INTERVIEW w/ Fiction 20 Down's frontman & producer Jordan Lally
Please give our readers a brief history lesson to Fiction 20 Down. Where you guys are from, reason for the band name?
Fiction 20 Down or F20D (as our friends & fans call us) got started in 2007 at my recording studio "The Reveler" in Bel Air, MD. One day I stepped out from the studio control room and started jammin and laying stuff down with a good friend of mine... after awhile the jam sessions became songs and those songs became the first Fiction 20 Down album "Down n' Out". Evenually Deejmon joined me and then Justin & Andre came aboard and we've been touring the East Coast since! One of the first songs we wrote and one that appears on the first album is called "Fiction 20 Down" - more or less it's about not having any regrets when you look back on your life 20 years down the line. If you read the lyrics you definitely get a better understanding. So that ended up as band name and we're trying to live up to it with every show, cd release, etc.
Anything else we need to know?
Hmmm, ok, so in the last 6 months we've...
How has Fiction 20 Down progressed since your first release?
The year following that first CD release was all about figuring out who we were... we basically started as a mellow acoustic rock band. My buddy Todd (who started F20D with me as an acoustic duo) mostly played the acoustic guitar, and at that point he was doing most of the guitar work. In between when he left and Justin joined, I took the reigns on guitar and brought in the reggae/ rock influence we have now. Plus once Deejmon joined... forget about it! He's all about the dub. So the bass work certainly went in that sorta direction too... he always studying Eric Wilson, Chuck Fay, etc and bringing that to the table. Justin's a beast on the guitar, theory and all that, so he can come up with something for anything we throw at him, a versatile lead guitarist for sure, perfect for f20d. Dre holds it all together on drums and brings that hip-hop flavor (plus he can grow a dope fro). The hip-hop is something I had been doing with certain sections of my vocal for a while, but it never quite worked until we had Dre on the drums... not to mention he throws down some dope rhymes during our live shows and on some new tunes like "Truth Be Told" off the new CD. Basically since the first release we've come from writing chill acoustic songs to upbeat 311/Dispatch reggae rock hip-hop stuff... we'll continue to mix it up, but always keep it live! All in all, we've just become a more polished band since that first release.
A new video for “Play On” was just released. When putting together a music video nowadays, is there still the intention to try and get it on a major network like MTV and Fuse or is it just something for the fans?
The "Play On" video was something for the fans, something intended to be viral... live, studio and candid clips put together for us by a company called djcandyrocker productions. We'll be doing a full-on video in the next few months with the intention of getting on some tv. Not sure what song yet though, maybe "What About Love?" or "Truth Be Told" - whichever we can come up with the best video treatment for maybe.
Why the decision to release an E.P. rather than a full length?We've put out 4 original CDs in less than 3 years, the first three albums we released were all full-length. We decided on the EP this time because we just didn't want to wait on the production time of a full-length release. We were sitting on some of our favorite material ever and def wanted & needed to get it out for the Summer 2010!
Many styles come out from your sound. Is there ever a time in the recording process you say there isn’t enough of a particular genre you want to capture, so you go back and rewrite? How are the song writing duties handled?
We write, then jam and play at shows and the songs evolve, no style is really intentional, just comes out. Song-writing is handled in really 2 ways... I'll write and structure a song on my acoustic or with Deejmon or Justin and then we'll jam as a band with Andre on the drums and tighten it up and add some flavor. Or Dre, Deej and Andre will rock out something out for a while, I may pick up my guitar and join or I'll set up some mics, record the jam and sit in my studio control room working on the melody or rhyme and start thinking about the structure and stuff. Either way we're not thinking about putting this or that style into a song, we just go with what feels right when we play... if we're not having fun playing it, why would anyone else have fun listening to it?
Being out of Maryland Fiction 20 Down obviously plays the East coast often , is there a possibility to make your way out West anytime soon?
Yes sir! Def be out West in 2011, shooting for the Summer. We almost played Cannabis Cup in San Fran this year, but things fell through at the last minute. Woulda been good times, we might have lost Deejmon forever! Anyway, yea, we'll def be coming out West and doing a swing for a few weeks or more. Hit us up if your from Cali, Colorado, etc. - we're coming!
What are some of the best places to play while out East?
Rams Head Live, House of Blues in Atlantic City, The Note in PA, we're hitting up House of Blues & Balcony Music Club in New Orleans and Sullivan Hall in NYC in in the few weeks/ months, I'm sure they'll be dope. Hmmm The Hard Rock Cafe, some smaller spots like The Saint, Black Flower in Raleigh, Lost Parrot in Beckley, The Whiskey in Annapolis, etc. I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch!
Out of all the accomplishments so far, which one sticks out the most and why?
The new EP Let it Ride. It's the CD I've been wanting to do as a producer ever since I started getting down to reggae-rock. Its the record the four of us have been dying to put together as a band since we started playing the tunes live. The cd has only been out for a few weeks but its already been huge for us.
Thanks so much for the interview & support guys!