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The Orion Online: Flogging Molly fuses traditional, modern tunes
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The Orion Online
Cal State University Chico

Flogging Molly fuses traditional, modern tunes
Sharon Marie yep
Staff Writer

This is the true story of seven musicians who meet at a bar, work together and have their music heard to see what happens when rock stops being mainstream and starts getting original.

Flogging Molly will rock Chico on Friday.

Its Dublin, Ireland-born lead singer Dave King arrived in Los Angeles in 1989, ready to start a music career. He landed a record deal with the band Fastway but later decided to leave the band and play solo in L.A. bars.

While combing the bar scene, he met Bridget Regan. Playing traditional Irish instruments like the fiddle and tin whistle, Regan reminded King of what he’d pushed aside since coming to the states.

“I found out that was the musical direction I was interested in, “King said in a phone interview. “It allowed me to revisit my past.”

The other five members of the band used to watch King and Regan play shows at L.A.’s Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, after which Flogging Molly is named.

It’s cool because the band grew within this one bar, “King said. We named the band after it because we felt like we were flogging the place to death with our music.”

King described Flogging Molly’s sound as “traditional Irish powerful soul music,” combining instruments like the mandolin, accordion, fiddle and whistle, with rock essentials like the guitar, bass and drums.

King said there are currently many bands with an Irish edge, but Flogging Molly remains special because of its various members.

“We have seven people that are all changing constantly,” he said. “When we collectively think as one, all those different ideas are mixed together.”

When asked how Flogging Molly’s sound has evolved for its latest album, “Within a Mile of Home, “King said the music changes here and there, but the heart and soul of the songs remain the same.

By being such a distinct band, its members feel the pressure to keep up the pace. “We can’t do the same album all the time,” he said.

Writing all of the band’s lyrics takes time, but the creative process is what King likes.

“Whenever I start to write a song, I never know really what it’s going to be about,” he said. “I start with a spark and take it from there.”

Those inspirational sparks have taken his band’s music all around the world, and Flogging Molly has been touring since 2004.

Associated Students Presents brought Flogging Molly to Chico in April 2003 for a sold-out show at the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium. Student’s reception was so good that the group played to a packed house at the Senator Theatre in January.

Bassist Nathen Maxwell has family in Chico, but King said the rest of the group has become friends with local people through the shows.

King said playing for students isn’t different from other shows because the music stands on its own.

“All I want to do is play for anyone whose mind is open and who’s ready to listen to something that’s not the norm.” he said.

Flogging Molly will play at 6p.m. Friday at the George Petersen Rose Garden. Opening Acts are Voodoo Glow Skulls and Go Betty Go. Tickets are $17 or $15 with a Chico State ID.

Sharon Marie Yep can be reached at

syep@orion-online.net

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