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Fiction Syxx: Exploring The Realm of The Alternate Me

Fiction Syxx: Exploring The Realm of The Alternate Me

Mark Lanoue of Fiction Syxx

Fiction Syxx: Exploring The Realm of The Alternate Me

Fiction Syxx is a rocking AOR extravaganza whose passion for music and life may be heard throughout their soaring compositions.  Featuring band members who credits are absolutely epic in scope, Fiction Syxx present each and every member at the very height of their creative energies.  Their latest album is entitled The Alternate Me, a sweeping work of auditory artistry now available worldwide through MelodicRock Records!  In addition to dynamic songs such as My Darkest Hour and Monsters In The Mist, The Alternate Me features a thrilling cover of Uriah Heep’s classic tune The WizardHighwire Daze recently caught up with Fiction Syxx mastermind Mark Lanoue to find out a whole lot more about the realm of The Alternate Me, their amazing band membership, covering the almighty Uriah Heep, and a whole lot more!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Fiction Syxx, and how long the band has been together.
How ah ya?! My name is Mark Lanoue. I am a songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for Fiction Syxx. The band has been around since 2016. I came up with the name Fiction Syxx around the time that my former band, BILOXI, played their last show at ROCKLAHOMA in 2008 and was looking to change the name and record new material under a new name. We settled on the name Chasing Karma and I held on to the name, Fiction Syxx, until my hooking up with JK Northrup years later. JK also remastered some of my earlier work with Dean Fasano (R.I.P.)(Prophet/Richie Sambora/Message), Persian Risk (USA) with Carl Sentance (Geezer Butler Band/Nazareth/Don Airey) some Chasing Karma tracks with Bruce S. Foster (KISS/Richie Sambora) and BILOXI. It was obvious that he also had some Rad production skills.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
The industry has changed much since the dawn of the digital age and the collapse of the industry as we once knew it to be. This group’s members live in several places. Eric Ragno, JK Northrup and Larry Hart live in California. Rory Faciane lives in Nashville, Tennessee. And I live in Northwest Arkansas. Rory and I used to be in a band together in 90-91, called Society’s Child. Some live videos can be found on YouTube still. Each of these areas have their unique and diverse music scenes.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title The Alternate Me?
Absolutely! I first have to start with the meaning behind the name Fiction Syxx as there is a connection that is linked to the last two releases. Fiction Syxx was created based on several things. First, my birthday is 6666. Since 666 is always referenced in relation to the beast and the Dark/Evil, many people just clump the number 6 into that narrative. 6 being evil and 7 being good. However, the sequence of 4 ‘6’’s is considered to be both the Angels number and the devils number. The yin and the yang, the Gemini, the Alternate IDs. I am also big into the spiritual, the unknown, symbolism and history. Lastly, the six is spelled differently, due to my being a huge STYX fan during my childhood days.

The Alternate Me’ is much like the concept of the GEMINI. Both JK and I are Gemini creatives, so it fit well from the beginning. The Alternate Me is that other self. The one that is portrayed in the light, while the true self waits to come out. That suited executive, for example, who is really a hardcore musician/rocker that shows up after closing time. It is what we truly want to be and to convey, yet it is suppressed by the persona that is to be carried out to survive to make a living to uphold the overall perception that others may judge.

Select two songs from The Alternate Me and what inspired the lyrics.
Angel of Mine” – I wrote the lyrics while recording the vocal for this one. It was written for a friend and the situation he and his daughter were/are in. His daughter is sick and slowly dying. All I could think about was my love for my children and wife and how I would do anything to take that burden from them. Like many of the songs I have written, there is some connection to my spirituality and faith.

Monster in the Mist” – this track is about those who hide between avatars, fake names, blocked server IDs, and lies on social media. The bullies who have no spine and pick on others. Those monsters in the mist.

Has Uriah Heep heard or commented on your cover of The Wizard and what made you decide to record that song?
A friend of the band and the cat that runs the official Stryper Podcast communicates with Uriah Heep and he shared it with them. He stated that they dug it!

As a youngster, I was really into that track. I found that one in my parents huge record collection. The Wizard fit closely to that mystical magical stuff that I was always intrigued by.

Who did the cover art for The Alternate Me and how much influence did you have on it?
The artist is Carl Andre Beckston and he has a site called BLEKKMARK. He has created amazing artwork for many artists and industries. He also was the artist for our Debut release “Tall Dark Secrets

I created the characters in the centerfold (The Alternate Me images) and gave Carl the story line behind the name. Other than that; it is all Carl!

