Fictionist works hard to play hard

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By Maddy Fitzgerald

After the record label contracts are signed and the sparkling cider’s poured, a band on their way to making the big time is getting to work.

Local band Fictionist signed with Atlantic Records earlier this fall, a step toward stardom for the rock band comprised of Utah natives.  Now that the party’s over, Fictionist is hard at work recording a new album and adjusting to life as a signed band. With a show at the State Room in Salt Lake this Saturday and an EP set for release next week, the band isn’t cutting corners on their way to the top.

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Fictionist is playing a show at the State Room in Salt Lake on Saturday, along with the release of a six track EP.
Stuart Maxfield, the lead singer and bass player of Fictionist, claims most elements of life in the band have stayed the same since signing with Atlantic, only amplified.  Being a member of Fictionist became much more of a day job and less of a side project.

“Everything’s gotten a little more intense,” Maxfield said.  “We’re spending more time than ever writing, rehearsing, just working on our music and overall sound.”

As far as the band’s fine-tuned style — a signature that took four years to perfect — the tracks on the EP and the rest of the album only contribute to the band’s identity, allowing some room to experiment and progress.

“It’s mostly a natural progression of what we have been doing,” Maxfield said.  “We’re writing more rock, for whatever reason, I think it’s mostly because we feel like it.”

Robbie Connolly, lead guitarist, has no qualms about his favorite track from the EP.  “Figures in the Fog,” a brief introduction to another song, lent itself to some musical experimentation.

“No singing, just a guitar duo,” Connolly said. “I play some solo stuff paired with some interesting bass sounds. It’s different from what we’ve done before and definitely my favorite track.”

Being a member of a signed band is a commitment, exemplified through Fictionist’s weekly schedule.  A regular week includes two set rehearsals, with an additional gathering for writing.  There are usually a few shows to be played, as well as countless Google video chat sessions, Connolly said.

Being a rockstar is not all paychecks, it’s a lifestyle that includes a lot of work, members of the band are learning.

“When we’re not rehearsing with each other we’re writing songs, practicing and teaching lessons to pay the bills as we’re going along,” Connolly said.

Modern technology has allowed the band to stay in Utah, whereas a move to Los Angeles would have been the custom in years past.  With the ability to video chat and share music online, the band is grateful for the chance to stay close to home.

“Any band five, 10 years ago would have had to move to L.A., we can do a lot of things from here,” Connolly said. “We don’t foresee moving, even when things take off.”

This hometown pride, paired with musical integrity, is reason enough for many fans’ adoration.  Frank Tovar, a senior from Salt Lake studying public relations, identifies with the band’s values and sound, especially as they move up in the music industry.

“I think it’s great to see a local band stay true to their form and taste, representing new music and new talent in Utah, and doing so smashingly,” Tovar said.

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