Faux Fiction
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Faux Fiction

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Milwaukee Record's Favorite Moments from Riverwest Femfest 2017"

...Faux Fiction takes the stage. “It’s time to get back to f*cking rock and roll,” says singer Gabriella Kartz, and they do. They play a new song called “Skin” that instantly becomes our new favorite Faux Fiction song ever. - Milwaukee Record

"Faux Fiction is the Real Thing"

You know how the classics never go out of style? I grew up on the west coast, lived in Seattle for a while, played in a punk band (if you can call what I did playing), hung around the grunge scene, wore a lot of flannel and listened to every kind of music I could get my hands on. The gut-felt sound of Faux Fiction has the ability to take me back to those days while listening to a band that could not be more “now”.

Based in Milwaukee, the band is fronted by a woman whose voice could be described as authentic. Gabriella Kartz‘s vocals are deep, edgy, both real and surreal. The songs speak to things that are universal — love and loneliness, angst, melancholy, beginnings and endings. And the tight arrangements suggest a band that, though only together for two years, is already polished and professional.

I’m hearing elements of the evolutionary developments that have shaped pop music for the last couple of decades, but it’s not just more of the same. These are young people who have something to say that is timely, while drawing heavily on the basic rock sounds that most of the sub-genres of the last 20 years have been based on, and have found a way to make those sounds their own. - Urban Milwaukee

"The Best Milwaukee Albums of 2016 (So Far)"

Bow before Faux Fiction’s guitars, some of the fuzziest, crunchiest, and catchiest this side of 1996. The fact that frontwoman Gabby Kartz and husband Jason decided to bury their acoustic roots and go electric only a few years ago makes that sound even more impressive. Yes, the ’90s are alive on Faux Fiction’s debut full-length Staring At The Sun, a record that plays like a long-lost comp from the Alternative Nation and 120 Minutes era. Songs like “Between Heartbeats” and “Flows To Nowhwere” are grungy and harmony-flecked triumphs that would have brought Matt Pinfield to tears. “Dig It Deeper” and the lovely “Wasted Time” are flannel-clad ballads just looking to score crucial scenes in flannel-clad movies, and “Racing The Red Lights” and “Ghosts” add a bit of glam-rock strut to the proceedings. On a local level, Faux Fiction has plenty of Tigernite and Body Futures coursing through its veins, but its fun, effortless, and affectionate vibe is all its own. - Milwaukee Record

"Faux Fiction's Debut Reaching the Sun"

I first found out about Faux Fiction through a Twitter post boasting the first song they ever recorded, Dead Weight. Upon immediately hitting play, I knew I was going to fall in love with this band through our shared affinity for guitar tones and rhythms made most popular by The Smashing Pumpkins and also adopted by bands such as Silversun Pickups.

However, this ‘90s revivalist sound that Faux Fiction explores is anything but limiting, at best, it’s refreshing.

Milwaukee is fortunate to have quite the diverse music scene. Rock music, in particular, has evolved into an exciting amount of exploration and niche genres. Over the past couple of years, there have been a few bands in the local rock scene who have shifted and worked their way to writing more radio-ready material without sacrificing cutting their indie-cred teeth. Faux Fiction is at the forefront of that scene and the idea of having more solid, stadium pop-rock on local radio is greatly welcomed. For example, Faux Fiction killed it last night on 88Nine’s 414 Music Live last night (performing on WMSE June 28th).

Staring at the Sun is Faux Fiction’s bombastic debut album. It is bursting with color, wonderful dynamic and features a group of talented individuals who fit perfectly together as a band. You can tell lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Gabriella Kartz, once rooted herself as a singer-songwriter through her creative ability to craft lyrics and her commandingly powerful sense of melody.

Lead guitarist, Jason Kartz, brings a fantastic knowledge of tone and sound development to the band and I have a high admiration for his use of melody when writing leads. Jason has little guitar flourishes throughout all of the songs that really help add some nice stereo asides to the pummeling rhythm he and Gabriella otherwise collaborate on.

