Dancing around the fire
Not sure about autheticityo of the story, but here it is, what people write and think.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury
Music: Plucky charms
Flogging Molly upends Irish tradition
By Ched Whitney
For the uninitiated, the experience goes something like this: The ensemble comes on stage, toting the requisite traditional instruments--fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin, etc. The singer, a fortysomething Irish gentleman, cues the band members, and they launch into what sounds like a conventional Irish ditty.
Then someone bumps the turntable to 78 rpm.
Flogging Molly has been blending Irish folk rhythms with punk rock velocity since singer and acoustic guitarist Dave King got the band the together in the late '90s. King--who was the singer for the '80s hard rock band Fastway--met his bandmates at Molly Malone's, a venerable Los Angeles Irish pub where King performed on open-mic nights.
"The guys and the girls used to come down and see me, and that's where we all met," King said recently from his L.A. home, where the band has been rehearsing for a new album, a follow-up to 2002's Drunken Lullabies.
Having tasted some success and played at Madison Square Garden, King decided some of the associated trappings of that success didn't jibe with the lessons of his modest Irish upbringing. But the music did.
"For me growing up in Ireland, I was brought-up piss-pot poor. We had nothing," King says. "We had one room in the flat. But we had a piano in that room. Almost every Friday and Saturday, my mother and father would go out to the pub, and they'd come back with a load of people. And they'd all sit around the room and take turns singing a song. All we had was music.
"Looking back on it, it's almost like I'm trying to get back to that stage--the honesty of just music."
Flogging Molly released its first studio album, Swagger, in 2000 and quickly built a cult following with frequent gigs. A much-hailed run on the 2001 Warped Tour brought the band additional notice. While King is certainly pleased with the success, he is adamant that the band makes music first and foremost for themselves.
"People might say, `Why traditional music?' When you're young, you want to hear electric guitar and let your hair grow and fuckin' rock out or punk out, or whatever," he says. "To me, when I came over to America [about 10 years ago], it hit me: I was brought up on this music, and I ran away from it."
And though King says, "I don't fuckin' care if you don't like [Flogging Molly]," he says he feels fortunate to be doing something that resonates with people. He relates a story from an Italian friend who worked in refugee camps inCroatia. Lacking the resources to rebuild the bombed-out cities, people were forced to live in camps.
"Every night, Herzegovinians and Croatians and Yugoslavians were all sitting around the campfire and bickering. Every night they'd build a bonfire and the Croatians would want to here Croat music and they'd bicker over it." One night King's friend got out his boombox and put on Flogging Molly, and everyone stopped fighting and started dancing around the fire.
"Now if I can be sitting here in L.A. rehearsing or something," King says, "and somebody that we don't know, who are going through hell on Earth... and we're putting a smile on their face? I mean, for fuck's sake, that's more than any politician will ever fuckin' do. It's very, very humbling to think that you're doing something in your life that maybe means something to somebody else."
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