Interview with Flogging Molly’s Bob Schmidt

By | January 23rd, 2011 | 2 Comments
Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly posing amid the peat with mandolinist Bob Schmidt up front in green galoshes.

Set to release a still untitled fifth studio album in May, Flogging Molly will bring their hard-charging Celtic Oi! punk to the Fillmore Miami Beach on Feb. 12. The show is part of the band’s 7th Annual Green 17 Tour, a 29-city countdown to (or extension of) St. Patrick’s Day in March. Following two years of touring and Float, the septet’s 2008 album, Flogging Molly’s upcoming release is the result of a four-month recording session in Detroit and should manifest the adrenaline and heartbreak of Motown, past and present.

I recently spoke with Flogging Molly’s master mandolinist Bob Schmidt about the Motor City’s influence on the upcoming album and how a crew of Irish-American punks can pull off songs that conjure Queen.

You guys hunkered down in Detroit for four months to write the follow up to Float. Knowing the city’s depressed condition, did Detroit play a part in your writing process?

Absolutely. I think it’s probably the primary focus of the writing on the album — the kinds of struggles that people are going through. We had started to move into that on Float, talking about how screwed up things are getting and how we have to stick together.

I think that this album is that next step, coming from “Things are getting kinda crazy, but if we stick together it’ll be alright” to “Alright, people are losing their homes, communities are falling apart, it’s even more reason to stick together and support each other.” And … the fact that they aren’t talking about it on the news, they don’t talk about it in the papers — they talk about the economic recovery and they’re trying to gloss over the fact people are still losing their jobs and companies are closing down and that people’s businesses are disappearing. It’s important stuff and it’s not just happening in Detroit — it’s happening all over the country. If you live in L.A. or New York, you’re not really seeing it. But in a lot of the smaller towns and a lot of the industrial towns, it’s happening in a big way.

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