In late 2004, Irish Punk had the privilege to do an interview with Mr Mike McColgan about his new band Street Dogs. It was one of the first interviews he gave since forming the band.
Séafra: What have you been doing since we last saw you in the music seen, We know you became a Boston Fire fighter. What was that like?
Mike: Living my life and working my ass off to survive just like everybody else who has a rent to pay!! Becoming a Boston Firefighter is a dream realized.I love the job and am very happy to have it.It is a job of service to the public and it is rewarding helping people out.
Séafra: Where you still doing anything Music wise?
Mike: Music wise I had been informally jamming with Jeff Erna,street dog’s drummer, and Jack Quinn a bass player formerly of Slow Club and every now and then Johnny Rioux,street dog’s bass player, would add some guitar.Street Dog’s formed up about a year and a half ago when Rob Guidotti,former guitar player in Every Second now the guitar player for street dogs, and Jeff called be down in to the shark tank(our rehearsal space) to jam on some songs.Jamming on songs turned into recording a seven song demo and the demo brought label interest and CMH/Crosscheck records signed us to a deal.Now Savin Hill our debut album comes out September 23.
Séafra: Can you tell us how you guys got the name Street Dogs?
Mike: We got the name street dogs when Rob introduced a song to the band entitled street dogs and I chimed in that it would be a good name for our band. So that is how we named our outfit-street dogs-……house broken,no rabies,won’t bite ya and we will travel!!!
Séafra: How do you feel about the current climate of musical expression?
Mike: The current climate of musical expression lends itself towards youth angst and just general dismay for the state of the world in general.People are pissed and when this occurs punk rock tends to really rise up and rear its angry head.Punk is always alive and vibrant but when things are as they are now i.e. fear of domestic terrorism,fear of being poor and homeless or jobless…..punk erupts just like it did back in the early to mid ninties.I feel like that is happening right now but then again I could be totally be wrong and far too analytical.Either way my opinion is only worth two bucks or a cup of coffee in the big scheme of things!!!
Séafra: Do you think music better off now than it was a decade ago, or do you see us in almost a “musical recession”?
Séafra: I don’t judge music by decades,genres,movements or charts. My litmus test is very rudimentary and it goes along the lines of if it moves you,makes you think and sounds good,it is good.I do not want to disappoint anybody but that is how I am.I don’t go analytical. I keep it simple.
Séafra: Do you still Keep in touch with any of the guys of Dropkick Murphys?
Mike: Absolutely I speak with Ken every now and then and myself Ken and Matt are huge Boston Bruins fans.So when we get a chance we head over to the fleet center to take in a game every now and then.There is no acrimony or bad blood between myself and Dropkick Murphys.Never has been,there never will be.We are supportive of them and they are very supportive of us.Things are very fraternal between both bands.
Séafra: What do you think of the whole Irish-Folk-Punk scene?
Mike: My knowledge of it is limited as a far the scene at large but I am very familiar obviously with the Dropkick Murphys and despite my departing the band I continue to be a fan of the band’s music as it very ,very powerful and intense particularly their latest offering blackout.The record is phenomenal.Flogging Molly,who we played some shows with this last July, are also very ,very good.They are one of the best live bands I have ever seen! I have also listened to there latest offering drunken lullabies and that is a powerful and moving album
Séafra: Do you have any personal Favorites on the new album Savin Hill?
Mike: I am partial to the song savin hill because it touches on how and where I grew up.It was a sort of remember when when I wrote the song.Obviously I am also partial towards fighter because it is a eulogy of sorts that I wrote on behalf of a departed friend.I like Jakes as well because it speaks to my job and that experience.
Séafra: What can we expect on Savin hill. How would you describe the album?
Mike: I would describe the album as 15 songs churning out life experience that deals with relationships, work,c onfrontation, belief systems and booze! Blood, sweat and tears coming at ya! Thats my subtle description!
Séafra: Do you or any of the guys do anything special before a live show? Do anything to get pumped up?
Mike: Yes we drink ridiculous amounts of coffee and red bull!!!! We gorge ourselves on any available snacks or food and we joke around,pump one another up and then we head up to play when they tell us to.Basically that’s the routine. However unlike Van Halen we do not consume tons of M and M’s or unlike Alanis Morrisette we don’t light candles and hum or chant meditations!
Séafra: You’re going to be singing the National Anthem at a Red sox Game how dose that feel?
Mike: I am so grateful to be able to sing our nation’s anthem at Fenway park.It is truly a privilige and an honor.
Séafra: Ever get any weird autograph request? Or any out of control female fans I guess you could say?
Mike: No,the autograph requests I have gotten have been boring and standard!!! No crazy requests to speak of,how lame of you Mike!!!! Nope, No crazy requests and no female harem! I am not Wayne Newton!
Séafra: Other then being a great musician and brave fire fighter, do you have any other talents we might not know about? Or hobbies?
Mike: I like to shoot pool,bike ride.work out every now and then(not often enough!), spend quality time with the wife,go for walks ,read books….those are my booooring hobbies………boring is good,quiet is good,calm is good…absence of insanity and negativity is good!!!!!
Séafra: What are the qualities you like in each one of your band mates
Mike: Rob(guitar) is super honest and to the point.A very rare trait to find in people.Johnny(Bass) is super supportive and helpful toward everyone in the band.Jeff(drums) is hillarious with his sports shtick and wrestling knowledge.
Séafra: At this very moment what CD is in your CD player?
Mike: The CD that is in my CD player is The Explosion’s sick of modern art EP.It is unreal!
Séafra: Everyone at Irishpunk.com thanks you for this interview, any last things you would like to ad about the new album or any thing else?
Mike: The last thing I would like to add is give our record,Savin Hill-comingout 9/23, a shot I humbly expect that most people will like it and be moved by it.If you find that you don’t like it just stick it back up on the shelf with the other 200 CDS you have collecting dust!!!! Cheers!