Dead fiction’s debut single ‘No Time’ starts with some really big, sustained fuzzy chords before settling into some Kim Dealesque bass (from Ruaridh Kidd) and palm muted guitar. The track has a sound that is by turns both powerful and stripped back and the trio have that grunge LOUD quiet LOUD sound down to a tee. Singer and guitarist Craig Macleod (who was also my music tutor at Perth College!) has a great, gravelly rock voice that suits the material perfectly and I like that he retains a touch of his Scottish accent in his vocal performance.
Although the song is a tight (and very rock n’ roll) in 2 minutes 15 seconds there's still space for two verses, three choruses and an unshowy, but rather effective, guitar solo and (spoiler alert) even a false ending. Dead fiction wear their influences on their sleeve and traces of hard rock bands like The Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, and New Fiction can be heard in their sound.
the trio have that grunge LOUD quiet LOUD sound down to a tee.
Lyrically the song is simple but heartfelt and emotionally charged and vocal melody is anthemic, melodically inventive and catchy as hell. Macleod is no slouch when it comes to production duties either as the mix is well balanced with the bass and drums in particular sitting really nicely together. I also really like some of the little flourishes like the lo-fi vocal effect prior to the first chorus kicking in and on the choruses you are hit by a wall of sound made up of layered guitars, tightly played drums and vocal effects.
This is the first recording by Dead Fiction but it has a swagger and assurance in both it’s ideas and execution that certainly make them a band to watch in the future. I’m particularly interested to see how their recorded sound translates to a live environment and will be keen to see if an album release when it comes, capitalises on the potential and momentum of their debut. I caught up with the band for a quick interview to find out more about their new single and future plans.
So the band is called Dead Fiction. What is behind the name?
We wanted something to represent the style and sound of the band, to link it into the writing, and also to find a band name that hadn’t been used before.
The songs have real concepts, thoughts, memories and people attached to them whilst also having a fictional story created around the truth to make it more ambiguous and cryptic, and I think that allows more interpretation to happen as well as helping me to mask the real message or idea behind the words. For now anyway, I’m really enjoying the challenge of writing lyrics this way.
Your debut single is a really strong statement. What are your hopes for the future of the band? Is there going to be a longer release in 2018 or a tour possibly?
Thanks for that. We’re super excited to start playing live really soon and I feel we’re almost ready as a band.
We’re currently just polishing up our set and working on the show itself so-to-speak. Additionally, we’re almost finished recording and producing another new single which we’ll do another music video for as well, so it’s been super busy. But aye, I’ll start to book a few shows around different parts of Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Elgin, Dundee and Perth) from June onwards throughout the summer.
Once into autumn, we’ll start writing and finishing new songs we have as a band and work towards developing our first E.P. Throughout this time and into winter, we’ll keep playing regularly in Scotland (including Perth, of course) and organise a string of shows across the UK too.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
I’ve known Robbie (Drummer) for over twenty years as we both grew up together. I hadn’t seen him in about five years, and I got a phone call out of the blue around March last year from him, telling me that he had just set up a wee studio and was wondering if I was keen to make a record together. We chatted and came to the conclusion that something quite fuzzy, dirty, grungy, punky, or even a bit heavier at times, was what we were keen to produce.
Both our backgrounds in terms of playing in bands as young teenagers (we’re both in our thirties now) was this sort of style so we were both keen to rekindle that flame and make a bit more ‘noise’ again. We’re all busy with our own lives, families, work, and playing in other bands, so due to our other commitments and respective schedule, it’s been a long road to get a full set written and start recording/producing our music.
In addition to this we decided to recruit Ruaridh (bassist) which has been great as he’s a really talented guy and a really hardworking musician. I’ve known Ruaridh for about seven years as we play in another band together called Dante. He’s really into rock music as well so I knew he was the right man for the job, and luckily he was keen to get involved.
Who writes your songs and could you briefly describe the music-making process for Dead Fiction?
Overall, we develop them as a band. I write the songs (words and music) and then I take them to the guys and together we develop the basic chart, structure and dynamics, so overall it’s a team effort.
We’re now at a stage where we’re just trying to polish the set and develop the show, but for months even when we thought a song was finished, we’d always find little ways to add to it and improve it overall. This came out of rehearsals so I think it’s a good process for us currently.
We’re totally D.I.Y. in approach so it’s pretty cool and that way there’s no pressure on any of us. As mentioned above Robbie built a rehearsal/recording studio so we practice there; I have a treated mixing studio set up at home so I engineer, produce and mix the recordings (I also run Meraki Records so I deal with all the music business type stuff like branding, artwork, distribution, promotion, marketing, press etc.); Ruaridh is our photographer, videographer and also does a lot of the social media stuff too: so overall it’s a pretty self-sufficient band which is nice.
You play guitar, sing, write and produce, of those four roles, which is your favourite and why?
To be honest, I don’t really favour one over the other. I’m constantly learning new skills all the time and developing my craft, which is one of main things I really love about making music, and I guess starting up Dead Fiction has really helped me push things forward creatively.
Released on CD and digital / streaming formats No Time is available via Scottish label Meraki Records and all major digital music retailers. To celebrate the release, Dead Fiction launched their debut music video on 30th March 2018.
Colin heads to the Green Hotel for a night of Bobby!
April 2nd Monday 2018
Colin headed to the Perth Concert Hall for the eagerly anticipated Belle and Sebastian gig and tells us all about it in his Small City music review.
March 26th Monday 2018
We sent Gary along to have a go at scaling the fantastic indoor climbing wall based in Perth College's Academy of Sport and Wellbeing.
March 19th Monday 2018