Field Music. 7.11.19

Following a commission from the Imperial War Museum to perform as part of a remembrance tribute for the First World War, Sunderland’s Field Music set themselves the goal of creating new music; an act which inadvertently led to a new album.  Acting as a standalone project, ‘Making a new world’ sees Field Music return with a very limited run of shows and concept album.  Damian Robinson caught up with Peter Brewis to find out more about the album and tour.

The album feels a little different from traditional Field Music releases?

You’re right this is a very different thing for the band to be involved in than our usual work. The whole project came together as a commission from the Imperial War Museum and we decided to write some new music for our performance.  That led to this album.

So, is the album a concept album about war?

Not really; in some ways we didn’t want to even mention the war within the music.  A song like ‘Best kept garden’ for example is about a person who returns from the first world war to find himself living in a new nice suburban housing estate with an inside toilet and a nice garden.  Rather than telling the story of the war itself we found ourselves telling personal stories with intrinsic emotions attached to them.  We tried not to be too triumphant or sombre or celebratory about the war, and we’re certainly not making any political comments.

Your website suggests that this is a standalone album rather than a natural follow up to ‘Open here’

That’s right yeah, it’s not a direct follow up, or even a side project, it’s a project completely of its own.  We’ve recorded the album and will go out and play, I think six gigs in total, and then put the album to bed. 

So you will playing the album live?

Yeah, I think we’ve played the album twice live already, and the tour will be the album in full and then some of our better-known songs afterwards.  We’ve chosen venues like the Whitley Bay playhouse as there are a lot of visuals which fit alongside the songs to make one complete work; in that sense we think the gig is more cinematic than our usual shows and people may feel more comfortable sitting and watching the band and the visuals together.

The tour and album visuals look amazing

Thanks.  The artwork for the album cover, for example, is a response to how a seismograph was used in the first word war to pinpoint the location of guns.  We wanted to imagine that the lines, which fall silent, ultimately turned into lines of text which became the stories our songs are written about.

Making a new world is released in January 2020.  Field Music play the Whitley Bay playhouse in February.