Recorded on the Salty Dog Cruise 2018, members of Flogging Molly join the show for the second time. (You can check out the Flogging Molly's first appearance here). Dave King talks about the inception of the cruise and how the band plans to keep doing it, and Bob Schmidt and Dennis Casey talk about about the beginnings of the band, how they got into music, and what it means to be a part of Flogging Molly.
ON THE FUELED BY DEATH COMPANION SHOW:
This week on Science, Jeff tells Dustin all about the recent news from Mars and what NASA's Curiosity Rover found. It isn't life on another planet, but it is the first steps down that path to discovery. IHOP is now serving burgers, so of course that news made The Roast this week. Finally, stick around from some new merchandise announcements from The World's Strongest Coffee.
DEATH STAR OF THE WEEK:
This week meet Johnny Duke Sizemore, whose friendship with Riki Rachtman led him down the path to discovering Death Wish Coffee. Check out Johnny on the show:
Jeff (host): I can't believe what an incredible thing the Salty Dog cruise is. Where did the idea even come from? Was it yours? You can say it was yours.
Dave King: Years ago we had this idea that we wanted to do something like this, and then it got on the back burner because I've always felt like a working class band kind of thing.
Dustin: Totally. Totally.
Dave King: Then it was like cruise I was like, "Really? I don't know.| Then the opportunity came about to actually give her a go, and we've actually embraced it because it's almost like a weekend about forgetting about everything really. You know what I mean?
Dustin (host): I feel that way. Oh my God.
Dave King: Being on the ocean, you're like ... for three days or whatever the year you can forget about what's going on in the world.
Dustin: No cell service, no internet service.
Dave King: Yeah. It's like just ... and it's a great blast.
Dustin (host): It really is.
Dave King: For the bands as well, the bands really have a great time too and the fans have just been like, I mean, with people from everywhere. Germany, Norway, Belgium, England, Ireland, they've come from everywhere, United States of course. It's one of those things that like ... obviously I'd never thought in a million years just being a musician that I would ever be in a position where I'm in a band playing on a cruise ship. It never appealed to me first of all. But it's a completely different experience. I've never been on a cruise before.
Dustin: This is our first time.
Jeff (host): This is our first cruise.
Dave King: [crosstalk 00:01:27]. It's great. We actually really begun to embrace, like last night after the show, we went back to our room and our manager Corey came back and we're sitting around talking about what we could do for next year and how we do this and, you know, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. We were actually excited about it. It was really positive in there. Never thought in a million years but there you go. That's how I feel everybody's thinking about it, like what are we going to do next year? I see this as something that just grows and grows and, we just walked into a show that was happening in our hallway right by our room. I think we're to see more of that. Everybody's decorating their door. I guess the big question that hangs over my head is, how long do you plan on doing something like this? Because I could see this really developing into something really, really special. My end of it would be basically what bands are like, our crew, our management company, it's so much work that they all have to do. I just get up and sing.
Jeff (host): Good point.
Dave King: Maybe say I'd love to have the Buzz cocks on or I'd love to, whatever. It's a lot of work for those people. We have a new management company and 5B with our crew. They're working together. It takes a year to do this. It's a lot of work.
Dustin (host): Logistically it seems like it's a big undertaking in general.
Dave King: Our neighbor from Ireland, from my village, he came over.
Dustin (host): Really?
Dave King: Yeah.
Dustin (host): That's awesome.
Dave King: His name is Doggy. He's a great guy and we love him and came and he's just ... he's no idea what's going on. He's walking around going ... because he just knows us from the village. There's more people on this ship than there is in the village that we live in. [crosstalk 00:03:27]. Because we tell them about all of this. He's no idea. None of the village already knew. It is a huge undertaking. I'm only just a minuscule part of it. It's these guys here. Kenny and our crew and our management company to take care of all this stuff. I'm just a figurehead, a pretty one at that. I know.
Jeff (host): For sure.
Dustin (host): They must be having fun on this too though?
Dave King: Look at them. So it's like, I don't see them not doing this anytime.
Dustin: Do you think 10 years down the road you'll still be having this cruise?
Dave King: I'd probably be dead 10 years from now.
Dustin: Oh. [inaudible 00:04:11].
Dave King: You kidding me?
Jeff: You'll be fine.
Dave King: This is the sound my liver makes every day. Hello? Hello?
Dustin (host): It's been so incredible experiencing this, we're now one day through it, we're about to start pretty much-
Jeff: Is that at all it's been.
