How does a band from Provo, Utah, go from playing in the basement in their underwear to potentially gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?
The odds of that happening are about the same as if you were to stand on a surfboard in your basement and wait for a wave come swoop you up and then find that you are riding next to Kelly Slater.
For local band Fictionist, however, this is better. If the band gets on the cover of Rolling Stone , they will be in the company of iconic rock stars like Jim Morrison, The Chili Peppers, Jimi Hedrix and many other artists that no doubt started out playing in a basement in their underwear, or maybe even like their Rolling Stone covers, nothing at all.
In the Rolling Stone Choose the Cover Contest, for the first time ever, Rolling Stone is leaving it up to the public to choose an independent band to be on their August cover. Provo boys Fictionist are up for the history-making cover.
There are four rounds. Fictionist made it through round one and now, along with seven other bands, will be heading to New York to record two more songs with a producer. Along with the cover and an accompanying article, the winning band will win a contract with Atlantic Records and a spot on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
With their music, Fictionist are exploring new harmonic territories.
Stuart Maxfield, lead singer of Fictionist described their sound as, “Spacey, something psychedelic, something rock ’n’ roll.”
“We draw influence from bands like Pink Floyd, spacey bands that have come out of the U.K., but I also think that there is quite a bit of American rock and roll and some influence from folk musicians. I grew up listening to James Taylor, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, ‘70s classic writers. Though we don’t sound like that, a lot of those forms, the approaches and dynamics are the same; it’s a clashing of those two worlds.”
Fictionist played their first gig at King Henry Apartments in East Provo and have since performed all over Utah and toured the U.S. In their music, especially their live shows, there is always something unexpected.
“Whatever you hear on the studio album, we usually do something different live. Our shows change from show to show; there’s a lot of improvisation and jamming. We strive to be a live band and, as funny as it sounds, to be a human band; we try to be that live band and keep that spirit of rock ’n’ roll alive,” said Maxfield.
When asked how they got this far after only being together for three and a half years, Aaron Anderson, drummer, said, “You have to have a passion for it. Every one of us in the band really has a passion for music and has wanted to be a musician all their lives.”
Their dream is quickly coming true and to an unexpected magnitude.
“As a genre, rock ’n’ roll has never been selling less, so I think that it’s time for a rock ’n’ roll band to step it up and actually do something; hopefully, we can be that band for Utah,” said Maxfield.
Voting for round two of the Rolling Stone Choose the Cover Contest starts March 16. To vote for Fictionist, go to
www.RollingStone.com/choosethecover and rate them five stars. Vote and help get these local boys on the cover.