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Interview: Sean Watkins of Fiction Family

Fiction Family
Sean Watkins and Jon Foreman of Fiction Family
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The songwriting process for Fiction Family's first record didn't follow standard procedure, and that's probably one of the reasons why it's such a fun and fascinating album. When Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot decided to write music together, they knew they'd have to do much of their songwriting while one (or both) of them was on tour. So they established something of an electronic pen pal system for writing the music and getting each other's feedback. Along with that, they established some ground rules: 1) no tuning of vocal tracks, 2) no amp simulators, 3) no shlepping of gear back and forth, 4) no pussyfooting around each others musical feelings and 5) no crap.

Thus they began a collaboration that would have been technologically impossible 20 years ago, while making sure they maintained an organic sound. The result is Fiction Family's self-titled debut, which was released on Jan. 20. Last Friday, LAist spoke with Watkins to learn more about the new record, surfing, Guitar Hero and Fiction Family's gig at Largo at the Coronet this Saturday night.

LAist: Were there any rules you initially set for yourselves that you ended up breaking?

Sean Watkins: The only rule we broke was the "no double tracking" rule. It's too cool of a sound to rule out altogether.