Some sit and read a book to learn, and others jump in head first and learn from experience. Field Guide is part of the latter as he spent years on the road around musicians from all walks of life. We started our conversation with lessons learned from the road, and from there journeyed through songwriting, soul, and what to expect from the September release of ‘‘Make Peace With That.’
Kendra: You spent a lot of your earlier years out on the road taking in real-life lessons about music. What was one of the most important things you learned then that you still implement into your life today?
Field Guide: That time touring relentlessly really taught me how special it is to develop such a deep musical relationship with other people. For years, my bandmates (and best pals) and I would record all of our shows and then listen back in the van during the next day’s drive. We didn’t really care how few people were in the club, we were just set on developing our craft. So I guess what I’ve taken forward is the fact that there is no substitution for hours spent making music with people, you truly develop a new form of communication.
Kendra: Possibly how to pen a great song? Because you then went on to do this cool challenge last year with your friends where y’all wrote a song a week. How many of those wound up on ‘Make Peace With That?’
Field Guide: In my mind I didn’t really learn how to write songs until after my time spent in that former band. In the summer of 2018 I was beginning to daydream about starting my own solo thing and I wound up at a festival where I met an incredible songwriter named Taylor Ashton who is originally from Winnipeg but now lives in NYC.
I fell in love with his songs and somehow the way he used melodies and words led me in the direction of finding my own voice as a writer. Taylor also told me and some other pals about a “song-club” he does with friends in which everyone must write a song every week (or sometimes everyday), the songs are shared only within the group and if you miss a week (or day) then you no longer have the chance to be inspired by others as you lose access to the Dropbox folder. Taking part in a song club was a great push to just let things come out of you and not overthink, at this point I don’t have much of an issue doing that but I needed some help getting here.
I would say 2-3 songs on the record came to be thanks to the song club which I still participate in from time to time!
Kendra: You also worked a lot on this record during a move, a relationship ending, meeting someone new – a period you called a “sea of change.” Now, looking at ‘Make Peace With That’ as a whole, what type of boat do you think it most resembles in terms of getting you through that sea?
Field Guide: Making songs was one of the few constants through all of that change, and each song represents a pocket of time I suppose. I like having songs to document periods of my life with, it’s my form of journaling in a way.
Kendra: So one of my favorite things over the past decade of interviewing musicians is pressing play because an endless sea of possibilities awaits. With you, I was really surprised with how soulful you were on “Me & You.” Did you grow up listening to a lot of soul and R&B?
Field Guide: Cool! I’ve always been around a lot of Soul and R&B music. Tupperware is actually about going to a weekly soul/RnB night which has been going on in Winnipeg forever. I love the music but it’s never played a lead role in my life probably because I don’t have the voice for it, haha. So fun to play though.
Kendra: Sticking with “Me & You,” I mean…this could very well be the next must-have first dance wedding song. How would you feel if it reached that level of Whitney, Ed Sheeran, and Jason Mraz in terms of being a love song that pretty much will never cease to exist?
Field Guide: I mean, I suppose that would be cool, but also scary because then people will want to hear it long after I am excited about playing it, haha.
Kendra: Speaking of ceasing to exist…freaking COVID. What a time, right? I’ve been asking a lot of artists their opinions about this and I’d like your take as well. After that rat plague came the Renaissance and after the flu of 1918 came the Roaring 20s. So what do you think or expect will come from art, especially music, after we slowly crawl away from this pandemic?
Field Guide: Simply based on all of the incredible music and art my friends have made over the past year and a half I think we are in for a special time coming up! It’s tough to know how everything will feel but personally I am cautiously optimistic!
Kendra: Now you’re already hard at work on your 2022 release, but what can people expect from you as we head into the fall? Any shows planned?
Field Guide: Yeah I’m really excited to be playing a handful of US shows in the fall as well as a western Canadian tour…more on that really soon!