one or the other.
Favourite Live Concert.

I remember being in elementary school when I saw The Used, Alexisonfire and Underoath play in Toronto. At the time those were three of my favourite bands and The Used had probably put out some of my favourite records back then so it was just wicked. Recently some friends and I drove from Hamilton to Philadelphia to see The Secret while they were on tour with Black Breath and a bunch of heavy bands. I think there might have been a hundred people at The Barbary and watching that band and just staring was all you could really do. I knew every word so I was just watching in awe because they’re a band that sounds perfect when they play live too.

My Worst Scar/Injury From A Concert.

None of them have been really bad but one time we played Charleston, North Carolina at this place called Jimbo’s and I went to bring the microphone up to my mouth to do vocals and I actually punched myself in the face. My nose started bleeding everywhere and in between certain parts of our song “The Disconnect”, I would be yelling out that I needed a towel and once I got one, I was just letting myself bleed out everywhere. All I could do was laugh. I saw pictures after but I can’t find them anymore. I was actually looking for them yesterday (laughs).
Most I’ve Ever Paid For A Concert Ticket.

Probably Vans Warped Tour six years ago because that was about $50 but I think the most I’ve ever spent going to a concert was driving to Philadelphia to see The Secret play a show. The ticket was $10 but it ended up being close to $70 a person to get down there because we had to drive. Warped Tour in general is just too expensive and I just don’t have any money to spend on stuff like that. Now, I’ll just see who’s running the show and if I know them, I’ll text them an hour before and be like, “Hey man, I’m broke. Let me come in for free!”.
Greatest Artist Discography Of All-Time.

I really wish The Used didn’t put out anything after In Love And Death… but of all time, it would probably be Converge. I wasn’t too into them when they started but that’s because I was born in 1991. I definitely go back and listen to their old stuff and even new releases like the split they did with Napalm Death. Based on how many albums and splits they’ve released, I genuinely like everything they’ve put out so if I had to give someone the award, it would definitely be them. Do it up for Converge.

Most Underrated Musician Today.

That’s a tough call but when I look at bands like Title Fight and see how big they’ve gotten, others like Seahaven should be massive. I listen to their album Winter Forever a lot more now and I feel like they should be able to do headlining tours and sell out a lot of venues, but that’s just me. New Radicals definitely, but nobody listens to them anymore. Some of their songs are really weird, but a lot of them are awesome. It’s kind of a fair balance. They only had two records and then they broke up so it may not count but their singles were big. I could just lay in my room and cycle those two songs over and over again until I have to get up and leave.
Best Mosh Pit I’ve Been A Part Of.

We played Connecticut last year with Shai Hulud and Pale Horse and since the Pale Horse guys are from there, they headlined and kind of did a reunion show. Since there were so many people, I was standing on top of the Counterparts’ merch table so I could watch the show and people were just getting knocked around left and right. Some people we’re trying to film and they’d just get kicked in the head. It wasn’t out of anger though. Canada’s not really a violent place when it comes to moshing so it was a cool to see, especially with all that energy. I stayed in the same spot though because I was like, “Fuck, I’m not leaving. I’m not going to that level to get a shoe in the mouth”.

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