Flogging Molly’s Dave King talks about new pandemic-era drinking ballad and prepares to hit Cincinnati | Music function | Cincinnati
Flogging Molly frontman Dave King has often spoken of the squalid conditions at Beggars Bush, the Irish housing project he once called home. For him, music helped him through a particularly difficult time in his life.
“[Beggars Bush] was really dismal,” he said over the phone from Ireland. Flogging Molly brings her co-headlining tour with the Interrupters to the Andrew J. Brady Music Center in Cincinnati on June 8. “My mom really liked people like David Bowie. I ran into people like him, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and Horselips. That was in the early 70s. The Horselips were the first rock band to mix the traditional music with the music of the day. I used to see them all the time. They’d blow your head off. One minute you’d have fiddle and mandolin and the next thing you’re in a full blown rock song. has always marked this kid full of energy.
When the Clash, Sex Pistols and Ramones came out, King says he loved them too.
After leaving Ireland, King joined the hard rock band Fastway, but he continued to listen to a wide range of music.
“I was listening to the Clash and the Sex Pistols and Depeche Mode, and the other guys [in Fastway] would be like, ‘What the fuck are you listening to?’ “, he recalls. “They just couldn’t understand it. I could listen to David Bowie and then listen to the Dubliners, no worries. I really feel like Irish music has always been punk rock music to me. There may not have been electric guitars, drums and bass, but there was emotion.
King says he didn’t know how to marry his disparate influences until he met violinist Bridget Regan and heard her play.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute. It could turn into something,” he says hearing Regan perform for the first time. “Things started to clear up. There was a vision there. When I heard her play the violin, it was a whole new thing.
In the 90s, the two started jamming together at a Los Angeles club called Molly Malone’s, and Flogging Molly came to fruition.
“There was no game plan for where we were going or who was going to be in the squad,” King says. “You’ve heard the stories of the Stones and how they met at a blues club. That’s how Flogging Molly came together, pretty much. We just met organically. There were no newspaper advertisements. Everything fell together.
Initially, the band released Living behind the green door in 1997, but King says it was simply to fund what would become the band’s first feature film, the 2000s bluster.
“[Swagger] was quite a feat for us at the time,” he says. “Looking back now, it’s amazing. Bands these days don’t have the ability to be around for like 20 years. Touring was tough enough before the pandemic, and that’s more hard now. It’s especially hard for young bands. We’re one of the lucky ones. That’s why we do a co-headlining tour every summer. We bring in other bands. It’s like our cruise. We have bands from all over the world who come to play. On our last cruise which we just did in March, we had a band that consisted of two twin brothers. I saw them playing in the street five years ago. They’re called the Ocelots. Everyone loved them. Whenever we get the chance to bring bands in, we do. We know how hard it is to get out there and stay there and create your Don’t get me wrong, but if you were to read the charts, v ou would think there are only solo acts these days. It’s hard to find a band that attracts these days.
For her new album due out in the fall, Flogging Molly reunited with producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey), the guy who helped the band record bluster as well as its follow-up, drunken lullabies. The album arrived very quickly. It was written in 14 days and almost recorded in 14 days.
“When you go to record with Steve, you know what you’re going to get,” he says. “You get what you look like at that time. For us, it was really important. When bands are successful early in their career, it’s easy for outsiders to step in and put their stamp on it. Sometimes you lose a bit of your identity. We started again with this one. We wrote a song a day. No questions asked. It’s not rocket science. It’s just rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock and emotions. I think the sooner you get out of this, the better. The more you work on Flogging Molly songs in terms of recording, the more you lose some of the energy that was originally in the song. On this album, everything is pretty much as you hear it. There’s a weird violin overdub and a weird accordion overdub. Most of the vocals were made from scratch.
The band recently released the album’s first single, the anthem “These Times Have Got Me Drinking/Tripping Up the Stairs,” a song that starts out slow but turns into something akin to a Social Distortion track. as King sings defiantly, “These Times Have Got Me Drinking/Tripping Up the Stairs” could refer to the desperate times we now live in, but the song strives to offer a sense of hope as well.
“I wrote the lyrics until the very end,” King said of the track. “Lyrically it’s not a very uplifting song, but when you mix it with that kind of energy that’s in the room, it’s an anthem in the sense that it’s about what we’re going through. right now. Every time you go to buy a few eggs at the store, you’re buying a bottle of wine or a six-pack. That’s how we are right now. Unfortunately, it’s a sign of our times.
Below, look Flogging Molly performing “These Times Have Me Drinking” in Kansas City.
This story was originally published by sister newspaper CityBeat Cleveland Scene.
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