Interview With Flogging Molly - 29th March 2011
Photo Of Flogging MollyBen chatted to Dave King from Flogging Molly on the phone to talk about their forthcoming album and tour and much more.

Firstly, where abouts in the world are we speaking to you from today?
Dave King (Vocals/Guitar): We are in beautiful London.

Do you spend a lot of time over here or are you mostly over in the States?
King: Well, touring-wise it has become pretty much even. Myself and Bridget (Regan, Fiddle/Vocals) split our time between Wexford in Ireland and Detroit, Michigan, but we are starting to play in Europe a lot more.

You’re currently gearing up towards a bunch of shows throughout April, May and June, how is the preparation going?
King: It’s going very well. We finished the album in late January but it isn’t out until the end of May, and we’ve just started our own record label as well so we have a lot of things going on right now. Thankfully we’re used to gearing up for live shows and we’re always well prepared in advance. It’s an exciting time, it’s obviously quite nerve-wracking, but very exciting at the same time, hopefully things will go well!

A lot of these shows are festivals, are these something that you enjoy doing?
King: Festivals are really great for a band like us, festivals get you in front of more people than you could ever dream of which is very different to doing a club tour. It’s a great atmosphere, we are a good live band, we’re not there to act all cool, we go out there to have fucking fun! People seem to enjoy that and hopefully they’ll come back and see us when we go out and do the club tours.

You’re often described as a “bar band at heart”, so how does it feel when you’re playing in front of thousands of people?
King: They’re just bigger bars essentially. We don’t see any gig any different from any other. We do what we want to do, we do what we’ve always done and just treat any gig, whether it’s a festival or theatre, the same. That’s just the kind of band we are. On our last European tour one night we headlined a punk-rock festival and the next night we played with Motörhead and we played the same set every night!

How do you find being in a band with the woman that you are married to? People say that you should never mix work with pleasure after all!
King: I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’d be the first person to say that it isn’t for everyone, but we love each other on every level. We’re very fortunate and we couldn’t do it any other way, we just love being together.

So did you meet each other through the band?
King: I met Bridget one night many, many years ago in a place called Molly Malones in Los Angeles. She told me that she played the fiddle, so the next day we started playing music together and we’ve been playing it ever since. You couldn’t come up with something like that could you?

Your music is a twist on traditional Celtic bands and modern punk rock, where would you say that your heart truly lies?
King: It kind of depends, it changes from song to song. For example, on the new album you have a song like ‘Speed of Darkness’ and then ‘So Sail On’ which are two completely different songs. As a band we like to do things like that, also, to be a band that just does the same thing over and over again isn’t us. We’re still evolving as a band, it’s so great to have traditional instruments but to have that ferociousness as well; we love that.

When you first moved to LA, did you know that you were going to start the band Flogging Molly?
King: No, absolutely not. I had been writing songs, and I knew what I wanted to write. Any lyrics that I had been writing had to be about something that had affected me because I’d been involved with major record labels that just wouldn’t let me do that before. Musically, I wasn’t quite sure what the hell what going on! Then I met Bridget and we started playing music and it hit me. I couldn’t go back to Ireland at the time, what I’d learnt in Ireland growing up had a massive effect on me musically. It just sort of developed that way, I don’t want to say that it was easy, but it just seemed natural and the right thing to do.

How does it feel when you go back to Dublin to play?
King: It’s really weird, it’s very nerve-wracking. We’ve done two Oxygen Festivals there which were fantastic and the last show we played there was at the Ambassador Theatre which is like a 2000 capacity venue and we sold it out which surpassed all expectations. I grew up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s, so it’s obviously completely different now. It’s great to see young people coming to our shows in Ireland, they’re obviously a different generation to me, but it’s really cool and I really enjoy it.

So do you see newer fans coming, or do you see the same people from ten years ago?
King: We get all sorts of people coming to our shows and I think that’s one of the best things about this band. You look out into the audience and you see young kids with their fathers, punks and school teachers, we’re very lucky like that.

As you have mentioned, your new album coming out at the end of May, what are your feelings about this?
King: We’re extremely excited and nervous at the same time. We feel that it is our strongest album to date, I think we’ve grown a lot as a band. After Float the sky is the limit for us, we’re not afraid to have a bash. It’s not in our psyche to reproduce the same record over and over again. It’s exciting for the band but hopefully it’s exciting for the people who are fans of the band too.

So would you say that you are nervous to gauge people’s reactions after Float was received so well?
King: Oh yeah, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t. Because we had so much fun making this album we really like it and obviously you want other people to feel that excitement and that enjoyment.

How did you find the writing process this time around, is it something that comes naturally to you?
King: I would say that it is. We don’t write on the road, we might get ideas that we put down so we can go back to them. Once we get going and we’ve written a couple of songs it does seem to take off then.

This record will be the first to be released on your own record label, Borstal Beat Records, how did this come about?
King: Yeah, this is our brand new label. We’d been with SideOneDummy for our first four albums, they’ve obviously grown as a record label which is fantastic and they’ve signed lots of great bands, but we wanted to try and take it back to basics. Also, we have so many bands that we’ve brought out on the road with us that haven’t had the chance to get an album out yet, we’d really love to try and sign some young bands. There are quite a few that we’ve got our eyes on at the moment, but obviously we have to get our own album out first and see what happens then! From what we’ve learnt over the years we feel confident that we are able to give other people a chance.

Would you say that you’ve had more control over this record than you have over any of your previous releases?
King: Artistically, no. SideOneDummy would never dare tell us what to do, they’re a fucking great record label and they’re great friends of ours. We’ve never really done anything like this before. We’ve never flown over here just to do press, but we’re just trying to create more of an awareness around the album. We are a very hardworking band, but we’re working even harder this time around.

Finally, other than touring and the album release, do you have any other exciting plans for the rest of 2011?
King: That’s a really good question, but I have absolutely no answer to it! Myself and Bridget have a week off in Ireland starting Saturday, so we’re looking forward to seeing some friends and going down to the local pub to have a pint of Guinness! It’s the simple pleasures in life, y’know?

Interview By Ben Connell
 Band Members

Dave King
Bridget Regan
Dennis Casey
Nathen Maxwell
Bob Schmidt
George Schwindt
Matt Hensley
 Latest Releases
Flogging Molly - Speed Of Darkness
Release date - 2011
 Band Related Links
Flogging Molly Myspace