Photo by: @sarlauf
Check out our latest interview with Brooklyn based indie band Slow Fiction and give a listen to their debut double singles, "The Cut" and "Niagara," out now via Paper Moon Records! <3
1) Who are your biggest influences as a band?
We’re really inspired by the revival of garage rock that took place in the early 2000s, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol come to mind initially. The “Meet Me In the Bathroom” era of the music scene is something that connects with us; the feeling of a tight-knit community within the band scene in New York during that time is highly influential as well.
2) What was your process for writing “The Cut” and “Niagara”?
(Julia) : For “The Cut” Joe (guitar) sent me a demo of an instrumental arrangement, and I sent him back a voice memo of me singing over it a melody that I came up with an hour or so later… and then I built lyrics around it the next day.
(Ryan): The drums and bass were improvised at rehearsal. Most of our rhythm section parts tend to be written that way actually. The foundation of the bassline came from making mistakes that sounded good, so we kept them.
(Joe): We played it with an instrumental breakdown for a while until we decided to add a bridge. We made that decision about a week before recording. We tried it at a show and liked it, so we decided to put it in the recorded track. You can hear the old version on our Bandcamp.
(Julia) : For “Niagara”, I came back from getting drinks with a friend, and I’d been in an angsty mood. I don’t know guitar theory too well, so I just started altering basic chords until I liked the way the progression sounded, and then wrote basically an angry rant of words in my notes app and sang those words over it.
3) What’s been your favorite venue to perform at? What’s your dream venue?
We have a soft spot for Berlin Under A, not only because it was where we played our first show, but also because of how amazing the sound is, and the people who work there. In terms of a dream venue… Ryan (bass) loves the 9:30 Club in D.C, Paul (guitar) says Brooklyn Steel, Julia (vox) says a music festival like Pitchfork (Chicago) or Glastonbury.
4) What is Niagara about? What was the recording process like?
Niagara is more about a sensation than a real life scenario. It paints the picture of a volatile relationship, but it’s really about escaping your own bad habits. It’s about realizing that you can fall into the same toxic pattern of choosing people who don’t share your values. It plays around with petty revenge, the avoidance of exes, and navigating how to move on from relationships in a city where everyone knows everyone. Niagara is also the name of a bar on 7th & Ave A, incidentally.
We recorded the track with Jake Cheriff from Paper Moon Records, who helped us translate the song from our live performance to an equally high energy recorded piece. Working with Jake and Sara at Paper Moon is amazing. It’s a super relaxing and productive environment. They’ve both got great ideas that are definitely evident in these two tracks. Also shoutout to Sara and Finn Vintage for making us look cool in photos.
5) If you had to make a record in a totally different genre what would it sound like?
(Julia) : I’m a big fan of the music style of artists like Kimya Dawson and Jeffrey Lewis, so probably something along those lines. I love songs that are a bit tongue and cheek and have a powerful sentiment behind the humor… so something like that.
6) What’s each of your favorite ways to ‘consume’ music? (ie. alone with headphones on, at a live show, driving to work, etc.)
(Julia) : I love to find new music by means of live shows from more underground artists, but I definitely tend to be more introverted in my consumption of music, aka mood-specific playlist queued up while grocery shopping.
(Paul) Definitely at a live show. We try to go to shows together as much as possible. We’ve found some of our favorite new bands just by deciding to go to venues on random nights of the week.
(Ryan) Concerts are my favorite too. I also am almost always listening to music when walking around Brooklyn, but I have to actively try not to dance my way down the sidewalk.
7) What’s your favorite music toy in the studio and on stage?
(Paul) Joe and I have matching Fender Blues Jr. amps. Wouldn’t trade them for the world. Also any pedal made by Earthquaker.
(Ryan) My favorite pedal is my Walrus Audio Julia, which is also an interesting naming coincidence. It has a lovely chorus and vibrato, and is sometimes subtle, sometimes not. You can hear it very prominently on the bass in Niagara.
8) (Julia) Who is your favorite lyricist? Why? What’s one of your favorite works by them?
David Berman comes to mind, he has the ability to express emotion through palpable imagery in a way that I really envy and admire. He wrote this one song under his artist name Silver Jews called ‘How to Rent a Room’ There’s these lines: Chalk lines around my body/Like the shore line of a lake/Your laughter made me nervous/It made your body shake too hard. And I remember listening to that and getting the little tingly feeling in my spine. The body’s way of saying “Shit… how did they explain that so well?”
9) You can have one celebrity crush as a band. Who’s it going to be?
10) What’s the best way to follow Slow Fiction? What releases can we look forward to?