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Something Fiction: In Deep with Local Psych-Electro Group

February 2, 2014
Photo: James Courtney

Photo: James Courtney

Over the past few years, some of the most interesting music coming out of San Antonio has been of the electronic/atmospheric kind. Artists like Ernest Gonzales/Mexicans with Guns, Trip the Light, and Saakred (to name a few) have produced intoxicating works of staggering warmth and complexity, within the loose confines of the ‘electronic’ genre. Another young, emerging force to be reckoned with in the local electronic music scene is psych-electro trio Something Fiction.

To get technical, group leader, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Matt Humble once described their music to me as “shaman trance,” a creative descriptor that expresses their music’s essence exceptionally well. Something Fiction, a project that’s been active for eight years now, has released two excellent EPs (Botany in 2011 and Mycology in 2013). The band has gigged somewhat sparingly, electing to hone their sound in private and play shows only when they have something new (visually or sonically) to unveil.

As Something Fiction readies their debut long-player for a probable summer release, the Current sat down (twice) with ringleader Matt Humble to chat about that album, the group’s creative dynamic, inspirations, a new artistic collective called Timewheel, and a whole host of other topics.

Look out for part two of this interview, which elaborates on Humble’s involvement in the budding artistic collective Timewheel.

 

Tell me the Something Fiction story. How long have you been playing together and how did the band evolve into what it is today?

Something Fiction was formed by our percussionist, Nick, and I when we were 15 years old. We went to middle and high school together. We were both pretty introverted, so we would hide in the library during lunch to read books and talk music together. My first instrument was piano. So after school, I would take my old electric keyboard over to Nick’s rehearsal space at his house, and we would just jam for hours.

Our original style had a kind of jazz element, the timbre of the piano and acoustic drums always sounded jazzy, and our songs were almost always improvised. Over time an additional three members, two guitarists and one bassist, joined the jam sessions. We all met in school and bonded over our similar taste in music.

We wrote a handful of songs over the years, some of them ended up as ideas expressed on the Botany EP. But eventually, two of the three new members moved on to other projects leaving Nick, Raul and myself to continue writing. I am still close with all of them though. I work with them regularly in the studio and we all formed the artistic collective Timewheel together.

Once we were down to three members, the music felt a little thin. So over time, I upgraded my old Yamaha keyboard for some analog equipment to beef up our sound a bit. The transition from piano to synthesizers and drum machines came naturally to me and the new textures at my disposal played a vital role in how our sound evolved into what it is today.

on instrumentation and songwriting >>>

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