Crayon Fields has been around the block. Led by Geoffrey O’Connor, the band first formed in high school in the early 2000s. By the time it released its last album, All the Pleasures Of the World, in 2009, it had toured internationally, supported First Aid Kit, Dirty Three and Built to Spill and met with Pitchfork acclaim.
In the years since, the band members have been working on all manner of projects: from architecture and solar engineering, to graphic design for budget airlines. O’Connor himself has pursued a solo venture and made music videos and records with other artists, including Sarah Mary Chadwick.
The band has taken its time making No One Deserves You, its long-anticipated third album. It’s full of slick, shimmering songs that sound like classic pop hits you know and love, but fresh and quintessentially Crayon Fields. We caught up with O’Connor ahead of the album’s launch shows.
Broadsheet: Where are you from?
Geoffrey O’Connor: We’ve all spent our best years in Melbourne and surrounds.
BS: Any favourite haunts or out-of-town escapes you can tell us about?
GO: Locally, I like the bar-cinema Longplay, and I love the Peninsula Hot Springs. If they had a waterslide, I would never leave.
Radio Springs Hotel in Lyonville [in Sydney] is probably the nicest place I’ve been to for a night out – it’s a little out of the way, though. I’ve been there a couple of times. One of the owners, Ken, gave me my first guitar. Apparently he is in the process of building a small cinema there.
BS: Can you describe the virtues of working as a band vs. on a solo project?
GO: Being an only child, having both suits me perfectly. The solo project satisfies the self-centred and controlling aspect of me, while the band caters to the part that expects others to do everything for me.
I think if I was just writing for one project I would have become too preoccupied with the limitations that come with it, whereas having multiple outlets for my songwriting allows me to enjoy them.
BS: How do Crayon Fields songs come together?
GO: I bring in the basic elements of a song, which we then break down and reassemble over and over again until it fits in with the others. It’s a songwriting formula based heavily on our official fan club’s induction process.
I rarely bring in a song comprised of any more than chords, a vocal melody and lyrics. I generally leave the instrumental hooks and rhythmic elements up to the other members.
BS: Apart from music, what inspires you?
GO: I’ve always been inspired by people who live with a complete disregard for maturity, are careless with their secrets and get into trouble.
BS: What do you remember of your first gig?
GO: Playing in my first cover band at a 14th birthday party in Laverton and being asked to play Blink 182’s Dammit 14 times. We swore we’d never play in Laverton again.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any band, anywhere, any era?
GO: I’d like to support BABBA on a Gold Coast theme-park tour in 1995.
BS: What can we expect from your forthcoming shows in Sydney and Melbourne?
GO: A very good time! To be honest, I’m quite surprised at how much I’m looking forward to playing with this band again.
Crayon Fields launch No One Deserves You on Saturday November 14 at Howler.