Watching your former bandmates succeed can be a tough thing, especially when you're Chris Porterfield of Field Report. Having played with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and members of Megafaun, the Wisconsin-native thought his chances of becoming a full-time musician passed when his former band, DeYarmond Edison, broke up in 2006. After years of sporadic writing and performing, 2012 was the year where things started to break Porterfield's way. After well-received showcases at South-by-Southwest, Field Report toured with the Counting Crows while their debut album has delighted critics. Before his band play the Coach House this Thursday, we caught up with Porterfield.
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn):Do you view all of the accolades that the album has received as justification for seeing it through making the long road to get to this point worth it?
Chris Porterfield: It remains to be seen if it's going to be a reward or not. Once the thing came out, it actually hit home that we're just beginning this process. It was definitely a long time coming. I do try to set some arbitrary deadlines, like I wanted to be done with music by the time I was 27, and then things started happening more and more. It was a long process and it was interesting and bizarre to see a lot of my friends have their art turned into something that reached more people than they could have ever imagined.
OCW: Between recording and finishing the album and South-By-Southwest, it's been a pretty quick ascension as opposed the years it took to get to this point. How have you been able to measure that versus what you went through?
CP: It is interesting. I don't think I would have been ready had it happened any differently or any sooner. So it's been a pretty quick rise into a broader perception. After South-by-Southwest, things kept building and there were more offers and opportunities. It's really humbling and I'm still blown away by some of the things we've been able to do and are about to do. It's really exciting and the moral of the story is to stay hungry and keep your head down because you never know what the universe will present.
OCW: Where are you looking to playing that you haven't already?
CP: I've never been to any of the rooms that we're playing. It's going to be really exciting and it feels like all of these places are great theaters with soul and history. It's going to be a real pleasure to play these rooms and to create. The fact that it's with Aimee Mann is incredible to me. She's a hero of mine for a really long time and it's good to get to meet her. For her to passively sign off on what we're up to is an incredible honor. It's gonna be a blast.
OCW: So it's going to be a busy rest of 2012?
CP: We've got this trip and we'll be home for a couple of weeks. Then we're going to do our own headlining thing starting on the east coast and working our back to the Midwest. Next year is going to be busy for sure.
OCW: What do you have planned?
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CP: There's a lot of stuff in the works, but nothing finalized yet. Everybody is waiting and seeing how the reception of the record can go. Folks that jumped on it early give it good hopes how things are going to continue to grow. We want to get people's awareness of us.
OCW: Do you have any new songs in the works?
CP: Yeah. I have about three or four that are ready to be brought to the table. We've got 10 or more of the older ones. If you held a gun to our heads and said you need a record by next week, we'd probably have one for you.