Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Living Fields Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

The album comes out July 12th, so we're getting all of our website & social media stuff in order, having merch made and answering interviews.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?

I think it's a lot more polished than previous efforts. Jay Walsh's (Farview Recording) mix and having Chuck Bontrager (violin/viola) and Petar Kecenovici (cello) on board both made huge improvements to this album's production. Musically, it's more riffy, more guitar-oriented. That was a conscious decision because a lot of the memorable bits on The Miseries Never Cease and The Living Fields aren't guitar parts. So I manned up and wrote more riffs this time out. Also - and I could be wrong about this - the previous releases seemed to have more folk and exotic stuff going on; Running Out of Daylight is more "Western," for lack of a better word.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?

We have a couple historical tunes… The title track is about Galileo in his last days, Perseverance is about Sir Edmund Hillary (the first man to scale Mt Everest and live) and From Miseries to Blood-Drenched Fields is a continuation of the story we started on The Miseries Never Cease and gets into the American Civil War. Remnant is based on the classic sci-fi novel "I am Legend". Bitterness and When the Walls Go Up are more personal. Glacial Movements is about geology and time. All of Jon's lyrics and notes can be read in the Discography section of our website: www.thelivingfields.com

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

I was just looking for something organic and somewhat positive. There was no deep thought put into it, but my upbringing in the countryside of Michigan certainly had something to do with the "fields" part.

5. Has the band had any opportunities to do any live shows? If so what are some of the best shows that the band has played o far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Sadly, no. Only Samu and I have met and jammed so far. Hopefully we'll be able to make that happen in the future, but it's a big financial and logistical hurdle.

6. What are some of the things you hope to accomplish with the new full length when it comes out?

Sell enough copies to keep us in Candlelight's good graces and hopefully get the name out so we have an opportunity to play live at some point.

7. Are there any side projects besides this band or is this a full time band?

The Living Fields is definitely not some bedroom vanity project, but we're not really a "real band" since we've never played a show or even met (besides Samu and I), so we all have side projects that are more or less our "real bands". Jon's baby is Monsterworks, a high-energy metal band that puts out a new album every 15 minutes (I think they've released three in the time it took us to make Running Out of Daylight). Chad's a full-time drum instructor in Canada who plays with a lot of local artists and occasionally plays with larger acts (Paul DiAnno, Exciter, etc.). For myself, I have Earthen Grave, a traditional Chicago-style metal band with Ron Holzner (ex-Trouble) on bass and violinist Rachel Barton Pine. Samu has his own brilliant project, Cairn, which has an EP coming out any day now. Additionally, Samu and I are working together on two other side projects - Fields of Burden (somewhat folky European "pagan" stuff) and Wintering (death metal).

8. On a world wide level how has your music been received by metal fans?

Hard to say, but we sold a lot more CD to people Europe than the US, which is a good sign since Europe seems to have much better taste in metal than the States.

9. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?

The next album, tentatively titled Delta, is about half written. Unless we really screw up, it should be another step up from Running Out of Daylight. I have no intention of dumbing down our music, but there will be an effort towards more economical songwriting, not having a gazillion things on at once, etc. We've asked too much of listeners on certain things in the past. We'll also have room for more of Samu's ideas and hopefully have Chuck writing more of the string arrangements, so that should bring a couple new voices to the process. After Delta, there are plans for a concept album, but that needs to wait until we have enough cash in our pockets to afford a proper production (like getting us all together for pre-production, recording in the same studio, etc.).

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

For me, this band all goes back to the first albums by the UK death/doom bands, specifically Anathema, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride. Modern bands like Primordial and Moonsorrow are also probably in there somewhere. Film scores are another big source of inspiration for me. Jon's a huge Queen fan, which is a bit surprising to some.

Recently, I've been all over the map. One day it's John Coltrane, the next it's The Doors, then it's old Sepultura then it's Swedish death metal demos then it's on to something else. I can't sit still.

11. Does Occultism or Paganism play any role in your music?

Occultism, definitely not. Paganism, probably not. Too many meanings for that word for me to commit to one.

12. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?

Samu and I both love film. Lately we've been comparing notes on Herzog's films with Kinski (I've been coming up woefully short on useful observations). Can’t really say for Chad or Jon as I don't know them well enough.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Thanks for having us! We hope people give the new album a chance to sink in and enjoy it when it does. Check out our website (www.thelivingfields.com), find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thelivingfields), and poke around our other projects (www.earthengrave.com, www.supermetal.net, www.raisethecairn.com).

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