Denver, Colorado band New Fiction is coming off the band’s first tour in support of their recently released debut full-length record titled Let It Destroy You. The new album consists of 12 tracks filled with raw emotion and a metal, post-hardcore sound.
New Fiction, is a culmination of several Colorado acts, such as Victory Heights, and consists of Karl and Sam Bagnall, Ryan Hall and Dylan Schwindt. Music Madness checked in with Karl Bagnall of New Fiction to see how the band fared on its inaugural tour and how the band was coming together.
Music Madness: First off, congrats on the release of the band’s debut full length record Let It Destroy You.
Karl: Thank you.
Music Madness: How is the tour going?
Karl: So we actually left in Texas from the tour. We just got back a couple days ago. But the tour has three more shows left; we are just not on the last few shows.
Music Madness: You guys causing trouble already.
Karl: No (laughing), it was actually more for our own benefit. We would be driving up to New York for 4 shows and then driving all the way back to Colorado from there. So it just made sense at the end of the day. They were just like “Hey, let’s just have you guys come back after Dallas. So, we came back and here we are. Back in Colorado.
Music Madness: Were you happy with how the tour went?
Karl: Yeah, the tour was amazing. We had a ton of fun and we met a ton of really great people. The shows were all really fun, great people and all the bands and we got to play some of my favorite cities. The better shows like Hollywood and Vegas were really good. We got to play in San Diego, which is one of my favorite cities so yeah I mean it was a super fun time. As much fun as I’ve had on a tour in a long time.
Music Madness: That’s cool. Those are some big markets so, how was the reception?
Karl: Yeah, we were unsure of what it was gonna be like going into it because this was our first tour as New Fiction and we were kind of the oddballs on the tour as far as the music goes. We were kind of the one that did not fit musically, so we weren’t sure how it was going to go but it seemed to be really good. I think that it kind of helped us out. We were the band that was somewhat different from the rest of the show so we stood out a little. Overall, I got a good response from everyone I spoke with and we seemed to have made some good connections, it seemed to go really well to me.
Music Madness: Tell us about the band New Fiction.
Karl: So, yeah we were all in a bunch of different bands around Denver. Some of these guys I’ve grown up playing shows with for about 10 years. We’ve been playing in different bands doing shows together. My old band Victory Heights, and our drummers band Forty Fathoms, were kind of like two of the long-standing bands in the Denver area and after a while both of our bands ended at the same time.
We were sort of looking to start something new and my brother Sam and I, who played the guitar for New Fiction, had a couple things written. And so we were like, “Let’s see if we can find some people to make some music with.” We started hitting up Ryan and Dylan and they ended up working out. So, we kind of put it together based on having been in bands together, it clicked right away, and we just kinda started from there. We put the record out and we kept writing. We literally have so much. I sat down right when we got back and Sam and I started putting together another song right away. It feels like I can write another record right now.
Music Madness: Well, that’s awesome. One of my favorite tracks on the new record is “Broken Crown”. It’s that high energy, in your face sound I love.
Karl: Yeah, that is one of my favorites too. We play that one live and it’s just so fun.
Music Madness: The band has been busy; you released your debut album, just finished up a tour, and the “Novacaine” video is out. Any additional videos coming out?
Karl: Yeah, so we put out a video for the song “Giving Up” as well. We put that out right before the tour. I like that video a lot. It’s cool. The “Novacaine” one was fun to make because we got to work with those dancers and stuff that was cool. Otherwise, yeah, were trying to get around in the next month or so to making another music video.
The sooner we can get back out on tour and get things moving again that’s kind of the goal. Were kind of gonna start sitting down and writing. Sam and I have been writing together our whole lives. I am excited to write more with Ryan and Dylan again because it’s going to be fun to see how things change again. I just like to sit down and write 20-50 songs. Just like, rough ideas and kind of see the best ones that I like the most and start developing them from there. I am excited to sit down and try to write some new stuff as well.
Music Madness: Cool. Well hey if you decide to do a video for “Broken Crown” it should be a live video. I think the energy would be fucking amazing.
Karl: That would be cool! That would be really cool! Good suggestion I hadn’t even thought of that.
