Chicago alternative rock band Counterfeit i is a group that continues to take musical chances.
Those who were introduced to the band, www.counterfeiti.com, through its last album, "A Glimpse, an Eclipse," might be surprised at the direction the band has taken with its new EP, "Still."
I had the chance to talk to Counterfeit i frontman Derek Allen about the new EP and the band's other activities.
Q - Great talking to you again. You have a new EP, "Still." How do you think it compares musically and lyrically to your last album?
You too! "Still" is the polar opposite of our last album. It's more organic and laid-back.
The goal with our last album was to make a sort of disjointed and raucous listening experience, while "Still" is much more steady and flowing. Lyrically, it's more abstract.
All of the songs, except for one, are made so that you can't really understand the lyrics. I wanted the listener to be able to interpret what they hear and juxtapose their own ideas for the words.
Q - You say that you would like the album to be a cathartic experience for the listener to overcome the negativity in their life. You yourself suffer from chronic depression and anxiety. Was it cathartic for you to make the album?
This was probably the most cathartic creative experience I've ever had. I was going through a lot at the time of writing "Still," but I was very much at peace with these songs and the writing and recording of them. The whole process was very therapeutic.
Q - The album was produced and engineered by Sean Payne. How did you hook up with him and what do you think he brought to the EP?
Sean has been friends with our label, Bit Riot Records, for a long time, so he was the first person we approached for the mixing and engineering side of things. He definitely helped me bring out some things in the mix that I buried for whatever reason in the demo mixes.
Him and Nikk Hynes at Glitch Mode Studios did a great job on the masters as well. They sound really warm.
Q - You guys will be doing a 20 city national tour starting in mid June. Are you guys looking to gain a bigger audience? Do you think now is the right time to try to get your music out to more people?
That's what we're trying to do, like most bands, ha ha. I feel like "Still" is much more accessible though it still is experimental.
I honestly feel like it's the best thing Counterfeit i has done yet and I'm really excited to see where it goes and what it does.
Q - How do you think the band has evolved since it first formed and how do you think it will continue to evolve?
I think we've just matured musically. The writing has gotten better, I feel at least. We've gone from a post-punk kinda band to a more shoegaze/experimental sound. But who knows where it'll go from there, ha ha.
Q - What are your short-term and long-term goals for the band? Is the band where you want it to be these days?
We're just wanting to get on the road again and play for people. We've gotten a great reaction to the new songs and hopefully it continues.
Q - What do you think makes the band stand out?
I think we have an honest desire to be ourselves. Sadly, I feel like that's lost in a lot of music these days.
But we also try to experiment in order to be able to express ourselves in different ways. We're definitely not a conventional rock band.