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A lesson in Politics with the Dropkick Murphys




Irish-American band the Dropkick Murphys have been busy preparing for charity events, touring Europe and working on a new album. The Dwarf caught up with Tim Brennan and probed him about his experience as a festivalgoer, the US election and the band's upcoming assault on Australia.

  

The Dropkick Murphys have been spending most of their time as of late, writing songs for a new album. Recording is expected to take place in May and the album will hopefully be released by the end of the year. "We've written a bunch of songs. We've played a couple of them live so if people come to the live shows they might catch a glimpse of what's to come but I mean there has been nothing that we hate so far which is good. It's a good starting point for writing an album" said Brennan.

  

The band's sound is difficult to define. It cites its produce as a clash of various styles including, Irish folk, hardcore and punk. But the question remains, how on earth do you meld Irish folk and punk influences? "It's one of those things that if you listen to any Irish music…traditional stuff, it's played so fast and with the same vigour as punk rock music. So putting the two together wasn't too difficult because we just replaced acoustic guitars with electric ones and went from there." It sounds so simple!

  

The band has played its unique blend of music in most parts of the world during the last decade but Brennan can't pin point a specific tour as his favourite. "We get to Europe a lot and it all kind of melds together after a while. I love playing in the States because it seems so rare that we get to play at home. I loved my last trip to Australia but I was sick most of the time so I didn't get to enjoy it as much so I'm looking forward to this next one obviously." And there's little doubt Australian audiences will be thrilled to see these guys back up on stages around the country.

  

As for Brennan's most incredible festival experience…"We did Leeds when Green Day was headlining one year and it was right before American Idiot came out so it was before they got enormous. I'd been a Green Day fan for so long and never got to see ‘em. So I finally got to see them, standing on the stage, and there were 60,000 people there and that was definitely a highlight. Then another one (festival) we played with the Foo Fighters, and Dave Grohl commented on stage how amazing every one of our songs was and how much he loved us. So that was pretty cool as well!"

  

The Dropkick Murphys will be holding their second annual acoustic charity breakfast this St Patrick's day as a fundraiser for My Brother's Keeper. Brennan discussed the obligations of musicians to influence social change and society by getting involved in benefits such as the breakfast. "I just think that if you're able to get a large audience to hear what you're saying, you may as well use that power. There's a lot of people who wish they had 5,000 people who would stare and listen to them so if we can use that, the attention that we get to support a good cause, and bring people's attention to that cause then why not do it?"

  

"Obviously everybody listens to music and if people are into music like some of the people I know are, a message in a song can go a long way with some people. I think there are a lot of bands that have so much attention and so many people willing to listen to what they have to say."

  

But obviously, musicians have fairly limited power to influence social change as was evidenced by the 2004 US election. "We had over 3000 bands telling people not to vote for George Bush and he's the president! So there doesn't seem to be too much (power) but I guess it helps a little bit."

  

That's an excellent point, so just how did George Bush manage to get elected? "I don't know how it happened. It was one of those things that was really disheartening…it was sort of the one election that people like myself who aren't really into politics were like ‘I gotta go and vote' and it didn't matter. Our votes didn't matter!"

  

Whilst US politics was a bit or a sore point, the interview was ended on a much lighter note. For all you aspiring musicians out there, Brennan had this advice for you…

  

"People just have to do something unique, that people haven't heard before, that people haven't heard in a long time and that people want to hear again. The genre of music that's out today, the predominant genre just from tv and magazines is stuff like that. My parents had the Rolling Stones and the Who and Jimi Hendrix and people like that, and we have Fallout Boy…My Chemical Romance and stuff like that…If I had any advice for people starting a new band it would be to do something different and good, please!" So there you go folks. For the sake of Brennan's sanity, do you mind writing something mindblowing and original?

  

Catch The Dropkick Murphys when they visit our shores this month

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