Field Mouse

"The most important thing I've learned is that without a really solid, appealing live show, you will severely limit your opportunities."

As many of you are aware by now, I stumble upon great music everyday. There is no shortage of talented artists in this world and it’s great that they are all putting out music for us listeners to enjoy. Lately, I’ve been loving Field Mouse, a band out of Brooklyn, NY. Comprised of members Rachel Browne, Andrew Futral, Allison Weiss, and Geoff Lewit,  they all came together to form a lineup that creates blissful music that your ears will love.  Recently, they released “You Are Here” an album filled with the soothing sounds of Rachel’s voice, paired with lush string arrangements and intense lyrics. Field Mouse really shines through and shows their unique qualities in every song they release. Here is my interview with singer, Rachel Browne.

Q. Your band started out with just you (Rachel) and Andrew. How did you meet the other members, Allison and Geoff?

A. Allison was a musician living in Athens, GA who we met through the music community. She was doing a lot of touring and asked us to play a show with her in New York in early 2009. We kept in touch, and she and I became friends while she finished up school. She moved to Brooklyn in August and became my roommate, and shortly thereafter started playing bass with us. Geoff is an old friend who has played in a few bands within our social circle. 

Q. Living in Brooklyn, NY, do you feel like there is a lot of opportunity for your band to enter the spotlight?

A. There is absolutely opportunity in Brooklyn, but the music scene is also completely over-saturated. Everyone you know has some kind of music project – you start to wonder what makes bands stand out, and how to avoid being placed into a category early on. The most important thing I’ve learned is that without a really solid, appealing live show, you will severely limit your opportunities. 

Q. You and Andrew both had formal training in music at the university you met at. What are some of the things you feel that schooling prepared you for?

A. Above all else, our program taught us the importance of collaboration, which has been an immeasurably important tool. 

Q. Your debut album, You Are Here, was released a year ago. For those who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe it?

A. That album is eleven songs that I wrote during college before I had a band. When Andrew and I started working together, we arranged them into Field Mouse songs to play live, and I really wanted to record them and put them out there. The record is really indicative of what we were playing a year ago, and I think it succeeded in time-capsuling a part of my life that I was ready to move forward from. Since there are songs that were written over the course of four years, there is some inconsistency in the style – there are some fast-paced rock songs, some finger-picking, some violins and cellos, some dream-pop numbers – but we were really careful about the sounds and production we crafted. We were becoming more of a shoegaze-inspired band live, and wanted to reflect that in the recordings. We mixed the songs at a studio that had plate reverb, which we used on every track, to create a dreamlike sense over the album.

Q. Have you started recording new music and is there talk of a new EP or full length?

A. Yeah, we are in the middle of recording an EP. It’s six new songs and I’m really excited about the new material.

Q. Who are a few of the bands that have inspired you to work harder at your craft?

A. I have to say that my musician friends who work hard are my biggest personal inspirations. I’m also a huge Patti Smith fan, and her journey as a performer has totally inspired me since I first heard Horses in high school. 

Q. Are there any sacrifices your band has had to make in order to be a part of the music industry?

A. Not so far.

Q. In your opinion, what has been your greatest success since coming together?

A. I think our most recent shows have been our happiest times as a band. We had a great first (mini) tour in January, and we also had a successful Kickstarter fundraiser to press CDs of You Are Here last year. That really inspired us because so many people came through to support us. 

Q. What has been one of the best memories, as a band that you have all shared together?

A. Touring together is fun. It’s like family vacation plus instruments and alcohol.

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. Well, I think I would go crazy if that was the only thing I could listen to. Also, is there electricity on the island? Are there other people? Is there a smoke monster? These are important questions. I’d probably go with “Glass”, which will be on the EP.

All of their songs are pretty great, but here is one of my personal favorites, Dirt Vs. Grass. Enjoy.
The End.
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