By: Ben Clancy
Specular Fiction started as a group of guitar loops and scratch drums, recorded on my phone. Almost every track came from a 30sec – 1min idea, looped on the Ditto X2. Writing and recording the core of each song happened pretty quickly, but finishing the album took over a year. Our band is split between Louisiana and Texas so everything takes a little longer. This would be a real problem for me if I didn’t fully respect and admire my band mates, and it doesn’t hurt that our drummer / producer is a god damn phenom and all around musical genius. I wrote a lot of the core song structure on this album but nothing on the record would sound nearly as good or interesting without the input of both Matt and Ben (not me, the other one).
After recording loops on my phone, then re-recording fleshed out scratch tracks, we entered the studio in January of 2017. At the time, the Earthship studio (Baton Rouge, LA) was setup in a small building behind our drummer’s house. Dark and windowless, the studio had a built-by-hand feel (b/c it was) but was also, by far, the most advanced studio setting i had ever recorded in. The plan was to record the basic tracks with guitar, drums and bass as quickly as possible. I live in Austin, TX and was only down for the weekend so we had to make the most of the time we had.
We got through a good portion of the album on the first day, maybe 5 of the 13 tracks, but at the end of that day, the mixing board stopped working. A very expensive mixing board that none of us paid for… Everyone was nervous. Ben (not me, the other one) decided it might have been humidity so we dropped in a dehumidifier, crossed our fingers and went to bed. The next day, it started working again so for the rest of the weekend, we just kept the dehumidifier running, turning it on and off between takes.
We finished up the core of the album in 3 days and I drove back to Austin with a few demos to listen to on repeat. I always do that when working on new music. By the time the album actually comes out, I generally hate it b/c i’ve heard it too many time. I can’t imagine what it’s like for Ben (not me the other one) when he’s mixing for the better part of the year…
Over 2017 and 2018, we added pieces and parts, Matt and Ben (not me, the other one) recording in Baton Rouge, while I recorded all lead guitar and my vocals in Austin. As I said, it’s not the most ideal way to collaborate but when you know their input will only make you sound better, it’s easy to just send the files and trust. Turned out ok. We released the album on Friday the 13th of July, 2018 and even after hearing it so many time, I don’t hate it yet. Not bad.
We submitted the album for consideration on the crowd source label, Feedbands.com and after a few months were chosen for a vinyl release in January of 2019. Feedbands pressed out record in beautiful pink swirl color vinyl and distributed the record to all of their subscribers. We put a lot of work into this record and knowing unbiased strangers chose to not only listen to, but also immortalize our music in vinyl, makes me smile every day.
By: Ben Clancy