Blazing through their 14th year as Boston’s Irish-punk kings, the Dropkick Murphys are notorious as one of the best and most energizing live bands in the world.
In addition to several high-profile appearances around the world this summer – including a featured appearance at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival, Dropkick Murphys have also been working on new material for a follow-up to 2007′s blistering The Meanest of Times.
We tracked down Dropkick drummer/vocalist Matt Kelly to get the inside track on his love of vinyl, his take on current events and an update on the new Dropkick Murphys album!
CraveOnline: It’s raining like almighty hell right now in Manchester, TN. How do you change the dynamic of your set or approach to playing when you’re at a festival, particularly when the elements are getting fierce?
Matt Kelly: The elements don’t change what we do–if there are people out there in front of the stage, we’ve got to give them our all whether the weather is foul or fair. Any other way would be short-changing people.
CraveOnline: You’re heading down to New Orleans after Bonnaroo – it’s a hellish, oily mess down there right now. Is it tempting to insulate yourself from the problems in an area you’re touring through, rather than investigate the historic nightmare happening out there?
Matt Kelly: I imagine some of us, as usual, will check out the city. I have a couple friends down there that I’ll probably hang with. If it’s navigable it’ll be business as usual, and if there’s something interesting to see then we’ll check it out. Some people go from tour bus to dressing room to stage, back to tour bus, and that’s fine. However, I think most of us will be psyched to be in New Orleans and enjoy ourselves.
CraveOnline: Just reading up on you, you don’t seem the kind of guy who would be sad to see the CD die off as a format. What are your most prized pieces of vinyl?
Matt Kelly: I actually find CD-R’s very convenient in the way that blank cassette tapes were used way back when. As far as music goes, I’ve always and will probably always be a fan of "hard" media. File sharing is great if you’re sending a new song to a band mate, but MP3′s, WAV files, etc., just aren’t FUN. From your question, it’s obvious my preferred medium for listening to music is of course on vinyl. You can actually tell that people took time to put together artwork, layout, posters/flyers/postcards, even down to the texture of paper used. I have some rare records, though nothing too too special. Here’s a few off the top of my head that I hold dear:
AC/DC- Let There Be Rock LP (original Aussie pressing w/fretboard artwork)
IRON MAIDEN- The Soundhouse Tapes 7" (their ’79 demo they pressed on vinyl)
THE BEATLES- The White Album (original stereo pressing, low number)
NEGATIVE APPROACH- s/t 7" (rarer than hen’s teeth!)
DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET- Blue Turk LP
SLADE- Give Us A Goal single
Of course I play all of them, and they’re not kept in a cryogenic chamber or anything. I hate that crap when people collect for the item and not the music contained therein. Worse than stamp collecting or trainspotting!