Interview: Factor Fiction

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I first heard the group Factor Fiction on blogTO's Toronto Independent Music podcast one week. I really liked what I heard; they have a unique sound which combines elements of rock, post rock and folk and presents a refreshing change to the standard rock fare served up at many of Toronto's venues. A few weeks later and it transpires they have an album coming out along with a show this Friday at The Rivoli to celebrate its launch. Sweet! David Ward and lead guitarist Stuart Patterson spoke to me about the album, Toronto and their plans for the future...

Describe your music in 5 words.
David: Quirky, melodic, cerebral, contradiction, robots.
Stuart: Rock - New - Fresh - (it has) Depth - (and it has lots of different kinds of) Vibe.


How did you guys all come together and join forces to become Factor Fiction?
David: Stuart and I met in 2001 in Waterloo at a Halloween Party, drank a lot of booze and played some songs together. Later we recruited Donn Dixon on drums through a mutual friend and enlisted Marcus Walker on bass whom we had met when he was playing bass with Canary Mine - a band we often do gigs with.

Artists sometimes find putting songs down on record frustrating, how did you find it recording your album?

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Stuart: Sometimes, especially after performing a song live many times, it's hard to approach the song with a 'live' feel. Often, it comes off very careful, or clinical. What we did was record our album analog, as opposed to digital, to give it an overall warmth, and many of the tracks were done 'live off the floor' to achieve a 'live' sound.
David: We learned a lot doing this album. At times it can be hard to capture the feeling of a song when it is put together mechanically layer by layer. On the other side though, you have more time work out the juicy little details that drive that sub-conscious groove. We're proud of this record because we produced it ourselves. We rented a cottage in Blue Mountain and recorded the tracks over 4 days. It was a great experience. The band became a unit, away from all other distractions. The mood was captured.


What other Toronto based artists are you fans of?
David: K-Os, Blue Rodeo, Jo Mama.
Stuart: We've made all kinds of friends on the T.O. circuit, including Ten Feet Tall, Stumblekat, The Munroes, Urban Street Scandal, Canary Mine, Tokyo Police Club, Latefallen, Craig Brown, Rick Temporao & The New Low, IanEye, and many others. Not only does Toronto have one of the most exciting and vibrant scenes, but also one of the friendliest. Most of the bands we've come across haven't had the 'too cool for school' attitude, and have been very cool with positive feedback, and we've supported each other on bills, even on short notice.


You guys play live a lot, where's your favourite spot in Toronto to play?
Stuart: There are so many awesome spots to play in Toronto, making it a great scene. I think that the Toronto scene is experiencing a bit of a revival as of late. I think Toronto is unique in this regard. For instance, Vancouver has a great scene, but very few suitable venues to support it. Some Toronto spots we really like are The Rivoli, Clinton's, The Opera House, Reverb, Holy Joe's, The Kathedral, The Black Swan, Cameron House, Club 279 (Hard Rock Cafe), El Mocambo, The Vatikan, B-Side... there are so many great venues. Clinton's has kind of been a 'home base' for us since we started, and it's where we've showcased material to very receptive audiences. With the release of this album, we really are looking to play on more bills with 'marquee' bands at places like The Horseshoe, and the like. I'd love to think that we'll be opening up for a huge headlining act somewhere sometime soon.
David: The Rivoli and Clinton's are our favourite spots. We like the staff a lot at these places and that makes a big difference. Not to mention that the sound is always good. Factor Fiction also has a following in Waterloo. I began my music endeavours there, hosting open mics, and writing folk songs.


Any plans for a tour in the near future?
David: Factor Fiction will probably do a short tour this summer perhaps across to BC and back.
Stuart: We've had inquiries from the US, Montreal, and radio play in Vancouver, so ideally, maybe is the answer. Support from a label would make this possibility even greater!

You're playing again on City TV this Thursday, is that something you enjoy doing?
David: We love playing on City TV. It's always fun to play on TV and it really helps to bring more folks into the Factor Fiction family.
Stuart: TV is an awesome avenue to reach an audience. Playing Breakfast Television on City TV is exciting, because of the large number of viewers. Waking up and performing that early in the morning is a challenge, but we'll do what it takes, especially this early on in our careers to promote our music.

You're celebrating the release of the album with a show at The Rivoli the day after (this Friday), anything special planned for it?
Stuart: Well, we've decided against playing naked. However...we will be focusing on playing songs from our newly released album, "Things I Draw Come True". We'll also be launching a couple of new songs for the first time, that should illustrate our eclectic style, and our ability to draw from any number of influences.
David: November 11th will be a spectacle. You will have to come and see it for yourself. Factor Fiction will invoke thoughts and emotions that not only sound a feel good, but actually carry meaning too.

Factor Fiction will be releasing their debut album - Things I Draw Come True - this Monday. Get yourself along to The Rivoli this Friday to see what they're all about. They might not be naked but they will be playing some very excellent music.

You can hear some of their music here and at their website.

Thanks again to David and Stuart for taking the time to answer some questions.


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