5 minutes with... The Fiction Aisle
17 Apr 2015
Ahead of their SPECTRUM: Record Store Day performance on Saturday 18 April, Thomas White of The Fiction Aisle chats about the band, its genesis and its influences...
Where are you from?
Seven Dials, Brighton
How did you meet/when did you start writing songs?
The band first got together in early 2014. In fact we've all known each other for years, and in some cases have already played in bands together, so it was very easy to bring it all together. I started writing songs around the age of 10. Don't know about the other guys.
What are the main influences on your sound?
The band takes cues from all sorts of things. We're all massive Broadcast fans - Trish Keenan has been a huge influence on all of us over the years. Likewise Goldfrapp has had an enduring influence on my songwriting, though one of my biggest influences over the past few years absolutely has to be The Clientele. Alastair Maclean's writing and guitar playing hit me straight away, and I've been a huge fan ever since. During the very early stages of putting the band together I listened to a lot of Noel Coward, Chet Baker and Irving Berlin. The greats of the jazz age played a huge part in crystallising in my mind what it was that I wanted to achieve with this group.
How would you describe your sound?
The group is probably best described as a cross between a jazz band of the 1930s and a psych-rock group of the 1970s. There's orchestral instruments in there - clarinets, trumpet, piano - but we also have three electric guitarists, and the sound can get very layered, so there's always lots of contrasting elements playing off each other.
What's the biggest gig you've played to date?
Our biggest show so far was supporting our good friends The Academy Of Sun at Brighton's gorgeous Old Market theatre back in February. It was only our fifth gig!
Have you released/recorded any music yet?
We're in the process of recording an album, which we're making down at Church Road Studios in Hove with our engineer Paul Pascoe.
Do you have a new release in the pipeline?
Our debut single, "A Promise Kept", came out this week to coincide with Record Store Day, and is available to download for free from our online shop, Chord Orchard. You can also stream it (and other tracks from our upcoming album) from our SoundCloud page.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plans right now are to get our debut album finished off and out into the big bad world. I've played in quite a few bands in the past, but this time it feels different. The songs come from an intensely personal place - I don't know how else to write - and thus they always remain close to my heart. I feel incredibly lucky to have met just the right people to make the music in my head a reality. Its taken a lot of hard work to get where we are today, and I intend to take us all the way to the top. If you don't want that, why bother?
When are you next playing Sussex?
Our next show will be as part of The Warren's programme for the Brighton Fringe - they're erecting a big top just by St Peter's Church and we've been asked to play that, which should be great. We're also playing a co-headline show with Prince Vaseline at The Hope & Ruin on June 3rd. We're well excited about that one.
Where can people find out more (websites, emails, YouTube clips)?
Anyone interested in hearing where we're at can head over to SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/thefictionaisle), or if you want to have a natter come find us on Facebook (facebook.com/thefictionaisle). Our forthcoming single will be available to stream and purchase from our label shop - chordorchard.bandcamp.com.