Punk legend. Member of 2 of my all time favourite bands at one time or another. Excellent musician. Cool enough to answer some questions.
Editors Note : When talking about where to get the new EP, I added Heavy Weight Music, because i'll have it! (Sorry Doug).
Straight off the bat, if you were to introduce extraterrestrials to music using only 5 records, what records do you choose?
1) Ramones ( self-titled )
2) Kraftwerk Man Machine
3) Chet Baker Let’s Get Lost
4) Sepultura Arise
5) Chic ( self-titled )
Field Day came out swinging in 2020 not long after Covid shut the planet down. You've also put out 3 EP's during the pandemic. That's impressive to say the least. Were you sitting on that material for a while? If not, how were you so productive at one of the hardest times for not only the music industry, but the world?
It was all new songs for sure. Field Day was planning a break from live shows December 15 to January 15.
During that break late 2019 to early 2020 we started writing songs for what would become Field Day 2.0. Once that was done, we went right back to writing and recording and never stopped.
Umm .. it’s safe to say I came up the ranks learning how to play and hustling Black Flag / Descendents style. Credit to Bill Stevenson. With that said, I love playing music and have been known for being freakishly independent, sometimes to a fault. After a few years of doing music, I’ve learned how to do all the jobs involved with releasing records. I can write a song, produce the record, release and market the record, do all the graphics, marketing .. then book a tour. It’s called “grinding” for a reason, hashtag “don’t hate the hustle.”
Field Day does almost everything in-house, 8 days a week, we hustle.
I’m a “just do it” type of personality, that I got from punk and skateboarding.
If you wanna get good at skating you’re not asking for permission, you just do it, put in your hours, sometimes take some slams, rinse and repeat.
Covid did present some obvious obstacles but the key for Field Day was to identify the issues and adapt as quickly as possible and have fun.
Kevin Avery of Retox plays drums in Field Day. How'd that connection come about?
In early 2019 we were looking for a drummer and Kevin‘s name came up.
He was introduced to us by people from the Locust who rehearsed in the same building as FD. He’s part of that ipecac crazy math music world.
Descendents and Dag Nasty (you played in both for thos that don't know) are legitimately two of my all time favourite bands, and Wig Out At Denkos is probably the best melodic hardcore album ever. Obviously, "Field Day '' is the title of the follow up to "Wig Out" and it's also, obviously, the name of your current band. Is there a significance behind it?
We decided to call the band Field Day because that’s where Peter and I left off with Dag Nasty. The name gives us a way to move forward, while giving the nod and respect to the past.
Seeing as Covid hasn't slowed down your output, what's coming up in 2022 for Field Day?
Yeah .. we move pretty fast with a ton of intention regardless of the Covid drama.
2022 : we have a new 7” called WHY? coming out Feb 4th on Unity Worldwide.
Folks in Europe can get it through Cortex and Heavy Weight Music and in the states thru Dr Strange.
We are working on a reissue called “Acquisition” that will have (2) unreleased songs on it. It’s hard to give a release date since the vinyl pressing plants are so backed up. I’d say late 2022, we just have to see.
We are working on songs for a full length we’d like to record in May 2022 but it wouldn’t come out until 2023.
As for live shows,
2.24 San Diego, CA --SodaBar
2.25 Long Beach, CA - Alex’s Bar
2.26 Alta Loma, CA - Dr Strange
2.27 Tarzana, CA - Corbin Bowl
3.18 Melbourne, FL - Iron Outpost
3.19 Tampa, FL - Brass Mug
5.6 Omaha, NE - Jack's Drinkery
5.7 Kansas City, KS - RecordBar
You came up in one of the richest, and likely most influential era's of the hardcore scene that included Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Fugazi, , Bad Religion, Black Flag, Negative Approach. Adolescents and way too many more to mention. At the time did you think it would have the longevity it has sustained?
Not at all. Once the gangs got involved in the Los Angeles punk scene there were some dark days for sure. I knew the music would still exist, but it didn’t look sustainable. Then came Nirvana which opened up people’s minds about the underground music culture, including punk. The surf, skate, snow culture goes hand in hand with fast music so luckily punk survived.
Looking back on your career and experiences, is there anything you would do differently?
That’s some Matrix stuff right there, ha!
I’m a combination of my experiences both positive and negative that have taken me to this point. Even now as I’m writing this, had something been changed I wouldn’t be writing this I’d be doing “that” .. life is awesome. It’s an unknown, it’s a challenge and it goes by quickly.. pay attention! Not sure I could have done anything differently. Write more songs .. buy stock in Apple who knows?
After Dag Nasty and before Field Day, you've played on a bunch of records. Including, interestingly, Kottonmouth Kings. How did that come about, and how was that experience?
I became friends with Brad X while I was in Descendents and he was in Doggy Style. Years later we had a punk band called Humble Gods. When that broke up he started Kottonmouth Kings and I would sometimes help him in the studio with songs.
Was there ever an opportunity after Dag Nasty to get a new band together, or was the timing right for you and Peter to get Field Day going in 2019?
Peter and I never talked about doing music together. Not once. We stayed in touch and would check in every few years but he followed an academic path and I stuck to music. It didn’t look or sound like he had any interest in doing music beyond just for fun. He’s a creative guy who could just as easily spend all his time drawing or reading with no complaints. He doesn’t watch much TV so anything that has to do with pop culture like the Sopranos or Breaking Bad he’d miss. Example : he’s never listened to Master of Puppets but he could write a thesis on the soundscapes of parking lot noises.
It’s kind of amazing. In 2018 when we started talking about Field Day he said he was all in. The timing was right and we came out of gate swinging and haven’t let up.
Who, or what, got you into hardcore/punk-rock?
Surfing, skateboarding and wanting to go FAST. Punk in a way is the same rush.
It was exciting and scary at the same time and there was always a possibility for getting hurt if you weren’t aware of your surroundings. Growing up in Hermosa Beach you knew about Black Flag and Circle Jerks .. what else did you need musically? That was next level stuff and I was hooked!
If there was one song you wish you wrote but didn't, which song is it?
That’s a hard question .. I’m still writing and trying to speak my truth to this day. If it was someone else’s truth it might not feel real to me. I do understand the difference. I can appreciate a well crafted song that strikes an emotional chord of some sort and if it’s done the right way it can be a game changer. I’m gonna go with Descendents Coolidge.
It has a great balance of melody, tragedy and humor packed into 2:48 seconds.
Anything you'd like to add?
Thanks to everyone for supporting Field Day. We hope to see you at a show real soon.
Stay healthy and keep smiling!
Photo credit : Sak or Die