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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005 02:58 pm

Robert Lloyd says hello

Questions and answers from Field of Grey's bassist

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Field of Grey

According to the group’s Web site, St. Louis-based Field of Grey wants “to bring the rock back to radio and make people think about the world surrounding them with their thought-provoking lyrics.”

Working toward those lofty goals, the band has been busting its collective butt, playing gigs all over the place and preparing for upcoming CD and DVD releases.

Bassist Robert Lloyd, a Springfield native, moved to Chicago after graduating from high school. From there he pursued a career in music, and today does studio-session work, acts in B-movies, and has traveled the globe with various bands.

Chris Hupp, our man about town on all issues related to metal music, recently spoke with Lloyd.

Metal Chris: What are your memories of Springfield, and do you still have family here?

Lloyd: The first bands I played in were there. It was a blast in the early days, just jamming with friends and having fun. My parents still live there, so I’m there several times a year. I can’t believe how much it has grown!

How did you hook up with the guys in Field of Grey?

I had two different friends tell me that this amazing band needed a bass player, and I kept blowing it off because I was in a band that was quite busy at the time. Well, as luck would have it, that band and Field of Grey did a huge gig in downtown St. Louis. I watched their set and when I saw Blackie [Starks, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist] sing and J.P. [lead guitarist John “J.P.” Pennington] play guitar, I knew that was the band I had to be in. I walked up to them and said, “Fire your bass player and let’s get going,” and that’s just what happened.  

What is it about Field of Grey that has struck such a chord with people?

We just love meeting people and hanging out, and I think people appreciate that. I think the music is the biggest part of why we are becoming so popular, though. We are the thinking man’s rock band.

You can say anything you want to the rock & roll fans in the fine city of Springfield, Ill.

Make sure you support local music and try to keep live-music venues alive.

Field of Grey takes the stage at Club 217 (3075 Normandy Rd., 217-529-0196) on Friday, Aug. 26. Also on the bill are Guerrilla System, Necromantic, and Bastion. Doors open at 8 p.m. For more info, go to www.springfieldconcertweb.com.

Here’s wishing the best to Big Fur as the local rockers head for Cleveland this weekend to play the Hard Rock Café on Aug. 28 as part of a conference for unsigned bands. Our heroes perform two songs in front of representatives from major record groups, indie labels, and all sorts of industry cats looking for the next big thing. One day soon, we’ll be sitting around watching MTV and saying, “Yeah, I knew Big Fur when they used to play around here all the time.”

’Tis a new season for outdoor music festivals, starting with the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ shindig this Saturday, Aug. 27, in lovely downtown Springfield. The fall season of the Cabin Concerts in rural Pleasant Plains kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 28, with a “Cabin Concert in the Pines” featuring Molly and the Loggerhythms and the Walnuts. On Saturday, Sept. 3, in Beecher City, the band Hot Iron Skillet hosts the seventh annual Barnfest Music Festival, highlighting original regional rock music. Jamfest, on Sept. 10, raises funds in support of activities at the Nelson Center in Lincoln Park. Over in Leroy, our friends at WWHP (98.3 FM) host the Whip Fall Festival, featuring blues and alt-country music, on Sept. 10 and 11. That same weekend, hear the good old stuff at the Traditional Music Festival, held on the grounds of Lincoln’s New Salem, near Petersburg. On Sept. 18, Willie Nelson and cohorts present the 20th edition of Farm Aid at Chicago’s Tweeter Center. In Lincoln Park, on Sept. 25, the Children’s Art Festival features music by local youngsters. The end of the month brings us back to delightful downtown Springfield for the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival, boasting an assortment of golden-oldie bands Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Open mics are on the rise again, with two new ones making their debuts this week. Micah Walk hosts this Thursday (Aug. 25) at the Black Dog, 2801 Peoria Rd. (Eric Welch does the honors next week), and Joe Frew and Jeff Sweet from Posamist begin hosting each Wednesday at the MC Tap on Chatham Road. We heartily applaud these recent additions to the bar scene: clap, clap, clap. Please use and enjoy your local open mics.
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