Category Archives: Interview

30 Years Of The Mahones

SnO – So, 30 Years of The Mahones! How are you celebrating?

Finny- We are doing amazing and better than ever. So crazy right? We are all glad to be alive and rocking all over the world. We managed to have two albums released, 30 Years and This Is All We Got To Show For It (Dec) and Unplugged (April) in 2020 on Canada’s best (and one of the world’s best) record labels, the legendary True North Records which has been around since the 1960’s. All the Canadian legends are on that label, so we love it there. It’s been a great year record wise in 2020 for The Mighty Mahones!!!!

SnO –Tell me more about the new album?

Finny – It’s a 30 year retrospective of all our best work, I really had a great trip down memory lane when we were remastering all those classic Mahones songs for this album in Toronto at the legendary Telejet Music Studio. One of my favorite studios in the world. Love that place. Anyways, it’s now my favorite Mahones album and the only one I listen to hahahaha, but I say this every time we release a new album. I just love it. A very happy album and It’s also our very first album on coloured GREEN VINYL!!!!

SnO – There are 10 songs on the new vinyl album. Do these songs represent the true sound of The Mahones?

Finny – Awww jayzuz I hope so, as we wrote them all. I think it really represents of the sound of The Mahones in 2020. Our are always trying making better music on every new album we do. It’s all killer and no filler brother. Turn it up loud to eleven!!!

SnO – Out of all the 100’s of songs in The Mahones back catalogue, what was the deciding factor on what songs to choose?

Finny – Well I find it very easy to make this kind of album, so I really go first with the fan favourites every time as this is what they really want. That’s what the music business is all about really, looking after your fan base and trying to spoil them with some really amazing albums for their music collections. I also go with my favourites and check to see what the fans are listening to on the internet on sites like Spotify and Apple Music. You can see there what you fans are streaming etc., so that’s also a very handy new too for us bands and songwriters these days. I do love the internet for what we can do with our music these days. So much easier than back in the 90’s. We now have access to the entire world.

SnO – This new album is on vinyl and cd. How are you liking the new vinyl resurgence?

Finny – I LOVE IT. Let me just flip over my new David Bowie Pin Ups picture disc now. OK, I am back. I think it’s really great and I think we should put out our award winning Black Irish Album on vinyl now too as it’s the 10th Anniversary of that Mahones classic. We just sold out of the new Mahones 30 Years album in 2 days, so YES I love the new vinyl resurgence. It’s AMAZING!!!!

SnO – Beyond the new retrospective album, how have you been keeping busy during Covid?

Finny – We I have been very busy cancelling and postponing gigs and tours with our amazing agents at MAD Tourbooking since March this year, so that has been very terrible, tough and messy. The Mahones are supposed to return to touring Europe in Feb 2021, but I believe that tour will probably also be moved to fall 2021 now, but one again I am not sure so stay tuned.  It’s our fecking 30th Anniversary Tour too, so it would be nice to do it one day. Anyways, The Mahones will return in 2021 as soon as we are allowed to play live again and we have booked a recording studio for two weeks next summer 2021 in Berlin, Germany to record  our next studio album. That’s exciting news.

SnO – It must be difficult for The Mahones being a full time gigging band?

Finny – Yes, this whole year has be a huge disaster for everyone in the music business from musicians to technicians, road crew, clubs, venues, pubs, promoters, agents, managers, merch companies, festivals etc you name it. We all have to just stay strong, help each other and get through this together and wear a mask until this virus is shut down in 2021. Such a hard time for everyone mentally, financially and stress wise also. I really think when live music comes back, everyone will appreciate it more this time than ever and show more support as the entire world just got a taste of what it’s like to have no live music. It’s horrible. Here’s to a better future and 2021 for live music all over the world!!!!

SnO – I see you have been doing solo gigs. How have they been going. Different material?

