Big Wheel Magazine Flogging Molly Celebrates Side One Dummy’s 10 year anniversary. March 2006view image
Describing Flogging Molly to someone who’s never heard them before is like trying to tell someone who’s never drank alcohol what it’s like to be drunk. Both are things that need to be experienced to attain understanding. You need to be at the club, with the crowd thumping their feet, the roar of the “ole, ole ole ole… ooo-oooleaaaaaaaaaaaah, ooooleaaaaah”. You need a guy so drunk with happiness and Guinness, to dump an eight dollar beer on your head just because the moment called for it. You need to feel the impediment of excitement, joy, raucous, dishevelment, sorrow that is about to completely intoxicate you. Then the music starts. Your ears start chugging. Just like when it hits your lips, it tastes so good.
With that said Flogging Molly have come a long way from the bar band many people once wrote them off as. Their music speaks for itself and transcends terminology. I cant count how many people I’ve met in my travels throughout the world (ok, I’ve been as far as west Hawaii and far east as Texas, lame!) who love this band. There’s just something about the live show that’s an experience incomparable to anything. The biggest variation that Flogging Molly consists of would be it’s age demographic. Little Kids, rebellious teenagers, twenty something alcoholics, thirty something alcoholics, forty something—ok, you get the drift.
Did I actually just say demographic? Retarded-ness ensues. Geology is the science of rocks and earth, basically, but what about the science of Rock, Rockology? Where can I take this class? How many credits? Basically, I have an idea for my thesis ready and I want to know the avenues which I can go down to get myself bonafide before I present my theories to the highest bidders of higher education. Here’s what I’ve come up with. If Rock is my field of interest, there are many subgenres to deal with. My case study is Flogging Molly, I dare try to categorize them, and with all there collective influences combined the most appropriate nomenclature calls for “rock”, for all intents and purposes. Lyrically, they are very spiritual, retrospective, joyous, political, honest and are conveyed poetically and quick witted. With roots in the eclectic Celtic and folk – ok, enough words to compensate for a bad phone connection resulting in brief interview with Matt Hensley, jack of all trades!
Matt: I talk like a Snail. You’ll get answers like yes. And no. (laughs)
BW: No way! You were talking a lot yesterday, but the tape didn’t pick any of it up. Really bad connection. So what is it like to be part of the Side One Dummy family.
Matt: It feels really good, I like being part of an independent label. They take care of the … they really get involved with the bands. They’re in it for the long haul, Not just interested in the flavor of the month thing.
BW: Would you cite Weird Al Yankovich for any inspiration as an accordion player? Matt: No, but his father. I think that he has an influence on me.
BW: You’ve worn many hats—bartender, EMT, pro skater, accordion player extraordinaire. Is there anything you want to do that you haven’t done yet.
Matt: If things ever mellow out a bit I’d like to at some point take billiards again. Do it seriously and try to go somewhere with that.
BW: What’s the best hangover remedy you can recommend?
Matt: Candy and a 7up.
Matt: Yeah, like a half a Snicker’s bar and a 7up. When I was going to paramedic’s school that’s what all the paramedics told me. Obviously you are dehydrated, so you need to get water into you but the feeling that you have in your head is preexisting. You already have dehydration. Water is not going to fix the headache or anything. You need to get some sugar back into your brain. Speed up your metabolism and you’ll feel a lot better.
BW: Did you write the little accordion lick in “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” that goes ‘dalada dalada da – daladalada’
Matt: There’s a gap. If you did it without the ‘dalada dalada da – daladalada’. There’s something that needs to happen there. I just did the little phrase. Filled the space and it stuck.
BW: What advice do you gives to kids looking to be successful.
Matt: If you’re going to do it, do it with every fucking ounce of energy. I don’t know, that way has always worked for me. But if you really want to do anything, which you can, you got to live and breathe it. Whatever you’re doing, do it more.
BW: How is Innes your clothing company coming?
Matt: Coming along man. It’s been a hell of a ride. It’ll be ten years this year for me since I started this company. It’s gone through some changes. I had a couple of weird situations with partners but all of that’s been resolved. Now I’m back at the wheel.
BW: How do you handle business like that when you’re out on the road all the time?
Matt: Barely, I think the only answer to that is barely. I have a lot of good people that work there and help me out. It’d be a lot easier if I was there all the time, but that’s just not who I am and what I do so we just do the best with what we can. And when I’m on tour all over the place I hang out with supporters of Innes. I like to support the people who support me.
BW: Is your son old enough to skateboard?
Matt: Oh yeah. He’s eight years old. He’s got like two or three boards. He doesn’t go to the skate park every day but he skates. He does a bunch of different things, but yeah, we do some cruising, go to the park.