While some acts take a fluid approach to the music they create, the members of Moncton heavy metal / stoner rock band Counter Clockwork were acutely aware of what they wanted to achieve.
Formed in 2014 as the brainchild of guitarist Shawn Beatty and drummer Shane Dufour, each of the musicians had separately honed their chops in punk and heavy metal bands including Pillory and Gutted The Band.
The duo had an immense amount of respect from where they came, but simply wanted to ensure Counter Clockwork, their first joint project together, bore the hallmarks of some of their favourite bands.
“The experience I picked up playing with bands before Counter Clockwork was invaluable,” Beatty explains. “When it came to putting this band together, I wanted to pursue something a little more musically technical.”
Before long Beatty and Dufour recruited a pair of other guitarists – Jerry Dupere and Bradley Bernier, and fleshed out the remainder of the group with dynamic vocalist Dave Coulombe and bassist Jon Albert.
The benefits of touting a three-guitar lineup was not lost on Beatty, and was actually something the group deliberately sought out.
“That was something we were after from day one. It’s allowed us to incorporate elements of progressive rock while still having an abundance of groove in the music we are making,” he says.
Those elements, combined with smatterings of Crack The Skye-era Mastodon and more, can be heard throughout Counter Clockwork’s self-titled debut effort, released this past July. The 10 songs featured on the record see the group proudly donning their influences on their sleeves, while also bringing something new, and ultimately original, to the mix.
“Songwriting is a collaborative effort between everyone in the band,” Beatty offers. “We wanted to keep the material fresh and were actually still writing at the point that we went in to record these songs.”
It is not just audiences here in Moncton that have taken notice of the group. This past summer, the band undertook a tour that, in addition to dates here at home in the Maritimes, also brought them to select points in Quebec and Ontario.
Looking back on the experience, Coulombe insists bringing their music to new audiences and finding ways to keep them engaged is a challenge they are all too happy to accept.
“We are nothing but grateful to have these opportunities to play live,” he says. “What was most pleasantly surprising to us was how our music was received by audiences that had never heard of us before. To have our music to appeal to fans outside of the realm of heavy music is a great bonus.”
What: Counter Clockwork with Diner Drugs
When: Friday Jan. 13, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton