Last month, after twelve-plus years on the road, the Dropkick Murphys made their debut in Knoxville, playing to a packed house at the Valarium. Having been a fan of the DKM since high school in the late 90s, it was a great pleasure to finally get to see them...and to top it off, I was able to catch up with the Dropkicks both before and after the show, for a bunch of questions, some tips on a few musical groups to check out, a couple geographical spots to hit in Boston and a lesson on a confused and misunderstood cultural/social movement in England and America.
With that being said, we'll get down to it. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: The Dropkick Murphys.
With that being said, we'll get down to it. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: The Dropkick Murphys.
SDB: First of all, it is an honor to interview y'all, so thank you for your time and willingness!
DKM: Thanks a lot! We're psyched to come to a new town. By the way, all answers by Matt Kelly, drummer and eleven-year pain in the Dropkick Murphys' asses.
SDB: Knoxville is really excited about y'all coming to town on November 9th to the Valarium, which is a very cool place to see a show ( I don't know about playing there- I never have...you'll have to let me know afterwards). Forgive my ignorance, as I don't recall and I couldn't seem to find any record of y'all playing here before. Have y'all played Knoxville before? (if so, when/where and with whom?) Knoxville has a pretty big DKM following and even a Knoxville Fan Club chapter. I'm sure it's going to be a packed show,with plenty of rowdiness to go around.
DKM: Well, I'm pretty sure we've never done Knoxville. If we did it would've been on the BOSSTONES "Boston On The Road" tour in '97. I was a bit new to the world then, so it all seemed like one big blur (so if anybody saw us in Knoxville, chalk up my mistake to youthful stupidity!). Either way, we're looking forward to the gig; it's always a thrill to play somewhere we've never (possibly) been.
SDB: Where are some of your favorite cities and venues to play?
DKM: Without boring the shirt off you, I'll just give a few favorites over the years: The Rathskellar in Boston, Coney Island High in NYC, Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Trocadero in San Francisco, Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Congress Theater in Chicago, Brixton Academy in London, and plenty more that slip my mind at the moment.
SDB: I have been a fan of the Dropkick Murphys for about 10 years, after the singer in my high school punk band played me y'alls rev-ed up version of"Amazing Grace". Since then, I was hooked. Y'all sound is your own, but I'm sure y'all have borrowed things and were influenced by other bands. Who were some of the biggest influences back then, and what did you take from them?
DKM: Of course, the wheel has already been invented. I think the influences have pretty much remained the same but the ability to PLAY has gotten a little better over the years. Being able to articulate ideas and influences into simpler songs from "Get Up" to more complicated ones like "The Warrior's Code" draw from many of the same influences. I guess our biggest influences(in no particular order) are THE CLASH, THE RAMONES, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, THE POGUES, DUBLINERS, AC/DC, THE WHO, THE ROLLING STONES, THE SEX PISTOLS, THE MACC LADS, GENERATION X, THE JAM, etc. We draw a lot of influence from early US and Brit punk, Oi!, Irish traditional and folk music, and the band that we owe almost our existence to, the SWINGIN' UTTERS.
SDB: Are there any present day bands that y'all draw influences from?
DKM: I think present day bands will more inspire us than influence us. Touring with bands like the AGGROLITES, SICK OF IT ALL, AGAINST ME!, AGNOSTIC FRONT, BOUNCING SOULS, etc., have inspired us to play as hard as we can every night regardless of circumstances.
SDB: What bands have y'all influenced that you are aware of?
DKM: I don't really know; I mean, there are bands out there that remind me of our sound, but they could have similar influences. I'm not going to call out band names and assume that they're influenced by us; I suppose that could be construed as egotistical. They could be coming from a different angle and arriving at a similar place as us... eh, who knows...
SDB: How's the tour going? Any surprises or stories that you are dying to share?Any anecdotes from the road?
DKM: Everything's going as smoothly as it could right now. The only "surprise" I could share is that we're busting out a cover version of a favorite solo artist of ours and I think we really do it justice. I'm really fired up to play it live.
SDB: I don't believe we had any cover songs at the Knoxville show, did we? However, y'all entered the stage after a very long song Celtic ditty that sounded eerily similar to Sinead O'connor. What was that? Am I correct?
