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Dropkick Murphys talk gay porn, Tucson chaos, warped BBQ

Photo courtesy of Epitaph Records
The Dropkick Murphys, who started 1996, started as, "Just a bunch of friends looking to play music for fun." Now the band records and tours constantly, including a stop in Tucson Sept. 9 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
By Kevin Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 4, 2003

You could be a Dropkick Murphys fan. That is, at least according to Dropkick bassist Ken Casey.

Casey noted that although the Boston punk band stands for hard-working, blue-collar ethics, they welcome any type of fan they can get.

"I think there's people everywhere that are hard working individuals that identify with what we're trying to do," Casey said.

"And that's not to say you have to be some hard-nosed blue collar guy to like our music. There's plenty of suburban mallrats, spoiled rich kids that might think our songs are catchy and that's all right too. Nobody's excluded. Granted yeah, I think it's a little more Ě when people kind of get what we're all about ¸ it's a little more gratifying. But whatever ¸ anybody who wants to come through the door is welcome."

There is still some old-fashioned Boston sports discrimination, however. When asked if basketball fans of the Celtic's infamous rival the Los Angeles Lakers were welcome, Casey jokingly replied, "I draw the line somewhere."

Together since 1996, the Dropkick Murphys released their latest LP, Blackout in June and will enter Tucson fresh from Laker-country after a stint opening up for punk legends The Sex Pistols.

Pistols' front man John Lydon is notorious for being a bit of a pistol, but according to Casey, so far Lydon and the band have been nothing but tea and crumpets.

"So far so good," Casey said. "They've been treating us great. I'll let you know if anything changes, but up until now, he's been nothing but hospitable to us."

It would be tough to beat the hospitality the Warped Tour provided the band with this summer, however. The veteran Dropkicks helped headline this year's version with fellow long÷time punks Rancid, AFI, Pennywise and more. In a seniority system to reward the established artists and initiate the new, the Warped Tour gives a few rookie bands the chance to make it big ¸ be it in music or catering.

"They have a band or two every year, that is basically a new band just starting out, and they offer them the whole tour in exchange for them cooking for all the bands afterwards," Casey said. "The band will have a van and instead of pulling a trailer, they pull a big gas grill behind them. The Warped Tour buys all the food and everything ¸ the guy who runs it ¸ and they do all the cooking. It's a pretty good deal and everyone just hangs out by the barbeque and parties the whole time."

As for the quality of the food, Casey wouldn't advise any of the musical gourmets to quit their day jobs.

"I hope they're not planning on going into the restaurant business," he said. "It did the job at 10 o'clock at night when you were stranded in the middle some field somewhere, you know?"

Backstage at the Warped Tour could be described as a family atmosphere consisting of many sects.

"We'd usually hang out with Rancid, the Unseen, Pennywise, and Andrew WK," Casey said. "And then there was a core of the other bands that were all friends with each other like Simple Plan, Sum 41. They run in a different circle that we do, but everyone still got along. I had no bad experiences on the tour."

Casey said the rest of the time on tour was filled with the usual time killers.

"Other than that we were just basically beating up on the other bands," he said. "Pulling pranks on the other bands. Filling Lars Frederiksen's (Rancid guitarist) bunks full of gay porno and taking pictures and posting it on the Internet and stuff like that."

Tucson has a chance to be immortalized Tuesday. The band is filming footage of this tour to be used on an upcoming DVD to be released on St. Patrick's Day, 2004. Lots of concerts have already been filmed, however, so if Tucson wants to get included, it'll have to be on top of its game.

"Well, they'd have to be something extra special because we got lots of good footage for it," Casey said. "We're looking for chaos. If the crowd's really good, you never know. That will be right around the cut-off time. The end of that month is when we're going to stop. It's so easy to keep taping more footage and more footage, but you got to cut it off somewhere or you'll just have this never ending project."

The Dropkick Murphys play the Rialto Theater Tuesday at 8 p.m. with The Unseen and Roger Miret & The Disasters. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Rialto box office or through Ticketmaster.

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