Fiction are a band with some of the best music and videos around. Their sound is almost incomparable to any other since they have an amazing combination of unique middle-eights, warping guitars, punchy basslines, danceable drum beats, and vocals with new-wave nuances. The quintet released their debut album The Big Other in March, so to see what they’ve been up to since then, AMBY spoke with Fiction’s James Howard about rehearsing in a boiler room, someone proposing to them, and tinkering with the weather!
AMBY: Hello Fiction, how have you been and what have you been up to lately?
Fiction: Very well, thank you. We’ve just come back from our tour, which took in the length of Great Britain and Benelux, Germany and Denmark.
AMBY: You have just released your debut album The Big Other. Which tracks are your favourites?
Fiction: I feel it might upset some of the songs if I was to start showing favouritism, so let’s say they all balance and support each other in the way a 21stcentury family should. ‘The Apple’ is probably the sound most like the new material we’ve been writing.
AMBY: What’s the story behind your ace song Museum?
Fiction: The song is a quick-fire interrogation of cultural (mis-)appropriation; it’s also a pretty simple verse-bridge-chorus pop song. What of our most precious everyday objects might end up wrongly labelled in the museum of a future society?
AMBY: Who influences you as a songwriters and musicians?
Fiction: How long have you got? I usually like to answer this question with what I’ve been listening to most recently, as I struggle to give a serious concise answer to what my influences are. In that light, I’ve been listening to all of Broadcast’s recorded output incessantly, and I think they’re one of the best groups England has ever produced.
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Fiction: When I was a child The Door’s ‘Strange Days’ made me realise that not all music was like Abba and The Bee Gees, which was the kind of stuff my mum was always putting on at home. We used to listen to Young Marble Giants’ Colossal Youth a lot when we started taking the band seriously, and I think that the separation and compartmentalisation of each instrument had a big effect on us as writers. Bryter Layter by Nick Drake has always lifted my spirits when necessary.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Fiction: Someone proposed to one of us once; we’re still not sure if was a serious request.
AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
Fiction: Psychic TV, Richard Thompson, Suuns, Charles Ives.
AMBY: What do you do outside of music for fun?
Fiction: I read and write poetry, and walk around London.
AMBY: What song could you live without ever hearing again?
Fiction: I’ve always had an unusually strong discomfort whenever I hear ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Fiction: We’ve been writing material for our next record which we’re very excited about people hearing, not that it’s anywhere near completion yet. I think the compositional side of things is the most exhiliarating. We’ll be back out on tour as well, which is always an adventure.
AMBY: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Fiction: I would tinker with the weather in a small and unnoticeable way; move a cloud here and there.
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Fiction that nobody knows?
Fiction: We rehearse in a boiler room.
Thank you Fiction, for giving us your answers!