Celtic punk rock legends Flogging Molly are set to release their much-anticipated album Life Is Good on June 2nd—twenty years after their debut live album Alive Behind The Green Door first hit the stands. Fans can experience the new tracks, along with a healthy measure of the group’s classic hits, on Flogging Molly’s international headlining tour—running from early May through to September.
Guitarist Dennis Casey was willing to take a break from it all to talk about the new release, reflect on twenty years together as a band, and share some of his favourite guilty pleasure songs.
Life Is Good marks Flogging Molly’s first album release in six years. What took so long with this one?
Casey: With this particular record, a number of things happened. We changed up our business team, which delayed things; we have a new drummer; Dave’s mother passed away during the writing, and my father passed away during the writing of this. So, all of those things combined pushed it back.
How did having that large gap between albums affect the process, or the songs themselves—if at all?
Casey: I can’t really compare it to any other time. It was emotional because death generally is and I think it inspired us, the sadness that was happening, and also the election that was happening too. I just think we went with it. It was not easy. It was a bit, I don’t want to say frustrating because you have to accept what happened, but we’re used to working a lot faster. But life gets in the way sometimes when you’re making other plans.
You mentioned that you have a new drummer. What does Flogging Molly serve for their welcome-to-the-band dinner?
Casey: A pint of Guinness! Bring whatever food you want.
In addition to the new album release, Flogging Molly is celebrating another milestone this year—the 20th anniversary of your first album release Alive Behind The Green Door. What’s it like reflecting back on those past 20 years? Is there anything you would have done differently if you had the chance to go back and do it all again?
Casey: I would have bought a really good camcorder and recorded many moments—backstage, in the van, right when we were starting out. I wish I had had the foresight to do that, looking back.
Over these past 20 years together how do you think you’ve managed to maintain that same level of collaboration, that same drive to tour and make new music as a group?
Casey: Like any relationship, without getting too cliche or pollyannaish, the love of what we do and the love of each other keeps us going. Like a relationship, it just grows stronger and stronger. We may get on each other’s nerves, that’s normal. In the long run, because we love what we do and because we’re fortunate enough to do it, and it’s not that easy to become a professional musician and make a living at it, I think all of those things keep us going.
You’re currently on tour together and will be for the next four months. What is the most bizarre thing on Flogging Molly’s rider?
Casey: Pedialyte. It’s for children when they get sick and they need to rehydrate, it has electrolytes and minerals in it. I think you can figure out why we have that on the rider—it’s a good hangover cure!
What is your personal favorite guilty pleasure song? One that you wouldn’t want people to know that you like, but you secretly love it.
Casey: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Or, “Close to You” by The Carpenters… I’m a sucker for that one.
Check out the lyric video for the song “Reptiles (We Woke Up)”