Were you bitter at the industry now that you’ve sort of been dumped, but now picked up again?
That’s an excellent question. It’s definitely a scary industry to be a part of. We were pretty jaded about our experience with Warner Bros. But once things were settled with them and we could move forward, it got better. I think the hardest part was getting dragged along. But when they let us go, we felt liberated. I didn’t know what we were going to do. We decided that we were going to make an album even without a label. It took us about four months, we took songs from the unreleased record and wrote new ones. It came out so good and fresh. We were just happy to be back on the move and hold the key to our own destiny. When we started talking to Nettwerk, we heard they cared about their band’s careers. They just want to run a positive label. They’ve done so much for us in such a short time. They’ve done more in four months than Warner Bros. did in four years.
The scary thing has to be that, for you as a musician, the pool I small. I mean, as a writer, I can write for a thousand papers, magazines, etc. Or a policeman can move to any town and work, but a musician, I mean, besides moving out of the country, there is only the majors and the minors.
We thought about the possibility that it might end. That was really difficult. I remember talking to Rodney [Sellers, guitar] about it and I told him, ‘Let’s not end like this.’ We all agreed that we couldn’t go out this way. That was the main motivating factor. We didn’t know if this would be our last album or tour. We pieced the songs together and had an album, it was nice that Nettwerk was behind us. We know we have a lot of working ahead of us, but we feel like this is almost a new career.
The one thing that stuck out about you guys was that you grew up on DC hardcore.
That scene really changed how we viewed punk rock. Fugazi, Minor Threat, and other early bands, Dag Nasty, they really shaped us. We’d listen to them over and over again. They formulated our ideology. We may not sound like them on every song, but the roots are there.
Dag Nasty was awesome. I can never find anyone who heard of them.
I remember when Can I Say came out, it’d be all we’d listen to.
When I heard you guys, I was thinking stadium rock, more ’70’s stuff.
I was five around this time and we’d be at the beach and you’d hear Elton John, the Beatles, and Led Zeppelin everywhere. Some of those songs bring you back to the exact spot where you first heard them. Those songs are part of our whole blueprint.
Were the beginnings of the band’s sound more hardcore?
We were all in punk bands before Sense Field, so when we started Sense Field we wanted to do something different. I mean, most of us were doing fast punk for five years or more. We just wanted to do something along the lines of Dag Nasty. We just didn’t want to do the real hard stuff.
Do you find it might be more maturity or just not being redundant?
We wanted to just branch out. We felt like we exhausted all the ways of playing super fast. We wanted to try and sing, play our guitars in a different way, and just elevate our sound.
All of you guys write?
Rodney, Chris [Evenson, guitar], and I all write. I think that helps us.
Because every song doesn’t sound the same?
Exactly. We’re not rewriting the same songs.
It has to take off a lot of pressure.
Yeah, you know that someone else will have a bunch of ideas. You can take one song at a time and just do the best you can.
Was it nice at the time knowing that the guys were at one point in time ready to keep the band going?
It was hard for me on occasion. The good thing was that we knew we had good songs. We were questioning the idea of staying together. When we were recording it was so much fun, and that is how it’s supposed to be. We had a blast. We knew from the material that it was our best stuff.
The cool thing about the album is that it isn’t this generic rock that we are really starting to hear take over the airwaves lately.
I think it’s a blessing on one hand to have your own sound, but then again it’s also a curse. Because when you don’t sound like anyone else, everyone says, ‘You don’t sound like so and so, so we can’t get you on the radio.’ But then again you have the blessing of your independence.
+ charlie craine