By Anne Wycoff
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Bob Schmidt, Mandolin and Banjo player of Flogging Molly, the seven-piece Irish-American Celtic punk rock band from Los Angeles, CA before their performance in Chico, Sept. 14 at the Senator Theater. Getting their start at L.A.’s Molly Malone’s, Flogging Molly has been belting out a successful blend of traditional Irish music and pirated bar tunes paired with modern punk since ’97.
UBO: Your fan base seemed to have changed over the last ten years, what do you attribute this to?
BOB: [Laughs] Well, we’re getting a bit older so our fans are too but the reality is [that] most of our fans are increasing in number [because the awareness of our music has increased] and we keep the 20-somethings and teens coming back with our new tunes and the middle-agers. Also, we are more of an E.P. band as opposed to just cranking out singles, so our music appeals to a gamete of fans.
UBO: With the download addicts out there, do you think today’s generation is missing something?
BOB: You mean like the experience of buying a CD or record? There is something to be said for going to the record store and buying a CD, sifting through the selections. Currently though, record stores are a dying breed, so Amazon and even Borders is today’s version of vinyl pilfering. And you know, downloads sound lame, compared to the actual CD.
UBO: Yea, more mechanical, like really bad, boring sex.
BOB: [Laughs} I guess you could put it like that
UBO: “The Devil’s Dance Floor” song and video beautifully illustrates the angst that an abused woman goes through as well as fulfilling every abused woman’s fantasy of ‘offing’ their abusers. Was this song based on a real character? Someone in Dave King’s life?
BOB: As a matter of fact, a lot of songs on that album, “Swagger,” out first studio album are based on characters from Molly Malone’s. “The Devil’s Dance Floor” is loosely composed of a shady cab driver who we call, “Sentimental Johnny” [also the name of one of our songs], kind of a dark, sad guy. He never displayed an abusive side but Dave just sort of took it to that level. But the dark, sad shady characters are flaws or rather, defining points of character that Dave will transform into a song.