Peter Brewis talks to Clash

It’s hardly a phoenix from the ashes situation given their ‘previous’ project hasn’t actually runs its course, but 2008 has nevertheless been quite a year for brothers Peter and David Brewis.

The pair – members of the much-acclaimed Field Music, whose ‘Tones Of Town’ was a 2007 hit on critical radars – both released ‘solo’ albums this year, not that either were actually the products of a single individual’s endeavours. First, David released School of Language’s excellent ‘Sea From Shore’; later, Peter guided The Week That Was’ self-titled record to completion.

And then… well, everything escalated.

‘The Week That Was’ landed at Mojo and was promptly named their album of the week; subsequently (and simultaneously), pen-pushing types of no little reputation began saying great things about the record, in the national print press and across the net. Clearly, here was a release that demanded to be heard – a high-concept collection of pop-eloquent indie from masters of their trade.

Clash was suitably moved – Peter Brewis’ latest musical step forward (the album featuring nine musicians in all) met with the magazine’s approval, and come our end-of-year issue expect to see The Week That Was classified as one of our breakthrough acts of 2008. Appropriately, we got Peter on the phone for a quick chat about the year that (nearly) was…

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The Week That Was – ‘Scratch The Surface’

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Getting that Mojo album of the month slot must’ve been quite the surprise…

It was pleasant, and it was a surprise. I was pleased with it – for something that I wanted to do for me, personally, to make a record where I had something quite solid set out in my mind… it was quite an experiment. I’m pleased that I did it, and that Memphis released it. And that it generally got good reviews.

It’s one of my favourite records of the year. What have been yours?

Really, the School of Language album… Well, Dave’s just sat next to me. (To David) Close your ears. Yeah, it’s rubbish, absolute rubbish. No, not really. Dave making that record inspired me to do my own thing – I had wanted to do something, but Dave’s always first off the blocks with that sort of thing. I stole loads of his ideas, sonically – he helped me quite a lot with The Week That Was album, too, and played on it. I studied that album a lot. I haven’t really heard that much else, this year – I’ve been so busy. I need a bit of time off to listen to some new stuff.

No time off yet though – you’re playing on the continent…?

We’re touring with Stereolab, which is nice – they asked us to do their European tour with them.

And after that, any plans to develop The Week That Was further?

I think me and Dave want to get down to making another Field Music record, actually. I think Memphis [Industries] will be happy if we get around to recording another Field Music album.

So Field Music is still a going concern? These other projects aren’t the future for the two of you?

I don’t think that either Dave or I see School of Language or The Week That Was as being entirely separate from Field Music. They’re just not.

Just names to do something slightly different under…

I think we feel that we can do whatever we want – and as long as we feel that way we’ll try hard to do good things and different things. We probably wouldn’t be involved with the music industry at all if we felt we had to do certain things, things that others told us to do. I think that’s why we had to stop Field Music for a bit – people thought it was an indie-pop band, and we didn’t know if we wanted that.

So you gave it a break, sounds fair enough. I must say that it seems music comes very naturally to the two of you, as if it’s in the family blood…

It’s another form of me and Dave… like, we used to make Lego together and play board games… Dave’s laughing now. So I think playing and making music together is an extension of that. Sometimes we want to do our own thing; sometimes we might want a game together.

So are there any plans for The Week That Was in 2009, at all?

I think we’ll just see what reaction there is to it, and if people want us to play anymore. I’m not going to do another The Week That Was record – it was a one-off. But on a live front, we’ll probably go and do some gigs in the States.

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The Week That Was – ‘Learn To Learn’

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‘The Week That Was’ is out now on Memphis Industries (also home to both Field Music and School of Language). Find The Week That Was on MySpace HERE.


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