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Whatever we throw at the earth she can take, an interview with Matt Kelly of the Dropkick Murphys




For ‘Going out in Style’  Boston, Massachusetts based, celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys looked back on Cornelius Larkins’ turbulent life’s journey. Although his life had already ended before it had begun, the story of working class, Irish immigrant Larkin might go on. The DKM released a limited edition, vinyl version of ‘Going out in Style: Fenway Park Bonus Edition’ earlier this year. Already they’re working on their 8th studio album release, which is scheduled to come out late 2012/ early 2013. The band believes in straight forward work ethics and support working class and union causes.

Drummer Matt Kelly tells us via email why global warming made a zombie out of him.   

Just kiddin’.




Sanderz: Can you as a self-titled ‘internet challenged fan of ‘hard’ media’ elaborate on the love for vinyl?

Matt: Tangible media is just that- something you can hold onto and enjoy with most of your senses, and records sound better than MP3’s or CD’s. There’s really not much else to say. 

Sanderz: ‘Going out in Style’ (2011) is a concept album, a retrospective about the life of Cornelius Larkin. Where did the idea of Cornelius originate from?

Matt: During the lyric-writing process, we were struck with the idea that a lot of the songs had a common thread. So we put them together as an amalgam and a story as or composite character; thus Conny Larkin was born.

   How did you experience writing within the parameters of a concept?

Matt: It actually didn’t start off as a concept so there were really no restrictions on songwriting. The concept only came together after most of the songs were written.

   What are the expectations of Cornelius’ life story to continue after ‘Going out in Style’?

Matt: Only time will tell. Michael Patrick MacDonald is a gifted writer, and we like what he’s done so far with the concept, so only time will tell!

   If taken out of his time, what would be the attitude of Cornelius Larkin towards climate denial?

Matt: He’d probably light up a Chesterfield with his zippo lighter and scoff at it.



Sandez: What’s the Dropkick Murphys view on the social and environmental changes taken from their youth to (the prospects for) the next generation?

Matt: Change is one of the few constants in life.

Sanderz: All roads lead to Rome? The Dropkick Murphys have been saying that they’ve been wanting to play in Rome for a while now. Having performed there June 6th 2012, did the reality meet with that long time desire?

Matt: Well, we played Ciampino, which is outside of the Eternal City. Some of the guys went into Rome, but I had some damaged drums, so I had no time to. From what I hear, it was absolutely spectacular! I’d love to go back to see Vatican City and all the ancient ruins someday, whether with the band or on a vacation.

Sanderz: The Claddagh Fund is the charitable foundation of the Dropkick Murphys. How did the Claddagh Fund came to life?

Matt: Well since the band has become popular over the last few years, we’ve tried to use  that popularity for various charities… then it dawned on us that we should start our own charity organization to raise funds for causes close to our hearts.

    Can you tell us something about the goal(s) of the foundation?

Matt:  It raises money for war veterans returning home, disadvantaged children, and drugs and alcohol addiction recovery. You can( and please do!) check it out at .

Sanderz: We had a taste of the upcoming album with ‘the Shark’. What can we expect from DKM 8th studio album in terms of song contents or choice of instruments?

Matt: It’s a fresh take on our favorite brew of punk, hardcore, folk, and rock’n ‘roll. There’s various instrumentation as always, but as you mentioned above, “The Shark”(only a working title) is a straight-up punk number with guitar, bass, drums, and vocals… but you can rest assured that there are plenty of traditional instruments on many of the other songs! That one was just ready to play live, and we were itching to try out some new stuff, so there you have it. Since debuting that song live, we’ve added in two more new numbers that we put in the set now and then, and people have really been reacting positively!

Sanderz: The climate is changing rapidly: sea level rise, extreme weather conditions, ocean acidification etc. How do you see the future of our planet?

Matt: Whatever we throw at the earth at this rate, she can take. We’ll destroy ourselves before we destroy the planet. Plus, having only about one-hundred and fifty years of weather records, we don’t REALLY know everything about what’s going on.

Sanderz: What do you do in your daily life to reduce your carbon footprint?

Matt: I stopped breathing years ago.

I kid, I kid.
Seriously though, I don’t do anything in particular to reduce my “carbon footprint”. I try to be respectful to my fellow human beings first and foremost, and support micro capitalism/small businesses.

*** Thank you, -Matt ***


The Dropkick Murphys are:

Al Barr-vocals, Ken Casey-bass and vocals, Matt Kelly-drums and vocals, James Lynch-guitar and vocals, Scruffy Wallace-bagpipes, Tim Brennan-guitar, Jeff DaRosa-mandolin,tin whisle, banjo.

Check out The Dropkick Murphys @



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