DKM: Hmmm, since we change the setlist almost every night, I'm not 100% sure. However, the other dudes concur that we covered Elvis Costello's "What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding?" Our intro tunes are as follows: "Alternative Ulster" by SLF, "There's Power In the Union" by Billy Bragg, "Wolfpack/Bible" by DYS, and "The Foggy Dew" by the Chieftains with Sinead O'Connor on vocals (from their album "The Long Black Veil"). You, my friend, were pretty damned close... good ear!
SDB: Where all are y'all covering on this tour? Any new places?
DKM: We're going from the Northeast to the Southeast and wrapping around to Texas and back up through the Midwest. There are a few places we've never played before: Orono, ME; Knoxville; Corpus Cristi, TX; Urbana, IL. Some of the other places, like Louisville, KY, we literally haven't played since 1997! I remember getting $5 in change and after getting ready to shake the promoter down, he took us to White Castle for supper and we called it even after that. But haven't been there since... I hope the White Castle is still there!!!!
SDB: Y'all were in Europe this summer- how is it different than touring the US?
DKM: Well for the most part, we were playing big open-air festivals. These festivals aren't really anything like Warp Tour or that sort of thing over here. In the summer in Europe, it seems like countries just shut down and everybody goes to festivals... it's a really cool atmosphere, and now and then there are even bands that I'd like to see playing with us, but for the most part you're stuck in a frigging field.
SDB: What's the feeling and thoughts about America that y'all observed overseas?
DKM: People we talk to are typically smart enough to know that we're not official ambassadors of the United States or our government... but now and then there are people who can be hyper-critical of anything spawned from the good old USA. You'll once in a great while run into envy, contempt, and sometimes(very rarely that I've observed) hostility. As far as I'm concerned, if they don't like us, they can hit the bricks.
SDB: Y'all had some shows with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, another fellow Boston band, this summer too? How much fun is it to play with a hometown band and share the road with guys that I assume y'all have known for years?
DKM: It was a real pleasure to tour with those guys again... It'd been eleven years since that "Boston On the Road" tour. Those guys took us, an unknown band with no full-length album, on a US and a European tour at the height of their careers-- they were a platinum-selling band at the time --and treated us like peers. That really hit home with us and I think taught us that you can say all you want and preach all you want... but leading by example is the way to do it. We owe a big part of our early popularity to the Bosstones, and we'll be forever grateful for that.
SDB: Is there another city that compares to Boston, or that you always look forward to going to more so than any other?
DKM: There are a few. When we go to Chicago, Detroit, NYC, SF, LA, Denver, Austin, etc., we get to hang with friends we've known for years and it can (for better or for worse) turn into a nightly party. Basically any major city we get to has a built-in set of old friends.
SDB: What other Boston bands, known and unknown, are out there that we should check out if we don't know about them already?
DKM: Okay, take note!... TOMMY & THE TERRORS, THE UNSEEN, THE TAMPOFFS, EVERYBODY OUT!, ASHERS, FAR FROM FINISHED, GLUE, PAYLOAD, THE SPITZZ(ex-SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN), DEATH & TAXES, THE DUCKY BOYS, BARNICLE, TREBEK, THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNERS, etc., etc., et fucking cetera...
SDB: There seems to be a more underlying themes than just the music with y'all. My observation is that there is this camaraderie and a brotherhood amongst the group that extends out to your fans...and we feel that is stretches back to y'all from us as well. DKM, as well as alot of other bands especially in the "punk rock genre", are usually seen as a tight unit (despite some of the most publicized and nasty break ups of all time). Essentially, if someone has a problem with one of y'all, they will get the whole group. The lyrics to "The Gauntlet" have always stuck out in my head as a perfect example of this feeling: "Stand up and fight and I'll stand up with you. We shall succeed." That song goes a little deeper, and I don't know if that is exactly what the song was intended to be interpreted as, but to me, that is a perfect example of the bond and unity that I believe your music stands for and one of the many reasons that there are so many DKM fans out there, and that it gives us a feeling of somewhere to belong with someone who will have our back. Would you agree with that, or am I way off?
DKM: Well yeah, when you spend as much time with people who aren't your blood, you do form a very "familial" relationship with them whether you like it or not. As far as "The Gauntlet", that's basically the idea, as well as an old AGNOSTIC FRONT ad lib from the song "United Blood" off their "Live At CBGB's" album: "It's called Unity. U-N-I-T-Y. Fighting the outside world and not with each other. The power to succeed, and we've all got it". That kinda sums it up. If one of our guys gets some stick from somebody, of course we'll back him up... so watch out, there're seven of us!!!!!
