By: NICK WORT
Drawing a crowd for an open mic isn’t easy. Drawing a diverse crowd at a bar’s open mic and keeping them entertained for your whole set is even harder. Half Fiction, a South Bend metal band, manages to do just that and more.
“We’re a fun group of people. We’re best friends as well as musicians and we do like to have a good time” said Aaron Hunter, the guitar player in the band.
Half Fiction is composed of Felix Baker on vocals and guitar, Aaron Hunter on guitar, Cody Owsianowski on drums and Naferio Valentino on bass. All of the members are IU South Bend students except Owsianowski, who goes to Southwestern Michigan College.
They are a metal band, drawing influences from Iron Maiden, Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. But their influences are much more diverse than that.
“We don’t just listen to metal, we listen to a bunch of other stuff. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, all the emo bands from forever ago. Fall Out boy, Panic at the Disco,” Baker said. “If you listen to some of our songs, lyrically-wise, you can hear some pop influences as well as the standard metal influences.”
Though musical influence is important, the band members all agreed that their families were just as much an influence on them and their music.
“I’m lucky enough to have an awesome f—ing father, so he’s my main influence, as far as character goes” Hunter said.
“My family is f—ing amazing. My mother, absolutely amazing” added Baker.
The band formed around two years ago, but the members have been playing together for much longer. Baker and Hunter met in high school. Soon after, Baker left for college and Hunter joined up with Owsianowski. Baker eventually returned and the three formed Half Fiction.
After going through bass player after bass player, the band eventually auditioned Valentino.
“My first impression was ‘G—d damn, these motherf—ers know what they’re doing.’ Then they played me one of their singles” Valentino said. “I just sit back, I was listening to them, I felt amazed, like my jaw fell all the way to the bottom of my face. It was like I just heard the most amazing thing.”
This version of the band, with Valentino, has been together for the past six months. Valentino left after his audition and then joined the band months later.
Though Half Fiction doesn’t have any formal releases under their belt, they have been able to gain fans and friends throughout the area.
“Their music is definitely something out of the ordinary you could say. Because, nothing like that is in South Bend at all,” said Peter Layman, a friend and fan of the band. “These motherf—ers blow everybody out of the water. I mean everywhere they go they always get encores, they’re phenomenal.”
“I remember hearing one of their recorded songs that they had on a phone. And on the phone they sounded amazing, they caught my interest and I was like, ‘I like these guys,’” said Dennis Miruk, who acts as a sort of manager for the band. “Then I finally heard them in concert and my mind was even more blown.”
“Music is more important to them than anything else, and that’s why I see a future for them,” added Miruk. “These guys are f—ing amazing and they actually have the chance of getting somewhere.”
Half Fiction plays almost every Tuesday at McCormick’s in South Bend. For other shows, more information and to hear some songs, check out their Facebook page.