Band Interview: The Counteracts

The Counteracts logo

The Counteracts

  • Simon J. Biscoe – Vocals, Bass, Guitar
  • Doug Smith – Keyboards, Guitar, Backing vocals


So first of how did you all meet?

Doug joined the Band that Simon was already a member of in 2015.

Where are you all from?

Simon is from Gravesend and Doug is from Chatham, both in Kent, UK.

How long have you been playing your respective instruments?

Doug was a classically trained pianist from age 8, and Simon started playing a variety of instruments around the age of 15.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

Lo-Fi pop music. Our favourite comment about us is “Wonderfully uplifting and fun, filled with quirky Brit pop”.

What are your influences?

Simon: The Beatles, Elvis, The Kinks, Buddy Holly, B52s.

Doug: Queen, Progressive Rock, 80s Electronica.

Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?

50% of our output is covers, which range from the 30s to the 90s. The only rules we employ are that we both have to like the song, and we try and stay as true to the original as we can.

What if anything does your name mean/why are you called that?

We both used to be in a band called The Contacts, and this venture was originally meant to be a side-project, so we thought The Counteracts was a decent play on words at the time.

Do you have a process for writing your songs? /Which of you writes the songs?

Simon writes most of the songs, and the music generally comes before the words. Simon presents the basic idea, which Doug then arranges, with input from both. Doug has no preference when writing, so either words or music can come first.

What are your rehearsals generally like?

Fun, but purposeful. We only meet up once a month, so we always have lots to get through.

Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?

Simon once went out busking with the guitarist from his previous Band, and they raised £5. On the way home, his clutch went, which cost him £80. That was the end of the busking career!

What song do you remember most from your childhood?

Simon: Bill Hayley – Rock Around The Clock.

Doug: My Dad used to ‘vamp’ some old standards on our piano, and ‘My Grandfather’s clock’ is the song I most remember from early childhood.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Doug: Getting played and heard is a constant challenge. Every time you bring out a new track, it feels like to have to start all over again.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

Have you released anything yet/if you have how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?

Doug: Our 1st Album of original songs, ‘The Curse of The Counteracts’ was released in February this year, and has been received very well. Downloads or Hard copy CDs are available to buy from our Bandcamp site. We periodically release 4-track Eps of our cover songs, and we are now working towards our 2nd Album of originals.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

Doug: We haven’t performed as The Counteracts, we are recording artists only at present.

What do you think about downloading music online?

Doug: Not a lot, although it is something I sometimes have to do, as I present a mixed-genre Radio Show every Friday night on Belter Radio Internet Station,

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

Doug: We aren’t on a label, so we don’t need to be involved with it. The real music industry is run from garages and spare bedrooms these days, that’s where the energy is. Bands on major record labels are light years away from what we are doing, we’re just in it for the music, and the enjoyment.

And let’s end with something a little different…Which famous person, alive or dead, would you have dinner with and why?

Simon: Paul McCartney, his favourite songwriter.

Doug: Freddie Mercury, for his genius and showmanship.


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