Finny – Yes, I have also been doing a solo acoustic thing for the fist time since 2005. That was my last mini break from The Mahones touring cycle. The solo show is 50% non Mahones stuff and the rest is acoustic versions of Mahones songs and deep cuts with stories added.  I did a short 10 date tour in Europe which was sold out and got amazing reviews, and then the Canadian tour was postponed by the second wave of Covid19, so I am locked down in Toronto again right now. The good new is, I am always working on something, so I have been in the studio working on a new “Finny McConnell – Live in Hamburg” solo acoustic tour live album. Hopefully I can make it sound great and release it to the public in 2021. 

SnO – Plans for 2021. We will see you back in the USA?

Finny – Well, like I said we are still moving tours and dates around so looks like yes we will try to make it back into the beautiful USA in 2021. We sure miss you all down there. Fingers crossed, wear your mask, wash your hands, stay safe and see you all in 2021. We can’t wait to get back on the road for our 30th Anniversary World Tour. Slainte everyone!!!

An Alternative Ulster Interview

Johnny Piper answers some question on the loudest band in Celtic-punk.

Can you give us some background on the band? Your musical history, who is in the band and how did the band come together, what release have the Alternative Ulster put out?

In January of 2015, I met our original bass player for the first time at Ulster County AOH Pipes and Drums practice. He was a student piper and we got to talking. When the talk turned to why we started piping, I made reference to Dropkick Murphys, The Real McKenzies, etc… I told him it was my goal to start a bagpipe punk rock band. To illustrate my point, I pulled up the YouTube video of Pipes & Pints performing The Gael. Another AOH piper, Jerry McCluskey, was also a long-time guitarist in punk rock bands. Jerry joined and recruited his friend to play drums. Jerry came up with the name “Alternative Ulster” which tied Old School 70s era punk, ala Stiff Little Fingers, together with our home, Ulster County, NY.


Continue reading An Alternative Ulster Interview

Interview with Iain from The PLACKS

Can we start with your musical background – who are you and who are The Placks? The Placks are a fairly new band, how did the band get together and what was the inspiration after your long punk career (if punks can have careers) to bring in strong Celtic influences to your music?

The Placks was a wee idea in the back of my head for years that wouldn’t go away. I have played in bands since I was in school and over the years have been lucky enough to have toured with bands like Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, UK SUBS, The Business and a few others, in my bands Beerzone and Control, and they all used to say the same thing to me, “Iain, being a proud Celt, you really ought to add some Celtic/Folk instruments to songs”. They all thought I wrote catchy, melodic songs so thought it would be very interesting.

 When people like Charlie Harper (UK SUBS), Ken Casey and Tim Armstrong say you should try something other than just straight up punk, you tend to listen!

Continue reading Interview with Iain from The PLACKS

Gerard Smith of Bill Grogan’s Goat

Hi Gerard, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Can we start with your musical history? Where are you from, who are your inspirations, how did you get involved in Celtic-rock?

Hey, John, I was born in Detroit, however, my parents moved us to a Christmas Tree farm in the township of Emmett, Michigan, about fifty miles North of Detroit, when I was three years old. I grew up out in the country.

Continue reading Gerard Smith of Bill Grogan’s Goat

The Templars of Doom

#1 Hi Mike, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. First off, can you give me some background on the band (history of the band, where are you from,  when did you get together, who’s in the band, influences, where did the band name come from, etc.)?

          Hi John, Thanks for reaching out and letting us spew! We’re from Ulster County NY, the New Paltz area. Bruynswick, NY specifically, but that’s a speck on the road. I live out by the Shawangunk Ridge, a kinda well known spot for hiking, rock climbing, and rattle snakes.

          Our guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter is Rory Quinn, he is a fantastic multi-instrumentalist musician and master recording engineer. He records music for a living, doing live sound, recordings, and teaching digital studio and more. He’s whiz on guitar and does all our recording now, he’s teaching me. I started out recording the band -our first LP and parts of the second album- on my ADAT, that’s digital info on an analog tape, and I’ve recently switched over to a laptop.  His brother Falco Sparvarious recently joined us on drums. He’s a young drummer with a lot of good energy and vibes that he brings to the band. For reasons I’d rather not get  into, we had to part ways with our drummer on the first two albums. It was really hard, but the rest of us as a band reached a point where we had to go our separate ways. We wish Eric well.   


