So with Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, and Shane MacGowan, at what point do you get jaded to working with really, really famous people?
AB: I don't think you get jaded. It's not like we have these people on speed dial. Every person you just mentioned happened in different circumstances, and definitely came organically. It wasn't like, "Who do we know that has naked pictures of Bruce Springsteen doing something so he'd have to be on our record?" It was through reading interviews that we found out that he liked the band, and then we met him in 2007 for the first time. Then he turned around and invited us to one of his shows, and our lead guitar player Tim (Brennan) proposed to his wife onstage. There was a relationship built. The idea of asking him to be on the record wasn't a stretch. Him doing it was, 'cause we were like, "He's going to say no," but it couldn't hurt to ask.
KC: Shane was through mutual friends. Before him, Ronnie Drew was through mutual friends. Scorsese came to us, but he heard about us through friends on the movie set who were telling him about us. It's not like you get jaded. It's like, where do you go next? We never tried to top it, like, "We got Shane, who can we get now?" These kinds of things have just fallen in our lap, y'know what I mean?
But if you had your druthers, who would you get now?
KC: That's what I mean. How can you get better than Bruce? But we're not trying to get better than Bruce. James' father sang on the record. That's almost as cool as Bruce. My daughter played violin on the record. I think that's as cool as Bruce. I don't think it's necessarily&ldots; maybe Angus Young will come and do a guitar solo sometime, but other than that&ldots;
AB: To go back to Meanest of Times for a second, having Ronnie Drew on the record was huge for the band, just in terms of where the band comes from musically, Y'know what I mean? To having Ronnie Drew and then Spider Stacy and then us on one song&ldots; that was big&ldots;
AB: We were on tour with the Pogues. He came and performed with the Pogues, and he was walking by our dressing room. He stuck his head in and said, "You guys were great," and we asked, "Would you even consider?...' Actually, we asked someone else in the folk/Irish world years before if they'd be on one of our records, and their response was, "As long as you're nothing like the Pogues, because they've sent Irish music back hundreds of years." But Ronnie, right away, was like, "Give me your cell phone number, here's mine, please, I'd love to do it."
KC: I think we were some of the last people Ronnie ever recorded with. He was like, the Bruce Springsteen of old Irish music. We went to Ireland to meet him, and I said, 'You want us to send you a taxi? A limo? What do you do here?" He's like, "Ah, I'll take the subway." So he took the train. He's just so down to earth. Same with Bruce, man. Bruce treated us like such a normal guy. Maybe that's when we'll get jaded. We've had lots of experiences with people that I looked up to that were pricks.