When Music Becomes Stranger than Fiction
Words by Jessica Devenyns Photos by Eric Morales
What happens to a band’s identity of self when they trade in their garage band instruments for digitized instrumentals? They become a musical Hemingway.
Just as the modernists contracted their prose to distill the essence of emotion into few words, east side synth-pop band, Strange Fiction, packs dense feeling into their harmonies. “It’s almost like less is more. The more personality your sound can have, the more character. That’s more captivating to people,” explains the band’s synth player James Blair. As captivating as their synth waves may be for their audience, for the band, this foray into digital music is a fresh infusion of inspiration.
“This is phase two of the band, and weíre producing everything ourselves.”
Blair waxed appropriately lyrical about the band’s newfound love of the synthesizer briefly painting an image of the influence it has had on their art. “It was like a new frontier of sound. Even though it’s kind of a retro thing… this waveform was a new journey… You are playing the sound. You are playing the texture. It’s really just less of, ‘Okay, what note is this on the piano,’ and it’s more like, ‘How does this sound make me feel? What is the texture? Is it gritty? Is it pure? Is it pretty? How does it evolve through the song?’ So that was something that I think we all just got reinvigorated to play because it was something new.”
As if on cue, Strange Fiction’s lyricist Nathan Medina chimed in with agreement, “This is phase two of the band, and we’re producing everything ourselves.” Not bad for “just a couple of guys who found each other on Craigslist,” as the band’s drummer Nathan Rabold describes the group.
By doing everything themselves, this self-proclaimed DIY studio project “got some play on the radio,” lead guitarist Colin Campbell admits proudly. Despite their brush with fame, Medina says, “We keep it pretty local here.” “It’s ‘cause the east side is cool. They get down,” agrees Blair.
NEWS: Strange Fiction will be releasing their new EP in early 2017. They currently have their single Ready For You available on Spotify and Soundcloud. The accompanying music video will be released soon.
The members of Strange Fiction take the DIY spirit very seriously. They track their own songs and even build their own guitar amps. Check out Ivy Amps.