SDB: There have been several personnel changes over the years, including lead singer and guitar, and the addition of extra instruments and members here and there. How have these personnel changes affected DKM?
DKM: I'd say for the better. The funny thing is, the band got up-and-running from the word go. Most bands don't play out in their first 6 months or so... we were playing out immediately. So my point is that bands "tweak" their lineup in the garage or basement. However, we did it in the spotlight. Basically, we were cutting the fat and honing our craft from the get-go, and the latest lineup is the one most focused on actually doing the band. Guys who fell by the wayside were either too busy with either not making enough money, having kids to attend to, wanting to open a recording studio, or playing hippy music. These days we're seven guys who work better together than ever... it makes touring easier when EVERYBODY is on the same page and there's not one guy who wants to do something else.
SDB: Obviously, these changes were made for a reason, mostly for the better one would assume, but what is different now than before?
DKM: (basically answered above)
SDB: How did y'all go about moving forward with new members, a new singer, sound/voice, etc?
DKM: We just got going. Even in the very early days, Ken wrote and/or articulated the vocals/vocal patterns, so after Mike bailed we just kept going business as usual. When Al came in it was obvious that he was the choice--- plus it helped that we were big BRUISERS fans to begin with and thought his voice fit the band better than anyone.
SDB: Do y'all still talk to Mike McColgan of the Street Dogs?
DKM: He's living in Los Angeles, so it's a bit hard. We're parochial like that I guess, haha...
SDB: I found this interview with him online-- any comments?
DKM: Ummm.... Well done? Haha.
SDB: What was everyone's reaction when he quit to become a firefighter?
DKM: I know that story sounds romantic and all that, but he didn't quit to become a fireman. He didn't do that until a few years AFTER leaving the band. Before doing the band full-time, he was a pressman at a local newspaper and was making good cake-- so life on tour wasn't as glamorous as he thought it'd be, especially the money aspect. When you're used to a standard of living, you don't want it to diminish, and being in a touring Punk band was definitely a step down for him. I can understand that; people have different priorities. Anyway, this happened ten years ago; so I vaguely remember being relieved that he was finally leaving and psyched to get someone who was committed to the band.
SDB: How is the DKM and Street Dogs relationship these days?
DKM: These days that stuff is water under the bridge. We're in Boston, and they're in California and Texas, so it's not like we go "down ye olde pub for a pint of the black nectar".
SDB: Any specific or particular preference of black nectar that you are referring to, or should I go out on a limb here and guess Guinness?
DKM: You've got it, my man. Oddly enough, John Rioux(S.Dogs' bass player) came to the San Antonio gig. There was no Guinness cracked between dudes, but we may have enjoyed a 12 oz. bud or Lonestar between us.
SDB: Ever played with them?
DKM: We did the Warped Tour one year together. That was a lark!!
SDB: Any plans to in the near future?
DKM: I wouldn't think so. Two bands with very similar instrumentation and an increasingly similar sound would be two hours too many of fiddly-diddly-dee for even the staunchest green-teeshirt-wearing, be-scally-capped, mom's-tablecloth-stealing, drunk-on-Guinness d00d.
SDB: One of y'all's pre-show songs that plays when the crew is setting up and tuning y'all's guitars and other instruments was the Street Dogs cover of Billy Bragg's "There is Power in a Union". Coincidence that that played or no? Which is the better version: Street Dogs or Bragg, and why?
DKM: Referring to my answer above, that was the Billy Bragg original in our intro music. We've had those songs as an intro for about seven years. The Street Dogs cover is decent, but as I've always said about 99% of covers (including our own), why not go for the real McCoy?
SDB: Tell us a little about your latest album, last year's The Meanest of Times. It grabbed alot of attention, and was your highest charting album. How does it compare to your past albums, sonically, content wise and overall?
DKM: I think it's a nice mixture of all our various "sounds" mixed together. I think it's a return to form in the sense of the aggression of the earlier albums, but it includes the things we've learned over the years. Songs like "The State of Massachusetts" are a good example: It's heavy, aggressive, and has big singalong choruses, but you have traditional instrumentation via the accordion, banjo, and tin whistle. The album has a lot of muscle despite its varied instrumentation-- it's not a 'skip around the clover with an Irish knit sweater on' album. It's a little dark in sound and theme, but still sounds hopeful, too. I don't know, I'm probably starting to sound like a pompous ass right now, talking about my own record!!!!!
