INTERVIEW: THE COUNTERBALANCE PROJECT
The name suggests that The Counterbalance Project is more than just a band and, with a long list of guest singers and musicians on board it certainly is. Truth be told, it did actually start out as a band back in 2012, but evolved along the way as founding members Conrad and Aaron Dimech sought to explore different ideas and sounds and bring in different people to work with them. Come Friday, the project will be moving into a new phase of its history to date with the release of its debut EP, Inception, which is why MikeBugeja.com thought of asking Conrad and Aaron a few questions in the run-up to the event.
When and what prompted you to set up this project and adopt the concept it is built around?
Originally we started out as a band called Counterbalance in search of a genre and modus operandi between the members. We didn't quite succeed in finding common ground so, with the material we had in hand we decided to pursue the idea of a collaborative project using different artists. We knew this would change the sound of every song, especially because we use different drummer and singers every time, but love how the idea has evolved and where it's going.
How many singles have you released so far and how well do you feel they were received?
Our first release was Inception back in 2013. It featured Danielle Ciantar on vocals and Jean Luc Camilleri on drums and received a lot of positive feedback, which pushed us to keep writing more material. The second release was Despair Within earlier this year, which features Paul Sky on vocals and Ryan Abela on drums, so it sounds quite different, but again, we've been getting encouraging comments about it.
There was quite a gap between the two releases. What has happening in between?
Basically, because this is more of a side-project for the both of us, we only worked on it when we had available time from our other bands, which required us to focus our time and effort elsewhere. We didn't really feel we need to rush this, until of course, Noel Mifsud approached us to perform at the Prog The Islands concert, after which we shifted into top gear and put in extra hours in order to finish the EP in time for the launch.
How did you go about choosing who to work with?
Well, the EP has 6 songs on it, and each one features different singers and drummers. We didn't really adopt any process in picking who to work with. It was more a case of inviting our friends and making new ones in the process, working together to mould the project around them which in turn gave the project its ever-changing sound. It's like forming a band every single time, and we're very grateful to everyone who collaborated with us for giving up their time, lending us equipment and, just as important sharing their experience with us, which ultimately has taught us a lot too. The least we can do is to truly involve them in our project as decision makers and shape our sound accordingly
The EP is being launched at the Prog The Islands IV concert, where The Counterbalance Project will be performing live. Given so many people are involved on the EP, will this performance be a one-off?
To be honest, a gig with 17 members involved is a logistical nightmare but also a very rewarding one in the end. To give you an example, getting 5 drummers on stage is a very tasking challenge and we can only do it because the people we've worked with are so open and willing to work together and find a balance that accommodates all of them. That said, we won't exclude the possibility of performing live again in the future but it's always going to be very difficult.
Any last words about the EP.....
Yes, we'd like to mention that all proceeds from the sale of the EP will be donated to Hospice Malta. The EP will obviously be on sale at the Prog The Islands concert but can also be ordered directly from us via our Facebook page.