Continue reading The Templars of Doom

Neck come out swinging – Interview with Leeson O’Keeffe

November 24, 2009

(S’n’O) First of all, congrats on finally getting “Come out fighting” released in the UK. Why the delay and when can we expect a proper US release?

(Leeson/Neck) Thanks John – it’s a massive relief! Well, it was set to go a year ago, but there were some last minute glitches that, due to tour commitments, we weren’t around to fix. So it got postponed – which gave us & the label time to reflect & it was decided, as Wispy was back off ‘the Subs bench’ to let him overdub some bass parts, re-master it (at the right level), completely overhaul the artwork & get proper PR campaigns working behind the album – which meant putting it back to now to enable all that.

(S’n’O) The title – “Come out fighting” and the fists up on the CD sleeve. I’m guessing there is a statement there?

(Leeson/Neck) Yep – but it’s more about having a ‘pugnacious’ state-of-mind rather than going down the boozer ready for a ruck. It’s down to the title track, which is about those times in life when the shite really hits the fan & you, literally, feel like you’ve gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson & you’re on the ropes, emotionally, with the guy ready to throw in the towel. So you really have to dig deep, & figuratively speaking, get off the ropes, catch your breath, get your balance – put your guard up, set your brow & be downright bloody-minded & take the fecker on! If ye know what I mean…

(S’n’O) I heard a few complaints from long time Neck fans that while the production on “Come out fighting” is 1st class there’s a lot of older Neck tracks re-recorded. Any particular reason why?

(Leeson/Neck) Of course: rather than selling people short, we’re just trying to give them the best we can – we thought that, as this is our first world-wide release, & particularly with legendary producer Pat Collier’s alchemy at our disposal, we had the opportunity to re-visit & improve upon songs that we love & are live favourites, but the previous recordings are either really old or were recorded either so cheaply, in a rush or mixed at silly o’clock with one eye on the clock, that we find them hard to listen to now. We knew Pat could help us do a better job of them. Which we have, and which, it appears, everyone does actually agree with!

(S’n’O) We’ve been following Neck here in Shite’n’Onions for about 8 years and while a lot of bands that started out around the same time as Neck have had a lot of success stateside Neck are still a unknown quantity – do you feel disadvantaged being based in the UK? Any plans to raise your US profile.

(Leeson/Neck) Well, none of our stuff’s been widely available in the US up ’til now (apart from a Heroic effort via your very own ‘Shite ‘n’ Onions’ – named after on of our very own tunes! – with ‘Here’s mud in yer eye!’); Also, the costs of touring & promotion without big label backing make things virtually unfeasible for us. But, despite that, because of the immense support for us over there from you guys – we’ve tried to hang-in there. We know we’re a good band & things are progressing: our two U.S. trips last year were proof of that. It’s just finding a way to make sure people know about us, & now that we’ve got a U.S. label – Abstract Recordings –  who are going to get behind the album, hopefully we’ll get our arses back over there & put together a tour around the album release in the new year.

(S’n’O) Finally, with “Come out Fighting!” finally out. What are Necks next plans – tours, next CD?

(Leeson/Neck) Well we’ve started the rolling UK tour & then, with the album being released in the USA the week before St. Patrick’s Day, it makes sense that, if it’s at all possible, we need to be in the U.S. for that – so we need to get onto things like ShamrockFest in DC, etc. to ensure that. Then we’ll be touring the album in Europe in April, with more dates & festivals all over the place to follow throughout the summer into The Fall / Autumn – so 2010 may be our busiest year ever! Release-wise, we’re starting to work on the next Neck album, & we promise it will defo be all new material.

(S’n’O) There’s also a rumour of a CD of covers already recorded, any truth in that?

