Hmm, why aren't we seeing literature and music bounce off each other as much, do you think?

KC: Maybe you do in the folk world, a little bit. The roots of Irish music are all about passing down stories about generations of families. You wrote a song so that story would be told years later. I mean, we went into it with that same theory in the early days. "Boys on the Docks" is about my grandfather. I always used to say about the Boys on the Docks EP, "Y'know, 100 years from now that might be in someone's attic. Someone might dust it off. Same with this record. In 100 years, someone might pick it up and read the story. You can't necessarily say that's going to happen, but it's a good way to document time and history. I think music just became more about selling CDs, or whatever...

AB: There's not a lot of music with substance out there. In pop music especially, you're not going to get that connection with literature in a Madonna song. Or a George Michael song.

Depends what kind of literature.

AB: When I think of literature I think of the classics&ldots;not so much Penthouse Forum&ldots;

Your thoughts on the current state of Boston rock?

AB: Not enough venues. Not enough venues that are booking unsigned bands. It's easy for us, because we're at the level now where we can play a House of Blues and stuff, but I think a city's life blood is the unsigned bands.

KC: Musically, I think it's become a lot more of a bar scene, with just a lot more shows on a smaller level. I guess that's like everything in the world today. It goes back to even when we started. We couldn't play. Even when Mama Kin existed on Lansdowne, which was supposed to be about Aerosmith giving back, we'd go in there, be selling T-shirts for $5, and they'd take 25 percent. Local band playing in the front room, with T-shirts we printed ourselves for $5, and they'd want a $1.25 for each shirt we sold. We'd be like, "What?!" I think the economics of having places where young bands can get their start&ldots; I'm not talking about older bands that have been around, I'm talking about where young bands can develop. It would be nice to see more of that, but I'm sure it's still going on in the VFWs that we've lost touch with a little bit, to be honest. Growing older, with kids, the fact that we're gone six to nine months a year, it's hard to be in touch with the city when you're never there. That's one of the downsides. You miss a lot of things that happen musically. Half the time when your friends' bands come through your own town, they go, "Hey man, we're in Boston! Coming to the show?!" I'm like, "I'm in Japan! I wish I was there." But we're probably the two worst guys to ask about that, having multiple kids and stuff. But the other guys in the band all have side-projects, so they're a lot more involved with the current state of localized music.

This is your first new album in, what, six years?

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