What did JK Northrup of XYZ, King Kobra and many other bands contribute to the recording process and how did JK become involved with Fiction Syxx?
I cannot say enough about the members, my brothers, in Fiction Syxx. I leave the canvas open and everything I write is open for their interpretation. They have free reign. Besides, I believe their back stories say plenty. I met JK while I was a guest on several of the “Liberty N Justice” albums between 2008 and 2012. I realized his talent right away! Plus, we are both Gemini Musical Creatives that also play guitar. 😊

The recording process starts with an idea that is sent to our drummer, Rory Faciane. It is then drafted by me into the rough structure of the tune and sent to the sensei (JK Northrup). JK does write with me on some tracks and adds the icing on the tracks. He is the reason the material sounds so awesome, in that he is the producer for the material. JK also adds background vocals from time to time and shares the lead guitar spots in the albums. He is a smoking guitarist. Larry Hart adds the bass guitar at Alien Productions Studio with JK. Once these talented and seasoned cats add their magic; our keyboard extraordinaire, Eric Ragno, has free reign and always does magnificent work. I am truly honored to be working with each and everyone of these awesome people.

Keyboardist Eric Ragno has worked with quite a few bands such as Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Tony Mills and London. How did he become involved with Fiction Syxx?
First, Eric is a kick A$@ keyboardist! His resume is proof of that.

Eric had already been working with JK on a number of projects and was also providing keys for some of the “Liberty N Justice” material. JK asked Eric if he would be interested in playing and getting involved with Fiction Syxx. It also seemed like a great fit, in that both Eric and I are from the same stomping grounds in Central New Jersey and actually knew a lot of the same people/musicians from that area. Besides that, what’s not to love about his playing. Eric has been phenomenal on the Fiction Syxx material!

How did new member Larry Hart of Montrose and King Kobra become involved with Fiction Syxx?
Tony “The Fretless Monster” Franklin (The FIRM/Blue Murder) played on the first release “Tall Dark Secrets”. Tony’s schedule with other projects became to much to continue recording with Fiction Syxx, so JK mentioned Larry. Larry had been playing, performing and working with JK for many years and it helped that he is not only a Smoking bassist, he is also an awesome human being. Love his playing, indeed!

What could one expect from a live Fiction Syxx show?
This group of seasoned musicians are no strangers to live performance and I can guarantee that we can deliver.

I would love to perform with Fiction Syxx and have tried to get us in on some festival shows and would do that, if the opportunity is right.

Since the members are in different locations and we also have those Alternate Me day jobs. It would be centered around a show or two here and there.

If Fiction Syxx could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I am sure that all the members of Fiction could make a long list. We are all hardcore music lovers who dig many bands.

I would love to open for Maiden, Queensryche, Priest. From the past? Styx, Ozzy and Queen would have been awesome!

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Fiction Syxx?
Other than some fun cover stuff and a project here and there; Fiction Syxx is my musical life blood. JK and Larry have a cool project called “The Mood Groove”. And Eric has a cool Journey tribute band called “Wheel in the Sky”. Larry gigs regularly outside of Fiction. Rory and I are working on a cool Cover project (Triumph, Rush, Deep Purple, Styx,etc) with a cat out of Orlando, FL, Scott Campbell. It is obvious that music is a part of us all.

How close are you to writing and recording Fiction Syxx 3?
There is framework for about 5 songs for the 3rd release which has a working title at present of “The Ghost of My Fathers Past”. I and Rory have already been hashing out that framework. I have recorded guitars and vocals on some already and am currently working on the others. Feeling really good about this one. The last release was in the first round of Grammy Voting last year and I am looking for this one to meet the deadline for this year.

Any final words of wisdom?
First, thank you for thinking of us for this interview. And thanks to our brother Eric Ragno for talking us up in his last interview.

I would just like to thank everyone that supports Fiction Syxx, who supports me and supports every member of this band! Our family, friends and fans are awesome!

I also want to thank the musicians/friends that supported us from the beginning with our debut release; Tony Franklin, Bill Leverty, Jimi Bell, Carl Sentance, Richard Kendrick, Lee Small, Andy Lee, Christian Wentz, David Cagle, Steve Brown, Karl Cochran, Thorsten Koehne and our label mate, Andrew McNeice.

And remember “Reality was once the tapestry of the dreamer

Love, Light, Blessings & Keep the Faith! ✌️🙏🤘’

FICTION SYXX: Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma/BILOXI), , JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), Eric Ragno (Joel Lynn Turner/Graham Bonnet/The Babies), Rory Faciane , Larry Hart (Montrose/King Kobra)

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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