Staring at the Sun is another huge accomplishment for Faux Fiction’s rhythm section made up of Peter Hair (bass) and Paul Tyree (Drums). Peter has strengthened his bass on this debut by weaving in some nicely executed parts as well as rhythmically complimenting Paul Tyree’s epic command on drums. There are very few drummers in Milwaukee setting such a tight foundation.

One thing Staring at the Sun achieves, exceedingly so, is capturing Faux Fiction’s live qualities thanks to Shane Hochstetler’s work at Howl Street Recordings. The listener is instantly blasted off with copious amounts of riff-rock tracks such as one of my personal favorites, ‘Between Heartbeats’.

While set back into the track-listing, ‘Wasted Time’ is a quintessential culmination of the quartet’s strengths with its beautiful composition sensibilities and memorable, thick chorus.

Also, if you’re looking for the summer anthem, look no further than the incredibly catchy and dynamically driven ‘Good Things’.

Staring at the Sun will easily be making my top ten list this year so grab your copy now.

Faux Fiction’s CD release show is tonight (June 17) at the Riverwest Public House with Myles Coyne and The Midwest Beat. Show starts at 9PM with a $5 cover.

Also be sure to ‘like’ and follow Faux Fiction on Facebook for updates. The band will be on tour this summer as well as at local Milwaukee affairs such as Chill On The Hill. - Ertrok Radio Hour

"AUDIO: Faux Fiction - Staring at the Sun"

One of the names that has already been making a big splash in Milwaukee this year is Faux Fiction, and that’s only about to increase with the release of their first full-length album, “Staring At The Sun”. Recorded at Howl Street Recordings, the album is full of the energy and fun that Faux Fiction bring to their live show...Similarities range from indie groups like The Breeders to punk mainstays like The Distillers from track to track. All of it, however, is great quality, and an awesome album from front to back. - Breaking and Entering

"Milwaukee Album Reviews: Wave Chapelle, Faux Fiction, Anna Nuzzo"

Gabby Kartz's voice is nothing short of glorious, particularly when she triumphantly wails about embracing a fulfilling life on album closer "Good Things." Her presence alone makes Faux Fiction, delivering its full-length debut with "Sun," one local band to watch closely. Add the cinematic shoegaze drive led by guitarist Jason Kartz, and you have one of the best local albums so far this year. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Faux Fiction "Flows to Nowhere" (single)"

Faux Fiction is a band from Milwaukee with a crunchy, melodic sound that will keep you humming along for days. Now I've already had a sneak peek at their upcoming album, and I have to say that it's one of catchiest and tightly wound albums I've heard in years. While we’re waiting for it to come out though, check out their first single here. - Pop Occulture

"Faux Fiction is bringing a fresh perspective to the scene"

Gabby Kartz wasn't anywhere near the sound of her alt-power pop band Faux Fiction two years ago. True, she was dabbling in music, along with her husband Jason Kartz, but her inclinations were acoustic, not rock 'n' roll.

Then, they went to a Queens of the Stone Age concert. Gabby says it was like a switch flipped in her mind.

“After that point, I was like, ‘I kind of should be playing electric guitar and writing rock music instead,” she says.

The couple hit the ground running, building off musical ideas with their guitars in the living room. Shortly after, drummer Paul Tyree came aboard after listening to some of Gabby and Jason's demos, and he recruited the group's bassist, Peter Hair. That quartet is now Faux Fiction — named, the couple says, because it just sounded cool.

Two years after its formation, the band has recorded its first full-length album at Howl Street Studios, Staring at the Sun, and will be celebrating that accomplishment with an album release party at Riverwest Public House June 17. Before the show, WiG had the opportunity to chat with Gabby and Jason Kartz about their band name, '90s inspiration, their upcoming show, and their fresh perspective within the Milwaukee music scene.

Who came up with the name of the band and what’s the meaning behind it?

Gabby Kartz: I really liked the "FF" iteration (and) I really like the word "faux," so we were trying to figure out a combination of words that both started with F. It seems to work for other well-known bands (laughs). It was kind of just the process of trial and error. We went over a couple different options. I think Paul (Tyree) had suggested Space Tiger as one of the options one time. This was just a collaborative thing like, “Oh yeah. This sounds pretty cool.” It’s funny because it’s kind of a double negative. It makes it kind of fun. I didn’t want anything overly complicated to say or spell or find or anything too serious.

