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Interview: Flogging Molly's Bob Schmidt 

Flogging Molly's banjo and mandolin player talks about the life in the beloved Celtic-rock group and its album Speed of Darkness, due May 24.

What do you think attracts fans to Flogging Molly?
We're always going to be able to do Irish music and we can do rock music with the best of them, so it gives us a lot of freedom to do whatever we want, and not have to be mired down by any particular sound or genre.

What's the band dynamic like with seven members?
I think [what] it brings to us the most is a wide variety of influences and sounds and opinions.

How do you balance family life and touring?
We're all really lucky that we've got supportive and capable women in our lives. My wife runs the house when I'm gone and raises my little girl without me. It's more work than I'm doing out here, practically.

Tell me about the new album.
Most of the writing on this album was done in Detroit and some of it in Ireland, and both of those places are really being hit hard by the economy.

Why Speed of Darkness?
The kid who did the album art for us lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the tumultuous war going on in the '80s and '90s. He came home from school one day and [...] asked his mom, "I know they're telling me what the speed of light is, but no one's telling me what the speed of darkness is." We just found it to be a really poignant quote.

 

Flogging Molly. 7 p.m. Fri., March 4. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $26 (sold out). 800-745-3000 or www.promowestlive.com

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