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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A rowdydow amid recession

    Flogging Molly
    Flogging Molly

    “”Everything crumbles so quickly,”” said Flogging Molly’s mandolin/banjo champ Bob Schmidt while recovering from a set at bandleader Dave King’s Detroit home. During 14 years of tours through America and beyond, the Irish punk outfit has witnessed social and urban decay firsthand.

    “”Detroit inspired a lot of what the songs on our new album (Speed of Darkness) are about … the title is kind of a metaphor for how quickly things can go wrong, but it’s also a metaphor for how quickly things can go right again.””

    The seven members of Flogging Molly have recently embarked on their seventh annual Green 17 tour — an international sojourn that counts down to St. Patrick’s Day by fostering drunken revelry in every city big enough to hold them. This year, Tempe is lucky enough to host the hooligans for a memorable March 17 celebration.

    “”Tempe must have the largest secret Irish population in the country,”” Schmidt laughed. “”Arizona is not known for their Irish, but they certainly come out for St. Patrick’s Day.””

    The set promises cuts from Flogging Molly’s forthcoming fifth album, but fans can expect no shortage of classic hits. Schmidt recalled a memorable performance of the crowd-rousing memorial ballad, “”If I Ever Leave This World Alive.””

    “”We played it last year in Texas at an open-air barbecue joint with an outdoor stage, maybe four blocks off the main strip in Austin. We had a friend who was playing a show on the same night, and he said that he could hear our crowd singing that song from his show inside, four-and-a-half blocks away.””

    This particular Green 17 tour represents a twofold celebration for Flogging Molly: the band is also counting down to the May 31 release of Speed of Darkness. With track titles like “”Rise Up”” and “”Don’t Shut ‘Em Down,”” the album aims to restore faith and energy in a recession-weary America.

    If the energy of live concert audiences serves as any indication, Flogging Molly’s newest release will kick post-recession depression’s ass with a shamrock-colored boot made of grade-A Detroit steel.

    And what will the members of Flogging Molly do if they ever leave this world alive? “”I’d give my grandma a big hug,”” said Schmidt. “”My dad’s mom and my mom’s dad are the two I’ve lost that I’ve been close to in my life … Then I’d sit in with Hendrix. I’m sure Hendrix and (Keith) Moonie are doing some good work up there.””

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