Categories: Interviews

The Nields are in a class by themselves

David Jones vowed long ago to take his wife’s name when they got married. Now he is David Nields, and he’s in Nerissa Nields’ band called The Nields.

Isn’t that romantic?

“The truth is, it didn’t have anything to do with the band, even though that became pretty convenient in the end,” guitarist David Nields said recently in a tour stop to promote the folky rock quintet’s Razor & Tie Music album, “Gotta Get Over Greta.”

“I grew up as David Jones, and for that I was tormented endlessly in school. You know, Davy Jones of the Monkees and about the other Davy Jones’ locker at the bottom of the ocean. Anything you can possibly imagine. Even David Bowie couldn’t take it and changed his name from David Jones to Bowie. Wouldn’t you?”

Singers Nerissa and sister Katryna Nields met David at graduate school in the Washington, D.C., area in the late ’80s, then moved to Connecticut to form The Nields with bassist Dave Chalfant. A third Dave, drummer Dave Hower, joined later.

Critical ravings for their vignette-laden, melodically passionate songs soon followed. Relentless touring also helped build a cult following that has swelled to a 11,000-member mailing list and an active Web site.

For “Gotta Get Over Greta,” produced by Kevin Moloney (U2, Sinead O’Connor), The Nields had a simple goal:

“The word ‘record’ has dropped out of use because people are making CDs,” Dave Nields said, “but I think ‘record’ is the best title for what musicians do. They make a record of what they are.

“For this album, we had worked up the arrangements as a band. We were really excited about the songwriting, because when Nerissa and I wrote these songs, we had the band’s sound in mind. It’s a much more unified project than anything else we’ve done.”

Dave Nields thinks so highly of Moloney, he calls him “the sixth member of The Nields.”

“When he first saw us, it was in a little club in Los Angeles,” he said. “He immediately liked what we were doing and understood us on an emotional and intellectual level. His idea for us was to capture our sound rather than mold us into his image.”

BWF (before we forget): “Gotta Get Over Greta” was reissued by Guardian/EMI on May 6, 1997, and contained three new tracks, “Taxi Girl,” “Einstein’s Daughter” and a cover of the Beatles’ “Lovely Rita.” … Check out The Nields on the Web @ www.pobox.com/~nields.

Gerry Galipault @https://twitter.com/Pauseandplay

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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