Noah Champ of field trip Talks Debut LP Horror Vacui, Loves Twin Peaks

Emily Chu + Meredith Schneider

After several years of fine-tuning their sound, field trip‘s debut LP – Horror Vacui – is going to drop in November. So, naturally, they’re getting pretty amped about it. Although perhaps “amped” isn’t the way to phrase it, as these men are far beyond their years when it comes to creative expression and thoughtfulness. Often finding their most incredible inspiration in every day things, these men mold their sound in a unique and intricate way that sets them apart from many bands and artists these days.

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Noah Champ, namely, is the main creative force behind the field trip moniker and music. It seems that music has always been an outlet for him, as he began the project in high school. While his classmates and colleagues were worrying about what outfit to wear to prom, he was deep in thought, struggling with outlying existential and thought-provoking questions that ultimately led him to making the music that he – and his captivated audience – so loves and adores.

As you’ll see in the interview below, it was only when he moved to New York after high school that he was able to effectively assemble a lineup of men and begin to perform his creations in public as an official band. The lineup came together naturally, fueled by friendship and common interests, and now consists of Champ (singer/drums), Nico Geyer (guitar), Phillip Braun (synth), Jason park (guitar), and Will Sacks (bass).

With the release of their upcoming LP comes bubbling up of emotions and inner insecurities tied to the making of the project, a feeling we couldn’t quite imagine ourselves. But it seems that these guys are handling it with grace and eloquence – as I mentioned previously – of men far beyond their years. And it’s going to benefit a helluva lot wider audience than they may be prepared to admit.

We sat down with Champ to talk to the making of the music, previous shows, and – of course – Twin Peaks.


Why the name field trip? Where did that come from?

field trip came about when I was finishing high school in California. It was a really chill time for the most part, but could also feel pretty spooky. The abrupt hyper-nostalgia really bred a need to record by myself. Like when you feel like you might be losing yourself and you need some way to hold on… I think I thought songs were the answer, but only if I could do them exactly how I wanted to, which I had never really done before. I wanted to try ideas that seemed out there without having to consult anyone but myself. Concurrently, I was getting super into a bunch of blatantly bedroom-produced music, mostly neo-psych and instrumental hip-hop stuff, which helped me realize that the context put really inspiring limits on me as a producer and songwriter. Shitty gear can sound really tite if you treat it right! That type of production seemed like the most romantic thing ever to me at the time, and I felt like it was going to take music to really cool and really distinct places, so I started field trip to create a space within all of that for me to exist and contribute in.

You began the project solo. How did the field trip lineup come about?

So I used some of those songs to apply to school in New York, and arrived in 2014, at which point the rest of the band came about. That was pretty natural. We were jamming, and one time I brought in a song and eventually we got a set together and played our first show at Palisades soon after. New York has been the truer incubator for ft ‘ the band ‘. It really wasn’t a band until we came here and, boy, I am so, so glad it happened … One luv to Nico and Phill (my dear ol’ buds from home), Jason and Skyler (my friends who I met at music school), and our newest member Will (who we met playing shows together).

Your new track is called “2 NY.” Tell me about the process behind creating this track.

“2 NY”: I work on songs walking around the city a lot. Usually I’ll demo bits and sections and listen to them on my headphones to push forward more ideas, but this is one of those peculiar ones that I arranged almost entirely in my head. It was imagined during my first year or so of living here, and finally recorded more recently.

What do you want your audience to take away from listening to “2 NY?” How do you want people to react to it?

Making a song like that is a strange and sort of exhausting process, but I like that it happened this way. Being here is insane, it’s often really inspiring and horrifying at the same time, so I thought it was only right to incubate it in an almost maddening way. I wanted it to sound like my mind in my new surrounding, so I hope people can relate to it whether or not they have ever been here. I also really looked up to artists who can make really groovy songs that are also incredibly spatial and ethereal, like J Dilla and Outkast for example. I hope the song can make people dance while fully feeling the weight of existence.

What do you think your biggest inspiration has been while creating music?

Places, and ideas of space in general. Emptiness that exists everywhere even when it’s not, and the people that attach even more meaning to those places and spaces.

What has been your favorite musical moment since Field Trip was formed?

Playing in Austin for SXSW was really cool. We played at a bar on Rainey St. with Leggy and Muuy Biien which was super fun. And driving all that way and playing and seeing so many places so rapidly and being surrounded by music and newness was all very inspiring. But I know in my heart that there are a ton of moments just recording little melodies into my four track while looking out my window, or any number of shows we’ve played or been to here in New York that have also been immensely valuable.

If you were a donut, what kind of donut would you be and why?

Cake donut w/ white frosting / rainbow sprinkles from Best Donuts in Westlake Village, California. One luv.

What is your favorite TV Show and why?

Twin Peaks 4eva
The music (please watch this wow) and everything else about it. That show is the universe.

What’s up next for Field Trip?

Our brand new tape, ‘Horror Vacui’ is coming in November. We are celebrating our next single at the Knitting Factory on August 31st, and will be debuting some new live versions on September 16 at the Gateway, supporting Homeshake.

Keep up with Field Trip, and stay tuned for announcements on preorder of “Horror Vacui”.

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