Progress Report

Progress Report: Field Music

NAME: Field Music
PROGRESS REPORT: Recording their third full-length LP, working title Field Music III, at their studio/rehearsal space in Sunderland, UK.

Field Music released two records of quirky, smart, pop music, and a sound that separated them from friends like the Futureheads. And that was a problem. Brothers Peter and David Brewis resented having to write songs that fit the Field Music sound, though this constraint was self imposed: “It wasn’t like there was any pressure from outside to conform to what we’d already done. The plus side to not selling any records is that the pressure’s not there,” David says. “But it was enough to think, ‘I don’t want to write songs imagining how the three of us are going to play it. I want to write whatever I need to write right now.'” He couldn’t write on tour either. So in 2007 Field Music announced that they were finished. David released his first record as School Of Language, and Peter released his as The Week That Was in 2008. But David played drums on Peter’s tour, and he says they still worked or recorded together often. Even David’s month-long US tour wasn’t the break he thought it would be. “I was thinking, thank God, a whole month away from Peter. But then I got home and wanted to give him a big hug and talk about music,” David admits.

So David and Peter regrouped with a new philosophy (“no rules is good news”), and began recording the new Field Music LP a few weeks ago. Keyboardist Andy Moore is training to be a professional chef, so the Brewises are on their own, writing separately then recording together in their shared space. They have “bits and pieces” right now, but not many songs except for “Share The Words,” which David played on the School Of Language tour. They work from 10AM-3PM because they share the recording space with the Futureheads. Though the bands work closely together, David shakes off any suggestion of rivalry, or even influences spilling over. “The album of theirs that was probably a little bit more influenced by what we do … it didn’t sell as well as the other one. They’ve been burnt by that. They’re not going to do that again,” he says. “They have to write songs which makes sense to a thousand people in a big theater or something. We have to make songs that makes sense to slightly crazed, deranged music fans who love to listen to albums on an ancient hi-fi with huge headphones on. And that makes sense to me because I’m one of those deranged music fans.”

It seems like Field Music’s greatest influence right now may be their other projects. Playing guitar for School Of Language improved David’s skills, and he thinks Peter’s classical-influenced The Week That Was album has made him want to return to rock music, too. And since David played drums for Peter on his tour, he feels confident enough in his skills to forgo much of the sequenced and sampled drums they’ve used in the past. And another thing: “I’ve been rediscovering my teenage love of the Black Crowes’ third album,” he says. “There’s going to be something to offend everything on this record. That’s the plan.”

They’re expecting the new album to be out by the start of 2010. Besides their total lack of new songs (“Ages 17 to 21 was an amazing time for writing loads and loads of songs. It’s a shame that those songs are crap.”) their only other problem is their lack of fighting. David says he and his brother have only had two or three “proper arguments” ever, so each have a hard time making choices. “I’d rather just completely acquiesce to what somebody else wants to do,” he admits. Any articles claiming Field Music broke up because they were tired of each other? Really they get along too well. But also untrue was David’s MySpace post, claiming they’d put out another record when they needed money. “We ran out of money a long time ago, so that one doesn’t apply anymore,” he laughs. “We’ve still got loads of ideas, which is nice, more than ever before. So hopefully, now what we’ve gotta do is not do a reunion tour, and make sure the comeback album isn’t shit.”


If there’s a band you want Progress Report to drag out of the studio, or bed, for an update, e-mail [email protected].