UK-based multi-instrumentalist/alternative folk-pop powerhouse Fictonian recently re-released his track Full Circle Influence asnd will play Crofters Rights, Bristol, on February 3.
Fictonian deliberately evades definition. With the music just one part of this bold, multi-faceted project encompassing music, sound recording, video, art, animation and photography. The man behind it, Glen Roberts, is determined to create a body of work which reflects a mind as visual as it is musical and describing Fictonian as “a specific state of mind within me” Andy Howells recently put questions to him.
How did you get into playing music?
My mum bought an upright piano for the house just before i was born, and as soon as i was old enough to climb up on the stall i was on there! She then arranged for me to have piano lessons from the age of 4, and i think it was about 8 or 9 when i started writing my own piano tunes rather than the ones in the books!
How would you describe your music style?
Desire Lines is very much just a choice of ‘style’ for that one album, with lots of conscious decisions of layering and shade etc made just to suit the concept of the record. I don’t ever intend on making the same album twice so the sound/style you hear now very much belongs to that specific record rather than representing me as a whole. I was brought up with a whole host of different types of music around me, and I know that i’ll push myself to try lots of styles over the years to come.
You are about to embark on your debut headline tour, how are you preparing for that and what can people expect from your shows?
It’s taken quite a bit of prep to work out how to play some of the songs live, as the record was intentionally made with zero thought of playing live. But, I think it’s definitely worked, and in a way the songs have all grown and found an extra dimension. I’ll have 5 musicians on stage with me, and a shed load of instruments!
Your single Full Circle Influence gets a re-release next month, can you tell us more about that?
That song is one that really showcases the whole lyrical concept of this record through just two characters in a kind of poem form, and that’s the main reason why it was the first ever song i floated online.. but i’d always intended to come back to it to release properly once the album was out. It was fun making a shorter edit of the track as well, just to give the song a more direct feel than the album version.
Where can people hear your music?
It’s on any of the usual streaming sites like Spotify and Apple music, there’s a YouTube channel with lots of videos I’ve made, or the record can be bought through the usual places too!
Beyond the tour, what else can we expect from you in 2016?
Hopefully there will be a few festivals in the pipeline, and then some new music in the autumn which i’m working on as we speak, which i’m really excited to share.
- Fictonian’s debut album Desire Lines is out now on Distiller Records. For further details visit www.fictonian.com
- Andy Howells is a freelnace writer. A version of this Q&A was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on January 29, 2016