Ohio native writes new chapter with Fiction 20 DownWritten by Mike Bauman | | email@example.com
Until December, 25-year-old Northwest Ohio native Wes Anderson had been on a path that many his age would love to travel.
After earning his degree in finance from Ohio University, the 2005 Anthony Wayne High School graduate found a full-time job in Chicago.
A guitar player since the age of 10, Anderson was also able to find a gig in a Chi-town band, giving him the best of both worlds — a career and the ability to pursue his love for music. Or so he thought.
The band he was in had to let its singer go, leaving Anderson at a crossroads after more than two years of living in the Windy City.
“It’s been a grind, you know?” Anderson said. “Playing in a band in Chicago while holding a full-time job was a grind, and to see that not really come to fruition was frustrating.”
Enter Fiction 20 Down, a Baltimore-based band with elements of rock, reggae, hip-hop and pop that Anderson had been following online since last summer. In late 2011, Anderson saw Fiction 20 Down post that it was looking for an additional guitarist.
“I didn’t really think anything [of it],” said Anderson, a fan of reggae-rock whose favorite band is 311. “I hit them up, but I was just kind of thinking like, ‘There’s no way in hell they’re going to even consider a guy from Chicago.’ ”
But Fiction 20 Down kept in touch and asked him to audition. When Anderson decided to take a leap of faith and make the flight to Baltimore in January, he was eased by the chemistry he felt with the guys.
“I felt right at home,” Anderson said of auditioning for Fiction 20 Down. “Cool guys. We hung out and partied, jammed every day.”
Within the first week of being in a new city with new people, Anderson played his first show with Fiction 20 Down, which also happened to be the band’s latest music video for the song “Victorious.” In addition, Anderson said fans from California, New Orleans and Florida flew up for the gig and took part in a cookout/party with Fiction 20 Down the next day.
“It was fun,” Anderson said. “I was like, ‘I could see myself working with these people.’ That was pretty much the icing on the cake.”
Anderson decided to put Chicago in the rearview mirror and join Fiction 20 Down.
“I never imagined I’d ever be moving to Baltimore,” Anderson said with a laugh. “But you’ve got to go where the opportunities are.”
Rounded out by Jordan Lally (vocals, guitar), DJ Fritzges (bass) and Dre Toney (drums, vocals), Anderson became part of a band that has quite the following.
With one full-length album and two EPs under its belt — the latest being 2011 EP “Do Not Feed the Radio” — Fiction 20 Down has nearly 5,300 likes on its Facebook page and more than 16,800 followers on its Twitter account.
Since April 28, the band has been on the road for its national #F20DTWEETUP Tour, inspired by its dedicated fan base on Twitter.
“A lot of our fans, they’re super-active on Twitter, just tweeting all day,” Anderson said. “They helped us a lot with these shows, telling us what cities we should go to, what venues we should play. So we knew we would be meeting a lot of these fans for the first time, but the reason we know them is through Twitter.”
On June 8, Anderson will be back in Northwest Ohio when Fiction 20 Down performs at Howard’s Club H in Bowling Green. And though the path he’s on now isn’t what he anticipated, Anderson is happy with the one he’s chosen with Fiction 20 Down.
“I just had to follow my instincts and follow my heart; no looking back,” Anderson said. “I kind of realized that, like, if I really want to make this a career, you’ve got to take [a risk].
“I feel like anyone that’s done something really great or done something kind of unconventional has to take a huge risk.”
For more information, visit howardsclubh.com or call (419) 352-3195.