St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Wrap-up Interview with Bob Schmidt (of Flogging Molly!)

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Flogging Molly is a tour-de-force of molten Irish rock to be reckoned with. Taking their name from the Irish pub Molly Malone’s in LA, (where the band honed their chops in the late 90’s), the band has since taken flight and is showing no signs of letting up. Five critically acclaimed studio albums and three live albums later, all of which have landed the band on the Billboard charts with relative ease, it’s safe to say the band’s hard work is paying off. With a heavy touring schedule and a fanbase that’s since spread like Irish clovers around the globe, the world’s eyes are definitely smiling upon Flogging Molly.

When we found out the band was going to be making an appearance at the first-ever Dublin Down Festival this past Friday night at the Thomas Mack center in Las Vegas, we wanted to get the low-down on what makes the Molly rock, and find out what’s next in store for these guys. Bob Schmidt, the banjo & mandolin maestro who’s been with the band from the beginning, took some time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions over email. Here’s our conversation…

You’re performing in Las Vegas this Friday night! How is the tour going so far? You guys have played all over the world in places like Croatia, so does Vegas feel like a stone’s throw of a show for you guys being as you’re from LA?

The tour thus far has been amazing, tons of sold out shows and great crowds. Vegas kinda feels like our backyard, or maybe our neighbors back yard who throws parties! It’s always fun playing here.

Do you guys have any backstage rituals before you go on-stage? Are you guys going to hit the blackjack tables before the gig?

Not really any rituals other than some hi-five’s on our way out to stage. No, unfortunately we won’t be hittin’ the blackjack tables before the set since the show is at the arena.

You guys have cited The Clash, Johnny Cash & The Pogues as influences over the years, has Shane MacGowan given you guys a shout-out or performed with you guys yet? It’d be great to see him laying down Summer in Siam at one of your gigs.

We have met Shane a few times but have never performed with him or The Pogues. And it’s always hard to predict when you’ll see him next.

In Boston they must roll out the green carpet for you guys so to speak, and we read that last month that people got so wild at your gig at House of Blues and the club got hit
with a citation. Can you comment on this gig? Was this gig different then your past gigs in Boston?

The Boston gig was business as usual, nothing has changed with that crowd for us really – always high energy and great fans! It just seems like “the man” is gettin’ a little crazy out there and cracking down.

You guys tour quite heavily – are there any countries on the list that you haven’t been to yet that you would love to play at?

A few countries on the list that we havent hit yet are… China, Turkey, South America, Mexico, there’s a hand-full of places we need to hit.

Did you guys used to ever make it to Vegas back when you were still playing Molly’s in LA? Do you have any the-first-time-I-was-in-Vegas stories you can share?

Our very first time to Vegas was for a Radio/Industry showcase, and basically what happened was they took a quick listen of Flogging Molly and basically shot us down, and said we would never make it and really had no future!

So much for Radio/Industry Conferences! Flogging Molly headlining at the Dublin Down Festival this Friday March 16th in Las Vegas at the UNLV Thomas & Mack Arena! (Photo via lasvegas.cbslocal.com)



What’s left on your plate this year – more touring/recording?

No recording planned this year, more touring for sure. We have a short run coming up in Japan, Europe this summer, US dates coming, oh and we are excited to be playing Russia for the first time this year!!!

Thanks for answering our questions Bob!

For more on Flogging Molly check out their website here, follow them on Twitter, and check out their Facebook page. Photo of Flogging Molly rocking Las Vegas via LasVegas.CBSLocal.com