KRCX was lucky enough to get an interview with the drummer of Dropkick Murphys, Matt Kelly to promote their appearance at Riot Fest which happens at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO. Although 8 AM interviews have the potential to go awry, Matt was simply just a nice guy and the interview was very pleasant and smooth.
KRCX: How’s your tour going? I checked your touring schedule, and it seems like Dropkick Murphys have been touring since the dawn of time. Do you ever not tour?
Matt Kelly: We actually tour sporadically! We were gone all summer, we were in Europe for 6 weeks and then had 10 days off. We were in Canada for another 10 days, and then we had about a month off. But we’ve been doing this for 18 years now, so we’re rather used to it.
KRCX: Your last 2 albums have charted in the Billboard Top 10, do you feel like your band is still getting bigger and better after almost 20 years?
MK: Better is subjective, I mean we’re always trying to be better but that’s not up for us to really decide. But we’re definitely bigger. We’ve really come a long way from the underground punk scene where the nobody had the internet. The only people who did were nerds anyway [laughs]. It was all word of mouth at the time, you couldn’t browse and pick your scene. But since then, the internet people helped really get the word out about us. And it’s also been a matter of product placement, we’ve been featured in some films.
KRCX: You know, I was actually going to ask about that! Was it rad to hear your music in a Martin Scorsese movie?
MK: We had just come back from a month long European tour and immediately we hopped on a plane, got our wives, and went to the theater the night The Departed came out. You know, you’re all jet-lagged and exhausted, and then our song comes on and it’s just surreal. Growing up watching Scorsese movies, it was pretty mind-blowing. I mean, this band started in the basement of a barbershop, and for a guy like Scorsese, who picks the music in his film extremely carefully, to put us in his film was an honor. It really changed our situation, especially in Boston. All the kids already knew us, but the typical “Joe Shmoe” Red Sox fans would beat us up. But now they’re our fans! [laughs]
KRCX: Alright, I’m gonna ask a couple of light-hearted questions. What are your favorite jigs and reels?
MK: I like Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight, but I’m really more about the more traditional folky stuff like Rising of the Moon, My Brother Sylvest, and The Golden Silver Years, stuff like that.
KRCX: What is your favorite beer, and what’s the dumbest thing you’ve done after too much of it?
MK: I have two! One for Europe, and one for America. I’d pick Alchemist Heady Topper for America, which is from Vermont. And for Europe, I’d pick Westvleteren Abbey 12. That was one of the greatest beers in the world up until about 4 years ago, when they stopped mass producing it. Now you can only buy it at the brewery where the monks make it; my brother is actually one of the monks there in Belgium. The dumbest thing we did after too much of it, was that we gave our old guitarist a wedgie so bad we ripped his underwear off. I still feel a little bad about it. [laughs]
KRCX: Some bands such as Weezer and Slayer are playing full albums at Riot Fest, do you plan to do anything special for Riot Fest?
MK: Well, we change our setlist every time we play, so we aren’t doing any concepts, rock operas, and nobody’s wearing gold underwear. We just make sure our sets are different, and that people get what they came for and have a good time.
KRCX: Thank you for doing this interview, we’re all big fans here and we’ll see you at Riot Fest!
MK: Thank you, enjoy the rest of your morning!
Check out Dropkick Murphys at Riot Fest on Sunday, September 21st! Tickets are still available at www.riotfest.org, See you there!
by Sye Sharp