Interview: The Dropkick Murphys

(Guest Author Rebecca Moyer)
Rebecca’s interview w/ James Lynch, guitarist for The Dropkick Murphys:

It was a muggy, overcast day in mid august, and the 2003 Warped tour was on its last legs of its summer long run, when I had the chance to catch up with James Lynch, guitarist of Boston based, Irish influenced, punk rock group, The Dropkick Murphys. As it was his second to last day of non-stop touring, and as I myself did not want to miss the upcoming Suicide Machines set, (not to mention the fact that I was a bit ill-prepared for this interview), we kept our repertoire sweet and brief.

First off I was very anxious to ask anyone who had had any sort of contact with Shane MacGowan (of the Irish band the Pogues) what he was like, what their experience had been like. A few years ago Dropkick released an album, Sing Loud, Sing Proud, on which they recorded a few songs wit Mr. MacGowan. These songs included old traditional Irish favorites such as ‘Wild Rover’, as well as new ones, such as ‘Good Rats’, which explore the mythology behind rat’s contributions to Guinness’ greatness.

RM: Can you tell me what it was like to work with him [Shane MacGowan]? Or just how he is…just talk about it…
JL: It was amazing. Working with him was a great experience for me ’cause it’s hard to get him to work. But myself, Ken the bass player and Matt the drummer, were in the studio with him. Matt and myself were drinking, Ken was trying to work and be the producer type. So everything that came out of his [Shane] mouth we thought was absolutely brilliant and half of it was garbage and Ken had to be the bad guy and try and get something usable out of him…you just want anything about Shane MacGowan what do you want?
RM: Yeah anything really.
JL: We played a show in London with the Pogues… and yeah we all stayed at the same hotel. So it ended up we sat at the hotel bar with Shane and its funny, he seemed totally out of it and out of nowhere he pulled something out like, oh you’re awake? I was sitting next to him and I was buying a round of drinks and I signed for it and he looks over at me and goes.. ‘What’s your last name?’ I was like.. ‘Lynch’ and he goes.. ‘My mother’s a Lynch’ and just went back to his drink. And we drank with him till the sun came up, went to bed ..came back down and he’s still sittin’ at the same table…
RM: So it’s like he took a nap there?
JL: I think he just kept on goin’. He’s a machine.
And that was the story on Shane MacGowan.
Next on the table was another important question…and that’s roots. Now one may assume that since we are talking about The Dropkick Murphys, a band famous for their Irish pride, that I might have gone on to ask Mr. J Lynch about his ancestry, where could he date the name Lynch back to. But then one would realize that this guy had quite the Boston accent, and would remember that if there is one thing that the Murphys are known for besides being Irish, it’s that they are from Boston. So I figured that some hometown questioning was in order. Besides, I also figured that Mr. Lynch might be able to recall his personal history more acutely than that of his great grandfather’s, though, I could have been mistaken.
RM: So, you’re from Boston originally are you?
JL: Um, I’m actually from Worcester.. ’bout a half hour outside of Boston…I live in Boston now, I moved when I was like 18… the way I ended in Dropkicks was I was in a band called The Ducky Boys, so I had toured with The Dropkicks before and knew the guys.. so when The Ducky Boys broke up it just so happened that The Dropkicks were looking to add another guitar player and that’s how I ended up.. ya know
RM: So how do you feel about Boston’s music scene, say back when you were in The Ducky Boys..there were a lot of small but well recognized, Boston based bands, compared to now, everyone’s getting bigger, I mean you guys have gotten a lot bigger but everyone still knows you guys are a Boston band…
JL: Yeah the whole Boston thing, when The Ducky Boys and Dropkick were first starting out that year, Boston just blew up..any shit band that started in Boston could have put out a record that year because everyone was just looking…its like anything else.. take like Rancid, No Doubt for instance.. Berkley. So everyone goes runnin’ there to look at the band.. Boston had our thing in like 96-97 whatever.. and it’s still there, its just not as apparent. There’s still shows all the time, there’s still a lot of great new bands that people don’t know about playin’ there just gotta dig a little more for them..its not in your face.
RM: Can you tell me any bands that people should be sure to check out from that area?
JL: The Kings of Nuthin’.. Incredible.. Ah a new band called Homesick Radio.. some friends of mine that are really good.. The Unseen have been around longer than Dropkicks..they’re amazing. They’ve got a new record out.
Okay, so yay for Boston. We like Boston. Back to Ireland, and that line of questioning.
RM: Do you know anything about Irish folklore?
JL: Uh.. very little…couple of guys in the band could talk your ear off about it, but uh..
Okay, enough about Ireland. Maybe enough in general, that was pretty good for a first tie interviewer eh?
RM: Lets see.. do I have anything else? Do you have anything else?
JL: Eh…nothing that I can think of off the top of my head.
RM: All right well thank you.

Terrific, the end. Mr. James Lynch everyone, hell of a nice guy, was in hell of a good band (The Ducky Boys), is in hell of a good band (The Dropkick Murphys), lives in hell of a great city (Boston). Well hell, I say that rounds us up. Till next times ladies,

This is Rebecca Moyer, investigative reporter, over and out.

Oi, what a nutter.

For more on The Dropkick Murphys, visit there website at . And be sure to check out their new album Blackout, released by Epitaph Records.