Field Maps is the solo recording project of Melbourne musician Daniel Moss. Since the dissolution of his previous band I a Man, Moss has spent the past few years playing guitar in Melbourne dream pop project Sunbeam Sound Machine, whilst slowly chipping away and often discarding music of his own. With a knack for pensive psychedelia and subtle earworms, Moss has begun to deliver his own brand of lazy guitar pop through early 2018. Now joined on stage by Nick Sowersby (Sunbeam Sound Machine), Sophie Treloar (Poppongene) and Rhys Grunden (Foreign/National), Field Maps has now taken a move from a solo recording project to cohesive live act in its own right.
What’s your name and what do you?
My name’s Daniel Moss and I make music under the name Field Maps.
What kind of music do you play? What best describes your sound?
I never know how to answer this question. Lazy guitar pop is probably the best description I can come up with.
What would you say is your biggest influence?
I’m always trying to take in different things so I think just trying to continually be a sponge is my biggest influence. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with naming one particular artist but I’m always trying to take in as many different things and experiences as possible.
Where’s the best club/venue you’ve ever played?
I’m going to name two for completely different reasons. The Forum for its grandeur and The Tote Front Bar on a Sunday at about 6 pm for its cozy vibes.
And the best festival?
An old band I used to play in got to open up at Falls Festival once which was a great experience.
Where’s the most unique festival you’ve been to and what was so special?
Maybe Summersonic in Japan just because it was so culturally different. Everyone is extremely polite and they don’t play any music at the stages between bands… We went to see Hiatus Kaiyote and there were about 4000 people their dead silent waiting for them to set up. We were standing about 50 meters away and you could hear them talking off mic on stage. Later that night when the festival finished they had another part of the festival run as a kind of lock-in vibe from 10 pm – 6 am. We watched Dinosaur Jr, Savages, Deerhunter and then Animal Collective at 5 am before getting on a train straight to Kyoto. As it got later throughout the night there were hundreds of people sleeping on the floor inside this huge convention center. It was really different from any festival I’ve been to before.
What was the most difficult festival you ever went to and was it worth it?
Hurricane Festival in Germany but it was completely self-inflicted. I was backpacking through Europe and met up with some friends who were studying in Meinz, Germany. None of us had tents so we just bought a few of those tiny pop up beach shade tents that can barely fit your head and shoulders inside. We set them up facing each other with a tarp covering some of the middle section, which was supposed to sleep 7 of us inside. There ended up being really heavy rain over the whole weekend so we had to dig out little rivers in the ground around where each of us was sleeping so we didn’t all end up under-water. But we still woke up drenched every morning. We then had to catch a five-hour train back to Meinz with no dry clothes and the train was completely full so we all had to sit in the little middle section between the carriages. It was definitely worth it though, I had a really good weekend.
Have you ever traveled somewhere that you feel has influenced your life and music that you play/produce?
I think everywhere I’ve traveled has definitely influenced my life in one way or another. After I finished studying I spent about 6 months traveling Europe that I think shaped who I am as a person quite a lot. It was my first extended amount of time away from home and I think backpacking around the world really helps you fine tune your ideas and help you realize who you are as a person. As for inspiring places from a musical standpoint, I’d say, New York, Tokyo, Budapest, Paris, Berlin, and London definitely spring to mind.
Where’s your hometown?
I have always lived in Melbourne. I grew up mostly in the south-east but currently live in Brunswick.
What’s your favorite local bar/restaurant/club?
Tandoori Nights on Sydney Road in Brunswick.
Is there something you can’t travel without?
I don’t know if there’s anything in particular outside of the obvious. I’ll tell you what though, that Citymapper app is really handy for navigating big cities like New York and Tokyo. It directs you in and out of the right point of the big subway stations and gives you every option of getting from A to B. It’s very good.
What travel destination would you recommend our readers add to their bucket list?
Butterfly Valley in Turkey is pretty incredible. Although it was years ago that I was there so I have no idea if it’s still as untouched as it was then. It’s this tiny little valley on the coast of Turkey that was completely off the grid with no electricity except for a little bit of generator power for some lanterns and to keep food and drink refrigerated. It kind of recedes into this canyon so when you’re there you can’t see anything else except the endless landscape of the Mediterranean Ocean and the cliffs that enclose you. It feels like you’re miles and miles away from the rest of civilization. There were only about 50 or 60 people there when I went and everyone would sit in this bar on the side of a cliff each night. I hope it’s still like that today as it’s an incredibly beautiful place.
Where was the most surprising place you discovered a big musical influence?
I was in Hanoi, Vietnam a few weeks ago. We went to a show at the Water Puppet Theatre and the music was amazing. A few years ago a random guy walked into my work with an accordion and a zither that he had lying around his house and gave them to me for free. I don’t have the accordion anymore but still, have the zither. The strings on there are about 100 years old and the tuning pegs are rusted over and don’t move, but after going to the Water Puppet show I might have to get it working.
You’ve just released new single ‘Cassavetes’ what location/city did you record them in?
It was all recorded in Melbourne. I work at a recording studio called The Alamo and recorded it there with my friend Daniel Caswell.
When should we expect a full album from Field Maps
I wish I could say soon, but realistically probably not for a little while. I’m hoping to release another track or two by the end of the year and ideally would like to put a full-length record out next year.
Where can we see you play over the next few months?
We have a couple of shows coming up soon. You can catch us at Woody’s Bar on Saturday, August 4th and at Boney on Thursday, August 16th.
Any current travel plans for the rest of 2018 outside of touring or for touring?
I just got home from spending about 3 weeks in Vietnam which was amazing. We flew into Saigon and worked our way north to Hanoi and Sapa. As for touring – hopefully! It would be good to try at least book a show or two outside of Melbourne soon. Maybe sometime toward the end of the year.