Dropkick Murphys proudly remain Boston’s rock ‘n’ roll underdogs turned champions. Since 1996, the band have thrown down with the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that’s meant to be chanted at last call, in packed arenas, and during the fourth quarter, third period, or ninth inning of a comeback rally.
Among many accolades,the band have earned three Top 10 albums on the Billboard Top 200, generated half-a-billion streams, and sold out gigs on multiple continents. Now, with the drop of their tenth studio album Turn Up That Dial, the ‘Murphys hope to make an impact that goes beyond metrics, creating a record that aims to uplift and celebrate the simple pleasures of music.
Turn Up That Dial is extremely timely given what the world has been through with the global pandemic even though the album’s creation started several months prior in November 2019.
“We had already set out to make it an uplifting positive record because our last album was - the writing was inspired by a lot of death that was around us with the heroin overdoses that have killed way too many people in our families and in our friend circles.” vocalist Ken Casey explains. “So we wanted to purposely kind of brighten the approach you know, not even so much for the listener but to brighten our approach to life, help us change our perspectives to a happier kind of situation.
“Then when the pandemic hit we still had half the album to write, then it really cemented that, hey, this album needs to be fun, it needs to put a smile on people’s face, make them feel good and in doing so it helped us. It helped us more so than it's probably going to help the listener because, you know, we were working on this all through the pandemic and it really helped us to stay focused, it helped us stay positive and we’re just so grateful we get to do this for a living.”
Like many musicians in 2020, Dropkick Murphys were forced to pivot how they reached their audience doing two live streams in 2020 and it paid off big time. Their most recent online event Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick’s Day Stream 2021...Still Locked Down, hit #1 on Pollstar’s Livestream chart for the week ending March 22, 2021, and logged over 1 million views.
“As much as they’re not ideal, it was a nice way to stay connected to the audience and to let them hear some of the new songs along the way before the record came out...obviously Dropkick Murphys thrives on an audience packed in tight and sweating and loud, but in lieu of having that, it’s been nice to be able to do these four concerts that we would have done.”
Casey loves the fact that they can now reach people who would never otherwise be able to come to a real-life show explaining:
“We’ve just kind of slapped ourselves into making sure we know, hey, there’s people on the other side of those cameras. I mean, when you look at the numbers that we’ve done, they’re our biggest shows we’ve ever done. Some people have watched us on these live streams that never have.”
To celebrate the release of the new album, Dropkick Murphys will return to the virtual stage May 1 at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT (10.30 AM AEST on May 2 for all us Aussies) for the Turn Up That Dial Album Release Party Free Live Stream Concert. It will be simulcast worldwide via www.DKMstream.com and will feature a completely new set with songs from the band’s new album, along with a variety of fan favourites
Casey said they always try to make the streams special by incorporating elements they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to.
“This past live stream and the one coming up we’re surrounded by four video walls. So we’re in a box. We’re kind of facing each other and there’s video walls with content playing behind us on all four sides, where you could never do that if there was an audience there. So that makes the show all that unique.”
One of the tracks the band will be playing at the launch stream will be Queen Of Suffolk County, a track which they released earlier this month with a nostalgic video that was clearly a joy for them to create.
“The song is about growing up here in the 80s, and - I don’t know how the world is (in Australia) comparatively - but Boston was a lot rougher of a place back then and edgier and now it’s all gentrified and clean and everything. Even the women that we grew up with were half the times as dangerous if not more dangerous than the men. So it was kind of a tribute/shoutout to them/maybe a little bit of a poking fun at ‘em too.”
The clip features old photos the band dug up of themselves and their friends from their youth, and Casey laughs particularly at one of the photos taken when he was 12 or 13 years old surrounded by a pyramid of beer cans (shown at 0:35 in the clip).
“I think it’s always good when you can kind of pull that nostalgic vibe out of there and it’s been fun. A lot of my friends called me (saying), ‘I’m in the video!’”
Dropkick Murphys | Queen Of Suffolk County (Official Music Video)
When reflecting on Turn Up The Dial’s inception, Casey says his most fond memories relating to the album were made during the writing process, especially when writing the track H.B.D.M.F. which he knew would get under his friends’ (including some of his bandmates’) skin. A fact which he derived great pleasure in knowing.
“I have a personal pet peeve of people who are adults and want to celebrate their birthday over the weekend or a week or a month."
In parting, Casey gushed:
“I’d just like to say we’ve been coming to Australia since 1999 and people have treated us like family like we’re from there. We all love Australia, we love the people, we love your energy, your enthusiasm. I think I must have lived there in a past life, I don’t know, I can’t wait to come back, we miss you guys.”
Turn Up The Dial is out now via the Maniacs Store and all streaming platforms.
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