It is not often suggested that punk bands have anything musically in common with traditional Irish or Canadian East Coast music, but LA band Flogging Molly has been mixing these two distinct styles for the past 12 years and finding their audience growing year after year.
With an obvious influence of legendary Celtic punk-rockers The Pogues running through their songs, Flogging Molly have built a loyal following throughout Europe, the US and Canada thanks in large part to their raucous live show, which many believe is the band’s calling card.
Speaking via cell phone as the band travels between Seattle and Boise, Flogging Molly accordionist Matt Hensley agrees with their live show being a critical part of the band’s success.
“I feel that our live show is where it’s at. If you were to see us live, you would see that we believe in what we’re doing, believe in what we’re singing about and stand behind what we play. No matter where we are playing, people enjoy themselves at our shows.
“Most times when you see any band, even if they are lackluster and their songs aren’t that great, you walk away believing in what that band is doing if you felt that they believed in what they were doing.”
Flogging Molly’s upcoming Canadian tour is going to be their most extensive jaunt through our country yet, playing 14 shows before wrapping up in Vancouver at month’s end. The tour includes a Thursday October 15 stop at the Oxygen Nightclub in Moncton.
According to Hensley, undertaking a full-on Canadian tour is something the band had in the works for awhile.
“We have always been treated very well by Canadians and had been talking for quite some time about doing a full Canadian tour,” Hensley says. “In the past, we have always hit the bigger cities but never actually gone coast to coast when given our instrumentation, it should have been a no-brainer to tour throughout Canada. We had suggested to our management that it could prove to be a real stronghold of fans for us so we really insisted that we get up there to tour; I’m glad a tour has finally come together.”
With the seemingly constant state of flux in record sales and with labels shutting their doors on a surprisingly frequent basis, Flogging Molly have been fortunate enough to have remained with independent label Side One Dummy for their career to date. Five studio records and one live compilation later, the band has no intentions of fleeing the label for supposed greener pastures.
“I think that life on an independent label really is the best case scenario for the band. With every record we release, our popularity increases, which then gives us leverage with the label in terms of tour support, promotion and sales,” Hensley says. “Plus, we like that no one is telling us how to sound or steering us in directions that we don’t believe in. We have a great relationship with them so staying with Side One Dummy just makes sense on so many levels.”
Flogging Molly will be performing on Thursday October 15 at the Oxygen Club on Westmorland Street in Moncton. Their special guests are Winnipeg band Inward Eye and Dean Lickyer. Advance tickets are available for purchase online at www.sonicconcerts.com.