When most people think of punk rock, they do not even begin to consider a band that consists of instruments such as the banjo, accordion, tin whistle, uillean pipes, and fiddle. However, the seven-piece Irish-descendant Flogging Molly has changed the face of punk with their Celtic and folk style. Originally from Los Angeles, the group has released five studio albums and three live albums since they were founded in 1997.
The members of Flogging Molly have both a long and decorated musical history. Dave King, lead vocalist, acoustic guitarist and more, was originally the vocalist for the heavy metal band Fastway which featured guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke of Motorhead and bassist Pete Way of UFO. He also fronted a hard rock band called Katmandu, featuring Mandy Meyer of Krokus on guitars. King also had a solo record deal with Epic records, but negotiated out of the contract when the label opposed his idea of bringing in traditional Irish instruments.
In 1993, King met guitarist Ted Hutt, bassist Jeff Peters, and fiddle player Bridget Regan, and put together a band that began to play a mix of Irish traditional and rock music. After writing a few songs, the group started playing at a Los Angeles Pub called Molly Malone’s every week. Although the building was small, they managed to draw the attention of attendees and gained a loyal following. Hutt and Peters eventually left the band when an earlier project of theirs received a record deal. King and Regan began recruiting new members and continued to play weekly.
On a Monday night at Malone’s, 17-year-old Nathen Maxwell sneaked into a show as a fan and soon after joined the band, completing the group’s current line up which includes King, Regan, Maxwell, Dennis Casey, Bob Schmidt, George Schwindt and Matt Hensley. In 1997, they put out a live album entitled Alive Behind the Green Door. In an interview with Kerrang! Magazine, King stated that the band’s name comes from the bar, Molly Malone’s, that faithfully supported the band from the very beginning.
“We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly,” said King.
In addition to Alive Behind the Green Door, Flogging Molly has released studio albums entitled Swagger, Drunken Lullabies, Within a Mile of Home, Float, and Speed of Darkness as well as live albums Whiskey on a Sunday and Live at the Greek Theatre. The album Float was dubbed “one of the most important CDs of the year, if not the decade” by Alternative Press Magazine and reached spot #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Drunken Lullabies was also successful, achieving gold status in June 2009. The acoustic/live DVD/CD combo Whiskey on a Sunday went platinum.
Flogging Molly will be performing live at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion on Friday, July 29th with Clutch. Tickets can be purchased now for $27.50 or at the door the day of the show for $30. The show will be outdoors and the gates will open for admission at 5:30 pm.