KC: It's none of our business, but I think anyone who's trying to act like they invented the genre, like, "Never heard of that band. Woke up one morning and decided to do it," is lying. Irish music was introduced to me young, but it was the Pogues who made me go, "Now it's for my generation!" So who knows if I ever would've thought to do it if they hadn't done it. When we were starting a band, there was never a conscious decision to play Irish music and punk. We wanted to be a punk rock band. We started to realize the way we were writing lyrics, like, the vocal delivery had storytelling and phrasing of stuff reminiscent to Irish music. The first song ever, "Barroom Hero," people said it sounded like the Clancy Brothers meets the Ramones. I literally remember going, "I didn't even think of that." So it just developed that way. But we've always given where credit is due to our influences. A lot of these bands, back in their day, never made a dime doing what they were doing. Especially the punk bands it's like, they should at least get the credit for the influence.
Yeah, a lot of people from my generation wouldn't have listened to the Pogues unless they had listened to you guys first, and they don't always acknowledge that.
KC: I think it's always cool&ldots;it's the same with punk rock. How many kids are probably not saying Rancid was their first punk band? They came out of the womb listening to the Clash.
AB: But then, you can say the same thing. They probably wouldn't have gotten into the Clash if it wasn't for a band like Rancid.
KC: But I don't know if that's the case. We don't really speculate on who listened to what when. We just worry about the people who are listening to us. That's all you can, y'know what I mean? There are bands that&ldots;.I think do what we do well, and there are band that maybe don't do it well&ldots;It's a fun type of music to play in a bar, so that's attractive, too. Maybe they're not out to set the world on fire and create something new. They're just trying to play something aggressive that fits well in a bar. Not that we ever set out to set the world on fire. We were in a friggin' barber shop basement and we never ever planned on leaving that place. I think it was that wholesome approach to the start, with really no intentions of being a real band that was endearing to people, because I think about some of our first shows and I say "What the hell were people listening to where they wanted to come back a second time?" I think they liked that what we were going for. They sensed that there was a passion behind it, or something. But hopefully I've grabbed every VHS copy of all of our early shows from people before they could be put up on DVD&ldots;
KC: Or eBay.
What made you want to do a concept record?