Rock Melodico Interview
Spanish site Rock Melodico has done a nice interview with us. Not sure everybody understands the language, but since it was done in English, I have a translation for you 🙂
1) Peter, tell us a little about Forest Field, when its formed and its origins.
I formed the project in 2012, out of frustration that the next CD of my band Chinawhite (hard rock / prog, www.chinawhite.nl) was again taking years to complete. I was writing so much songs, I wanted to move forward!
First with the intention to create a combination of instrumental, ambient / new age typed instrumentals and vocal prog rock. The first release in 2013 Floating On Air is a 32 minute ambient track… The first full length Pioneers Of The Future came soon after and had an international cast. Phil Vincent sang 3 songs, I had a couple of other singers and sang one song myself as well. And a friend played bass on a couple of songs. After that album Phil Vincent and I decided to keep working together so Phil became the second steady member.
The name Forest Field is a loose translation of the region in the Netherlands where I live. Phil is an American, so we are literally oceans apart. He has his own studio where he records the vocals and then sends everything to me. In my studio I record, mix and master the songs.
2) it’s a solo project?
Well I do write all the songs and lyrics and record all the instruments. Although we had a guest (Sue Straw) on Native American flutes on the 3rd release, Onwards On Upwards. That album was mixed by Billy Sherwood from Yes / Circa: by the way.
Phil sometimes changes the words a bit if that suits the vocal melodies better. But Phil has a lot on his hands so we like working this way. I provide the basic tracks and a guide for the vocals and Phil does his magic and sends his parts back to me.
3) You made a style near prog with some moments of ambient rock.
Yes that is what we are after. Although on the latest album Angels? the ambient is less obvious than before. This album rocks a bit more I think. Suited the theme better in my humble opinion. Still I like to play around with the arrangements and am not afraid of gentle passages and weird turns left or right. That is a prog mentality I guess.
4) What will find people in ‘Angels’?
Well if you like catchy vocal melodies and lots of harmonies, some nice guitar work, elaborate arrangements, mellotron or hammond, breaks and odd time signatures and varied songs that go from soft to rock and back, this album will be right up your alley. A recent reviewer urged his readers to buy the album since he felt it was one of the best CD’s he heard this year and of course I think that is a good point ha ha. There are 11 songs on the album, 6 have vocals by Phil and in 2 others you can hear my voice even if they are largely instrumental. De rest is purely instrumental, from acoustic guitar and keyboard to long guitar solos, it is all there.
5) What’s the main difference with last record ‘Onwards And Upwards’?
I think this one rocks a lot more. The previous album was more spiritual and laid back. Still many beautiful songs on there, I love tracks like Stronger and A Miracle. But for Angels? I wanted more emphasis on my guitar as a lot of people comment that they like my playing. And the percentage of vocals is growing as well, which we will continue on our next album…
6) Phil Vincent is the vocalist, I find his voice similar to Kip Winger, are you agree?
Well that is another favourite singer of mine, and both are easy to recognize I think. They share a love of melody and harmonies I feel, so I can understand your point. And I don’t think Phil minds if people compare him to Kip, I happen to know he loves Winger, and Dokken too. His other bands are more hard rock oriented and Forest Field gives him the opportunity to stretch boundaries, like for instance in It Looks Like Rain!
7) The album is a mix between instrumental songs and singing. Why did you decided that?
The original plan was to morph slowly into a complete instrumental outlet. But with Phil joining that seemed like a bad idea so I created another project for that purpose, Earthshine (www.earthshine-music.com). But believe it or not, when I started in 2012 I had already written a lot of songs and have not stopped since! So I am constantly writing and recording and deciding which songs needs to go where. For Forest Field the balance will shift towards vocal songs, although some instrumentals will keep popping up.
8) How can people get this record?
They can go directly to the label, www.rockcompany.nl, who have a flat shipping fee, no matter how many CD’s you order. But it is also available from Amazon, CDBaby and for the people into digital formats, iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, and so on.
9) How is the rock AOR / prog scene in Netherlands?
Well, we have my pals from Terra Nova, who have recently released a new record, and 2 friends of mine (including Chinawhite’s drummer Hans) are now playing with Praying Mantis, the UK band. But most popular are tribute bands, which I find a bit unfortunate as I think original music deserves better.
This music is not played on radio, but over the years several bands have broken internationally. Think Golden Earring, Robby Valentine, Valensia, Knight Area and so on. Prog bands in The Netherlands mostly play a variation on neo prog, which we obviously do not. So it is not a big scene!
10) Thank you very much Peter, if you want to add anything else to all spanish and latinamerica people, will be great.
Muchos gracias! Perhaps it is nice to know that the front covers from the current and previous albums were done by Spanish artist Juan Manzanares who also provided a drawing for the booklet of Pioneers Of The Future.
Very nice to talk to you and I hope everybody who likes the music buys it, the support is vital for us and our future. We are on Facebook, and twitter so join us if you like, we love to hear from you so please let us know you were there. You will find the links on our website, www.forestfield.nl!
Thank you Alex!