Nick Campbell and the Bluefields
By Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS AND INSTRUMENTS:
Nick Campbell (vocals, acoustic guitar); Derek Smith (drums); Matt Springer (keyboards, backing vocals); Sean Dunn (guitars); Chris Thayer (bass).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Claremont, Upland, Redlands.
The Deckman Sessions (2010).
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Eagles, John Steinbeck and Sherman Alexie. (“Our influences are pretty wide ranging,” says Campbell. “I grew up listening to punk music and then later discovered my Dad’s eclectic record collection.”)
Notable experiences hail from all sorts of avenues for musical outfits, whether it’s a memorable gig, a game-changing tour or, in the case of Claremont’s Nick Campbell and the Bluefields, a recording of the band’s first record. According to drummer Derek Smith, when the Bluefields arrived at the studio, rock legends KISS were next door. After KISS departed, No Doubt moved in next door. Now, if visions of the Bluefields tinkling wine glasses with Gwen or high-fivin‘ Gene are swimming through your mind right now, yank ’em out.
“That’s not to say we ever really interacted with any of them,” says Smith, “but it was impossible not be excited working in such close proximity to bands that have accomplished so much. We shared the same bathroom!”
Flushing the same handles as rock royalty must mean something for the Bluefields, which started a year-and-a-half ago by Campbell, who’d sought a live band for his songs.
“As we gained more experience, we started to incorporate longer improvisational jams into some of the songs,” says Campbell. “This has become a hallmark of our live act.”
Another hallmark appears to be their stylistic blend, likely informed by rock classics. “At the heart of each song is a voice and an acoustic guitar,” says Campbell. “We build off of that foundation with the personalities behind each instrument, and it’s worked really well . . . Ultimately, we’ve tried to keep the sound as catchy and accessible as possible, but it’s been fun for us to try and give each song has its own distinct voice and soul. It’s nice to try and defy any one specific genre.”
Such defiance might also be found on their forthcoming LP, Saturdays (At The End Of The World).
“At the heart of it all is five guys who really love each other and who love playing music together. Being able to share that and having someone connect with what we are saying is the icing on the cake,” says Campbell, who’ll be playing The Press this Friday.
“The Press is kind of home base for us,” he adds. “Our first show was played there and we have been back many times. Playing there is like hosting a party with you and a hundred friends. It’s always a homecoming.” And that’s always notable, too.
Nick Campbell & the Bluefields with No Man’s Band at The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; www.thepressrestaurant.com. Fri, Aug. 28. 10PM.