Although remaining virtually unknown in the international arena, Canadian rock group Fake Reality has developed a moderately large fan following in their home city of Toronto. After the release of their self-titled EP in 2002 the band toured Toronto playing numerous local venues and shows. Sharing the stage with many prominent rock acts such as Finger Eleven, American Hi-Fi, and former Econoline Crush, the group had the opportunity to play in front of larger crowds and as a result their fan base grew considerably. Now however, three years later, with their second disc pending release in January of 2006, Fake Reality is once again talking about going on tour and playing shows. With a super-busy schedule and amidst preparing new material for their forthcoming disc, PureGrainAudio managed to catch up with this talented group and question their motives, motivations, and future plans.
At the moment you are writing and organizing new material for your second album. This time around, is there anything different about the way in which you are preparing your music? Mike: There are a lot of differences in the writing process this time around. I could go on and on. The major difference is our ability to record our songs and listen back to them once they’re done.
Speaking of which how is the writing process going for you guys? Do you have a lot of material to work with and moreover does it seem to be coming easily for you? Mike: We have loads of material so far and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. It’s going to be difficult selecting 6 songs for this E.P.
Your new album is scheduled to be released in January of 2006. What are the chances that the date will remain in this ballpark? Mike: That all depends on the person mixing our record. Mike Landolt (just recently did the Maroon 5 record) has agreed to mix our record but has said that the date may be pushed back if a bigger contract ($$$) comes up.
Is there anything which might hasten or slow this release date? Mike: Mike Landolt!
In 2002 you guys released your first disc, a six track self-titled EP. The music on this album was an excellent mix of modern melodic alternative rock and other genres such as classic old-school hardcore. Nevertheless, in the three years since this release you must have all grown as musicians. As a Result what can we expect to hear in terms of the general sound on this approaching release? Mike: Using more instruments has led us in different directions concerning our melodic and rhythmic options, but the general sound is heavy dynamics.
Other than artistic and musical development and maturation, are there any other prominent reasons as to why your sound is evolving? Mike: We’re aiming for top 40 so we’re influenced by the structures and themes of popular music. That was a joke! The most prominent reason as to why our sound is evolving on this record so far seems to be our use of more instruments.
On your debut disc one of the songs featured female vocals. Do you have any similar surprises or artistic twists in store for your fans on this next album? Nick: We’ve tried to keep an open mind about everything on our new album. If we write a part and it calls for a brass instrument, then that’s what we’re going to do. If one of my drum parts sounds really cool when I’m playing with hands on a TV then that’s what we’ll have to do.
When do you see yourselves hitting the recording studio and furthermore approximately how soon thereafter will you be ready to press and release the disc? Nick: We’ll be in pre-production starting September and should be hitting the studio around mid December. The CD release will be near the end of January.
Do you guys plan on touring or playing any shows before the album is released? What about after the album drops? Nick: There will be a few shows in November where we’ll play a lot of our newer stuff, and once the album drops we plan on playing tons of shows in and out of Toronto. We hope to hit both the East and West coast by the end of next summer.
You guys have a unique sound that combines several different types of music including alternative rock and old-school hardcore. Every band has their influences, what artists or bands would you consider to be your primary influences and/or inspirations? Nick: I think that’s one of the cool things about our band, we all have different influences, different artists’ that we look up to. I can definitely say Deftones, Radiohead, anything Dave Grohl is involved with.. Others that come to mind would be Tool, The Beatles, that’s a big one.
When writing and recording new material do you envision these same groups or do other ones come to mind as well? Justin: I would say there’s always some minor influences by other artists while writing songs. You always learn new things from listening to music and learning a clever trick from someone else just makes you a better player. As for recording, I would say that we try to stay as unique as possible. You want your fans to hear something new, not something that sounds like someone else.
Incidentally, it’s always cool to find out what music guys in a rock band are listening to. So, in terms of music, what type of stuff do you have in your CD players or Ipods right now? Justin: Right now I’ve been listening to Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, System Of A Down, Led Zeplin, and plenty more....
Why did it take you guys three years to bring about this new material? Justin: We were really into the show scene after the record came out, so we spent most of the time playing clubs. We started writing again I think after the second year and are looking forward to our next release hopefully in January.
After you guys released your last album you played many shows. What were some of the groups you shared the stage with and what were some of the highlights of this time for you? Justin: We were lucky on some occasions, we got to play with Finger Eleven during an outdoor festival at Playdium Missassauga, Treble Charger, Live On Release, American HiFi and fuck, I can’t remember their name.....they were an indie band as well.....oh yeah, Rumsfeld.
It could be said that Canada is currently experiencing an explosion of new rock bands, especially in Toronto with bands like Death From Above 1979 and Metric becoming household names not only in Canada, but now in the U.S. as well. What’s your opinion on the current state of the new rock scene in Canada, specifically Toronto? Justin: I think that Toronto is definitely stepping up with the music scene. A lot of bands are able to get attention like Death From Above, and even Billy Talent. They broke out huge and have really made a name for themselves. This gives Independent bands a chance to succeed, because it shows that it’s possible when you have the music to back you up.
Playing in a rock band, you’re bound to come across some really good bands that people might not have heard as of yet. What bands (if any) have you guys seen or played with recently that you think are really awesome and have the potential to really make it big? John: Over the years we have played with too many bands to start shooting out names. Plus, I am not really sure if the ones I enjoyed are still together. One band that does come to mind, though, is the Illuminati. They have a full sound and put on a wicked show!
The name Fake Reality is one of the craziest band names I’ve heard in a while. Whether it was cool or not, what was the manner in which you guys come up with the name? John: Well, we used to be called Third Degree and decided that we needed a name change. So.... we brainstormed words that might work as a band name, and put two of those together.
After approximately eights years of playing together, how do you guys avoid fights and feuds and keep the band so tight? John: Because we are brothers from different mothers! We do have the occasion quarrel, but if they aren’t about a song we are writing then it is just nonsense. We talk shit to one another all the time.
Furthermore, what is it that keeps you guys so motivated after so long? John: In a word… Chemistry. We share a vision. It can’t be explain properly in words, but it is something that we enjoy doing and have fun doing it. [ END ]