Fictionist feels pressure as contest voting nears end

Published: Friday, May 13 2011 12:17 a.m. MDT

Provo-based Fictionist has made the top four of the Rolling Stone cover contest. Voting for the final ends today.

Publicity photo

PROVO — When Provo-based band Fictionist played gigs in places like Rexburg, Idaho, the idea of being on the cover of Rolling Stone may have seemed like a distant dream. But that dream may become a reality.

The 5-man band is one of four finalist for the "Do you want to be a rock and roll star," which is sponsored by Rolling Stone. The winner, which will be announced in less than two months, will be featured on the cover of the magazine and get a contract from Atlantic Records.

The contest began with 16 bands began in February. The final two bands will battle on stage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN.

The winner of the contest will become the only unsigned band to ever make the cover of the Rolling Stone. Radio appearances, concerts, demos and interviews have sent the band into the whirlwind of rising popularity.

"Our schedules have become crazy, almost unmanageable," said Stuart Maxfield, singer-bassist for Fictionist. "It's making us work really hard and making us think about how serious we are about this."

All of the band members belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a surprising characteristic of any rock band, and it's led to dozens of questions from reporters regarding their faith.

"To me it's a non-issue," said Maxfield. "It's not like we make it known. Mainly we are concerned about making amazing rock and roll."

The contest website spotlights them as "Mormon," but states they "keep overt religious references out of their songs."

"Music is an area in life where there aren't religious things and secular things that separate us," Maxfield told Rolling Stone.

Despite the newfound fame, the band sticks together.

Fictionist was featured on local National Public Radio affiliate KUER 90.1 this week and spoke about the stress of the contest. Brandon Kitterman, bass guitarist for Fictionist, told KUER that their schedules are so busy they have no time to worry about winning.

Donny Osmond recently appeared in a YouTube video with Fictionist urging viewers to vote for the band.

"I was on the cover 35 years ago, and I don't think anyone from Utah has been on the cover since," said Osmond. "So, get Fictionist on the cover."

Votes are cast at www.rollingstone.com/choosethecover or www.fictionist.com.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

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