Punk/Celtic rockers the Dropkick Murphys have plenty to toast on this St. Patrick's Day tour.
Sure, the Massachusetts band is all about the pride of the Irish, but the bandmates are also celebrating the January release of their eighth full-length album, "Signed and Sealed in Blood," plus the selection of their song "Out of Our Heads" for the new reality TV show "Boston's Finest," which debuted Feb. 27 on TNT. The band is no stranger to commercial success, of course. Highlights include the song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" being featured in the film "The Departed."
"We are turning the volume up a little bit," said bassist Ken Casey of the band's latest album and tour. "I think if I had to pick one thing I want fans to know about this record, I would want them to know it was made with them in mind. We don't say, 'Let's do something that will be [commercially successful].' We say, 'Lets think of all the things our audiences enjoy.' "
Ever since the band's 1998 debut album, "Do or Die," the members have constantly toured. Sure, its records are critically acclaimed, but the group built its fan base through a constant presence onstage, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe.
|» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW|
|» When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday|
|» Info: Sold out at press time, but tickets may still be available through resellers; $1 per ticket of each show benefits the Claddagh Fund, which supports community-based nonprofits; 800-955-5566; 9:30.com|
When the seven members of the band decided to write and record their latest release, they curtailed the tour schedule, playing only a month of the biggest summer festivals in Europe. During those festivals, the band road-tested several new songs and found the fans were as enthusiastic about them as they were about the band's most popular tunes.
That excitement provided the bandmates with a fresh dose of enthusiasm, which they took to their South Boston rehearsal space -- decorated with photos and mementos of past tours -- as they worked toward completion of the new album.
"Our fans make us want to do this forever," said Casey. "They live and die by this band as much as we do. ... The key to a good Dropkick Murphys record is to have a little bit of everything: It makes you want to laugh. It makes you want to cry. It makes you want to punch someone in the face. It makes you want to be happy. We put our hearts and souls into our music. We're very grateful that people respond."