Good Field has erupted from some rather quirky beginnings, and they've maintained this beatnik fashion of moving about the independent music realm with funky style and effortless grace. That's why it's really no surprise at just how variant, dynamic, and perhaps defiant their psychedelic pop jams are.
They're gearing up for their upcoming album Future Me. The album's highly invigorating single "Business" may give you a well-deserved feeling of reasonable entitlement. Allow the song to welcome you into Future Me's philosophical house of music with the all-encompassing hospitality of your favorite wealthy relative.
Good Field is unusual in the sense that you first created the music and then acquired the people to play it. How do you feel this influenced Good Fields sound?
Good Field: It's been a pleasure playing with the same three guys for a while now, and everyone in Good Field has brought a unique quality to developing the sound of the new record. There were quite a few limitations on the first album, including no band and mostly two mic inputs to work with. It was fun spending that time alone and sometimes with my friend, Nathan Stein, to create a sound, but taking that sound and developing it further with new players has allowed room for Good Field to grow.
I think highly of all the players in Good Field. Esteban Cruz, the drummer, has no formal training in music. As a recent UT graduate with an art degree, he probably wouldn't even have considered himself a drummer before joining. However, I fell in love with the heart-felt grooves he brought to the punk bands he played with when he first picked up drum sticks. His drum parts on the new album gives the sound much more of a cruising feel. Michael McLeod, the bass player, is a uniquely talented mind that I bonded with while studying classical guitar in college. I gave him the unmixed tracks I had for Good Field's first album, and the next day he played me every single bass line. He has contributed a lot in the recording process for the new album.
We sort of combined all the recording gear we had and started working through eight inputs instead of two. I believe he helped shape the album by contributing more hi-fidelity sounds and tones. Kyle "The Smile" Robertson, the keyboardist, is a television and film composer. He does a really good job of adding dynamics to a song by layering pads, as opposed to the single pads played on the first record. The dynamic is similar to what he would do while composing an orchestral piece for a film.
A lot of artists feel a tension between creativity and capitalism. Is there a related backstory/conflict to "Business?"
Yeah, there is a bit of a backstory to it. The song isn't necessarily supposed to just resemble finances. Everyone is put into situations where they have to make difficult decisions. When confronted with these decisions, you must attempt to make the choice that you truly feel is the most right and just, even when you know you might be hurting people by making it. Then you move forward. That's what "Business" is about.
I love that your new album Future Me was recorded using a portable recording rig. Was that intentional or did it kind of just happen that way?
We've been into the DIY style of record making. Not because we think we can do a better job on our own than by recording in a professional studio, but because it's fun to retreat for a few days to a desolate spot and work with what we have. It's exciting to see how an environment can affect the creative process. We don't have the best gear, but we enjoy the process and we have fun hanging and making music. Plus, whether you get the best product or not, you learn a lot by attempting to be self-sufficient.
Would you say that Good Fields has an improvisational quality to it?
I'd say that the structure of our songs, the hooks, melodies, and progressions are usually well thought out and established first. Then, we do several purely improvisational takes to decide what direction we are going with the production. This is a really fun part of the process. And we are not against guitar soloing either, as long as it's happening over a groove that can sustain itself.