At end, it was the easiest album we've ever written. We pumped out twenty-one originals and two cover versions before we knew it... really weird that way... plus we were playing songs like "State...", "Vices & Virtues", "The Thick Skin of Defiance", and "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya" months and months before we recorded them. The songs got to their peaks BEFORE we recorded them as opposed to the usual scenario for bands: You write and record a tune, and then tour on it--- a year later you listen to the original recording and it's almost a different song.
SDB: In 2006, DKM were featured in Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award winning film The Departed with the song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston". How did the success of such a tremendous movie and a great song affect y'alls career at that point? Has the crowd changed at shows? Are there more fans now due to them being unaware or unfamiliar with DKM before the film hit?
Y'all's song "Tessie" was also featured in Fever Pitch, with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. "Tessie" was also the Red Sox's official song from 2004. Also, y'all received alot of coverage playing in Boston at Fenway Park during game 7 last year when the Red Sox went on to win the World Series. Sox pitcher Papelbon even joined y'all onstage (Surely y'all didn't teach him that dance?). Did y'all notice a significant change in fans and awareness of y'all music after the series?
DKM: "Shipping" being in the Departed really sealed the deal with us being locally recognized. We always did well as far as pulling numbers at gigs in Boston, but after "Tessie" with the Red Sox and then "Shipping", it really took off locally. Some of the guys in the band even get stopped for autographs and all that weird stuff just while around Town. Very, very surreal. Yeesh. I think the crowd has broadened, but the core fans are whom we really play to. Sure, it's nice to enjoy popularity with the fleeting music fan, but they're just that: fleeting. Our true fans(like yourself) have followed us for years and it's not just some "flavor of the month" thing. It's easy to spot the fair-weather fans, too. Just watch the front row at a gig, and you'll see a couple kids that look bored out of their skulls getting banged around for the whole gig... then we play "Shipping..." and they go friggin' nuts and leave. Sad really, haha.
SDB: I have to ask this-- what happened to the Sox this year??? and Manny? As long as the Yanks and Mets don't make it, I'm fine. I'm a Braves man really, but going for the Rays...a la '91 Braves "Worst to First" style...
DKM: Hey, it just wasn't our year. Go BRUINS !!!!!!!
SDB: How about Pedroia winning AL MVP? Does that mean anything to you/y'all?
DKM: The man deserved it. What a great frigging player! Of course that means a lot to us. How could it not?
SDB: I thought punk rockers weren't supposed to be into sports? Ha. It seems like y'all are into at least all the Boston sports. Is that a sign of support for your town, or have y'all always been fans of sports? Y'all have been included in sports video games too. I'm sure that has helped gain new fans, especially the younger crowd and the teenagers that might not have knownabout y'all before.
DKM: I'm not a punk, I'm a skinhead, bub! And if a punk isn't supposed to be into sports, then by all means, GET INTO SPORTS! Punk is about bucking trends, not mohican haircuts and spikes. Some of the guys in the band are "into" sports in general, some don't care about them at all, and then there's me who is definitely more of a "Boston sports" guy... I follow NHL, MLS, and English Premiership, but I'm a avid BRUINS and RED SOX fan. As far as the video games, they're a worse waste of time than surfing the internet. I suppose it's gained us a few fans, but I can't say in what amount!
SDB: Ok, explain to our readers what you mean by "Skinhead" please, for clarification, of the common misunderstanding with it's alignment with racism and hate versus its original meaning of a short haircut and its wearers affection for fashion, music and lifestyle. I know the origin, but I will let you explain it better.
DKM: Although I've been a skinhead since 1990, I don't consider myself any sort of authority, per se. From my experience in that scene and being exposed to the scene in East London and having met many original '60s Skinheads, this is my take on it. The Skinhead is a (typically white) working class gangster. With that being said, it sort of falls in between the US media's portrayal of the "all skinheads are racist" attitude and the utopian, benign, yay-reggae, "Spirit of '69" skinhead ideal that a lot of people take as Gospel truth. There are different 'factions', and have been since(and probably before) the British National Front and BNP signed some of them on in the late '70s as their footsoldiers. There are skinheads of all stripes. The far-right wing ones say they're the REAL skinheads, and the far-left ones claim THEY'RE the real ones.
