By Greg Swindasz
The cork goes flying, champagne poured into red solo cups, a hearty cheers and down it goes. This is Flogging Molly’s last day performing on Warped Tour 2009. Before the last sip can even be swallowed the crowd begins to roar, expecting their promised dose of drunken lullabies and Irish punk that is Flogging Molly. After throwing away their cups the men, and one very lovely violin clad lady rush on stage, the crowd screams with excitement, the music starts, and Dave King greets his waiting fans.
Before the show Nevermind the Posers sat down and talked with Nathen Maxwell, the bass guitarist for Flogging Molly, and asked him some questions about the infamous Irish punk rock legend.
Nevermind the Posers (NVMP)- How are you enjoying Warped Tour so far?
Nathen Maxwell (NM)- I’m having a great time, Warped Tour is always fun.
NVMP– How long has Flogging Molly been playing on the tour?
NM– About six years now.
NVMP– Do you think Warped Tour has changed a lot over those years? How about the crowds?
NM-Yeah, it’s changed a bit. This year there’s one main stage instead of two, that’s different, but a lot of it really stayed the same. The crowd hasn’t changed that much, the bands have, which bring in new people. It’s always a good time; always fucking wild, kids with their shirts off, jumping up and down, having fun.
NVMP– Tell us a little bit about Flogging Molly’s latest album.
NM– Flogging Molly’s latest album is “Float”. We wrote and recorded it in Ireland; love the album, definitely the best shit we’ve ever done to date. I’m not sure about the sales, physical vs. download, but I know it debuted at #4 on Billboard charts which was huge for us. We were also #1 on the indie charts for over a month and we’re all really proud of that.
NVMP– Do you usually record in Ireland?
NM– No, that was our first time. We were touring our asses off, seems like forever now. We were all living in Los Angeles and then everyone kinda went back home. So that’s the reason why we ended up going to Ireland, Dave moved back home and we went with him to make the record.
Being on stage with Flogging Molly is like a party in Dublin, only no fighting and less brogue. Tina and I had the fortune to be standing with Justin Sane, the lead singer of Anti-flag. When those last howls of “The Salty Dog” are just about to play, Justin hands Tina the can of Guinness he was drinking and runs down stage to sing with the band. He shares a mic with Nathen Maxwell, and the crowd goes wild.
NVMP– With all the touring, did you have time to do the Green 17 tour this year?
NM– Yup, that’s an annual thing, we plan on doing that every year. It went great this year, best year ever. We had The Aggrolites with us so that was awesome.
NVMP– Can you explain the Green 17 tour and how it came about?
NM-It’s kind of our annual pre-St. Patrick’s Day party. St. Patrick’s day happens one day a year, but for Flogging Molly it happens every day of the year. So it’s our way to bring a big St. Patrick’s Day celebration to your town and it happens the month of or before St. Patty’s day. So that’s the idea behind it, we pick 17 cities to go to and we keep it at that. It all accumulates to the big St. Patrick’s Day show on the 17th.
NVMP– What music did you listen to growing up?
NM– I grew up listening to all kinds of music, I really kinda formed my identity around punk rock music- that was a big part of my culture, and what I played myself. I listened to a lot of reggae growing up as well. I was lucky to have a musical family, my father and sisters, so I was always around music. He (my father) was always turning me on to new things and old things and different things. Music is a big part of my life.
NVMP– Do you have a favorite artist?
NM– Well, I have Bob Marley tattooed on my arm. I really love the Wailers and The Clash.
NVMP– What is your favorite song off the new record and why?
NM– My favorite song off the new record maybe “Float”, the title track. I think lyrically it’s really sad (paying homage to Johnny Cash) and people had a big response to it; and honestly I just love the way it sounds, it’s a different approach to a song than we’ve done before. It has more of a folk type beat with a work song rhythm. I like the whole album.
NVMP– Anyone else you can’t get enough of at the moment, whose music are you playing all the time?
NM– Oh yeah, I really love the new Gaslight Anthem record; I think they’re great. Also, Gogol Bordello, I’m a big fan.
NVMP– Are you still with Side One Dummy Records?
NM– Yes, Side One Dummy, they’ve been our record label since the beginning. We’ve been offered deals by other major labels, but we’re loyal.
When their set was done Dave King gave his wife, the lovely violin clad woman, a kiss. As they walked off stage the whole band was greeted with smiles and hugs and thank-yous. Amongst the celebration of putting on a great set, there was a little sense of sadness as this was their last day on Warped Tour this year. Before letting Nathen go we had one more question for him:
NVMP– What is your definition of a poser?
NM– Someone who doesn’t progress, who’s not their authentic self and trying to be something they’re not. That would be my definition.