Flogging Molly are an American seven-piece Celtic punk band from Los Angeles, California led by Irish vocalist Dave King, known for his work with Fastway. They are signed to their own record label, Borstal Beat Records.
Prior to forming Flogging Molly, Dublin-born Dave King was the lead singer for heavy metal band Fastway featuring guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke of Motörhead and bassist Pete Way of UFO in the early to mid '80s. He later fronted a hard rock band called Katmandu (1991), featuring Mandy Meyer of Krokus on guitars. Afterwards, Dave King retained a record deal with Epic records and began to work on a solo album, but began to reconsider his record deal when the label opposed his idea of bringing in traditional Irish instruments. King negotiated out of his record deal to go his own way musically soon after.
In 1993, King met guitarist Ted Hutt, bassist Jeff Peters, and fiddle 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 Devil's Dance Floor, which was the beginning of Flogging Molly's unique sound. Ted and Jeff then left Flogging Molly because an earlier band of theirs received a record deal. Dave and Bridget began to find new members and the current band was formed.
They continued a routine of playing every Monday night at Molly Malone's. Then 17-year old Nathen Maxwell sneaked into a show as a fan and soon after joined the band. They put out a live album, Alive Behind the Green Door in 1997. 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.
Flogging Molly has released an independent (26f Records) live album titled Alive Behind the Green Door, as well as five studio albums: Swagger, Drunken Lullabies, Within a Mile of Home, Float and Speed of Darkness; and an acoustic/live DVD/cd combo Whiskey on a Sunday, which has gone platinum. They have toured with the Warped Tour, Larry Kirwan's American Fléadh Festival and contributed to the Rock Against Bush project. They have sold in excess of a million and a half copies of recorded output as of December 6, 2006.
In March 2007, the band released an exclusive EP through iTunes entitled Complete Control Sessions. The EP includes two new tracks, as well as acoustic versions of previously released songs. A year later Flogging Molly released Float, an album dubbed "one of the most important CDs of the year, if not the decade" by Alternative Press. Flogging Molly 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 great anticipation and enthusiasm, landing it at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The album includes the band's first two chart singles, Requiem for a Dying Song (which hit No. 35 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts) and Float (which hit No. 40). Another accolade came to the band in June 2009 when their album "Drunken Lullabies" went gold.
While touring to support Float, Dave and Bridget were married in a private ceremony in Tokyo, Japan. Flogging Molly released a live DVD/CD set called Live At The Greek Theater in March 2010. The 3-disc set (double CD + full-length DVD) captures Flogging Molly’s performance at the Greek Theatre on September 12, 2009, and includes content spanning the band’s entire catalog. The band currently performs live every year on their annual "Green 17 Tour". Beginning in 2004, they recently finished their 7th tour iteration, playing at 30 locations across the United States. The band appeared in the 2011 season premiere of Austin City Limits.
Flogging Molly's music is influenced by artists such as The Dubliners, The Pogues, Horslips, Johnny Cash, and The Clash. The album Within a Mile of Home is dedicated to Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash.
Their music ranges from boisterous Celtic punk, like the pirate-themed "Salty Dog", "Cruel Mistress", and "Seven Deadly Sins", or the defiant "What's Left of the Flag", "Drunken Lullabies", and "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" to more somber songs like "Far Away Boys", "The Son Never Shines (On Closed Doors)", "Life in a Tenement Square" and "Float." Lyrics typically touch on subjects such as Ireland and its history, poverty, drinking, politics, love, death, and include several references to the Roman Catholic Church. "What's Left of the Flag" and "The Likes of You Again" were written as tributes to King's father who died while Dave King was a young boy.
- Dave King – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, bodhrán
- Bridget Regan – fiddle, tin whistle, backing and lead vocals
- Dennis Casey – guitar, vocals
- Matt Hensley – accordion, concertina, vocals
- Nathen Maxwell – bass guitar, vocals
- Bob Schmidt – mandolin, banjo, vocals
- George Schwindt – drums, percussion
- Swagger (2000)
- Drunken Lullabies (2002)
- Within a Mile of Home (2004)
- Float (2008)
- Speed of Darkness (2011)
- discography at MusicBrainz
- at Roxwel