Fiction Plane - Stranger Than Truth
Thursday, 10 January 2008
With a national tour supporting The Police about to kick off, the continually growing success of these boys is anything but fiction, and frontman Joe Sumner reveals that losing a band member wasn’t as difficult to cope with as they’d anticipated.
“We feel a hundred thousand times more powerful!” he exclaims. “When we became a three-piece we were scared for about two hours. Then I started playing the bass and I loved it. It was really exciting – it gave us a lot more freedom. You don’t have to tell three people what to do, you just do something and they follow.”
The fourth band member left the group when fatherhood called, and whilst Sumner has no immediate family plans of his own, he does foresee continuing to make music when his time to be a daddy does roll around. “I’m not really thinking about fatherhood, but it’s a difficult career to have a family with.” he considers. “But it’s also difficult when your father is pissed off that he didn’t become the Eric Clapton of his time because of you. I would probably feel a bit pissed off if I gave everything up, I’d rather be happy and do both.”
Being the son of Sting, it makes sense that fatherhood is somewhat of a sore point, and it also makes sense that nepotism features in Sumner’s lyrics. Despite being a pretty hefty issue to tackle, that’s not the heaviest of their material. This is one group that doesn’t shy away from also dealing musically with subjects such as war and the death of a loved one. Not exactly the fluff and nothing music that so often dominates the mainstream music scene, but Sumner says he doesn’t know any other way. “It pretty much comes out that way,” he admits, “but I do consciously say I gotta be able to sing this song hundreds of times this year. I want to be able to hear it in five years and like it. Some people have a skill for the silly, fun, candy music, but deep stuff is way more satisfying for me. If you’re writing about things and thinking about them it helps you sort things out in your head, and hopefully people listen to it and get it and that feels good. I’ve done that, been listening [to someone else’s music] and thought, ‘Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt like that’.”
Buying into the whole right brain versus left brain debate, Sumner is pretty sure the members of Fiction Plane all err on the opposite side to their album title. “I think we’re pretty right-brained and that’s why we go for the left-brained stuff,” he laughs. “The right-brained stuff drives you crazy!” The band are hoping that their trip down under in the new year will give their analytical, logical right brains some time to chill out, and their frontman is excited by the prospect. “[We’ve] never been to Australia, and I cant wait,” Sumner enthuses. “I prefer touring for sure [to the studio] because you can just live and make music and it just goes away as soon as you finish it. It’s a type of freedom. It’s relaxing [and the] cities are full of nobody.”
That must be his right brain talking. I’m sure he meant we’re nobodies in the nicest possible way.
WHO: Fiction Plane
WHAT: Play Telstra Stadium
WHEN: Thursday 24 January