114: John Fields
John Fields was a normal kid growing up in a normal family in the Boston suburbs, in prime position to take over his father’s hosiery business. Instead, he moved to Minneapolis straight after high school to hang out with his uncle Steve Greenberg, whose hit “Funky Town” had been a huge international success.
Fields quickly became his uncle’s right hand man, learning the ropes as an engineer, producer, and bass spanker. His band Greazy Meal was a mainstay on the Minneapolis scene in the 1990s, and his early record production work earned him a reputation as an enthusiastic, creative and very fast collaborator.
Eventually he moved to Los Angeles where he worked with some of the biggest names in pop, r&b and rock music, including Pink, Jonas Brothers, Switchfoot, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Semisonic, Selena Gomez, and a whole lot more.
Songs related to or discussed in Episode 114 of The Third Story Podcast
In 2016 he moved his operation back to Minneapolis and set up shop in the legendary Creation Audio studios building, where he had interned years earlier as a teenager. John continues to do work from the west coast, but more and more he’s celebrating and elevating the music from his adopted hometown. Lately, for example, he’s been working with Cory Wong, the guitarist for Vulfpeck.
We got together in his studio earlier this year to talk about working fast, the importance of the second verse, why the artist is often right, how he finds work, what it means to write pop music today, why he has such big downbeats and if the first thought really is the best thought.