‘Good things come to those who wait” is an overused, cliched phrase, but it perfectly fits Sense Field’s situation.
The Los Angeles rock quintet was put through the wringer and hung out to dry after completing a follow-up to its 1996 debut Warner LP, “Building.” Its second album, originally self-titled and then renamed “Under the Radar,” was scheduled for release eight times, but each date was met with one excuse after another.
“We heard so many stories,” guitarist Chris Evenson said recently. “Their favorite (excuse) was ‘Well, we’ve got this other record coming out then and surely you don’t want yours to get lost in the shuffle, do you?’
“My question to them was, ‘When don’t you have another record coming out?’ Most of the time, however, there wasn’t even an excuse. I think it just got to be a habit for them.”
Enough was enough for Evenson, lead singer Jon Bunch, guitarist Rodney Sellars, drummer Rob Pfeiffer and bassist John Stockberger. They were finally freed from their contract with Warner and eventually signed with Nettwerk in early 2001.
Some bands would have broken up over such an ordeal, but Bunch says their friendship and the music were their salvations.
“We aren’t done writing music together,” Bunch said. “If it was going to be the end of our band, we wanted to end it on our own terms, not a record label discontinuing a business relationship. Thankfully, we held together; Chris took our situation and turned it around by recording our music himself and everything changed from there; we started to feel good about working on music again.”
So good they outdid themselves on “Tonight and Forever,” their lush Nettwerk debut album (released Sept. 25). But, true to form, the album and their first single, “Save Yourself,” have been late bloomers. Thanks to exposure from the TV series “Roswell” and the show’s recently released soundtrack, “Save Yourself” has enjoyed a resurgence.
Better still for the group, the album track “Weight of the World” will appear on the “Spider-Man” film soundtrack (out May 7).
“After leaving Warner, we didn’t really know what to do,” Evenson said. “For a while, we still held out hope that we’d get the record back from them but, of course, that didn’t happen. So after a time, we started all over again with little or no idea as to who, if anyone, would release this thing. Our mantra was ‘Act like it’s the last thing we’ll ever record, cuz it just may be.’ Our goal was just to get it out. That, to us, would be winning.”
“Save Yourself” lifted a few lost souls after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It’s poignant refrains, including “May I remind you when you find you’re all alone is when you’ve got to be strong,” buoyed spirits.
” ‘Save Yourself’ stemmed from the idea that holding myself in high regard is the real challenge and the real fight, whether it’s physically or mentally,” Bunch said. “I think loving yourself is the ultimate fighting championship.”
THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: Evenson – “The first record I remember buying on my own was the B-52’s ‘Wild Planet.’ They were the first band I liked on my own without any influence from my older brother and sisters. Up till then, I listend to pretty much whatever they did. I still like and listen to that record to this day. I’ve always wanted to cover ‘Give Me Back My Man,’ but don’t think Jon would feel comfortable singing those words. But, hey, you never know.”
THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: Evenson – “My first show ever was The Go-Go’s at The Greek Theatre in L.A. I remember I really wanted to buy a shirt, but all they had left were baseball jersey shirts with pink sleeves. I bought it anyway but paid the price when I wore it to school and got shit from all the guys.”
WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: Bunch – “My worst job has got to be scooping ice cream at Thrifty’s. It just happened to be conveniently located across the street from an elementary school, which I didn’t consider. A hundred kids coming in for ice cream screaming and yelling, having major sugar withdrawal. I walked out! See, sometimes you gotta stick up for yourself and hold yourself in high regard.”
ON THE WEB: www.sensefield.com.
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