Music Madness: Yeah man, it’s has that sound that I could just see you guys jumping around the fucking stage going crazy and the crowd kind of moshing right with you guys.
Karl: That’s an easy one to get the crowd going on too. So yeah, that could be really cool. I will totally take that. I didn’t even think of that but that would be a great set for that video. Yeah I’ll put you in the credits (laughing).
Music Madness: Woo-Hoo! Do you feel like getting through this first tour has helped the band get closer as a group?
Karl: Yeah I do feel like it was. It went smoothly. The first week or so of tour was rough on the drive. There was some routing fell through with bookings and so some of these drives were like 28 hours, which is really intense. Then a lot of the times we were sleeping in Walmart parking lots and stuff. So the first week was a little bit higher tension but I didn’t feel like anybody thought it was a bad experience, we were kind of roughing it. We were on very little sleep, driving for a very long time, playing a show, and showering in a Walmart bathroom.
For the first week, it was a little rough, but we felt like everybody handled it really well. And as far as performing goes it always happens like this on tour but like the first couple of shows, you’re like “Oh man, we sound pretty good! I feel good!” and then by the time we were in California, a week or a week and a half in. I’m like “Dude! We sound so much tighter!” It just all came together. We really were more of a unit by the end.
Music Madness: What is the hardest part establishing of yourself as band? What has typically been the hardest thing for you and the band?
Karl: Oh, man there is a couple different potential answers for this. One thing has been…my old band was a band for about ten years. It was getting a record out and keeping people on the same page. I mean we had a lot of issues with people who were not super into the touring thing and so it was like you know we’d be out for two or four or five months at a time and at some point these guys are like not feeling it. So it was keeping four or five people’s heads in the same spot when it comes to pretty intense stuff like traveling for months at a time and going up and spending a month in a studio recording. Just keeping people’s heads on the same page without it kind of falling apart and people leaving.
Then we would have the issue of finding a replacement for that person and by the time we got everything solidified, the industry had changed enough to where it was like I had to kind of re-learn the ropes. Staying relevant while trying to deal with really hard personalities. That was the biggest issue I would say.
Music Madness: These days social media can help make or break a young band. It is important to stay relevant and in the now.
Karl: It really is and there so many bands that you have to find something that helps you stand out, separates you from the crowd. That’s a hard thing to do is to find what is not so gimmicky or corny but something that’s going catch people’s attention when their attention is totally fried from there being a million bands out there.
Music Madness: Don’t forget about these massive rock/metal festivals, thousands of rock starved fans for you to blow away live and in person.
Karl: That’s huge! That’s the key! That is definitely the best thing you can do.
Music Madness: What is next for New Fiction?
Karl: I don’t know as far as tours, I haven’t heard anything yet I hope we can get on something pretty quick here. The key is to stay moving but as of right now, I don’t have any news. We are trying to do like a traditional Halloween show in New Mexico and one in Denver. I know we are doing one in Albuquerque which is always fun and I’ve been doing it for like 8 years. It’s all my old bands and so we’re doing that so that should be really fun. Then just hoping we will get picked up for another tour.
Music Madness: Well I wish you guys the best of luck man. I loved what I heard I am hoping that we can do this again in six months and see where this thing is going.
Where can people check you guys out and find out more about New Fiction.
Karl: Yeah so, we have all the socials, as you would expect. You can find it with the tag is just NewFictionMusic for all of them so if you go on Facebook and just type in Facebook.com/NewFictionmusic or its Twitter/NewFictionMusic. The only outlier is Spotify because they don’t really give you the opportunity to customize that so you can just search “New Fiction” on Spotify.
I believe it’s the only one on there and you stream our record and that is actually huge for bands right now just getting those streams and sharing that Spotify link so we can so we can get more listens on Spotify. So yeah, if you want to go check it out you can hear it anywhere you can listen to music and tell us what you think!
Music Madness: Awesome man I really appreciate you taking the time and reaching out to us.
Karl: Awesome man. Yeah! Maybe in 6 months or so as things keep picking up and we can talk again.
Catch New Fiction on tour during 2018 and let them know what you think of Let It Destroy You!
Interview by Steve Carlos