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Flogging Molly at the Fillmore, 5 Things To Know
It’s been 20 years since Dave King left the hard rock band Fastway to tap into his Celtic roots with his next group, Flogging Molly.
Since then the troupe six studio albums, including 2011’s “Speed Of Darkness” -- inspired by the financial flight of Detroit, where King and his wife and bandmate Bridget Regan, reside part of the year -- and it’s follow-up, “Life Is Good,” which comes out Friday, June 2.
The group has also established itself as a strong and active touring act on both sides of the Atlantic, with a popular annual trek around St. Patrick’s Day and a full slate of summer festivals.
• King, 55, says the six-year break between albums was not by design. “I don’t know a lot of other bands that can keep on touring like we do,” he explains by phone. We can just keep on booking shows and booking shows and they’ll keep coming. We had loads of (song) ideas over the years, obviously. But it’s like we have to consciously make a decision that, ‘We’ve got to stop touring right now and have to concentrate on getting a new album out.’ So we just literally said, ‘OK, here’s six months, let’s do it.’”
• Flogging Molly has never shied away from politics and topical songs, but King says “Life Is Good” is less affected by the tenor of the times. “To me it’s a pretty optimistic album, not as dark as some of our previous ones,” King says. “We kind of had the album written before the election came in, and being in Detroit and Ireland there was a certain amount of optimism. Ireland was hit pretty drastically as well during the recession, but now I find a different attitude. It was the third country to vote in gay and lesbian rights; I never thought I’d see that in my lifetime. The whole country is getting back together and it’s wonderful.”
• King is similarly buoyed by Detroit’s recovery since “Speed Of Darkness” came out. “A lot of good stuff is coming about in Detroit these days, whether it be these amazing restaurants opening up, art, other things,” he says. “There’s a different atmosphere I find, walking around, especially when I walk around places in Ferndale and such. It really seems like something’s happening once again.”
• “Life Is Good’s” title track, meanwhile, came from a deathbed conversation King and Regan had with his mother around Christmas of 2015, just before she passed away. “We were at the hospital with her and she said, ‘C’mere’ and whispered in our ear, ‘Enjoy yourselves, ‘cause I surely did,’” King recalls. “Even though it’s really said, to hear something like that made everything worthwhile. The fact that line is in that song is very special to me.”
• As for Flogging Molly’s 20th anniversary, King says that, “It’s incredible, isn’t it? It really is unbelievable to think it’s been 20 years. But I think we all still believe in what we’re doing, songwriting-wise. We have a really good chemistry in the band; Everybody has their own little vibe going on and we give each other all the space we can, and when it comes to the shows it’s all or nothing. We’ve always been that way. It still is at the end of a day a real collaboration, and that’s what keeps it going the way it has -- and the way it probably will for a while longer, I’d say.”
If You Go:
• Flogging Molly and White Buffalo
• Saturday, June 3. Doors open at 7 p.m.
• The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.
• Tickets are $25-$49.50.
• Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.
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