(Leeson/Neck) Yes indeed: we’d already recorded a covers album (with Pat) before ‘Come out Fighting!’, but it was ultimately felt that it was better to put out an originals album as a first release. It was inspired by Johnny Rogan’s writings &, is, subsequently, ‘Necked-up’ versions of songs by other 2nd & 3rd-generation Irish artists – from Johnny Cash to The Libertines. It’s a testament to our contribution to popular music & how far we’ve punched above our weight! The front cover & title’s actually our best-selling T-shirt ‘Plastic ‘n’ Proud’ (‘Plastic Paddies’ is a derogatory term – so we’re turning the insult on it’s head, like black folk do with the ‘N’ word). The version of The Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy in the UK’ is already reaching cult status! (there’s a clip on YouTube of 5,000 people singing along to it at Glastonbury festival)!.


April 25, 2009

THE SWAGGERIN’ GROWLERS: Boston based The Swaggerin’ Growlers have just released their 2nd full length CD – Keep Your Head Held High. In honour of that momentus ocasion we asked Johnny Swagger a few dumb questions.

s’n’o: First off, can we get a brief history of the band and personally how did you get involved in playing Celtic-punk?

Johnny Swagger: The band started, like all good folk bands, in the pub. Over pints of Franconia Notch Brewing Companies’ Mountain Stout, in the summer of 2004. We rehearsed in Seth’s (of the Pubcralwers ) basement and played our first show on St Patrick’s day of 2005. Somewhere over the last two years we had a lot of lineup changes, as well as a relocation down to Boston. We finally locked everything down in the beginning of this year, and decided it was high time we put out a new record. Now, we’re off to take over the world.

As far as Celt Punk Goes: Flogging Molly got me interested, and the Pogues changed my life: The idea that you can cause that much intense insanity with acoustic instruments is glorious. It’s hard to avoid the influence of Irish music on the folk scene here in Boston, and in New England as a whole.

S’n’O: Your Head Held High! is your 2nd full-length. How does it compare to your 1st (The Bottle and the Bow)? Is there growth, maturity, keyboards etc., or did you go the AC/DC, Ramones, Motorhead route?

Johnny Swagger: It blows it away, outright – I couldn’t be more proud of the family. There’s a whole lot of growth on this record, and a lot more of our influences shine through considerably more: Bluegrass, Old Tyme, Ska, Swing, and Hardcore. We recorded the majority of it at the band house, behind a schedule that can best be described as insane, so we could have it out for the 17th. And we pulled it off, goddamn it.

S’n’O: I know you headlined the Middle East Club in St. Patrick’s Day for the CD release party. How did it go?

Johnny Swagger: It was a few people shy of selling out, actually – It was a complete frenetic mess. Jubilant, boisterous, brash. I’ve played hundreds of shows at this point in my musical career, and I can definitely say this was my favorite show to date. We were completely surrounded by friends and family, both on and off the stage, and the after party easily ran until 6am. Could anyone ask for anything more? I was in awe the whole goddamn time.

S’n’O: Any plans to tour to support the new release outside New England? Anyone you’d like to tour with?

Johnny Swagger: You better believe it. We plan on fully supporting this record over the next few years, in the states and abroad, starting this summer with a full US tour, then again in the fall. Stay tuned, we plan on announcing dates in the next week or so. Anyone got a van they can sell us? Growlersarus Rex is a little too battered to be roadworthy at this point.

S’n’O: myspace or facebook?

Johnny Swagger: I’ve done more social networking in our living room during a folk jam than on either of those. But Myspace is great for porn and spam and facebook is great for being a creepy stalker. so naturally, we’ve got both, and you should check them out.

S’n’O: In closing, anything you’d like to say in general?

Johnny Swagger: Check out our friends, The Old Edison and Faulty Conscience, our sister bands. They’re both gearing up for new releases in the near future. Also a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, the friends we’ve made, and the bartenders that didn’t throw us out when the damn well should have. Oh, and buy our new record, and come out to a show or fifty. Cheers.

Andy Nolan of BibleCodeSundays is interviewed

November 19, 2010

Andy Nolan is the accordion player with London’s BibleCodeSundays and a budding movie screenwriter and producer who’s first movie CLAN LONDON is in pre production at the moment. We thought we catch up with Andy and see what’s going on with the BibleCodes and how the movie business is treating him.

