Interview: Matt Kelly (Dropkick Murphys)

Seit 1997 ist Matt Kelly Schlagzeuger der Dropkick Murphys und damit nach Gründungsmitglied Ken Casey das langjährigste Mitglied der Bostoner Kultband. Nach einer sehr erfolgreichen Celtic Punk Invasion Tour, die die Band zusammen mit Blood Or Whiskey, The Mahones und Bryan McPherson durch Europa und Nordamerika geführt hat, bleibt eigentlich nur die dringend überfällige Ankündigung eines Nachfolgers zum letzten Album “Signed And Sealed In Blood”. Bis das soweit ist, begnügen wir uns mit diesem kleinen Interview, das wir mit Matt führen konnten.

Foto: Kerry Brett

Foto: Kerry Brent

The Dropkick Murphys exist as a band for nearly two decades now. During all those years there were several people that left or joined the band. Do you keep track of what the ex-members are up to (for example Rick Bartons new band Continental)?
“Yeah, for the most part. We actually had Rick’s band open a couple shows, and his band from before that, Everybody Out!, toured with us a couple times. Most of the other ex-members are involved in music in one capacity or another, though some guys are harder to track down than others.”

What makes a Dropkick Murphys song special? Is there something like a signature that can be found in all of your songs?
“That’s hard to define, especially because we wrote them. Like any band, some songs resonate with people, and some don’t. We’re just lucky enough that a lot of ours do. I guess the ‘something’ found in our songs is just the fact that the ideas have been through the ‘Dropkick Murphys machine’ and they come out the way they do because of the guys writing and playing the songs.”

What’s happening behind the stage during the last minutes before the start of the show? Does the band have any rituals?
“Nothing incredibly exciting, really. Guys warm up their hands, arms, legs, voices, and all that; we all look at the night’s setlist and go over any special segues, beginnings or endings of songs, and then we get in a circle and focus for a minute. I can’t speak for any of the other guys, but I typically will do three quick pushups right before we run onstage to get the blood really flowing in my arms and hands.”

Are there any songs that you’ve grown tired of playing live?
“Not really. There are a few songs that we almost always play live, but since the setlist changes night-to-night, and those songs aren’t in the same spot in the set all the time, it stays interesting.”

In the past you’ve collaborated with musicians like Fat Mike or Bruce Springsteen. Is there someone that you have always dreamed of working with?
“My brother Mike.”

You recently spoke out against Scott Walker’s use of your song “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”. How often do you see yourself associated with something that you don’t want to stand for because of the use of your songs?
“That was really strange… but it really doesn’t happen too much… but I think that some of our supporters/fans have a perception of what our songs mean, or what we as people are about and how we act, which is a far cry from reality.”

You’ve announced that you will be playing “Do Or Die” in it’s entirety at Punk Rock Bowling. If you would record that record now is there any thing that you would change?
“Yeah, I hope I’d play the drums much better than on the album. The tempos were sketchy at best! Also, I’d have Al sing on the record. I love Mike’s voice on it, but he was in the band for such a short time after it came out, and Al brought that record to the public… so I think that would be interesting to hear.”

What was the last record you bought?
“I bought a few at a record store yesterday: Edwin Starr- ‘Soul Master’ LP; Black Sabbath- ‘Never Say Die’ LP (W.German pressing); Oasis- ‘Supersonic’ 12” ep; Jeff Beck- ‘Truth’ LP (W.German pressing); Lion’s Law- ‘Open Your Eyes’ CD.”

Foto: Gregory Nolan

Foto: Gregory Nolan