Top of Mind: Ken Casey, Extended Version
Dropkick Murphys Frontman, Publican, Philanthropist, Lucky Bastard, 41, Hingham
The way the music business is changing, it’s good we can have it both ways. With all the albums we have out, I have thought that maybe sometime we wouldn’t have to tour quite so much to keep a roof over our heads. But that’s what we are anyway, a live band. That’s just what we do. So it’s all good.
MRB: Are you guys recording this fall?
KC: Yeah, we’re writing the album now and recording in the fall.
MRB: Any direction you see yourselves going in, or is it too early to tell?
KC: No, it’s too early. With the past two albums – even though I think they’re fun albums – there were a lot of lyrically heavy topics, death and other big problems, and I think we’ve made a conscious effort now to be like, “Man, we want this to be a freakin’ party record.” We want to put the smiles on peoples’ faces…we need it, you know? So that’s the only conscious effort, and yet having said that, it never goes how it’s planned. It’ll probably end up being morbid, bitter…who knows. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re definitely trying new things and trying to broaden what we do.
MRB: Okay, now I’m going to fire some random questions at you about a number of things. First off, you’ve been involved in Punkvoter and recorded for Rock Against Bush, so you do have some politics in your background. What’s your take on Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat being won by Republican Scott Brown?
KC: You know, I hate talking politics. Honestly. I’ll answer the question, but we’ve always tried to be like, “Hey, if you’re a fan, it’s you that we care about the most, but you probably know where we stand from the lyrics.” But you know, I barely got out of high school. I don’t want to be like that guy who’s all, “Hi, I’m a musician and I have a microphone, so suddenly now I’m a political analyst.” We’ve experienced a lot in our lives and seen a lot, and seen how the world operates, and we also just come from conscious families that have been actively political. And I guess that coming from a family of Democrats, I definitely did not see the state taking that turn. The combination of Ted Kennedy’s death with that unexpected change was pretty eye-opening. But you know, I don’t know Scott Brown. My take on politics is that I judge them on the individual. I’ll give you a perfect example: I’ve never voted Republican in my life, but Charlie Baker is an awesome guy. I know him through a lot of charity work and how he showed up for some things when families were in need. I don’t know how I feel about his policies, but I’ll tell you a good guy is a good guy.
MRB: The concept of the Masshole has now become this national thing. You’ve heard of Jersey Shore, of course. Now they’re going to do Wicked Summah…
KC: Noooooo! You mean here?
MRB: Yeah, here.
KC: Oh no. I had heard that maybe one of the locations for the second season [of Jersey Shore] was in Southie, and I was like, “Holy crap, talk about dropping a load of oranges in with a bunch of apples!” But I mean, we’re a unique breed, and I think if you want to kick it back to sports, we’re a group of people who, by and large, can be loud and boisterous. We definitely took the hometown attitude to a whole new level once we won a few championships. And I only say that because we’ll be in a lot of places, and obviously you can hear the accent from a million miles away. You hear somebody, and it’s just funny – four tables over, and these people are definitely from Boston. I hope that the producers find a few better people to represent us on TV than the Jersey Shore group did. But it’s like anywhere: There are a lot of characters here. There are some that make you scratch your head, and I’m sure those are the ones they’ll pick up for good