With seemingly every band that’s ever sniffed a stage getting back together, there’s a lot to think about in regards to legacy. Where some try to pick up where they left off, others try to touch on a previous sound and build something new. Field Day falls under the latter category. Featuring ex-Dag Nasty vocalist Peter Cortner and ex-bassist Doug Carrion, Field Day is a melodic hardcore band just as Dag Nasty were. Their sound, however, avoids being a simple retread and lands more on a band that would fit well on the same bill as the Dag Nasty of old.
Put Carrion under the punk rock microscope and a couple things immediately jump out. He spent time touring with The Descendents as well as contributing a hefty chunk of songwriting to the band’s Enjoy album. Following his time in The Descendents, Carrion linked up with Dag Nasty for their albums Wig Out At Denkos and Field Day. Those would be heavy hitters on any punk’s resume, and that’s just scratching the surface of Carrion’s massive output over the past four decades.
Post-Dag Nasty, Carrion established himself as a renaissance man, adding audio engineer, record producer, and music editor to his official titles. He returned to working with his ex-Doggy Style bandmate Brad “Daddy X” Xavier, playing in Humble Gods as well as Xavier’s main project, Kottonmouth Kings. Alongside Carrion’s time spent as a musician and record producer, he also amassed numerous credits from composing music for film and TV. Carrion graciously answered Milwaukee Record‘s questions with the speed of someone who has been around this block before. The first stop of Field Day’s Midwest jaunt is at X-Ray Arcade on Thursday, November 10.
Milwaukee Record: Previously, you and Peter Cortner worked together in Dag Nasty. How did you decide to work together again?
Doug Carrion: Quick answer. The idea of a reboot was mostly driven by the fans asking where Peter was hiding and if we would ever perform the Wig Out At Denkos material live. Peter and I had stayed in touch over the years and we just talked it out. Once that was in motion, we started hunting for players and found Kevin Avery and Shay Mehrdad.
MR: How did you decide on the name? Were you concerned with tying it too closely to Dag Nasty?
DC: After a few conversations with Peter, we decided to call this project Field Day. We also opted to use the “peppa” designed by Peter for the Wig Out record as the Field Day logo and identity. It allows us to give the nod to the Dag history and move forward as a new creative project. Now, when you see a flyer with Field Day “peppa” on it, you know it’s Peter, Doug, Kevin, Shay and if you see a flyer with Dag flame head on it, that’s gonna be Shawn and Brian. Fans know and we respect all parties involved.
MR: Did you feel any expectations that you would be a tribute to that era of Dag Nasty?
DC: Not really. Peter joined Dag Nasty before Can I Say was released, I joined after that, and we did Wig Out and Field Day, so from a musical standpoint, we felt pretty comfortable playing songs that are part of our history. From my first conversations with Peter, the idea was to also write new material. We did about nine months of shows and started recording new songs, writing in 2019 and 2020. To date, we have released 2.0, then Opposite Land, then the WHY? 7-inch. We are about to release Acquisition in the UK, which is a collection of all the previously recorded songs plus two new songs on one 12-inch record. We just keep pushing along.
MR: It seems like there’s been a buzz around Field Day right from the start. Did it feel that way within the group?
DC: I think that happened in stages and there were lots of folks that weren’t sure what, why, or how we were going to do Field Day. Even to this day, we just let the music and performances speak for themselves. I guess since we knew people might have their doubts about things, our plan was to play the songs tighter, faster, and better than ever before and to jump into writing and releasing new songs. The motto in the band is “be humble and don’t suck.” We give everything 110% to the best of our abilities on stage and in the studio.
MR: How did you link up with Unity Worldwide Records?
DC: I’m friends with Joe Foster from Ignite. When we started Field Day, he asked me about releasing music and introduced me to Sven [of Unity Worldwide] and things just rolled from there.
MR: With your established pairing with Peter, were there any speed bumps in bringing in new people into the fold?
DC: Not really, other than us being very selective with who we wanted to work with. Peter and I really respect Kevin and Shay and everything they bring to the table both on and off the stage. Kevin is a beast of a drummer and Shay is a MOFO shredder on guitar and both of them are great guys to hang with—kind, funny, and smart.
MR: How does touring with Field Day compare to your previous experiences?
DC: Some things are the same: fans, vans, clubs, play, wet clothes, pizza, sleep, coffee, rinse, and repeat. That hasn’t changed much. Maybe the big difference is Field Day using technology to move faster so we can cover more ground in a day and being smarter about vocal rest when possible.
MR: In your vast experience as a musician, how has your approach to playing music evolved over the years?
DC: Being a critical thinker, I’m aware of wanting to improve myself as a player and human. The process of improvement and looking inwards helps my playing and personal development. That said, I’m still open to the journey.
MR: What is in the future for Field Day? Is there a full-length in the works post-Acquisition?
DC: Immediate future would be playing shows in Cudahy, Green Bay, and Chicago this November. Regarding more music, we are about seven songs into a new batch of material, so probably recording at some point in 2023.
Field Day plays at X-Ray Arcade on Thursday, November 10 with Holy Shit!, Peroxide, and The DUIs.