"When you're in the muck you can only see muck. If you somehow manage to float above it, you still see the muck but you see it from a different perspective. And you see other things too. That's the consolation of philosophy."
David Cronenberg (1943 - ____) Canadian film maker
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE
Celt In A Twist: Flogging Molly’s fourth studio release is called Float and the seven drunken pirates have every reason to feel buoyant about it. It debuted at number 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 and sold 48,000 copies in its first week. Not bad for independent-minded Celt Punks in the age of corporate music. The band blaze through the eleven tracks with articulate poise and elegant ferocity coming to rest only for a thoughtful repose on the album cover. It’s simply their best yet and songsmith, Dave King is online to tell us more about it.
Did all the pieces just fall into place on this album or did it take some serious tinkering?
Dave King: No, it all fell into place. Myself and Bridget (Regan, fiddle player) had moved back to Ireland two and a half years a go and the band was looking for somewhere to do a new album ... somewhere other than the United States. And, it seemed natural, with two of us already living in Ireland, why don't we do something in Ireland? So, all the boys came over and we rehearsed for about six to eight weeks, and went on a little tour, doing a lot of the new songs and then went back to Ireland to a studio called Grouse Lodge in Westmeath. We recorded the album there and we recorded the album there over a period of about three weeks.
It was really great because we all lived in the same place so we were around each other all the time. It was a really good atmosphere.
CIAT: Was that album cover shot in Ireland as well?
DK: It was indeed. It was in the pub in the studio!
CIAT: It looks positively mediaeval.
DK: It is. It's a very, very old building. The studio itself is like this huge old Georgian house and out the back it has this fantastic studio with a swimming pool and the atmosphere in it is incredible.
CIAT: Wow! There’s an insinuated respect among the members of Flogging Molly that seems to shine through on your recordings. But you’ve taken that a step further by marrying into the band. Congratulations by the way … and how’s that going for you and Bridget?
DK: Thanks very much. Yah, it's fantastic because we're away from home so much. To do it and have each other there, it's just great ... a beautiful situation you know?
CIAT: What are some of the prominent lyrical themes on Float.
DK: Well, I think a lot of it was actually moving back to Ireland and going back to a country which, when I left it was in terrible disarray and turmoil and then coming back and seeing it blossoming ... it was a very positive place to be for writing.
CIAT: The title tracks which we just heard seems to be about just your average bloke trying to keep his head above water and holding on to his beliefs. Is that part of it?
DK: Absolutely, I mean especially for a band like Flogging Molly. This is our fourth album and if the pundits had their way we wouldn't have even got past our first album. So, it's a song about self-belief and we're still around after all these years.
CIAT: Thank goodness for that. You’ve got your Celt in A Twist and I have Dave King from Flogging Molly on the phone. Not only does he pen a fine song, he does a mean Sean Connery impression.
DK: (in his best Sean Connery voice) Whatcha mean, Cal? A fine Sean Connery impression indeed ...)
CIAT: The band is charting the globe in support of their new album and you can keep up with their travels at www.floggingmolly.com. Dave, did I hear right, that you compose your verses on a typewriter manufactured in 1916?
DK: Yah, I just bought it in an antique store and I just loved it. I didn't know what year it was made in so I went up the desk and they had a whole history on the make of it and everything and it was made in 1916 (the year of the Easter Rising) and I thought, "That's pretty ironic." maybe this will give me a bit of freedom now you know?
CIAT: You travel the world with Flogging Molly. Do you find little pockets or touch stones of Irish culture where ever you go?
DK: Yah, it's incredible, even in Japan for example you find people who are really into Irish music and Irish culture. Everywhere you go it's like that. It's a wonderful thing, I mean we Irish like to celebrate things, whether it be good or bad, we celebrate it and it's good to see other cultures embracing that.
CIAT: The album opens with a bang; the most infectious Flogging Molly tune since the Seven Deadly Sins. Can you set up a Requiem For A Dying Song?
DK: Well, for example, the line in it, "But with you my love, with you my love, with you I will return in requiem for a dying song." that's about me a Bridget going back to Ireland. It’s about seeing Ireland in the peaceful setting it is in right now and looking at the turmoil Mr. Bush has dragged America into now, and it just makes me very sad when I know things could be so much better. It's definitely an anti-war song.
Dave King was interviewed by Cal Koat on May 13th/08 for broadcast on Celt in a Twist, AM 1470, CJVB