Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This charming man

This Thursday, Sunderland, England's Field Music come to Brooklyn for a show at the Bell House.

The gig marks one of only two shows in the United States for the band, fronted by brothers David and Peter Brewis. The two took some time apart a couple years ago to pursue other projects (for David, School of Language; Peter, The Week That Was). Back as Field Music, they're touring in advance of their forthcoming album, "Field Music (The Measure)," coming out early next year.

We sent David a few questions before their tour kicked off about the band's new album and what they're looking forward to about coming to Brooklyn.

Since the band reunited, how have these last few months been for you?

Well, it doesn't particularly feel like we were ever apart! Peter toured with me in the European version of the School of Language band and I played drums for The Week That Was, so in some respects, the only change has been the name of the band! Saying that, one of the reasons we stopped doing Field Music was that neither of us particularly enjoyed recording Tones of Town, whereas both of us have said that recording the new album has been the most enjoyable recording experience either of us have ever had. We've rejigged the terms of engagement slightly and that's meant that neither of us have felt restricted but we've been able to support each other and help to tease out the best in each other's songs. Pete's my best mate and my favourite songwriter so it's been nice to have the space and the opportunity to appreciate him properly. I'll assume he feels the same about me!

One thing you’ve been hard at work on – your new album. Where did you guys want to go on that this time around?

All of our records up until now have been very concise and quite coherent, musically and thematically. One of the things we wanted to do with this new record was to make a BIG record - a long record with twists and turns and to do something which captures more of the things we're interested in, be that musique concrete or British blues-boom stuff or intricate pop or... whatever! We're both really interested in dissonant harmony so there's more of that on there too, alongside some straighter things. I was also very keen to have more of a performance element, but that's something we sometimes struggle with, being slightly obsessive and prone to bouts of perfectionism.

The Brooklyn show is only one of two US stops on your tour. Was it a place that you particularly wanted to play?

The Brooklyn show has come about simply because the promoter particularly wanted us to come over and play. For us, it's a great opportunity to come back to New York and remind people that we still exist and it's also a chance for people who loved Tones of Town but didn't catch us live before we stopped touring to see us in 3-D. Plus, we've never played in Brooklyn or had a chance to look around, so I'm intrigued as to how the atmosphere and audience will be different from a Manhattan show. If it's anything like the difference between a North or South London show, it'll be interesting!

What are you looking forward to about coming to Brooklyn? Have any plans beyond the show while you’re here?

I always like to see where people really live! I may be wrong or have a skewed and rose-tinted perspective, but Brooklyn has a reputation as a place where people live, and maybe people from different backgrounds, a combination of arty-types and families who want to settle down and people whose families have been attached to the place for decades, like ours is with Sunderland. Brooklyn seems to have a very deep cultural heritage too - both me and Peter are big fans of Paul Auster so just to look around and see if we recognise the feel of the place will be interesting. Hopefully we'll have time to look around or, better yet, find someone who'll show us around before we fly out to Chicago.

Is there any other news with the band or projects coming up you’re exciting about?

Both me and Peter have various recording projects on the go - Peter's been recording a folk vocal quartet and I've been working with a singer and songwriter called Trev Gibb. We've also got various ideas for the next Field Music record which hopefully we'll start work on in the next two or three months. It's all go - we try not to waste too much time.

Field Music play the Bell House Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. With Pulsars and Wye Oak. Tickets are $12. The Bell House is located at 149 7th St. For more information, call 718-643-6510.


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