The Playing Fields

The Playing Fields

Who are your musical influences?

Mike: Radiohead, Mogwai, Smog, Red House Painters, Will Oldham, Velvet Underground, Calexico, The Pixies, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Nick Drake etc

Steve: Pretty much most of those, plus I’m into Flamenco for the sheer passion. Also The Dirty Three, beautiful minimalism, the sound of the ocean when no one’s watching, Bright Eyes, and David Rawlings who plays with Gillian Welch. I think he is a fantastic guitarist. The list goes on…

If I was to ransack your tour van, what would I find?

Mike: Not a lot really, I’m a fairly tidy person. Lots of band equipment I guess my PSP, i-pod and a book. Almost certainly there would be some booze carefully stashed away somewhere as well. Possibly the easter egg hunt?

Steve: I reckon empty beer tins and whisky bottles, me passed out hung-over in a corner and Mike clearing up!

What are you most looking forward to on the rest of your tour?

Mike: Performing, the after-play glow and the chance to sit down for a beer with the rest of the band. These things are always the best. But I really enjoy just going to new places. I love travelling.

Steve: The performance for the adrenalin rush. The worst parts are the hanging around, sound-checking at 4 then waiting to come on at 10.30.

Do you think having an internet fan base is important and which fans are the most devoted?

Mike: I think the recent success of bands such as the Arctic Monkeys has shown the importance of an internet fan base. I honestly couldn’t say which fans would be the most devoted.

Steve: The record label and I have always put a lot of time into the Internet, it’s one of the few routes around corporate conglomerates who are killing music and a way of getting the word out there. The most devoted people for us I would say are the ones who have been there since the early days, but seeing enthusiastic new faces at gigs is always great.

What year did the band form together as a group?

Mike: Err… that would depend really. I guess myself and Steve have been playing and writing together for about 4 or 5 years now. The band in its current form though has been together for just over a year. I lose track of time easily and have a pretty poor memory.

Steve: Our original bass player moved to Hong Kong, so we had a name change and Jeff moved from sampling to bass. We developed a more organic and rounded sound. We used to have a lot of computer-generated drum beats and stuff, as I’ve always had a nightmare with drummers. Too often they are a strange breed caught staring at traffic on street corners for hours at a time or falling down face first trying to talk gibberish to strangers on the bus whilst drooling. Fortunately, Ron came along in time for the album recording; we were pretty lucky there.

Downloading songs is still illegal, although people do it anyway, if you were to find out that kids could download your album, how would you react to that?

Mike: I’m not here to make megabucks and become the next U2 or anything. I’d just like to be able to make a decent living out of creating music. If people downloading stuff means that the music is getting out there and they like it, then I don’t really mind.

Steve: At this stage, the download is good for us. If people like your stuff they come to the gigs, and if I get a burn of something I really like I’ll generally end up buying it anyhow. You can always pay for the album downloads at or from iTunes, or go visit our Myspace page and get the single as a freebie.

Guest article from Kim L.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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