There is no offseason for Flogging Molly. A staple of punk rock, the band has been hard at work earning their reputation as one of world's best live bands for over 20 years. Relentless and raucous, the band sings "Drunken Lullabies" around the globe across the calendar, but that spotlight certainly gets hotter around the 17th of March.
"We're just lucky enough I think to play the kind of music that kinda has its own holiday" explains accordion player Matt Hensley. "I bet you there's Christmas bands that are probably happy every once a year too with that stuff, but we actually do this full time."
Flogging Molly has become synonymous with St. Patrick's Day, and the demand for their Celtic stylings of course increases around the holiday. After years of playing a St. Pat's party in Arizona, the band has moved their annual celebration to their home court of Los Angeles. "It feels great cause our band started there in some little pub called Molly Malone's" adds guitarist Dennis Casey. "To go back every year feels really good."
The show is more than a homecoming for the band, it's a special St. Patrick's experience where Flogging Molly manages to bring the bar to the stage. For the last few years, there has been an on-stage setting that offered fans a chance to watch from the stage as an expert pours the perfect pint of Guinness. "It's an actual bar" smiles Casey. "We have a guy pouring pints, and we would let fans through the whole show come sit on the stage."
"They give you a pint, you stay up for like a song and a half and then you sit in the booth, drink your pint for a while and then you get ceremoniously thrown off and then the next people come" says Hensley. "I love it. You're giving people some ownership of being part of this. You not only get to see the band, but you kinda get to have a couple drinks with them while we're playing."
If you are not able to make it out to celebrate with Flogging Molly for St. Patrick's Day, there is another inventive way the band is bonding with fans. They will once again embark on the Salty Dog Cruise this November, an excursion at sea with Flogging Molly, Frank Turner, Pennywise, and a long list of bands to keep the party afloat. It's another way that the Life Is Good band goes beyond the stage and dives in with the devoted, and it was actually created by the fans themselves. A group got together and put together the first cruise, which has since taken on a life of its own.
"This was all organized, nothing to do with the band whatsoever, we knew nothing of it" explains Casey. "Somebody started it and it just grew."
"The amount of camaraderie that you feel with everybody, all the people on the cruise, between the bands, between everybody. It is second to none" says Hensley. "I double dare any pirate ship to get anywhere near us, cause we will absolutely destroy you. We are so in love with what we're doing and wanting to help each other out that if a pirate ship got too close we would absolutely sink it. I guarantee it."
To hear more about Flogging Molly's upcoming St. Patrick's Day show and their Salty Dog Cruise, check out the full interview below.