Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Gucci jacket for FS Magazine style shoot ()Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Gucci jacket for FS Magazine style shoot () © Copyright

“When I walk out on stage, this animal takes over”

Just a couple of days before meeting Jamie Campbell Bower, his punk rock band Counterfeit announced they were playing Reading and Leeds Festival for the first time: swift progress for a band formed in 2015 from the ashes of their previous incarnation, The Darling Buds.

“Yeah, it’s crazy that we’re doing Reading and Leeds, says Campbell Bower, 28. “It’s a festival that we always wanted to play when we were kids. It’s terrifying if I’m being brutally honest; a lot of our favourite bands have either performed there or are playing this year. 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Samsoe & Samsoe for FS Magazine fashion shoot ()


Jacket £279.95 Samsoe & Samsoe; Top £10 Tommy Hilfiger; Trousers £160 YMC; Belt and Jewellery Jamie’s own

“It seems like I’m terrified of anything that’s band-related at the moment. The album’s coming out and I’m opening myself up to judgement, but Reading and Leeds is an amazing opportunity and we’re so stoked to be playing it.”

The man known to millions as Caius from the Twilight Saga is both excited and nervous about 2017: a year in which Counterfeit release their debut album, Together We Are Stronger, before taking it out on the festival circuit. 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Scotch and Soda shirt for FS Magazine and Flannels fashion shoot ()


Shirt £74.95 Scotch & Soda; Top £135 John Smedley at Flannels

“With something that is so personal and honest, you’ll always be afraid because there is no veil,” explains Campbell Bower. “There’s nothing to hide behind. There are days when I think ‘f**k me, this is the most terrifying thing ever,’ because I’ve never had the opportunity to portray myself like this.”

It’s not just the album that’s personal to Campbell Bower, but every live performance too. He says his old band The Darling Buds was “jovial,” whereas Counterfeit comes from a place of anger, confusion and trying to figure out their place in the world. After a Counterfeit gig, he feels like he’s given the audience everything. 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing black Dsquared2 for FS Magazine and flannels fashion shoot ()


Top £530 DSQUARED2 at Flannels; Trousers £225 Paul & Joe

“At the end of any show we play, I’m always f**ked, I’m done, it’s game over,” he says. “And the next night I’ve got to do it again. Part of me would love to be able to chill, but the moment I walk out on stage this complete animal takes over and I kind of black out. I don’t really know what happens from walking out on stage to getting back to the dressing room. It’s just this mad whirlwind and it’s great fun.”

It sounds like he’s on a mission to give everyone who sees Counterfeit a gig they won’t forget, with high-energy, balls-to-the-wall performances. But when was the first time he remembers a band having that kind of effect on him? “When I started to go see shows by myself as a kid, I went to a festival and saw Gallows play,” he says. 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing gucci for FS Magazine and Flannels fashion shoot ()


Jacket Jamie’s own The Kooples; Top £260, and Jeans £510, both Gucci at Flannels; Jewellery Jamie’s own

“Their first record [Orchestra Of Wolves] had just come out and it really connected with me. There was something animalistic in it, something gnarly, something that made you want to punch a wall. And the show was so intense; it was a huge moment for me. There’s something about seeing a band go out there and just thrash for the sake of thrashing because that’s who they are and there’s no bullshit about it at all.”

A lack of bullshit is also the ethos of the band’s new album. Campbell Bower says he wouldn’t describe it as a glossy record. It is a raw attempt to capture the band’s live performances.

“Because we were out on the road with the songs before we recorded the album, I really wanted it to feel like a live show,” he says. “I wanted it to have that energy and that dying feeling to it, like it was thrashing about and almost drowning. Our producer, Tom Mitchener, understood that. He comes from a background of loving that kind of music. It’s an erratic, eccentric record. It’s a bit wild and there’s no bullshit behind it.”

Within a week of the album being released this month, Counterfeit set off on tour around Europe and the UK. Should the band make it big, surely it would leave Campbell Bower with less time for acting? Is he an actor who plays in a band, or a musician who acts? 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Givenchy for FS Magazine and flannels fashion shoot ()


Shirt £530 Givenchy at Flannels; Jeans £129 BLKDNM at Flannels; Shoes £485 Gucci at Flannels; Sunglasses £125 Ray-Ban; Jewellery Jamie’s own

“That’s the hardest question to answer,” he says. “People can misread this and they can judge, but I would say I am neither. I describe myself as an artist rather than a single entity. I love everything that I do and it all fuels the fire and the creative passion.

“This sounds crazy and so arseholey, but it’s why I can relate to David Bowie and those kind of artists, it’s the fact he was himself from beginning to end. He would say: I am what I am, I’m not an actor or a musician; I’m just being. I identify with that feeling of being. I couldn’t give up acting or music, they’ve always been a part of my life. To choose just one would probably destroy me.” 

Jamie Campbell Bower wearing Gucci jacket for FS Magazine style shoot ()


Jacket £1,610 Gucci at Flannels; Top £39.95 Samsoe & Samsoe; Jeans  £129 BLK DNM at Flannels; Belt Jamie’s own

Photographer Hanna Hillier

Stylist Kiera Liberati

Words Mark Williams

Hair Stylist Lisa Farrall Using Wig London & Fudge

Make Up Artist Suhyun Kang Using Nars

Fashion Assistants Shereena Grey, Faye Summerfield & Sheree Angel.

WIth thanks to Albert’s Club in South Kensington


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