Jason Kartz: It’s a simple and stupid name.

GK: (laughs) Yeah pretty much.

You released your self-produced, self-titled EP in June of last year. What was the experience making that record like and how has the response influenced Staring at the Sun?

GK: The big driver I think for doing it ourselves first was fun. Because it takes a long time to save up to be able to go to a real studio. It just takes a whole chunk of time and money.

JK: We were super impatient and just wanted to get some music out. We ended up doing a seven song EP and we probably could’ve done shorter, but we just wanted to put music out. At that point, we wanted music up to get gigs, start getting our name out, and start playing.

We benefit from having a studio-recorded sound and I think Shane at Howl Street really helped us that. I think he was one of the best people for us locally to work with to help get across what we sound live and I’m really happy with it.

There's been a resurgence of '90s-inspired music lately, and you've said that you are trying to bring a fresh perspective to that sound, focusing on the alternative power pop influences from that decade. Could you explain that in more detail?

GK: We have so many influences that we just take bits and pieces from different genres that we like and blend them all together. There’s a lot of indie rock in the city and I feel like there’s a lot of hip-hop that’s really great right now. While they’re both things that I love, I feel like what we’re doing sounds a little bit different. I don’t know if it’s because there’s the mix of the female vocals and all the really thick, fuzzy guitars, so I don’t know if that’s what does it.

If you listen to our album, there’s such a spread of the way the songs sound. It’s not like you listen to it and every song sounds similar. I don’t like keeping our sound in a box. I like the idea that we can explore different genres and sounds and incorporate them into our music. ... We decided from the very beginning that whatever we write is what we write. We’re not going to try to steer it in a specific direction.

JK: I think the descriptors we gave were after we decided what the hell we sound like. For me, my main era is the early ‘90s. It’s when Nirvana broke through and when bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam broke through. That was a defining era for me when I was real young. That stuck with me and that’s been engrained in how I play and the kind of music I come up with. It’s kind of funny. There seems to be like a lot touring acts that seem to be throwbacks to grunge or early ‘90s indie rock. I don’t know if this is just the music I’m listening to personally, but I know a lot of female-fronted (band) that kind of have that early ‘90s sound these days.

GK: It’s really cool. I like it.

JK: It’s nothing that we personally did. We just happen to be doing the same thing. We’re just doing the music that we grew up listening to and continue to do that regardless whatever the trends are going to be locally or nationally.

You've been gaining momentum over the last couple of years by playing several area festivals. How have the experiences playing at those festivals shaped you as artists?

GK: I think it’s just been cool getting asked to play things because we didn’t really play any festivals (in 2014). It was kind of hard because we didn’t start playing shows until late January of 2015. Nobody really knew who we were and we didn’t have any music available online so it was hard to book gigs and to get on bigger festivals like that when you don’t have any of that stuff available to people.

This year we’ve actually been asked to play some things, which was really unexpected because I still feel like people don’t really know who we are or know what we sound like. All of the festivals that we are currently on, the only one we looked into ourselves was the Milwaukee Punk Fest and that’s in August.

It makes you feel really good when people like your music enough to say, “Hey, I’m booking this event and we want you to be a part of it.” In Milwaukee, sometimes it’s hard to get people to come out to a show, especially when you’re playing pretty frequently in the area. We’ve been trying to pull back from playing Milwaukee so much because even when you got your friends coming out to shows, nobody wants to come see you every single weekend (laughs). When you do a big festival, it just has a natural draw of people.

JK: When you’re playing a show like that, in front of a larger audience ... there’s a natural reaction you see when people come and tell you that they really like your music. You can tell it’s coming from a genuine place. If they didn’t like your music, they wouldn’t come up and say anything to you. You wouldn’t see the crowd react. It’s actually kind of flabbergasting when you play some of these shows and people are dancing and moving. It helps us put on a better show (laughs).

Let’s talk about the full-length album. What’s the inspiration behind Staring at the Sun?

