Once upon a time Axel Willner was working in a Stockholm liquor store, working on music in his spare time. That was until one of his demo CDs dropped through the letterbox at legendary German label Kompakt, who promptly added him to their impressive roster of artists. What followed was The Field’s debut LP ‘From Here to Sublime’ which was met with glowing reviews right across the spectrum of the musical press.
Now on his third album, (fourth if you include his latest work under the name Loops of Your Heart) The Field’s crossover appeal is increasingly apparent; intertwining the syncopated 4/4 rhythms that a techno fan can find their groove to, with the pop sensibilities and atmosphere of a shoegaze band…Think Richie Hawtin in a jam session with My Bloody Valentine and you might be nearing the right ball-park. Playing in Japan for the second time this year, but his first time at Fuji Rock, the softly spoken Swede took a few moments to enlighten us as to what to expect this summer.
Axel, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. You must be pretty excited to play Fuji Rock, how are you feeling?
Me and the other two of the band are very excited about it! We love to play in Japan and heard so many good things about Fuji Rock!
You came to Japan earlier this year with your live band. How did you feel the show went down?
it was much better this time then the first round and I hope it keeps on like that!
Will you be returning with a similar set up?
It’s the same set up but with a new drummer!
Have you experienced any of Japan’s peculiarities on your travels here?
Actually not as much as I expected to do. Of course it’s different from Europe but only in good ways.
Fuji Rock Festival is increasingly open to electronic artists and you yourself are often cited as being popular with indie and electronic audiences alike. Do you think the lines between indie and electronic music is increasingly blurred?
I think since a few years ago the borders are not as great anymore. It’s pop in techno and techno in pop nowadays, which is good. It’s
always good when things melt together so something new can come out of it!
You have remixed some pretty heavyweight artists, Thom Yorke, Sasha, Battles etc. Which remix are you most proud of and why?
One of my favourite remixes is Miracle – The Visitor. It’s just so soothing to me and it always takes me down.
You now live in Berlin, but there has been some good electronic music coming out of Scandinavia at the moment I think. Who else should we be keeping an eye on?
Andreas Tillianders’ new project where he uses far too many 303´s is something to keep your eyes on. Also I like Roll the Dice a lot!
If someone is listening to The Field for the first time, which is the track should people start with?
Hard to say as many of the tracks have different moods, but if something danceable maybe “Istedgade” or “Everyday” and for the ambient, “Kappsta”…or the remix of Miracle!
The Field play at Fuji Rock Festival on Friday 27th July. Make sure you join us at at the festival this year (27th – 29th July 2012).
Weekend ticket: ¥ 42,800 (tax included)
Day ticket: ¥ 17,800 (limited to 10,000 for each day)
For more information and details on how to buy tickets, please visit the official Fuji Rock Festival website
Words: Mark Birtles
Translation: Iona Nagata