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A Yellow Field

Dan Langevin
November 09, 2011



Photo Cred: Sarah Cordes

GP: So tell us about your band, who’s in it?
AYF: We're a 4 piece band. Our members consist of Neil Kostecki, Dave Pike, Sara Rose Hebert, and Joey Bell. We do a lot of instrument changes so I won't get into who plays what, but we're a pretty tight band in both music and life and we'd like to think that our personalities really shine through.

GP: When did you start it?
AYF: Dave and Neil started A Yellow Field in October of 2010. We played as a 2-piece for the first 5 or 6 months and started jamming with 'Uncle' Dan Henshall in early spring. Dan's booming upright bass brought a whole new dynamic to our tunes and through Dan, we met Sara. Sara's soulful voice is now a staple in the AYF repertoire. Dan eventually moved onto a new venture with friend and fellow folkster Allison Brown, but still pays us visits to get his jam on. Joey joined us in July of this year. His classical training brings a whole new level of awesomeness to our sound. So, we're literally just 4 months as a full band!

GP: How did you come up with the name?
AYF: Our name came from Dave's obsession with trying to find one... a yellow field that is. He was literally searching for a yellow field to use for an album cover of his solo project. They're actually a lot harder to find than you might think (especially when you're looking in the wrong area, at the wrong time of the year). Anyways, Neil suggested one day that we start a new band and call it, A Yellow Field. It symbolizes what we've collectively been searching for musically for basically our entire lives.

GP: What sort of music do you play in this band?
AYF: We like to call it Indiegrass. A mixture of bluegrass, folk and indie sensibilities wrapped up in one high energy package!

GP: What are your influences?
AYF: That's a good question! hmmm... Well, I can give you a list of some of the bands we love: The Avett Brothers, Bon Iver, Nickel Creek, Sarah Harmer, Damien Jurado, Flatt & Scruggs, Neil Young, Snailhouse, Joel Plaskett, Laura Marling, Local Natives, The Low Anthem, Said The Whale, The Tallest Man On Earth, The Head and the Heart, and many, many others.

GP: How many bands have you been in?

AYF: We've all been in a few bands in our time. Some of us are still in them! Sara has her own solo stuff. She also shares the stage occasionally with our good friend Anthony Damiao. Her voice can be found on his recent EP. Sara will have her own EP out very soon! We're all very excited to hear it! Joey is a member of Far From Rich with our pal Richard Garvey. He's also a member of The Haret, and occasionally makes an appearance in assorted orchestras. This is Neil's first go at a "real" band. Previous efforts: Ask The Neighbours, Vinyl Nine and Fit To Burn rarely left the jam space, but taught him a lot about playing in a group. Dave has a solo project named Northland Rail Service and was also in an Indie Rock band named The Stares who played some great venues including the famous Horseshoe in Toronto.

GP: What are you hoping to come from this band that previous bands didn’t offer or make it to?
AYF: We love making music, playing shows and meeting great people. We're hoping to continue doing just that! We hope to play as much as possible, put out as many records as we can and just be a band. I think every musician has the dream of being successful and being able to make music for the rest of their lives... and so do we. We don't expect it, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to be a rich and famous 'Folk-star' is there?

GP: Where do you do all your recording?

AYF: Our first recording was done at Two Sheds Studios in Grimsby, Ontario with Dave's own gear. The second EP was done at the Park House in Waterloo. Which is our jam space and is literally just a living room. It wasn't an intentional EP. It was really for our own reference, but sounded decent enough, so we made a few EQ tweaks and released it to the interwebs. However, we'll be recording a full-length album at Matt Seabrook's studio, The Admiral (named after a song by the band Shellac, because of its artistic simplicity and drum sound. It's definitely a great analogy for his recording style.) in Kitchener, Ontario sometime very soon. We're actually talking about doing a 2 song limited-press 7" vinyl release before that though, so check our website to stay in the loop and get a copy!


GP: Is there a joke about your recording studio name?