The thing is, they're all skinheads. It's like language: there was proto-Indo-European, which diverged into your Latin, Celtic, Germanic, etc., languages. Just because they don't use the same words doesn't mean they can't be called languages. Different groups of skinheads "moved on" from the original... but they're all skins. I mean, taken quite literally, the "Mod" factor of skinhead means "Modern", I.e. contemporary, staying footed in Modernism. Skinhead is best explained as a White equivalent to Rastafarianism, minus a religious aspect. There are white, Latino, Asian, and Arab Rastas, and it's just the same with skinhead, but the actual mode of style, gang mentality and such are rooted in East London. The original heads took the more streamlined, hard-mod look, mixed with the Jamaican Rudeboy style and music, mixed that with the dockworker and factory worker style, swagger, and outlook, throw in a splash of Teddy Boy, and you've got Skinheads. It was at first an amalgamation of already-existing and somewhat outdated subcultures boiled down to one. Some say that the Jamaicans were the first Skinheads. They weren't. Some say that the Jamaicans had nothing to do with it. Bullshit.
It was definitely just a logical evolution of East London street gangs and the influences that surrounded them, all grounded in working class and family values. Like any British subculture, a big part of it is putting on the appearance of living above your station in life. Also, like any cross section of society, with skinheads you're going to have your racist, non-racist, liberal, conservative, White, Black, Jewish, carpenter, lawyers, et cetera. Pigeonholing them in one category is as stupid as saying the general public is of one opinion and one mindset. One could argue that Skinhead was a very time- and place-oriented subculture and doesn’t belong outside London, but it's spread across the globe and takes its place alongside Mods, Rockers, Greasers, Rockabillies, and as some call them, Casuals.
SDB: What's next for the DKM? Another live album, dvd, a new album, a break from the
road, or perhaps a VH1 Behind the Music special?
DKM: We just finished up a two-month break from touring and playing together-- the first of the kind in about ten years! We're refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to tear it up on stage. We'll concentrate on touring for now, but there may be a few tricks up our sleeves that I hope don't involve VH1, MTV, or that crap.
SDB: Haha...I was joking about the VH1, by the way. I'm sure it would make a great story though.
DKM: Haha totally... The thing is, we're the most boring bunch of dudes ever! There's no scandal, very few shenanigans, etc. It'd be the lowest-rated program since "Bass Masters"...
SDB: Besides already having a fairly extensive catalog (a handful of albums, a couple of EPs, tons of compilations and a long list of splits), without blowing your showmanship secrets and giving away surprises for the show, do you play covers or do anything in particular to surprise the crowd with that"Oh, Wow! I can't believe they are doing that" feeling and moment?
DKM: Yeah, for better or for worse... We've done a million covers over the years, recorded or not. More recently, doing "Baba O'Reilly" by the WHO was a bit of a showstopper, and friends would come up to us flabbergasted and psyched that we pulled it off, and then there's ROD STEWART's "Maggie May". We absolutely LOVED doing that song, and some people dug it, but there were kids that were literally angry that we did it, funnily enough. Things like, "Why did you do THAT song?! I hate that song!" were said. We just did it for St. Paddy's this year to change things up for people going to multiple gigs. We have one up our sleeve right now that should be awesome.
SDB: What's your favorite thing about performing live?
DKM: The chemistry between bandmates, and also the chemistry between the band and crowd; the reciprocity of energy between both... it's adrenalizing and euphoric. Plus I can drink copious amounts of beer and retain my girlish figure without dieting!
SDB: How does being the drummer affect your perception, feeling and energy level for you of a show? Everyone else gets to move around, jump up and down, and get to interact more with the crowd.
DKM: I've been drumming in bands since I was about thirteen. I'm more than content to be in the background and do my thing. I'd rather work on being a good drummer than be a monkey for peoples' amusement. Believe me, I have all I can do to just stay conscious up there with the segue after segue and nary a moment for a sip of water. Sometimes it's hard for me to judge how the crowd is reacting, so I just do my thing and give it as much energy as I possibly can no matter how big/small receptive/bored a crowd is.
SDB: ...especially when y'all bring up the ladies for "Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced".
