If bands wearing eyeliner and matching outfits excite you… then keep on walking, because Flogging Molly’s blend of traditional folk music and sing-a-long punk rock is about as no frills as it gets.
With their new record Float set to drop on March 4th Dennis (Guitar/Vocals) caught up for a chat…
Interview w/ Dennis (Guitar/Vocals)
of Flogging Molly (USA)
By Cameron Chambers
How are you today mate?
Hey man, I’m really good.
I know you guys are in Canada
at the moment, can you tell us a bit about the
“Green 17” tour?
That’s correct, we’re in Montreal
at the moment. We’ve been doing the Green 17 tour for a number of
years coz by the time it’s St Patrick’s Day everyone wants FloggingMolly in their city, ha ha. But every day is St Patrick’s Day
for Flogging Molly!
So yeah, we do these tours every
year and it’s been doing great… every show except one is sold out
so yeah, it’s been great!
Is the St Patrick’s Day date
of the tour going to feature The Dropkick Murphy’s?
No, unfortunately we’ve never
played with the Dropkick Murphy’s on St Patrick’s Day. We’ll
be in Phoenix and they always spend the day in Boston.
You’ve got dates right through
until June listed on your site, how long do you plan on staying on the
road to support the new record Float?
I would say about 2 years solid,
Another pit stop in Australia
has made its way into your itinerary,
what are your memories of your previous Australian shows?
Well, the first time was with Story Of The Year and we’re obviously different kinds of bands.
They’re really nice guys and we had a great time with them but we
definitely saw there was our audience within the crowd.
We met a lot of people that were
like “I love your band, please do your own show”, so we did our
own tour and it went really well! We’re just looking forward to going
back and doing it again!
Float was recorded in Dave’s
native Ireland. Do you think your environment had a large impact on
how the album turned out?
We wrote the whole thing over
there over the course of about a year, so it was a definite influence…
just from all of us going to the same pub, living in the same house
and experiencing the culture and the environment.
It had a definite influence, but
to put it into words… well, the music will do the talking a lot better
than any words.
Previous Flogging Molly records
would have two distinct types of songs, whereas Float seems to have
struck a healthy balance between your punk and folk elements within
each track. Is that something you had been consciously working towards
or was it just a case of your song writing evolving over time?
The latter was definitely the
case and maybe what I was alluding to earlier… that was the influence
of the environment right there.
I’ve always been intrigued
as to how you guys actually write your songs. Do the standard drums,
bass and guitars come first and everyone works around that, or can it
change from song to song?
It can change but for the most
part Dave is the principal songwriter. He comes in with a verse
or a chorus or even a whole song and we just jump on or jump in and
the song goes from there. Sometimes it comes easy but other times it
can be more difficult.
Float marks the first time
that you worked closely with a producer, the person in question being
Ryan Hewitt. Did Ryan have much of influence on the arrangements and
the more traditional aspects of your sound?
He definitely had an influence
on the approach we took to the record. We initially went there for a
week of pre production and he already had some suggestions and ideas.
We had sent him demos of some of the songs and he had taken his own
notes so we just got together and hashed it all out.
He also had a lot of great ideas
of how to actual record the album and just tried different ways to record
certain things, which I think is evident in the record itself.
What had Ryan done previously
that made you want to work with him?
He actually came recommended through
another producer that we wanted. I can’t remember his name but he
had produced some stuff for David Bowie but yeah, I can’t remember his name, ha ha.
Dave wanted to work with
this guy so we contacted him but he couldn’t do it, however he recommended Ryan on the grounds that he was a great engineer and he also produces
records. We’re such a live band so we thought it would be great to
get a guy who can capture that sound for us.
We met him and talked for a bit
and he seemed perfect, so he’s definitely someone we’d like to work
2008 marks the first year Flogging
Molly have been invited to play at the Coachella Festival. On your site
you mentioned that there are some really heavy restrictions on what
you can do before and after the Coachella dates, care to elaborate on
Well, we can’t play California,
which is where we are from, so that’s really tough. That’s where
the band started out so to not be able to play there on tour is a bummer.
I think people will understand though.
Coachella has a great track
record of putting on a wide variety of different bands. Do you know
who you’ll be sharing the stage with?
I don’t know man, I haven’t
even looked yet, ha ha. I think they have a website for that yeah? Ha
Aside from the huge amount
of hours Flogging Molly lodge on tour, you seem to play a lot of in-stores
and acoustic shows. How important is it for you as a band to keep up
that close contact with your fans?
It’s so important, especially
with the record buying public shrinking, so to be able to go to some
little store and make some racket and meet everyone afterwards and just
talk and hang out is a blessing.
We’re fortunate to do it and
we like doing it. It’s a different kind of experience and I think
you put it really well… it’s a different way to get in touch with
What would we find on a Flogging
On our rider? Ha ha
Yep. You’ve got an army of
alcoholic fans down here who’d like to know.
Ha ha, nice.
I’m actually looking at it right
now. We have two or three cases of Guinness, a couple of cases
of Coronas, a bottle of Jameson, a bottle of vodka and
two cases of water.
Flogging Molly has had more
than a few songs licensed to films and TV shows. If you could have any
one of your songs used for any film, what would it be and why?
Wow! That’s such a good question…
I’ve never even thought of that! I might have to get back to you on
that one. Actually… Gangs Of New York and we’d use the song Drunken Lullabies.
Good answer man.
That’s about all we have time for Dennis, is there anything else you’d
like to add?
No, that’s it. We’re just
looking forward to coming to Australia again and we’re all talking
about. I’m just excited to play some shows and taking in some… I
like VB and I can’t remember the other beer down there?
Yes! I’ll be having a few of
those for sure! Ha ha