While lockdown has been a bone of contention for many people, some musicians have actually relished the seemingly endless time to work on new projects. One such artist is Maven Fiction, who I had the privilege of catching up with via email…
Hi Aaron, it’s great to get to chat to you. How are you doing?
I’m doing well thanks, it’s been a long time.
As both a musician and personally, how has the general feeling been throughout lockdown and all things Coronavirus?
Well I’ve actually been at home since November awaiting a pretty important operation. That was due then the Coronavirus hit, which pushed it back until the end of this month. I can’t complain though — not when I think about what some people are going through though. It truly is a crazy time.
From a musical perspective, it’s actually been great. I’m pretty fortunate to have a space at home where I can make plenty of music and can work from there. I’ve just tried to get ahead with my own content and use the time to do some of the boring admin jobs, like updating the website, etc. I’ve almost rebranded Maven Fiction I guess.
Now then, it’s been many, many moons since your former band, The Shadracks, played my old school’s Year 11 prom. Ha! What direction is your music going in now, as Maven Fiction? What made you decide to go solo?
Haha that’s a blast from the past. Well when the old band parted ways, Maven Fiction just took over as my outlet to continue writing and releasing music.
Joe kept playing with me and we went through a few line-ups as a band with bassists and drummers. Eventually, we got picked up by a big writer and producer, who owned a subsidiary of one of the majors, and he sent us to work with Ross Hamilton and Michael Bannister — two amazing Glasgow-based producers. Sadly, due to the nature of the industry, we parted ways with the label, but I kept working with the guys in Glasgow and learned loads from them, which was amazing.
I took on some composition stuff, just on my own. It’s not a million miles away from the band vibe. I tend to use a lot of hardware and create ambient and cinematic-sounding synthwave pieces. It was the first time in a long while, where I was just making music because it made me feel good, without worrying about all the stressful business stuff. I love writing lyrics and pop songs, but it often does feel too much like work now. The new material started as an Instagram thing that gained some momentum. Now, ironically, I get offered a lot of opportunities through it.
It’s really exciting how your solo career has developed. Do you still keep in touch with your former bandmates?
The Shadracks lads? Not as much as I’d like. Joe, Dean and Cutty — who are the current Maven Fiction line-up — are all taking time to focus on their personal lives. Marriage, kids, moving houses — grown-up stuff haha. We still keep in regular contact though.
Although gigs and festivals are off the agenda for a while (thanks so much, Coronavirus), what did you have planned for 2020? Are you eager to get out and play venues again as soon as possible?
Just loads more content on Instagram and YouTube for the time being. I’d maybe like to play some shows with my modular setup in the future. I know the lads are up for some shows eventually. I’m not a fan of playing on my own anymore, though; it’s lonely and I always have to be designated driver!
Without giving the game away too much, in terms of new music, what compositions are you working on now?
I’ve been working on a mix for the band Hello Operator, which has been good fun. Just working with a few brands and some sync work. That stuff just ticks over.
Then, with my own stuff, plenty of weekly content for the socials. I’ve just built an arcade machine stand for a eurorack setup, so I’m planning for that! I’ll probably work on a new EP at some point, too. I’ve been soaking up a lot of ’90s nostalgia, so It’ll most likely be influenced by that.
You can keep up to date with Maven Fiction’s ace arcade machine progress and give him a follow on Instagram. You’ll also find plenty about his musical endeavours on Facebook and his Maven Fiction hub.