DKM: As far as the bringing the ladies thing up goes, it started off as trying to level the playing field between the guys and the girls. When we do "Skinhead on the MBTA", you have a bunch of maniac dudes up there, but there was never a chance for chicks to do that, as they get tossed around like ragdolls up there by unsuspecting guys during that tune. The idea was less of a chance for girls to show of their wares than to just come up and be maniacs like the guys.
SDB: Obviously you are ok with sitting in the back, but don't you ever want to be up front, jumping around?
DKM: Nah. A drummer is in the back, and that's that. I'd rather the other guys got the attention. I like the fact that I can go to any gig and not be hounded for autographs and such like some of the other guys in the band. I'm a regular guy and I cherish the fact that most people realize that.
SDB: Do you have a favorite song to play live, and if so what is it and why?
DKM: "Wheel of Misfortune". I'm not alone on that one. I think it's just a really good song. The lyrics are great, and the music is heavy but melodic. It just "hits" me for some reason.
SDB: Do you/y'all have a favorite song that you've written? If so why and is itthe same as your favorite one to play live?
DKM: I really like "Perfect Stranger" and "Last Letter Home". "Stranger" because it just rocks, and "Last Letter" because it has a lot of meaning behind it and it has an "epic" quality to it.
SDB: Is there a song out there that you love that you/y'all didn't write and wish you had?
DKM: Every song on AC/DC's first six albums.
SDB: What do you think about AC/DC's new album Black Ice? People are saying it's their best album since Back in Black in 1980. Have you heard it? (I can send you a copy if you want, not that I am promoting copying music and not purchasing it though the proper channels, especially at your local record store.)
DKM: Give me a break. Who is saying it's the best since "Back In Black"? Their publicist? Hahahaha.... I tell you what: I ordered the double LP from the band's website, and have only 'actively' listened to the first LP. On tour one of our guys has had it on while setting up, and there are some classic riffs. I really haven't formed a full opinion on it yet. Gonna have to throw it on the steel wheel when I get home!
SDB: What are 5 artists/records that you've been digging on lately that you might suggest to our readers?
SUPERYOB- "Quality Street", "Aggrophobia", "Machine Guns'n'Alcohol", and "Ghetto Blaster"
THE ENEMY- "We'll Live And Die In These Towns"
THE CLASH- "Live At Shea Stadium"
STRONG STYLE- ???(it's in Japanese)
TOMMY & THE TERRORS- "Unleash the Fury"
SDB: Where's the best local record shop in the Boston area to get these records from?
DKM: Tough one. There used to be a whole bunch. Right now it's of course Newbury Comics(local chain, excellent for that fact), In Your Ear in Harvard Sq.(Cambridge), Loony Tunes in Central Sq., and that's about it. Now it's a lot of mail order or buying when on tour for me.
SDB: If any of our readers are ever in Boston, what are 5 other places they need to visit?
DKM: The USS Constitution, The Boston Common, the Museum of Fine Arts, Liberty Bell Roast Beef in South Boston, and McGreevy's on Boylston Street.
SDB: Finally, my fellow blogger "Davy Vegas" and I have a theory that the single greatest sound on the face of the earth is that of a well-played steelguitar...but I know y'all are big advocates of the bagpipes, which are definitely cool too. Both are not traditional instruments in "rock", but seem to be incorporated more and more these days. Does the steel beat out the pipes? Is this a theory you can support or do you have other thoughts on the subject?
DKM: The Steel guitar got a bad rap when garbage bands like the EAGLES used it. I think it definitely has its merits and may outshine the bagpipes in versatility in music. The pipes can only be played in B flat and E flat, whereas the steel guitar can play in any key. Plus it's not as A-B-R-A-S-I-V-E as the pipes! I think the ol'steel guitar wins in this contest.
SDB: I'm surprised that the steel won in this round, but that's awesome. The steel is 4-0 so far, and the undisputed heavyweight badass of the musical instrument world. And tha makes my soul feel right.
DKM: Hey, it's way less abrasive than bagpipes, what can I say!!! I'm predicting a whole army of Pedal-steel-driven Punk Rock bands in the future!!!!
SDB: Thanks Matt, and we look forward to the next time. When will that be?!
DKM: My pleasure. Good questions! Thanks for the interview, and we'll see you, I hope, in the not-too-distant future. I can't say when that will be though. Thanks again!