Celtic punk rockers, Flogging Molly, will be kicking off their ninth annual Green 17 Tour in Grand Rapids tonight at the Orbit Room and then will be playing the Fillmore Detroit tomorrow night.
Flogging Molly is currently still out promoting their fifth studio album, 2011's Speed of Darkness.
Lead vocalist, Dave King, and his wife, fiddler and vocalist Bridget Regan, have a home in the Detroit area and make sure that there is a stop here every year.
Yesterday, the band was getting ready for the tour's opening night by rehearsing inside the Fillmore.
Regan took a break from the rehearsal to talk about the tour and the band's plans for the rest of the year, "Yeah we're actually rehearsing in the Fillmore right now. There's nothing on tonight so here we are. We did it last year as well. They're such awesome people here. They always hook us up. There's a lot of love for this place. I hate calling it the Fillmore because it was the State Theater and it will always be the State Theater. There's some lovely people here and they always take care of us."
She went on to share that the band will be pulling out a lot of songs that they have never played on this tour, "There's a lot of songs that we haven't played before since we played them in the studio to put on a album. That's precisely what we're working on now. I don't know if you can hear it in the background but the guys are working on them in my absence. We're playing quite a few songs that we haven't played since we recorded them."
After asking her what those songs are Regan insisted that they remain a secret and a surprise for the audience.
She says the band decided to pull these songs out because of the fact that they are still touring on the Speed of Darkness and they want to make sure that their fans get their money's worth and not see the same show again, "We're concerned with the bands we bring out with us. We want to make sure it's a solid lineup and a great show. We want to make this different and make sure people have a good time. The economy is still pretty sh*tty and we understand that it takes a lot for somebody to put their hand in their pocket and buy a ticket to one of our shows and then spend double that amount on drinks when they're at one of our shows. We just want to make it worthwhile."
She says that the band has continued going out on the Green 17 for nine years because, "We have to eat! [laughs] No I mean it all kind of ties in together. It's part of the reason we started our own label. Just the fact that we have so many other friends in the music industry that are under appreciated. This tour in particular gives us an opportunity to kind of showcase other bands. It's not just about Flogging Molly, it's about bringing out other bands and saying to our fans, hey you know what, check these guys out because their pretty f*cking rad. We've handpicked all the openers on this tour since it's inception and we take pride in that and are stoked if our fans have a new band to listen to."
Once again, the opening band lineup will be changing halfway through the tour which Regan says they like because it gives them the chance to showcase even more bands.
For the part of the tour, Dave Hause and Skinny Lister will be opening, "Our good friend, Dave Hause used to be in the band, The Loved Ones, and he just gets out there on his own and rocks the f*ck out of any joint that he plays. Then we have a band from England called Skinny Lister," said Regan.
The tour will be hitting venues that Flogging Molly has played in the past but Regan says that no matter how many times they play them that the crowds always change up, "It's quite a different mix and it changes up quite a bit. Always new people."
The one thing that will be different this year is that the band will be taking a break halfway through the tour to fly to Australia and play some shows before heading back to the States and picking up where they left off, "That's gonna be hell. It's like a sixteen and a half hour flight to play a few shows. No one is very stoked about that."
One thing the band was enthused about was their recent chance to play with ZZ Top last month at the L.A.'s House of Blues 20th Anniversary, "That was surreal. That was just the most ridiculous lineup ever! I mean Flogging Molly and ZZ Top! To see that on a marquee was great. Yeah and hanging out with Dan Aykroyd after the show was cool and we were all a little tipsy. It was just a great night and then myself and Dave rounded out the night by having a drink with Billy Bob Thornton. It was a bizarre evening," confided Regan.
When asked what her favorite local venue to see shows is Regan said, "The Fox Theater hands down. We actually got to meet Leonard Cohen when he played there. That was seriously one of the greatest nights of our life. He not only put on a killer show but we got to give him a hug afterwards. That was just epic. We saw Bob Dylan the week before that. We actually just saw the Psychedelic Furs at the Royal Oak Music Theater. Yeah when me and Dave are in town we try to catch as many shows as we can."
When asked what is currently in her cd player, Regan shared, "I've kind of been dorking it out and listening to the soundtracks to two of our favorite movies of all time. Leonard Cohen, Queen and The Smiths are on constant rotation. We're also huge lovers of vinyl. We're all about the turntable and we have thousands of vinyls. We've actually had to start moving them into our basement because there are just too many."
As for the band's plans for after the tour, they are planning to take a break so they can sit down and start writing and recording for a new album before they play some summer festival shows in August.
As for those people who have not had the pleasure of seeing a Flogging Molly show, Regan says she would tell them that if you come to a show, "They're probably gonna wake up with a sore head the next day. Don't make plans for the next day. Either call in sick or make arrangements ahead of time!"
Doors for Flogging Molly's show at the Fillmore tomorrow night open at 7 pm.