SnO – Andy, with the movie and Ronans solo CD what’s happening with the BCS? Any plans to start working on a third full length?

Andy – Yes we are recording our third album in the coming weeks before Christmas! Really looking forward to it as it’s been a long time coming and we have some great songs!

SnO – Ghosts of our Past was release in the US through Cosmic Trigger records. Will we be seeing a US release of Boots or No Boots (and a tour)?

Andy – Yes we are planning a US tour for May next year! We’re looking to play Boston, NYC and Chicago! We will be promoting songs from the new album so for those that haven’t heard Boots or No Boots grab a copy from our website

SnO – How’s Ronan’s sold CD doing – I was very impressed, different from the BCS but still good in a Elvis Costello kind of way.

Andy – Yes Strawberry Hill! It’s doing very well and available on Itunes so check it out! It’s always been a very strong side to Ronan’s writing and he’s glad it’s finally out there for people to hear! He’s been writing songs like that since he was a kid. I think a second solo album will soon be on it’s way! He has hundreds of great songs like that ready to record! We played on most of the first album and hopefully can help him with the next one too!

SnO – Speaking of the brother any chance of persuading Elvis and your former bosses Spider Stacey and Shane MacGowan to guest on the next BCS release – on the same track even (I know, wishful thinking)?

Andy – There has been talk of this for a while now! Yes one day I think we could get everyone in to record on one of our albums! That would be amazing! With this third album though we had around 30 very good songs of our own and we had to narrow them down to 12. We realised that we had loads of our own material we had to get out there first! I’d say the next album after this would be a good time to get Elvis, Shane and Spider in! Do watch out for Spider Stacy featuring on the Clan London Movie soundtrack though! We plan to put together The Vendettas to record one or two songs for the movie!

SnO – When you played in Spiders band – The Vendettas – did you guys record anything proper (I’ve heard live bootlegs but no studio stuff) and will anything ever be released?

Andy – Yes we did! We recorded around 15 tracks that have never been released. With the band reforming to record for my movie Clan London you will certainly hear The Vendettas on the movie soundtrack!

SnO – Switching gears. The Movie! I know you have a big interest in gangsters and especially those with Irish blood – so can you tell us what the movie is all about and how the idea of making a movie came about?

Andy – Clan London is a crime drama set in London, UK. It tells of three second generation Irish brothers growing up in 1970’s London up to the present day. Against the backdrop of anti – Irish feeling this particular family refuse to keep their heads down and become heavily involved in organised crime. So much so the rise to the top of the British underworld.

I’ve always been a huge movie fan and always thought there was a gap in the market for an Irish gangster movie set in London. It’s based on people I grew up with, real life criminals and fiction – a melting pot of ideas really.

SnO – Your in pre-production right now? How has it being going to get to this stage –   from the facebook page for CLAN LONDON it looks like everything is coming along nicely?

Andy – Yes we’re in pre-production now. We’ve already had auditions in Galway City. We are holding auditions in Dublin on Sat 29 January next year and we will move on to London shortly after that. We also plan to audition in Boston as we have some scenes set in Southie. Jay Giannone from The Departed and Gone Baby Gone is helping us with that. For more details go

SnO – I also see a couple of big names associated with the movie – boxer Steve Collins and author and ex-gangster Noel “Razor” Smith – how did you hook up with those guys and what type of parts have you got for them?

Andy – Yes Steve will play Paddy McDonagh – the father of the three boys. Paddy is The Godfather of the McDonagh empire, a role Steve is really excited about playing. Steve heard about the movie project and contacted me through a mutal friend. Steve is one of my all time sporting heroes so to have him involved is a dream come true. He appeared in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and more recently The Kid directed by Nick Moran (Lock, Stock). He is currently filming Blood Sweat and Wars with Clan London director Stephen Patrick Kenny. He is very committed to his acting career. His passion for the role of Paddy is second to none and will have you on the edge of your seat believe me!

