Sleeping with the boss?

Music IndustryBuffalo Springfield (music group)NPR

In late 2005, Nick Peill was teaching a classroom of 6-year-olds in England. Eight or nine months later, Peill--the singer of upstart pop-rockers Fields--was on stage at the massive Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

Faster than you can say, "Who the hell are Fields?" the quintet has generated a heaping of buzz around the acoustically driven, swirling rock featured on the band's just-released full-length debut "Everything Last Winter." Praised in Blender and Spin and called "some of the most rapturous, melodically dazzling music in ages" by insider mag Harp, Fields has performed with bands like Snow Patrol, Bloc Party and TV on the Radio.

On the way from Boston to Toronto, Peill told us about the band's fast start, his educational background and several other groups with nearly identical names.

You stopped teaching elementary school to pursue music. Ever consider starting a band with your students?

That would've been good. They're a little bit unruly though, to be honest. Quite out of control. 30 6-year-olds is a pretty terrifying prospect. But they would've sounded awesome.

All good rock bands are out of control.

Just feed them lots of sweets, they'll be fine.

How do you explain Fields' success?

I don't know! There's an element of luck, being in the right place at the right time, and people sort of took interest in us very early on. And when we needed to play well, generally speaking, we did ok. I think it's definitely been a combination of luck and us completely going for it as well. We try not to read too much press or read too much into anything. I fully appreciate how fickle the music industry is. All of us have a certain amount of experience being in bands, and I guess it's sort of toughened us up to it a little bit. We just really focus on our own thing and try not to let hype or reviews or anything into your headspace too much.

You want to wait until you've been around at least two years before you get a big head.

Exactly. We've still got everything to prove. Something can say something great about you, but you're kind of only as good as your last review or only as good as your last record, so we're definitely never going to be complacent about stuff and we're always wanting to push ourselves and become the best band that we can.

NPR said your tune "Song for the Fields" shows how to launch a career in five minutes. What's your advice for doing that?

I'd probably recommend you sleep with the head of the record label. Thankfully we didn't have to do that.

Has Fields been confused with acts like Field Music or The Field?

Field Music, we've been confused with them a few times. We kind of cause our own sort of confusion really by having a song titled "Song for the Fields." Immediately people thought we were called The Fields. I mean it's only been a sort of minor confusion. It's never one that lasts particularly long, really. I'm a fan of Field Music; they're a good band. We did a funny interview where we had to say our favorite bands with the word field in it. Buffalo Springfield, I think, did pretty well.

Would you want to tour with Field Music and The Field?

That would be fantastic. I'm sure we would have a field day. [Pauses.] Awful. Awful, awful, awful.

Yeah, the confusion would be a pain in the grass.

It might be, yeah.

Matt Pais is the metromix music and movies producer.mpais@tribune.com

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