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Emo Trio Fieldrush: ‘We Were Working to Get the Most Out of Not Just Our Songs, But Also Ourselves’

San Diego-based emo trio Fieldrush named their band after a desert plant, specifically, a weed that can withstand harsh conditions. Given that the band was established in 2021 during the height of the pandemic, the name feels especially fitting. From the lows of such a barren time, Fieldrush was able to create something new and expectant with their high-energy compositions and confessional songwriting.

Learn more about Fieldrush’s exciting story with contributing writer Cynthia Gross, including how the band’s cultural diversity informs their creative process, their favorite memory of the D.C. area, and what audiences can expect from their forthcoming debut EP, Fundamentals.

Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau
Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau

Comprised of Trevor Johnson (guitar, vocals), Jin Salamack (bass, vocals), and Diego Guardado (drums, vocals), Fieldrush brings together a wealth of talent, with each member having prior history as part of other bands.

Trevor Johnson notes that his musical journey began when he was gifted a Sunlite acoustic steel string guitar for Christmas at 8 years old, with guitar lessons following soon after. “My first band was a junior blues band that my guitar teacher put together, and I started playing in that when I was 11,” he shared. “It took me many, many years before I started singing and writing my own music though.”

Jin Salamack was introduced to the guitar by his childhood electrician who was an aspiring musician. Salamack was inspired from this very moment and has not looked back since, with his first band gig commencing in middle school.

Music has been an important part of Diego Guardado’s life for as long as he can remember, but only casually at first. His early starts consisted of dabbling with the ocarina and piano. In 2014, he began to follow local bands in Los Angeles and San Diego, which expanded his networking opportunities and led to him landing gigs as a guitarist and drummer for multiple bands. “Since then, I’ve always kept the door open for new opportunities and projects to join,” Guardado said.

The most recent opportunity surfaced as the result of an unexpected visitor: COVID-19. With live shows at a standstill and limited capacity to travel, the trio, who had become friends during their runs with other bands, started to jam in Johnson and Guardado’s self-described “shabby garage studio.” And from that special time, Fieldrush was born organically.

Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau
Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau

Now, after an intense period of recording and self-producing their tracks, Fieldrush is ready to share their music with the world. The trio’s debut EP, Fundamentals, releases on Aug. 29, and the timing could not be more fitting. Influenced by Aussie power-pop, Midwest emo, and 90s shoegaze, the four-song collection offers a fresh sound within the progressive genre grounded by introspective songwriting, a carefree attitude, and a dose of summer nostalgia that marches in lockstep with the approaching change of seasons. The band cites an eclectic mix of artists as influences, including Spraynard, Jeff Rosenstock, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Anxious, and Bully.

“Nectarine,” the lead single from Fundamentals, features uptempo drums, guitar, and bass as the backdrop for the song’s exploration of escapism and the end of a good thing. “Why is the pool half full? / I don’t recall the night before / I’ve been taking days off work / To bask in this golden glow,” Fieldrush sings in the opening lines.

In addition to lending his skills as a vocalist and guitarist to the EP, Johnson has producer credits to his name, a role that he became quite fond of. “What was a pleasant surprise for me was how much I enjoyed getting critical feedback on the mixes from the boys,” he explained. “Between the four songs, I bounced over 200 mixes, the vast majority of which made it to the group chat, and it just felt good knowing that we were working together to get the most out of not just our songs, but also ourselves.” The album was mastered by Scott Goodrich.

The bittersweet, emotionally charged closing lines of “Nectarine” are sure to linger in your head: “And this feels like the last time / But I’ll still say I’ll see you next time.” Just like the transience of summer or a relationship that was not meant to last no matter how much we wanted it to.

When asked for the defining element that makes their music stand out within a saturated market, Johnson replied jokingly with respect to the EP, “0 out of the 4 songs are whining about girl problems.” No drama queens welcome here, thank you very much.

Fieldrush - Fundamentals - Album Art
Fieldrush - Fundamentals - Album Art

Another differentiator is the band’s cultural diversity, which adds depth of perspective to their approach. Johnson notes that he does not focus too much on diversity in term of Fieldrush’s art – at least not directly. “I look brown, and I’m half-Mexican, half-white,” he said. “But I don’t really speak Spanish. Just barely enough to get around Tijuana.”

Diego Guardado agreed, adding that although the band member’s backgrounds are not necessarily a “point of interest,” “collaborating with culturally diverse members naturally makes us more open-minded and allows us to draw from varying perspectives.” No stranger to the DMV, Guardado was excited to share that he visited D.C. a few weeks ago as the merch vendor for the band Standards during their cross-country tour. “We played at DC9 and had a wonderful time!”

For Salamack, who describes himself as a “multicultural half-breed,” music is healing. “As someone who was raised as a first-generation Asian American, I’ve experienced a lot of racism in my life, but use music as an outlet to release.”

Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau
Fieldrush - Photo by Nick Brandau

If you’re in need of an outlet of your own, stay tuned for Fieldrush’s upcoming West Coast tour, which promises to have something in store for music lovers everywhere. Fundamentals, the band’s debut EP, releases Aug. 29, and Johnson says audiences can expect “a nice JC-120 tone on College Area and some coming-of-age vibes.”

Guardado added, “You can expect a diverse array of tones and moods that you can enjoy in a single setting or a car ride,” sprinkled with “upbeat, catchy riffs,” “a “loud and energetic” sound, and “melodic hooks.” And Alchemical Records sneak peek of the album confirms that the rousing collection delivers that and more.

Up-and-coming trio Fieldrush is taking 2022 by storm, and they are just getting started. “2022 has been awesome. It’s still not even over,” said Johnson. “But 2023 is gonna blow your fucken gourd.”

Cynthia Gross

Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.

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