GK: Seven of the songs are from the EP that we recorded and we added five additional songs that were previously unrecorded. We were originally thinking of titling the album Good Things. That was the last track that’s on the album. But I think the overall tone of the album is not really reminiscent of good things (laughs).

Sometimes when something’s bothering you, if you can just get it out on a piece of paper and turn it into a song, it just turns that not-so-happy or negative experience into something that you can be excited about because you just wrote this awesome song out of it. But yeah, I think it was just playing around with heavier sounds. Previous to Faux Fiction, I never played an electric guitar. I never owned an amp. I never owned any guitar pedals. ... So it was fun exploring all those tones from trying to emulate certain sounds and discovering other ones.

How excited are you to finally be launching this album that you’ve been working on for such a long time?

GK: I’m really excited about it. It’s been a long time coming. ... I’m excited we’re playing with two acts we haven’t before ever: The Midwest Beats, who are fantastic, and Myles Coyne, who’s also absolutely fantastic. They really have great sounds to match with ours so we think it’s going to be a really awesome show. - Wisconsin Gazette

"Breaking and Entering Presents: An Evening with The Bang Bang and Faux Fiction"

We’re back at The Tonic Tavern with two more great acts, The Bang Bang and Faux Fiction! Both bands have an incredible sound, making this a cannot miss show! In addition, the sets will be filmed for BreakingAndEntering.net!

$5 cover gets you in, and your first domestic beer or rail drink is free! With a deal like that, you can’t pass this up. Come join us at The Tonic Tavern!

The Bang Bang

With a combination of blues and rock influences, The Bang Bang have addicting qualities to their sound, making them a very entertaining live show. With catchy hooks and melodies, this is a band that you’ll be telling friends about after their set is done.

Faux Fiction

Faux Fiction is a name to remember, with an indie/alternative sound that draws you in from the first notes. With a multitude of influences, the band provides a blend of powerpop that will leave you wanting more.

See you on Wednesday, April 27th, at 8:00 PM at The Tonic Tavern! - Breaking and Entering

"The Realities of Faux Fiction"

Almost two years ago, there was a flutter of punk rock building up inside of Gabriella Kartz. That flutter would soon morph into flight with the help of husband and guitarist, Jason Kartz, drummer, Paul Tyree, and bassist, Peter Hair; and on June 1st, 2014, Faux Fiction was born.

The members of Faux Fiction have taken a very humble approach to their music career, and radiate gratitude to the opportunities they are bestowed upon (which is a rare thing to see in music). The Alternative/Post-punk band pushes and grabs for your attention with their raw first work, "Faux Fiction EP" which you can listen to below. The second track on the EP, "Between Heartbeats" projects a heartsick protagonist, warning of the woes of love and begging for understanding.

Faux Fiction has just finished recording their first full-length album, and we are eagerly awaiting to hear the glossy, unwrapped product - it is sure to be a great addition to the blossoming MKE music scene. Read more about the band's past, present, and future below, as we chat with lead singer and co-founder, Gabriella Kartz.

MM: How are you doing?

FF: Life recently got a bit more interesting for me. I found out a few weeks ago that my current employer will not be renewing my contract once it’s up at the end of June, which means I’m back on the job market. I was bummed out about it for a little while, but it’s honestly a relief. My current work environment isn’t really the best fit for me, so it was about time to move on anyway. It’s exciting to think that I’m no longer tied down to one career path; the world is my oyster.

MM: What was the turning point that led to you and your husband actually putting a foot forward to culminate the beginnings of Faux Fiction?

FF: Jason and I went to see Queens of the Stone Age at the Riverside Theater when they were here in early 2014. They have been one of my favorite bands for a long time, but it was my first time seeing them live. It was amazing. I had only been writing acoustic stuff up until that point, but after that show, I knew I needed to be writing heavier stuff. Jason had also just finished writing a batch of songs with Lex Allen, and I knew he was itching to work on a project of his own. I sold my acoustic guitar, bought a new Fender and an amp, and Faux Fiction was born.

MM: Who does the songwriting for Faux Fiction? Is it a collaborative effort between you and your husband or the other members in any way?

