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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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Did The Nields Ever Play For The Queen Of England?

by Sierra on May 4, 2012 · 4 comments

in Uncategorized

No, they did not.

They did play lots of house concerts in Ireland, though, while traveling there. They played for every house that hosted them.

Ask me how I know? Because Rio interviewed them, and one of her first questions was, “Did you ever play for the Queen of England?”

The Nields are one of our family’s favorite bands. We love their music, we love their attitude. We love the music they make for adults and the stuff they play for kids. You can imagine how excited we were when I was invited to interview them about their new album, The Full Catastrophe.

Rio at 7 knows more about music than I do, and she’s been practicing her interview skills at school, so I asked about having her do the interview in my place. Nerissa and Katryna were totally into that. Rio caught up with them last week. In addition to learning that they had not played for the queen, she asked some great questions about the band’s history.

If you know nothing about the Nields, let’s back up a little: they’re a folk (and sometimes rock) band led by two sisters, Nerissa and Katryna. They have been playing together since the early 90s; touring widely. There have been a lot of guys named Dave in their band, some of whom still play with them when they perform as a full band. Usually, these days, the sisters write and perform together as a duo.

Rio learned a lot more about their background, including how they got started singing:

“Our parents had one car and it was a Barracuda,” Nerissa told her. “Little kids could jump from the back seat to the trunk. We would ride around in the trunk of the car hiding from our parents, and then we would pop our heads up and sing songs for them. We were always singing.”

Each of the sisters belonged to singing groups in college, but neither has been in another band. Nerissa decided she wanted to be a singer when she was 7 years old. It took Katryna a lot longer; she didn’t realize she wanted to be a musician until she was 20 and travel in Nepal where a teacher encouraged her to pursue a musical career. Before that, she thought she wanted to be a lawyer. When she realized she wanted to sing, she wrote Nerissa a letter and said, “Guess what? I want to be a singer.” Nerissa said it was one of the best letters she ever received.

My favorite question: Was the band always called The Nields?

The answer: They always performed as The Nields, but when the band was forming, they considered and rejected a variety of band names, including these:

  • Atticus
  • The Wheels
  • Odd Man Out
  • The Big Idea
  • Cartoon Kids
  • The Blister Sisters
I’m a little disappointed I’ll never have a Blister Sisters album!
Other highlights of their interview:
Rio: Does Katryna like to teach guitar?
Katryna: I’m not very good at it!
Nerissa: I don’t believe that.
(It’s actually Nerissa who teaches guitar, I think)
Rio: When did you decide to play folk music again after playing rock music?
Nerissa: (this is not a direct quote because our recording equipment failed. Nerissa told this great story about one Tuesday night in Cinncinnatti, at a club called the Top Cat. It was a grungy rock club, with no walls or door around the toilet. No one came to their show and Katryna went back out to the car and cried, “If this is the way it’s going to be, I want to go back to folk music.” Nerissa said, “Me too!” And so they did.
“We still get to play rock music sometimes,” Nerissa told Rio.
They play with their full band at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in July. They’re also playing closer to (my) home next weekend, on May 12 at Club Passim. You can also totally check out their new album , The Full Catastrophe, which I like a lot. (more on that in a following post)




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  • Amy Branger

    The Neilds rock! 

    Falcon Ridge is amazing and if you’ve never been I can’t even begin to tell you what you are missing. We’ve been going for 16years. Even our now 9 year old says it’s the best week of the year. From a kid who also spends a week at Disneyworld a year that is a high compliment!


  • http://www.globaltowncar.com/ Seattle Airport Transportation

    If you know nothing about the Nields, let us returning up a little: they are a persons and sometimes rock-band led by two siblings, Nerissa and Katryna.


  • http://www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/family-days-out Emily Christopher

    Oh man! I love that band. What an awesome oppurtunity to be able to interview them. Their music just soothes me it makes me feel good.


    Sierra Reply:

    Right? Awesome.


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