I recently reviewed Leicester based five piece Fractions’ new single “Soundness of Mind”. With recording a new album this year, good things could be happening for them. The single has certainly got me eager to find out what the band has in store for us next and I urge you all to keep an eye open for them coming to a town near you. I thought this would be a good time to catch up with drummer Steve who tells us all about the band’s aspirations and goals for the coming year. Thank you, Steve, and best wishes to you and Fractions in 2019.
Where are you guys from?
We are from Hinckley, Leicestershire (Midlands UK).
How long have you been playing together as a band?
The initial project started around 2012, but due to members changes we had several false starts before the current line up came together in 2014. This was the point we started to progress so we would say roughly 4 years.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The main thing for us is, we all input influences from our different backgrounds, tastes and nothing is off the table when we are writing songs. Fractions tracks are generally a mix of heavy rhythms and melodic/dreamy parts. We like to think there is something in our songs that most people can connect to and like to have different feelings and energies in our music.
Fractions released an EP in 2017. How does it feel to put all your blood, sweat and tears in and get an album out there?
It was a long road to get the record completed and released. As a collective it was the culmination of around two years worth of efforts and input, so to see it pressed and selling was a great feeling and also a relief that it was received well. We are not the swiftest of bands for producing new music, but we’d like to think that when we do it’s worth the wait for both us and the listeners alike… but we shall let you guys be the judge of that!
You are currently recording material for your second release. What can you tell us about it and how would you say the sound is compared to that of your debut EP?
The new record will have similarities to our first release, however the band has progressed musically in the last two years so we feel it will be a step up from our first record. We have some new elements involved this time and also using different equipment for the recording process which we feel will make the output better. The record has a theme, lyrical contents that explore different topics and focus areas so we are excited to see it come together and hope our followers enjoy it as much as we are enjoying writing it.
Where will it be recorded and where will it be mastered? Are you using the same team or trying something different with this album?
We currently self record our music and use Elliot Alderman-Broom to mix and master. This is the process we used for the Forces record and it seems to work well for us. We have our own rehearsal space so use that for pre-production work, and our guitarist, Lee, has set up an attic studio at his home that we are using for recording this time round.
You are very active on the live front, from local pubs and clubs to having played with major acts such as Tesseract and Raging Speedhorn. What should we expect from a live show and how was the experience playing with those bands mentioned?
A fantastic live sound and energetic show, We try to deliver quite an immersive experience when we play! We want you to hear everything that’s going on within a song so playing well is important to us, you’ll never see us throwing guitars over our heads but we’ve got Chris Hares’ snake hips instead!
It was a great experience to play with both bands. We’d listened to them for years so very special. It’s a big tick to put next to your personal and musical goals for sure! The Tesseract shows were very special for us, first time abroad as a band and to support a band that we all love so much anyway was very special. We learnt so much on that tour and from playing with bigger more established bands, invaluable experiences! They’ve definitely helped us grow as a band and pushed us to be the best we can be.
What are the lyrical themes of the songs from the new release? Is there a main lyricist within the band?
CH writes all the lyrics, he wanted to put his stamp on the feel of the band when we brought him in as a replacement for Internal Conflicts’ Adam Kyle. The lyrics are anything from TV shows to worldly events. The next record is going to be something a bit more personal to him.
How often is the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?
We generally have two evenings a week reserved for rehearsal or recording activity, that said we increase or decrease depending on what needs to be completed. Most sessions are at our rehearsal room unless recording, where we do that either at the new attic studio or at different members houses
How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Fractions a band where all members contribute to the songs?
As far as songwriting, a bit of both to be honest, everybody has different strengths in the band which we recognise and use during the writing process. Lee takes care of a lot the base structuring for tracks. But then we’ll all bounce ideas around and build it from there, we’ll generally have a scratch track that we all have access to, so we can structure and write our own parts and then we’ll add, take away and change as the song evolves. We’re all such different players with different influences and we try to incorporate that into our songs with ideas from everybody. Whatever makes a song the best it can be.
Being a five-piece and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
On the whole we can agree pretty quickly if something sounds cool or not. Although we listen to a lot of different music and genres between us we lock in pretty quickly on an idea! We talk and negotiate a fair bit during the writing process, different things get tried and changed to make the tracks feel how they should, but the end result is always the song we wanted to write for the band.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs?
It’s very difficult, even from day to day! We all have full time jobs and careers, partners and wives. Lee, Steve and Chris J are all parents with young families and Chris H has a wedding to plan for this year so we’re lucky to have such supportive families but, yeah, it’s a constant juggling act! We just plan thoroughly and use our free time as well as we can to be out on the road. We make it work with the odd sacrifice because we love being in this band and the experiences it gives us.
Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2019?
Oh absolutely, we’re always striving to be better and do bigger things with Fractions! We have a couple of weekend tours on the horizon with fantastic bands which will see us spread as far around the country as I think we’ve been to kick the year off, we’re very a lucky to have an amazing management team. Elliott And Rachael at Enso Music Management work tirelessly with us and on our behalf to push us forward, and book tours and shows. There’s a lot coming for 2019.
How hard is it for a metal band like Fractions to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non-stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
Very hard! We basically self fund everything at the moment. Any show payments or merch sales get used to cover travel expenses or put aside for specific purposes, but the majority of the band’s finance comes out of our pockets from having full time day jobs. It’s a tough industry right now and gets harder year on year with fewer venues to play and less income streams for bands.
Being from Leicester, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend?
There are loads of great bands in the Leicester scene to be fair. A few we would suggest are Internal Conflict, Resin and Blood Oath. These guys have all helped, supported or influenced us at some point over the last few years and are well worth a listen!
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Lee: Misery Signals – Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
Chris: Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Coggy: Deftones – White Pony
Steve: Finntroll – Nattfodd
CJ: Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Thank you for any and all support you’ve given us since we hit the road and started playing for you, we enjoy every second of it and it makes all the hard work worthwhile when you come out and enjoy it with us! Keep supporting the local and underground scene, you never know… your new favourite band could be out there! Keep an eye on our different social medias to keep up to date with us and cheers! We’ll see you on the road!
And a thank you to you guys (Moshville Times). You kick ass!
Soundness of Mind is out now