Flogging Molly Interview
Nathen from Flogging Molly drinks Guinness with the MTT crew and talk music, Michael and Irish Pride.
Flogging Molly Interview on Moe Train’s Tracks
Nathen Maxwell (Flogging Molly)
Monty Wiradilaga, Brian Kracyla ( Moe Train’s Tracks)
Moe: What’s going on man, how are you?!
Nathan: Aw, I’m having a great time, Moe! How bout you?
M: Having a blast! What do you think about the Rothbury scene?
N: Right on brother. Man, it’s cool, it’s different for us. I’d call it kind of a hippie festival but it’s great that our music can be a part of this. I think we fit in.
N: Yeah, thanks man.
M: How does the Irish culture take your music? How do the people take your music?
N: Well, people think that we’d be huge in Ireland, and I’ll tell you it’s not the case! (laughs) And one of the reasons, like someone told me, is because there’s 34 million Irish in America and there’s about 4 million Irish in Ireland, you know! I think the youth in Ireland too, they grow up with traditional music, it’s not such a novelty to them. I mean we’ve got great fans in Ireland but it’s not as big as it is in the US and other parts of Europe.
M: You’re appealing to the Irish, you’re appealing to the punks, you’re appealing to such a wide audience.
N: I think that’s the thing about our music, it’s for everybody, young and old. I was just talking to this lady behind me, she was just saying that one of the things she loves about Flogging Molly is that it’s one of the only bands that her and her father agree on. I think that’s a big part of it too. I grow up a punk rocker, but this music it transcends scenes, man.
M: I heard you guys take a “deadly serious” approach to your music, what’s that all about?
N: When I say a deadly serious approach to music, I mean that this is all we have. This is our life, it’s everything to us. But at the same time, we don’t try to take ourselves too seriously. You gotta have fun, you gotta laugh at yourself, man. You know what I mean!
M: Absolutely. Irish pride, what role does that play in your music and how does it affect your interaction with your fans?
N: Well, our singer Dave is a Dublin-er, born and raised, and he’s ginger as well, so he looks the part. I think the Irish pride thing is biggest amongst our fans. Dave’s obviously proud of where he’s from and we’re all proud of where we’re from. I’m from L.A. I’m proud of that, Cali’ pride. But for me, I think it’s human pride, you know, we’re all one big family. That’s the way I see reality. So I think the Irish pride thing is bigger amongst some of our fans then it is amongst the band. I’ve got Irish blood. But I also have Mexican blood, Polish blood, German blood; it’s a human thing for me personally.
M: Yeah, we’re sitting here drinking Guinness…
N: Yeah, thank you by the way.
M: Absolutely, you are welcome. I was going to bring over some Jameson but I didn’t want to be responsible for you guys getting shit-faced before your show.
N: Oh we already opened the Jameson bottle on the bus!
M: Ah, okay, guess I should have brought it then. You guys have got to have some drunken Irish stories.
N: Well, I can’t remember the last time I blacked out. How bout that?
M: You can’t remember?!
N: I can’t remember. What did we do last night? I don’t know.
M: Exactly. So do you guys always get tuned up before you play?
N: Yeah, well, most of us. Our drummer stays pretty sober but the rest of us like to kinda hit the sauce and get that swagger on before we hit the stage. And then we just continue on through the night and party.
M: So what’s your definition of swagger?
N: Just walking the walk, you know, just being yourself. Don’t try to copy anybody, just be yourself and own it.
M: We’re also doing a side-show on Michael Jackson. Has he influenced you in anyway?
N: Sincerely, absolutely, Michael Jackson has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. All my family loved Michael Jackson, I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. I love Michael Jackson. I think Off the Wall is one of the best albums ever made. It’s a real loss. I’m not here to judge, I don’t know about all that drama he was going through the last decade and I don’t have an opinion on that and I’d like to keep it that way. To me it’s a shame that he never got to, if he was innocent, redeem himself in the eyes of the public. It’s a shame that he died so young and I think that we lost a great talent with Michael.
M: How has “D.I.Y. or Die” played a role in the success of Flogging Molly?
N: It’s been everything for us. We didn’t stand a chance in the world in the beginning.. People used to tell us we were shit, that we were just a bar band, that we’d never make it, just another bar band. We were like, yeah whatever we started at a bar, we like to drink but come on, we could play for anybody! So we had to do it ourselves, there was no one there to help us. We financed our first two records ourselves. We got lucky to become friends with a great indy label SideOneDummy, we’re still with them today, they put us on the Warped Tour. It’s all been about do-it-yourself. I’m here right now, I feel like a pretty successful person with Flogging Molly, and in my personal life I blessed, and it’s all been because I’ve done it myself. I wasn’t handed a goddamn thing.
M: So what would you say to people who are trying to get there start?
N: Just do it man. Believe in yourself first-and-foremost. If you don’t believe in yourself ain’t no one gonna believe in you. Believe in yourself and just do it. Don’t take no for an answer. If you get knocked down, get right back up. It’s pretty simple.
M: That’s right, Irish Ethos right there! (both laugh) Finally, as you said, we’re at a hippie festival, we bounce around at different festivals and, well, you can smell the patchouli oil out there…
N: And the weed! I like the weed smell! The patchouli I could stand to do without, but the weed’s good.
M: So, who would win in an epic battle here at Rothbury, the trippin’ hippies or the drunken Irish, and why?
N: Well, here at Rothbury, I go with the hippies! There’s a lot more of them. I think the hippies are definitely outnumbering the drunk Irish. Plus, you know, when you’re on that LCD you get super-powers! I don’t recommend it, kids!
M: Thank you very much for being on the show. We’re looking forward to your set.
N: Cheers, brother!