Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly: Celt-in-a-Twist interview with Dave King (1/16/05)

Dave King was interviewed by Celt In A Twist host, Patricia Fraser, December 9th, 2004, and the following transcript as reprinted with her permission. Listen to Celt in a Twist for an hour of outrageous Celtivity every Sunday afternoon on AM 1470. It’s Celt in a Twist, the very best in contemporary Celtic music.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
Some Irish people walked into a bar…..and instead of starting a joke, they started a band. Yes, not just trendy cars are fueled by alcohol in Southern California; a brand new sound was born the day the members of Flogging Molly met in a bar named Molly Malone’s. The seven members invented an as-yet-unnamed classification of music. It might be agro-Celt, jig-punk, or Celt punk, but it’s gaining popularity all the time. Their new album is “Within a Mile of Home” and we’re talking about it with Dave King. Dave! How are you?

(DAVE KING)
How are you? Are you good, Patricia?

(CELT IN A TWIST)
Yeah! We’re really happy to be talking with you about the new album. You’ve been part of the Van’s Warped Tour, and just returned from a tour of Europe. Do you do your writing on the road or at home?

(DAVE KING)
Sometimes in sound checks. I will play a chord or something and it will sound different to me and I’ll record it down. Then I’ll come back home and I’ll play my tape to see what I have and something might strike me. But usually I write the body of a song here at home. You know I have a little desk set up here and I have photographs of friends and family around me and a little bottle of whiskey maybe here or there, and I just reminisce of things past, you know?

(CELT IN A TWIST)
You name the Pogues and the Dubliners as inspiration as well as Johnny Cash. Do you see a connection between the music of the old country and the country music of the new?

(DAVE KING)
Oh, absolutely. It’s a very interesting story. When I was a kid, my father brought me out to buy me a couple of albums. And the albums that he bought me were Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and the Dubliners Live at the Gate Theatre. And it’s really, really bizarre because I obviously listened to those albums when I was a child for years. And when I think of Flogging Molly, in some ways it’s almost like a combination of the two. You have that train-driven sound, but you have traditional sound on top of that as well. And to me country music I think sprang originally from traditional Irish music and folk music, do you know what I mean?

(CELT IN A TWIST)
You wrote the song “Don’t Let Me Die Wondering” after the death of Johnny Cash. How did his music affect you and your writing?

(DAVE KING)
To me he was a man who sang of freedom and he sang of justice for man and he went through so much in his life. And when I found out, when I heard he died it was the last thing I could imagine Johnny Cash doing was lying in his deathbed wondering what he should have done and what he shouldn’t have done. You know what I mean? Johnny Cash lived a life, and he lived it every day, and that’s an inspiration for me in any way it is because hopefully when I’m on my death bed I’m not going to be lying there going “Oh, I should have done that and I should have done it this way.” No, I’m going to do it my way and that’s it, you know? So spiritually and musically he was a huge influence on my life.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
You sing a song on the new album with Lucinda Williams called “Factory Girls” The Rolling Stones also used a Factory Girl as inspiration for a song. What is it about those girls that moves you to pick up a guitar?

(DAVE KING)
I remember as a kid when I lived in Beggar’s Bush, there was a factory up the street. It was a cleaning factory where you’d bring all your dirty wash and you know, the cleaners they did it for you. And every night when those girls got off, they would walk by Beggar’s Bush, and they were all linking arm in arm and they would always be singing songs. And it always stuck in my head. Then when I went back to Ireland last time, I was sitting with my mother, and she’s on in age now you know, and it was like I tried to imagine her as the factory girl, and what it was like for her when she was younger. And so they both combined and Factory Girls came out. And then as I was writing the song I was, you know, “I don’t hear myself singing this. I need somebody else to sing it with me. “ And we’ve always been huge fans of Lucinda Williams. And I just put it out there, you know? Never thinking that she’d do it. And a couple of months down the road, you find out that she’d love to do it and it was fantastic.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
You were born in Ireland, and traveled very far, musically speaking, before you came home again. Is “Within a Mile of Home” getting you even closer to the music of your childhood?

(DAVE KING)
Yeah, I mean, I suppose it is. I think the further away I go the closer I want to be back. It’s a contradiction of course, being Irish, which you probably know, we’re full of contradiction. I mean I didn’t really realize it until the album was done, how much more at home I felt. The title itself has nothing really to do with being within a mile of home as such. It actually means for me personally, it’s within a mile of being happy. Not afraid to be happy. And therefore once you’re happy, I think you’re home.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
You’ve got your Celt In A Twist and we’ve got Dave King from Flogging Molly on the line to talk about their new album, Within A Mile Of Home. More news from Flogging Molly is within your grasp. Just visit www.floggingmolly.com. What’s next for the band, Dave? Back to Molly Malone’s?

(DAVE KING)
I might head down there. Yeah, I might head down there for a few pints. I’ve got a bit of time off so I might go down see all the old folks down there. All my old friends. Yeah, we’ve got a little bit of time off, something we haven’t had in years. And I don’t know what to do with myself, really. But we’re going to be going to Australia and stuff like that. But we’re planning a big Saint Patrick’s tour. In March, we’re going to do seventeen days in March for the 17th of March, Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re going to do a big seventeen-city tour in the US. So that should be fun.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
Lots of celebrating?

(DAVE KING)
Oh yeah, of course, you have to celebrate don’t you? The good and the bad.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
We’re going out on 7 Deadly Sins from the album. You can also catch the video for that on World.Beats. Tell us about that song.

(DAVE KING)
Well, once again, that tune was inspired by people like Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer. People like Luke Kelly, who passed away, and who had this camaraderie about them that made you want to jump into their lives. And that song made me want to write a song about Flogging Molly and how we’ve all influenced each other and how we’ve all been on the road for so many years now, and sailing around the world, and singing our songs. It’s just one of those celebration type songs, celebrating the passing of great heroes that we’ve had and looking forward to the future as well. I love that song. Matt actually started playing the accordion riff on that and I had another part and the two, even though one is in major and one’s in minor, they both completely gelled together, and I really, really like that song. It’s a great song live.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
We’re going out on 7 Deadly Sins from the album. You can also catch the video for that on World.Beats. Tell us about that song.

(DAVE KING)
Well, once again, that tune was inspired by people like Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer. People like Luke Kelly, who passed away, and who had this camaraderie about them that made you want to jump into their lives. And that song made me want to write a song about Flogging Molly and how we’ve all influenced each other and how we’ve all been on the road for so many years now, and sailing around the world, and singing our songs. It’s just one of those celebration type songs, celebrating the passing of great heroes that we’ve had and looking forward to the future as well. I love that song. Matt actually started playing the accordion riff on that and I had another part and the two, even though one is in major and one’s in minor, they both completely gelled together, and I really, really like that song. It’s a great song live.

(CELT IN A TWIST)
We were just wondering because there are seven members of Flogging Molly, and of course, seven Deadly Sins,

(DAVE KING)
Well there’s that of course as well….

(CELT IN A TWIST)
If you each took one to specialize in. Thanks for joining us.

(DAVE KING)
Patricia, you are more than welcome.

http://www.floggingmolly.com

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