FF: I think it’s fair to say that I’m the main songwriter of the group, but our music is absolutely a collaborative effort. Jason writes some really amazing riffs (Lukewarm Snakes, Flows to Nowhere). I think Jason and I tend to write together the most, but that's kind of a given since we're married and live in the same house. It's a pretty organic process, and Jason gives great feedback when I have an idea for a song. Peter is also an invaluable songwriter, and he’s a big help when it comes to fully executing some of the ideas I start but can’t figure out how to finish. I definitely can't leave out Paul's contributions to our sound; he's a phenomenal drummer, and his creativity and intensity really gives each song the finished sound I hear in my head. It's an honor to work with such fantastic musicians, and I'm lucky I also get to call them my friends.

We do try to have live writing sessions, but there are plenty of times when I'll make a quick recording of an idea on my phone and send it out to everyone for feedback. It's really useful for those spur of the moment ideas I have at home (and don't want to forget about). We also record a ton of demos with simple home studio equipment and share them via email. Ah, the joys of technology.

MM: Any events or happenings in your life that have sparked inspiration for some of your songs? Any good backstories about your songs you're willing to share?

FF: Jason had a cool riff he was working on, but I was having trouble writing the accompanying lyrics. We were in the midst of a massive X-Files binge via Netflix, and we got to an episode called "Signs and Wonders". The plot centers around Mulder and Scully's investigation of a southern church steeped in biblical literalism and snake handling. At one point, the preacher is giving this animated sermon, and I decided to rework it into the lyrics for the song (ironically, of course). "Lukewarm Snakes" is definitely one of my favorite songs.

Our newest song, “Good Things”, is one that is deeply personal for me. Once you're married, most people tend to think the logical next step for you is to buy a house, settle down, and start a family..and they have no problem asking you about it. I know they mean well, but it's not exactly a polite question to ask someone. I feel it's a bit intrusive, actually. Children are a beautiful thing, but they're not for everyone (and some women can't have them even if they wanted to). Jason and I are definitely considering having a family someday, but for right now, we're just enjoying being together and experiencing all the great things life has to offer. I don't feel like I'm missing out or that I'm living life unfulfilled, and the song is based on those feelings. I wasn’t sure if the guys would like the song after I finished writing it, but they agreed we should move forward with it. It's going on our next album, which we're finishing up within the next week.

MM: Faux Fiction is inching closer to a 2 year anniversary; can you reflect on what experiences have kept all of you pushing forward, and what do you hope to look forward to in the future?

FF: Has it been two years already? Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. We've met so many amazing musicians over the past year and a half, and people genuinely seem to like what we're doing. It's a great feeling to have someone come up to you after your show and tell you how much they like your music, especially when it comes from a fellow musician that you really respect. I think getting picked up for some festivals this year is really encouraging us to move forward as well; playing in front of bigger crowds is really exhilarating. We are also in the process of recording our first full-length album with Shane at Howl Street Recordings. Not to sound presumptuous, but it's sounding pretty fantastic.

MM: Something you want the world to know?

FF: If you have a song in your heart, write it down. Don't worry about how it sounds, or whether other people will like it. Do you. Music is the truest form of personal expression, and it can heal many ailments of the soul. Songwriting has gotten me through many personal struggles, but it also keeps me happy (and humble).

Also, if you're out in Milwaukee and happen to catch a live performance of a local band, say hi after the show. If you dig their music, tell them. If they have merch, buy it, or ask about where you can listen to it online. Find and follow them on social media and leave a nice comment or message. Those little things mean the world.

MM: What is everyone in the band's favorite spot/place in MKE?