I wrote See You at the Crossroads about Razor Smith which was on our last album Boot or No Boots. After reading his book A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun I was moved to write a song about his life. Razor is London Irish like me. Great book by the way! I highly recommend it! Razor, now a best selling author, was part of the inspiration behind the movie and has recently been released from prison. He has fifty-eight criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. Whilst in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from The London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. He has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has contributed articles to the Independent, the Guardian, Punch, the Big Issue, the New Statesman and the New Law Journal. Razor is also helping with research to make Clan London as authentic as possible and will be cast very soon!

SnO – Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this the first movie about London-Irish organized crime (excluding ‘The Long Good Friday” which was Cockney gangsters verses Irish politicals) – why hasn’t the subject been tackled before (it’s not like there aren’t Irish families that are major players in London organized crime)?

Andy – Yes it is the first! There always been a huge Irish community in London but with the Troubles back home much of what the Irish achieved in the UK has been overlooked. I wanted to highlight that in the most explosive way possible – through a gangster movie. There have been many cockney Irish criminals down through the years. One of the most infamous was Billy Hill who ruled the London underworld for decades. He was the UK’s first celebrity gangster and handed down his empire to his proteges The Krays.

SnO – As far as Irish gangster movies and books what would you recommend to see/read?

Andy – Well State of Grace will always be one of my all time favourites along with Goodfellas and Carlito’s Way. Regarding books I would highly recommend Rat Bastards by John ‘Red’ Shea, Street Soldier by Eddie MacKenzie and A Criminal and an Irishman by Pat Nee! Amazing stuff! All three authors are fans of Clan London too!

SnO – Andy, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Anything you’d like to add?

Andy – Anytime John! Yes keep an eye out for Clan London in 2012! We plan to shoot it next year! And our third album will be released next year too!

Philip Chevron (Pogues/Radiators From Space) Interview

March 4, 2012

It may have taken nearly 30 years for the seminal Irish punk band Radiators From Space to cut their third album, but don’t tell Phil Chevron that they sound any different than before. “To me, it doesn’t sound any different,” says Chevron. To him, even though their debut, T.V. Tube Heart, had a sound more like their contemporaries in the late 70’s punk scene, the fact that their latest, Trouble Pilgrim, has slower-tempo songs and more of a pop sensibility has more to do with their growth as musicians, as well as their changing influences over the years. “When you’re young, you start out playing what you can, and eventually you end up playing what you want.”

And don’t call this a “Reunion Album.” “We really never actually split up,” he says. “We just ran out of road…but it was always the idea that, when the opportunity arose, we would get back together. And we have done a few times before this.” The difference now? Says Chevron: “There isn’t that sort of pressure to return to the hamster wheel of commercial grunt work. We do what we like, without the pressure of having to have a career plan, as such.” And in that spirit, the Radiators have gotten back together several times in recent years. Does the fact that they’re older, and not trying to compete in the same markets as younger bands? “Oh, of course,” he says. “None of us, at this point, have any interest in going back in the factory line. We’re competing with no one.”
Chevron, as a member of the Pogues, has toured the world many times over the years. Are the Radiators planning on touring behind this release? “If someone wanted to arrange that, we’d definitely be interested, but it doesn’t seem very feasible at this point.” And as for the gap between the new CD’s release in Ireland and it’s appearance in the States, Chevron says this has more to do with the fact that the band has no plans to try and sign with any major distributors. “The album’s been out there, available for anyone who wanted to release it. We knew that Shite ‘N’ Onions were champions of the album when it was first released. When you own your own masters, which we do now, you have the freedom to license to whoever you want.”

That the album makes references to US foreign policy is only natural, says Chevron, but “America has such a huge footprint on the world, it has to accept people commenting about it.” He points to the fact that Shannon airport is now virtually being run like a US military installation as a reason that someone from Ireland might have cause to make their feelings about the conflicts going in the Middle East known.

The track most likely to get people’s attention this time around is the song “Joe Strummer,” the subject of which should be obvious to anyone with ears. According to Chevron, it’s a kind of musing about what the great Clash front man and solo artist (and, for a brief period, a member of the Pogues) would have to say about the state of the world today. “We started out admiring him, as everyone did at the time, to working with him as our producer, to being mates with him. We introduced him to football.” Strummer’s ability to, as Chevron puts it, “put that point of view across,” makes to world a completely different place for not having him in it.

