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Fields

3 September 13 words: Stephen Murphy
"We all used to come to The Rescue Rooms and get wrecked"
Fields

Fields get chatty with LeftLion

How long have Fields been going as a group?
George: About a year and a half. Our first gig was in January 2012.

You all look pretty young. Are you still at school/collage or just finished?
George: We’re all aged nineteen/twenty. Josh has just finished college, but the rest of us are working at the minute to fund the band.

So how did you guys meet?
Josh: Me and Alex were at college together, and we’ve known each other from secondary school. We had a band together but it wasn’t working out. We knew George from a band he was in.
George: Yeah, and I know Sam through a mutual mate called Little Jim. We all used to come to The Rescue Rooms and get wrecked. We rated each other’s bands, and we ended up nicking each other for this band. I knew that Josh and Alex were free, so we all got in a room one day, wrote our first song and thought, “yeah this could work”, and took it from there. I suppose it was luck, just meeting the right people.

How would you describe the Fields ‘Sound’?
George: When we first started the band it was a bit ‘Britpoppy’, punky and dead fast and we didn’t spend much time crafting and writing songs. We’d have a couple of chords and just bash it out. To be honest it was a bit messy, influenced by The Libertines or Cribs. Now we’re taking on load of different influences from the 60s up to the 90s and trying to write proper songs. The other thing is that everyone has an input now, whereas before Sam or me would bang it out and Josh and Alex would play along. It’s a band effort now.
Josh: Yeah, that definitely comes across on the new EP. Listening to the early recordings compared to the new stuff, you can really hear the change, loads better.

So is the Rescue Rooms EP launch the biggest thing the bands done so far?
Sam: Well, we did our last EP launch at The Maze in January which sold out, so we thought we’d better find a bigger space for this one.

So how do you prepare for a big night like this, with so many people coming along, specifically to see Fields? It must be a bit nerve wracking!
George: Before now we used to drink, and that was a bad idea (much laughter). Now we just chill out, make sure we’ve had a couple of practices just to make sure we know the songs. We don’t overdo it though, stressing ourselves out, and making the songs sound overplayed. There’s a lot of sitting about, just waiting, man. Then we go on stage and smash it.
Josh: Or we try to (much laughter).
George: Yeah, smashing it, it’s normally the fuckin’ instruments. There’s always problems! High hats falling over, guitar strings snapping, his bass strap (pointing at Josh) falling off mid set… 

For a band who’ve not been going that long, you’ve had some pretty good support slots (Bromheads, Bruce Foxton from The Jam). How did they come about?
Sam: We had a gig at Stealth last year and we got told that it was the most tickets sold for a local band for that venue in that year. The promoter said that we’d be a good fit for Bruce Foxton and asked if we wanted the support. We said 'definitely!' DHP (local über gig promoters/venue owners) have been really good to us and we’re quite friendly with them now. It’s been a blessing really.
Josh: Really grateful for their help.
George: Yeah, really grateful. Write that fucker down! (laughs)

Where did you record your new EP and who did you record it with?
George: At a place called Random Recordings with Guy Elderfield producing. He’s a really good producer. He’s worked with Dog Is Dead and loads of other big acts.
We actually recorded our first EP there, but personally, I wasn’t that happy with the songs, but he managed to capture our sound. On this EP we spent more time on the song writing. We started in January. I came up with three new songs and the rest of the lads inputted into them and we took them back to Guy. I thought that with better songs we’d manage to produce something good, and we’re dead happy with the final product. I’d recommend him to anyone. He’s a dead good producer and Random’s a really good studio as well.

Was the EP self-funded or have you managed to get a record deal?
George: All self-funded, man! Lots of grafting at Pork Farms to earn the money to do this. Cleaning fuckin’ shitty machines (laughter), but that’s why we work though.

Is that how you want to go on funding the band, doing it on your own terms, or are you looking to get signed?
Sam: If any one reading this wants to sign us, that’d be absolutely great!
George: My wallet's empty all the time because of this band. Any help would be much appreciated (laughter).

Linking in to the last question, where do Fields stand on the great Spotify debate (Thom Yorke recently removed the Atoms For Peace LP off Spotify as a protest to what he sees as derisory payments for new artists)?
Sam: For us at the minute it’s all about exposure for the band and not necessarily the money. We do what we do because we enjoy it.
George: For me, man, it’s all about the music. Obviously everyone likes money, but live music, it’s all about getting together with your mates, and having the buzz of having people coming to see you play. As for the EP, we’re giving it away free tonight, because it’s all about spreading the word. A lot of people are broke, and if they’ve already paid out for a ticket I’m not going to make them pay another fiver for the EP as well.

How does the song writing in the group work?
George: It’s a bit of a weird one. I’ll bash out a melody on the guitar and Sam will do the same, and then everyone else will input their ideas, a real band effort. There’s no dictatorship. Me and Sam normally come up with the basic structure, but they we bring it all together as a group.
Sam: Yeah, there’s always a lot of ideas bouncing about, and I think we all balance each other out really well.

As a group do you prefer the more creative aspect of being in the studio or being out there playing live?
Alex: We’ve not played a gig since Dot to Dot, so it’s been quite a strange few months, as we normally play loads of smaller gigs. Recording's good, but we’d rather be out playing live.
George: Recording's a bit of an inconvenience, but you need the recorded music to give out to people to get noticed. I don’t like doing it, but it’s just one of those things you’ve got to do as a band. I’d rather be picking my guitar up and playing to a crowd who’ve paid to come and see the group. For me, that’s what I’m in a band for. It’s also a bit stressful. Being in the same room for four days with these… people (laughter). You can start to get on each other’s nerves a little bit.
Sam: Yeah, being together that long can cause a lot of chaos!

What are you going to do when you head out on a national tour then?
Josh: I think separate transport and only doing one gig a month at the most (much laughter).
Sam: We love each other really (murmurs of agreement from rest of band).

Nottingham seems to be bursting with musical talent at the moment, and seems to be getting a lot media attention as well. Is it something you’ve noticed?
George: Definitely, definitely. There’s a lot of talented people doing their own thing, and I think it’s about time Nottingham got noticed. There’s some fuckin’ wicked bands out there, so Nottingham should be recognised as a city of music. Manchester had it, London, Sheffield and now it’s Nottingham’s turn. You can’t have this many talented people in one place and be ignored.

Are there any other Nottingham acts in particular your fans of?
George: The three bands supporting us tonight, Tazer, The Swiines and House of Thieves are all really good, and I think Saint Raymond is pretty great. To be honest, I’ve not seen a bad Nottingham band recently. Every gig I’ve been to, I’ve seen at least one local act where I’ve said “Whoa, they’re fuckin’ ace”!

Final Question. Who are you own personal musical heroes and influences?
George: Bands like The Charlatans and Kasabian have influenced the new EP, but I also love The Smiths, The Jam, The Kinks and The Small Faces. So many really. I’m not a music snob though. A good tune’s a good tune, so I’ll listen to anything, and if that comes out in the studio when we’re writing, it comes out.
Josh: One of my favourite musical genres is Northern Soul. Blame my Dad for that (laughter). Also a lot of Britpop stuff, but I only got into that from listening to The Beatles and the Kinks first and not the other way round.
Alex: We tried to get a more dancey feel to the drums on the new EP, so I’ve been listening to a lot of Stone Roses, but also The Smiths as well.
Sam: This EP has a lot of psychedelic influences, so stuff like Tame Impala and The Beatles at their most psychedelic as well.

Find out more on Fields by visiting their Facebook

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