AYF: Possibly. ...OK yea. Two Sheds Studios is actually just Neil's Dad's garage in Grimsby, Ontario. Ken (Neil's Dad) actually has 2 sheds, and in a reference to a Monty Python skit, "Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson". Ken has naturally taken the moniker of Kenny 'Two Sheds' Kostecki. So the next logical step was a studio in the same name! Was fun to record there, minus the severe cold winter we were having at the time. Many beers and a wood-stove saved us though.

GP: Do you have an EP or LP yet?

AYF: We have 2 EPs so far - "Anywhere But Here" which was just Neil and Dave, and then "Now With Bass!" was released in April and features 'Uncle' Dan Henshall on bass. They are both available for download through our website www.ayellowfield.com via our Bandcamp page.


GP: How many tunes do you guys have?

AYF: Right now our set includes 9 songs. We're always working on new ones and will be adding a few new gems in the set very soon!

GP: Are you writing all the time or is it a on and off thing?
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AYF: We're all writing songs individually all the time. Neil and Dave are the principle songwriters, Sara has already started writing some dittys in the key of A Yellow Field and we'll be featuring those soon enough. The hard part is putting it all together. Making parts, coming up with 3 part harmonies, and then practicing the songs to perfection. Sometimes it takes ages, and sometimes it takes minutes. What it comes down to is the balance of practicing old stuff and continuing to write new songs. But like Hayden says in the song Don't get down, "Write a song, All your old ones don't mean a thing if you don't sing any new ones."

GP: How do practices go? Where do you practice?
AYF: Jams are generally pretty fun. I think calling them "jams" make it feel less like work even though it is sometimes. We practice at Sara and Joey's house, The Park House (named for it's location on Park Street in Waterloo). Most of the time we run through the set to make sure we're tight and ready for the next show and then work on new songs if we have the time.


GP: Any Music videos in the future?
AYF: We have some vague plans for music videos. We actually just did a recorded performance for Conestoga College at the Park House with our friends present for support. We're in-studio tomorrow morning at the Conestoga Doon Campus in Kitchener to do another live performance and interview. The finished product will be posted online and on our website. It's going to be pitched along with other musicians' performances to the local Cable Networks. Sort of a 'showcase on local talent'. We also have plans to do some live video on UStream.tv in the future as well. Add us on Twitter (@ayellowfield) for updates and the link to the live stream.


GP: Any talk of a tour? Mini or Major?

AYF: We're hoping to go on a mini tour (2 weeks) in the summer of 2012. Whether we go East or West is still up in the air this point, but we know a lot of people in the westward direction, and we'd like to go see some mountains! The East Coast is beautiful and we'd love to get out there as well, but time doesn't really permit it. Until we can all afford to quit our jobs and roam this beautiful country, this will have to do!

GP: What’s a big deal for A Yellow Field? As in Playing for thousands? Making millions? Being happy? Just playing for people? What sort of dreams are you holding for your music career?
AYF: I think at this point a big deal for us would be to play a real folk festival. Oh wait!....WE'RE DOING IT! We literally just won a spot in Winterfolk 2012! We had an audition this Sunday past and got 2nd place which secures us a spot in the Festival with 3 paid gigs! To say we're completely stoked would be an understatement! Winterfolk is celebrating it's 10th year in Toronto from Feb 17 - 19. So come check it out! There is guaranteed to be a plethora of awesome bands and solo artists there, including us! We are honoured to be part of such a great event! There are tons of folk festivals that go on in the Summer, and we'd like to be a part of all of them! We want to be happy playing music, to have the ability to say "I'm a musician" without the required snide remark afterward. We all have jobs, school, outside lives, but we'd love nothing more than to spend the rest of our days traveling back and forth across the country playing our hearts out. Making music and good friends and family are all we really need in the end (with the occasional meal in there I suppose). We don't need to be massively famous, nor a millionaire. We just want people to be able to hear and love our music, enough that we can continue creating it and put everything we have into it!


GP: Where can we hear your tunes?
AYF: Everything AYF can be found on (or linked from) our website www.ayellowfield.com.



- Dan Langevin -
www.ayellowfield.com