Trouble Pilgrim may not sound like your classic 1-2-3-4 punk rock album, but the subject matter is as passionate and as pointed as the Radiators From Space have always been. The nearly 30-year gap between albums has only served to ensure that the band put its best foot forward.

Trouble Pilgrim is available in the US from Shite’n’Onions

Interview by: John Curtin – Comedian, Irish Musician, Dork

6 Questions – PRYDEIN

July 19, 2012

(SNO) So who are PRYDEIN (when formed, band members, where are you from)?
(Pryden – Aron) Prydein actually started out as a band I formed with some friends back in college in 1995 out of a desire for something new in the music scene. There weren’t too many rock bands with bagpipers back then so we thought we’d give it a shot. That band was called Whisky Before Breakfast. After that band split up in 1998 I got to keep the bagpiper in the divorce settlement. Our fiddler, Ellery Klein, went on to play with Gaelic Storm and we became Prydein. Prydein now consists of myself (Aron Garceau) on Guitar, Vocals and other random things found round a studio, Iain MacHarg on Highland Bagpipes, flute and pennywhistle, Andy Smith on Bass and Caleb Bronz on drums. We recently a new member to the band, Dan Houghton of the band Cantrip also plays highland bagpipes as well as bouzuki, flute, whistle, etc. As we say on our website, the sound of two bagpipers playing tight harmonies backed by a rock band is enough to make the blood shoot right out of your eyes!

(SNO) What inspired the formation of the band?

(Pryden – Aron) In the 90s, all the music being played on the radio either sounded like Sound Garden or R&B Hip hop pop-a-lop. Not for us. We wanted something different… very different. I think we found it! We also noticed quite a lack of young kids in the trad music scene, we felt like this was a way to trick them into getting interested in what was going on.

(SNO) Describe your sound (and influences)?

(Pryden – Aron) We are a Celtic rock band blending the influences of our piper Iain (who grew up listening to NOTHING but bagpipe music, Tannahil Weavers, Bothy Band, Battlefield Band, Gordon Duncan) and myself who grew up listening to… well, everything else. I was a huge Zeppelin fan as a kid as well as Jethro Tull and so I think of this as Scottish-Folk-Zeppelin.

(SNO) What going on with the band right now (recording, touring etc)?

(Pryden – Aron) Since the lot of us are a bunch of public school music teachers, we keep our tours heaviest in the summer time. With that being said we’re in the season deep now with a Scottish Festival in Northampton Mass this Saturday (The Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival) with Enter the Haggis, a highland games in Detroit as well as Maine and our home-state of Vermont. The big news this year is that we’re about a month away from releasing our first live album; Prydein: Live From the Fort. We can’t wait!

(SNO) What song in you catalog best defines your sound (and why)?

(Pryden – Aron) Our fans would say “Stairway to Scotland”, it’s our show ending mashup of Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave. However I think that the reel rocker, “Loud Pipes (save lives)” is probably the one that captures it best. A couple of reels put to a pretty straight ahead rock background, it’s strong, it’s solid and I think it is, in its entirety, Celtic Rock. It’s also the video on youtube that has gotten over 100,000 hits and has introduced our music to the world. We recently found out that there is a band in Russia who is covering our stuff! The internet is amazing.

(SNO) Soapbox – anything you’d like to say?

(Pryden – Aron) We’re pretty lucky, I think, to have found the niche that we’re in. It’s tough you know, often times we find that we’re too “rock” for folk festivals but at the same time we’re too “folk” for mainstream rock festivals. Heck, sometimes we find that we’re too Irish for Scottish Festivals and too Scottish for Irish Festivals. We take the gigs as they come and love talking to the crowd both before, during and after the show and found that we’ve got some amazing, dedicated and loyal fans and we strive to bring them 110% all of the time. Every new show brings more folks into the fold and we look forward to doing so for a long, long time.

Thanks John, and thanks for all that you do to introduce folks to new music. Your efforts are