Origin: Los Angeles, California
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The Los Angeles musical stew has produced a slew of bands encompassing many genres. Flogging Molly is the city’s only Irish-American, seven-piece Celtic punk band led by Irish vocalist Dave King, formerly of the hard rock band Fastway.
King sang lead in the heavy metal band Fastway, featuring guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke of Motörhead and bassist Pete Way of UFO in the early to mid ’80s. As the 90’s began, he joined a hard rock band named Katmandu which folded after one album. King had other musical ideas and rejected a solo album deal and took some time off.
In 1993, King met guitarist Ted Hutt, bassist Jeff Peters, and violin player Bridget Regan and put together a rock band with a Celtic feel. They began to play a mix of Irish traditional and rock. Putting Dave’s poetic lyrics to rocking melodies, they played at a Los Angeles pub called Molly Malone’s weekly, building a small but loyal following. Together, they wrote songs such as “Black Friday Rule” and “Selfish Man”, which was the beginning of Flogging Molly’s sound.
In an interview with Kerrang! magazine, King stated that the band’s name comes from the bar (Molly Malone’s) that faithfully supported the band from the very beginning, “We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly.” They were signed onto SideOneDummy Records after a show when the record company’s owners attended a concert and noted their intensity.
One live disc and five studio albums later, Flogging Molly have sold in excess of a million and a half copies of recorded output as of December 6, 2006. In 2008, Flogging Molly released Float, an album dubbed “one of the most important CDs of the year, if not the decade” by Alternative Press. The band also recognized the album as influential to their career as their first album recorded in Ireland (though mixed in California) by producer Ryan Hewitt. Fans met the release with enthusiasm, landing it at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
On March 10, 2016, the band released their first new material in 5 years, a single entitled “The Hand of John L. Sullivan,” honoring the Irish-American boxer of the same name. It is also the first studio recording with new drummer Mike Alonso.
Flogging Molly’s new record, Life Is Good, is their first studio album in six years since 2011’s Speed of Darkness. Recorded in Dublin, Ireland, the album is available via Vanguard Records. Hear the track, “Reptiles (We Woke Up)” on Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM. Our app is free! K-ZAP.org/apps/
Drunken Lullabies (2002)
Within a Mile of Home (2004)
Speed of Darkness (2011)
Life Is Good (2017)