"Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait" -Longfellow

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enter the Shamantrance: 10 Questions with Something Fiction

Visionary Fictionaries: Nick Greder, Raul Rodriguez and Matt Humble.

Something Fiction is a three-piece band from San Antonio that prides itself on being deliberate and optimistic. With a sound something like you might imagine a hippie deconstructionist's revision of Tool, they beg to be misinterpreted and - hopefully - left alone to grow naturally outside the totalitarian gates of classification. I asked them a few questions via email, trying to get a sense of what they're after and from what lands they travel. Those questions, their responses and the Botany EP (for streaming and/or downloading purposes) can be found below. See my review of their deliriously lush and thoughtful debut EP Botany HERE (via the SA Current).

1) Your music isn't easy to classify, which is a compliment in this case. Give me a few of your most creative non-traditional genre names that you think would do it some justice.
odyssey, shamantrance, earthtone

2) What are your biggest influences in the world of music and/or outside of it?
Inside - Igor Stravinksy, Tool, Meshuggah, Nine Inch Nails, Boards of Canada, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree. Outside - Life, trees, stars, clouds, sun, soil, plants, dreams, relationships, society and world cultures.

3) There is a meditative, trance-inducing quality to Botany that leaves lots of space for the listener to wander around in the songs. Plus there's the song "Dharma"... Any meditation practice or Buddhism in your life?
We do not align ourselves with any particular religious outlook. Our personal ideologies stress self-discipline, connectedness with the self & nature and compassion & understanding for ourselves and others. There are many parallels between our personal beliefs and Buddhism but we do not identify ourselves as Buddhists at the moment. Yes, we do practice meditation.

4) Following up on the previous question; these songs can be said to require a lot of the listener (that's one thing I dig about them)... What do you hope people take from the music?
We hope that the humans can pick up on the intended love we try to transmit via soundwaves and such. We do this for ourselves but sharing our craft is awesome too. We hope people go where we go.

5) Do you play live shows (or will you)? And how does that live sound compare to the sound on the EP?
Yes, we bring the live love. It's a very visual live show as we incorporate colorful projections and
imagery that we find inspiring.

6) I heard through the grapevine that Gonjasufi is remixing a track of yours. Any other national attention or big shit coming that we need to be aware of?
Gonjasufi is awesome, everyone should check him out. Yeah, we're making a remix album featuring a band called Porch which includes one of the guys from Primus. We are playing festivals next year with help from Mitch Schultz, the director of the DMT: The Spirit Molecule, who has been nothing but supportive to us and our sonic journey.

7) How old are you and the other bandmates and how long have yall been playing together? What's the Something Fiction 'story'?
We're all 21. We've all known each other since highschool, except for Matt and Nick who met much earlier. We have always shared a passion for listening and creating sounds that appeal to us. We've been in other projects together before and we all deeply confide in each other’s abilities and taste.

8) What was the song writing/recording process like for Botany? (What kinds of instruments and methods, who writes words/music, how does it all gel, etc)
Various methods, various ways. It's truly an experimental process that's always changing and doesn't really follow an exact method. We all write. Botany was written in a duration of six months using our personal studio where the voodoo magic happens. We use bongos, djembes, an array of synths, various amplifiers and guitars, Nick's drumkit, various microphones.

9) I know from my research (social network stalking) that you have a pretty keen interest in social issues and philosophical exploration. What role (if any) does that play in your music? Or vice-versa?
We believe we are all the product of our experiences and influences. The more we experience, be it through reading, traveling, listening, creating or whatever else, the more we understand ourselves and our place in the world. We just want to inspire and influence people to understand one another rather than judge and jump to conclusions and respect nature and its processes. We want people to question their ideas of truth and build upon it, rather than stop thinking.

10) What does the future (immediate and down the line) hold for Something Fiction?
We will begin playing our new live show starting in July in and around town so be sure to check us out!

SOMETHING FICTION: facebook, twitter, bandcamp