“All bands should take as many musical chances as Chicago band Counterfeit i. The group blends surging guitars with electronic beats to create a sound that is totally original.” – The Total Scene
“This part one of the Still EP series then explodes with a punch on ‘Sahel’ as Counterfeit i delves into some Trent Reznor territory—with a bit of grunge. Packing multiple levels of intrigue, if this is only the first part of a series, here’s hoping the next offering is just as rewarding and finely crafted. ?????” – Deanna Rilling, Vegas Seven
“Very experimental program-sounding beats mixed with single guitar-string melodies. Imagine NIN and Deftones being tossed in a blender.” – HM Magazine
Chicago-based experimental act Counterfeit i is the brainchild of songwriter and front man Derek Allen. Taking cues from Mogwai, Coltrane, Penderecki and Depeche Mode, Counterfeit i creates a unique mixture of intense soundscapes and swooning melodies atop upfront guitars and distant drums.??
Allen got an early start, playing locally around Chicago at the age of 15 in a punk band that went by the name Devoyd (“not that we went anywhere” said Allen). After growing tired of the formulaic offerings in both the local heavy music and punk scenes, he formed Counterfeit i with an eye towards a no rules approach to music making. Since forming a few years back, the now trio, has made a name for themselves amongst underground Chicagoans with a neighborhood-based blog calling their live show “loud, thunderous and full of vibrant energy.” The band has taken a grassroots approach to winning fans, you might even call it old-fashioned, they play shows, they play more shows and they open for a wide range of artists including post-hardcore band Project 86 and industrial act Bile. The band hops in a van when the opportunity arises and wins over any new fans they can find, including a Las Vegas date which led Vegas Seven to say the band creates “a pulsating blend of ambient, psychedelic and rock.” ??
Still Vol. II, out April 8, is the second in a series titled Still, with Volume 1 surfacing in 2013 (the UK’s Intravenous Mag called the release “a cross between the sublime dissonance of ‘Mourner’ era Caina and the haunting emotion of Deftones by way of Mogwai”). Mastered by Colin Jordan (Xiu Xiu, Pigface) at the Boiler Room in Chicago, Still Vol. II, shares some of the same emotional intensity and melancholic melodies with its predecessor, as Allen explains, “After creating and touring something so ambient, it felt needed to make something opposite. It’s still ambient, but has louder tendencies.”
Counterfeit i is Derek Allen (vocals/guitar), Ryan Worthy (bass) and Tyler Kirgiss (drums). The group is currently planning a series of Midwestern dates throughout the spring and an East Coast tour in May. No compromises will be made as Counterfeit i continues to pave their own path.