FF: That is a tough question! I'm not originally from Milwaukee (I moved here in 2007), but I've really grown to love this city. I really enjoy the Riverwest and Bay View neighborhoods, but I'd have to say my favorite spot might be the Anodyne in Walker's Point. It's such a beautiful place, and I don't get there nearly as much as I'd like. Rochambo on Brady Street is Paul's choice. Peter chose Bremen Cafe in Riverwest, which is probably one of my top choices as well. I love playing there. Jason's favorite spot is the Estabrook Beer Garden, which I have to agree is pretty fantastic. Beer is always a good choice. - Muse MKE

"Here are finalists for 2015 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards"

"Here are the finalists for the 2015 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards...Best Disc We Missed: Devil Met Contention - American Times; Faux Fiction - Faux Fiction EP; Holy Sheboygan! - THREE!; Blonder - Yellow; Brat Sounds - Born Loser." - Radio Milwaukee

"Artist Review: Faux Fiction"

Are you the type of person that just knows about good music before the rest of the world? When a band makes it big, do you say “I knew them from their beginning?” If yes, then you probably know about Faux Fiction.

They describe themselves as “90’s alternative inspired,” and I would have to agree. They offer a wide array of music that caters mainly to Indie Alternative listeners. Gabby’s lyrics and song titles are lined with pain and suffering; songs such as “Bleach & Razorblades” or “Deadweight.”

When I listen to their single “Deadweight, ” I think of the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s not Gabby’s voice, but rather the way the music is crafted with themes of despair and wandering. Fun fact, Smashing Pumpkins like Faux Fiction lived and recorded their album in Madison, WI. Is there something in the water in Wisconsin?

Milwaukee is an often overlooked hotbed for music.. Don’t overlook Faux Fiction. - Omega Vinyl

"a Milwaukee's "Chapter 1" Compilation Spotlights Women Musicians"

In a couple of weekends, the Cocoon Room in Riverwest will host the inaugural Riverwest FemFest, a two night celebration of women artists and musicians, with proceeds benefiting the Milwaukee Women’s Center, a shelter aiding women (and men and children) in need. That event will also effectively double as a release show for a new compilation spotlighting Milwaukee women musicians, Chapter 1, the first of many planned releases from a local group called a Milwaukee.

Chapter 1 features 14 acts, some of whom will perform at Riverwest FemFest. Though about half of these artists could be loosely described as singer-songwriters, the compilation doesn’t limit itself to one genre, clearing space for some mischievous punk from The Olives, pummeling alt-rock from Faux Fiction, jazzy cabaret folk from Soulfoot Mombats, evocative electronica from Pleasure Thief and dubby disco from Our Own Devices. It’s a wonderfully varied sampler, and it should introduce even the most avid Riverwest showgoers to at least a few artists they weren’t already familiar with.

a Milwaukee will be selling physical copies of the album during Riverwest FemFest, Jan. 23 and 24, but you can stream or purchase a digital copy of the compilation before then, via Bandcamp. Proceeds from the record will go to the Milwaukee Women’s Center. - Shepherd Express


Dark Matter EP - Releases January 5, 2018

Staring at the Sun LP - Released June 17, 2016

Faux Fiction EP - Released June 23, 2015



Born in a cool basement during the hot summer months of 2014, Faux Fiction is an alternative/powerpop band based in Milwaukee, WI.  The band consists of guitarist/vocalist Gabby Kartz, bassist/vocalist Peter Hair, and drummer Paul Tyree.  The three-piece outfit is heavily influenced by 90s alternative, shoegaze, and garage rock, which they blend with pop sensibilities to form their own brand of "pop fuzz".

Since the release of their self-recorded, self-titled EP in the summer of 2015, the group has been added to the bills of several large Milwaukee-area festivals, including Riverwest FemFest, Arte Para Todos, Pridefest, MKE Punk Fest, and Summerfest.  Several Faux Fiction tracks have been added to the playlists of a number of radio stations and music-centric podcasts, such as 91.7 WMSE, 105.7 WAPL, The Great Unknown Radio, and many more.  In addition, the band has opened for national touring acts such as Summer Cannibals (Kill Rock Stars), And The Kids (Signature Sounds Recordings), Dressy Bessy (Yep Roc Records), and Dinosaur Pile-Up (SO Recordings).

Faux Fiction released their first full-length album, Staring at the Sun, in June of 2016.  The album has been described as "full of energy and fun" (Breaking and Entering), "bursting with color, wonderful dynamic[s]" (Ertrok Radio Hour), and "one of the best local albums" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

The band is poised to release new material in the form of a 5-song EP, Dark Matter, in January 2018.

Band Members