Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ep 32 - Song 3: "Renaissance Man" by Soldiers in a Field

"Very Kraftwerkian ... very John Foxx-ian (Mikes fave at the time) almost subliminal in the studio ... went for a bigger beat live ... cleared many a room in the days of hardcore & punk"
- from Eric Coleman on The Underground Archives website

"Eric bought a cheap synth and started writing brittle Kraftwerkian songs with very quiet, almost whispered, vocals. He met Mike Sangster at an all day concert in Lincoln Nebraska and they formed Soldiers In A Field. A few songs can still be found out on the net if you look, they were quiet, odd, lovely, discordant. Mike wanted to bring in more instruments, guitar and real drums. Eric wanted to stay with the synths. Mike went off to form the Hollowmen and Head Candy; Eric dropped out of music for almost 18 years."
- from The Cheshire Moon home page

"I was looking for something to do. I bought a cheap Yamaha keyboard and starting working out some songs of sorts (I'm burning some of those to CD soon). I went along to Lincoln to a day long show referred to as The Ordeal. I did this minimalist, quiet music with almost whispered vocals. I cleared the room. My soon to be girlfriend was wandering around in an OMD shirt and this guy made a comment about it (I am not totally certain that he was looking at just the shirt) and they talked for a bit. That was Mike Sangster, a synth fan who had a Moog Prodigy. We met, talked some and got together about a week later and wrote 3 or 4 songs. Just like that.

"Mike and I always worked fast and wrote a lot of material. The usual case was Mike started the music and I wrote the words and added a bass line (usually written by Mike) but that was very flexible. We were probably together around 6 months. We recorded everything. The nice thing was that with a cheap mixer we could plug right into my stereo and record all of our practices. We also got some free studio time courtesy of Tim Johnson. Most of the other bands who got this recorded everything they had, we did two finished tracks with drums, real piano and lots of backing vocals (Mike and the aforementioned g/f Celia, who could really sing, I still can't).

"I would say that with the exception of now, SIAF was the most creative period of my life. Mike and I did a lot with minimal equipment. Really just a cheap Yamaha toy, a really nice Moog and a cheap Mattel drum machine. And that day in the studio is still the best time I have ever had in a studio."
- from an Eric Coleman interview on The Underground Archives

Mike Sangster - vocals, synths, piano
Eric Coleman - synths
Soldiers in a Field in The Underground Archives:

Eric Coleman's current musical project, Cheshire Moon:

Mike Sangster's band, The Hollowmen, on Facebook:

To download the podcast (right click and hit "Save as..."):

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