Photo by Kelly Victoria
Deep Fields started out as the solo project of a guy named Christian Peters, but it didn't remain a single-handed endeavor for long. Peters soon gathered up a bunch of friends he'd randomly met through the course of his life and put together the psych rock/jangle pop outfit. The Orange County-based crew will be releasing their debut EP later this month. The band debuted their first single "Salazar" last month, and we're happy to premiere the mellower, more shoegaze-inspired follow-up, "Leonidas," below. I also chatted with the band to find out more about where they're from and what they're all about.
Noisey: How did you guys meet, and when did the band start out?
Christian Peters: We all met each other in different random ways; there's not really a common background that we all came from. Dana (Maier-Zucchino, drums) and I were friends back in high school—we played in our first band together. We were dweebs who bonded over prog rock and really bad jokes. One of my best friends growing up introduced me to Emily (Monnig, bassist) a while back, and she kinda stole my heart because she was cool as hell and could shred on pretty much any instrument. I met Jonny (Higa, guitarist) by randomly seeing him at like five shows in one week, so it seemed as though fate was drawing us together. He eventually ended up playing tambourine for us at a show before he was really in the band, and even though it was kind of supposed to be a joke, everyone ended up liking his dance moves and his hair so much that we had to keep him. Timmy is Jonny's robot, and he's programmed to play synth and say bizarre things. Or his brother. I can't really tell sometimes. Oh, also, our other keyboard player Brian (Jackson) ended up seeing us at a show and was really into it, so I figured we already had five people, why not bring a Rhodes Piano into this? You've been a band for over a year now; how do you feel you've changed as a band so far?
Well, when we first started, it was pretty much all my jangly pop songs, and I was way obsessed with writing and arranging all the parts pretty much steam of consciousness style and recording in one night. Now I'm really trying to push everyone into writing songs and working more as a band. Also I'm kinda obsessed with early Genesis right now, so all I wanna do is write ten-plus minute crazy jams. But that'll be for our first full length hopefully.
Christian Peters. Photo by Laura Lynn Petrick
What's the OC lifestyle like?
OC lifestyle is very strange. There are some really cool DIY scenes popping up and blossoming art and culture coming out of places like downtown Santa Ana and parts of Fullerton, but there's still a lot of stagnation. I wish there was more weird and less comfortable suburban lifestyle in the OC, but if you look hard enough you can find definitely find some strangeness. Which is nice. What do you guys do besides playing in Deep Fields?
Well, we're all kind of busy working to pay for our gear and practice space, but when we have free time we're kind of video game nerds. We end up getting drunk and playing Mario Kart or Mario Party way more often than we probably should. Also I'm playing in my friend's band Cotillon, which has been pretty great because it gives me an excuse to cruise out to San Francisco and play new music and meet some rad people (shout out to Emotional; that band is awesome).
Tell me more about your debut EP. What sound were you looking for, and where's the best place to listen to it?
When we recorded those songs I was kind of obsessed with jangly 60s music because I had just scored a rad 12-string electric guitar, and wanted to play it on like every song, but if I had to pick a good place to listen to it, I can only imagine road tripping. Like maybe on the open road heading toward Yosemite.
And what drug would be best to listen to it?
I can't condone the use of any illicit substances. That'd be immoral, and in poor taste. Unless you're not a narc or something. Then probably acid. Acid is fun as shit. What are some songs that you feel influenced the sound of your EP?
I was way into the Zombies and the Byrds at the time (as well as a bunch of obscure 60s pop like "The Boys and the Girls" by this band called The Network). Also I love MGMT's second album Congratulations. I really wished I could write a huge 13-minute sprawling groove like "Siberian Breaks" or something, but I decided to keep the songs somewhat concise and organized for this first EP.
What's the worst show you've had so far?
In my eyes, every show is our worst show. Naturally I'm overly critical of myself, so I always feel somewhat disappointed even on the ones we played well. If I had to pick one though, it'd be our first real Detroit bar show. We were awkward on stage, our tones were out of control, and we pretty much donked the tempos and changes on every song. Luckily, the promoter Eric is a great guy and booked us for another show anyways (which we still sucked at). We also ended up meeting and befriending Fever the Ghost that night, so at least there was some silver lining. Those guys are way too talented. What's the best advice someone's given you?
"It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!" What is needed to make the world a better place?
Ambition. We've all become so dependent on our commodities, that our lives start revolving around making money to protect them. Comfort won't bring you fulfillment. Get out there. Learn something new. Go adventure. What's next for you guys this year?
New music —hopefully tons of it. And touring everywhere, man. I can't wait to get the ball rolling. Once our EP drops at the end of the month, it's onward and upward for Deep Fields.
Lucas Vernon is an editor for Noisey Mexico. Follow him on Twitter.