Dustin (host): Yeah. I mean like tonight's the second night of craziness. I saw something last night that I thought only happened in movies. I'd never thought I'd ever experience. There was a, and we've said this before already were, there was a mosh pit in the pool for you guys. What is that like when you're on stage?
Dave King: It was something-
Jeff: It was brilliant.
Dustin (host): That's incredible.
Dave King: It's a new meaning to whirlpool.
Dustin (host): Right. Exactly.
Dave King: I was standing there looking at it and it was like, wow, this is ... this is a band that no record company, no club really ever wanted to have been involved with. We all met in Los Angeles and for a couple of years we stood in the corner of a room on a stage that couldn't even fit the seven of us, and then we have our own crews. It's ridiculous.
Jeff (host): Does it feel a little like vindicating? Like hard work's paying off now? You get to-
Dave King: That's exactly what it was. I mean it was work. It was never going to be a privilege just to fair for this band. That was my point about being a working class band. We're a working band. That's why the cruise was such a, "Really? I don't know." What it is I think is people, working class people, like to blow out. And this is a great way of blowing out.
Jeff: It's one of the best way to blow out.
Dave King: It's just, you know what? Never thought we could do it, but here we are doing it. The main reason why I want to keep on doing this is because people actually want to come. If that wasn't the case, it wouldn't be happening. I mean people have talked to me about it, say we're on the road somewhere, and maybe be in Germany or Austria or France or somewhere, and every now and then you'll see somebody holding up a banner to the countdown, like 200 more days left for the cruise.
Dustin (host): Oh my gosh.
Jeff (host): Oh my God.
Dave King: Do you know what I mean? And it's like, wow! From the very first year there's a group of people, they're called the Shipmates, and they have their own little community. [crosstalk 00:06:43] they pulled us in. The climate in the world right now is very cold and it's just nice to ... for at least three days we can come out and have a bit of a laugh. The only thing as I said is, our livers are the only thing that's suffering this cruise.
Dustin: My belly too. I've been eating so much food when it's there and so available and it's really good. But as far as a patron on the boat, which I feel like I am at this point, even though we're sponsoring the cruise, I mean Jeff and I work so hard and to come out on this boat for three days, it is truly the first time in a long time I've felt relieved. It's amazing and I bet everybody here, it's just like, and I think it's because it's an overall feeling, everybody here feels that as well. It's an amazing atmosphere, and I keep on bringing this up, the one thing that really surprises me, is the crew and everybody working here, they're so accommodating. I expected it to be like hotel staff, always telling you what not to do, but everybody here is, nobody's told me not to do anything. Maybe they told me to put my shirt on before I got in the food line, that's pretty much it. It's very, very surprising. How is it working with a giant cruise like this to get something like this organized? Are they as accommodating on the logistical side as well?
Dave King: Like the crew that bring us around, they've been on this ship now for the four years that we've done it, and we're actually like when we see each other, we all hug each other. And it's like, "How's it going?" And they love it. Like last night for example, I think it was about a third song into the set, one of the security fell into the pool, and he gets up and he's highly fiving everybody and it's just that, you need to have done something like this because, I wouldn't say there'd be too many mosh pits going in the middle of cruises. I cannot imagine a Disney Cruise having a mosh pit in the pool but-
Jeff (host): Who knows?
Dave King: Unless Mickey took his top off. I have no idea. It is an important thing. They seed the people. They know why the people are here. They are here just to have a good time. They know how to wrangle that.
Dustin (host): Passively.
Dave King: Yeah. The people that come, they don't mean any harm. It's just like, from traveling around the world, you wouldn't believe, some venues won't let people dance. You've got that type of thing and then you've got like, this is like you're on a boat, it's a captive audience, you need to know how to deal with that. And I think it's done very well. I think there's only one person known to [inaudible 00:09:54].
Dustin (host): Okay. Well that's a yes or no[crosstalk 00:09:58].
Jeff (host): On this cruise or [crosstalk 00:09:59].
Dave King: Yes. Oh no. There was a couple last year as well, but this year just being more I think so far.
Dustin (host): That's not bad.
Jeff (host): It's really not bad.
Dave King: It's not bad.
Jeff: You do such a good job, like you alluded to it before with this cruise, really bringing in the bands that you guys want to bring in. You guys are the head of this whole thing and you want to make sure that the bands that you're friends with, the bands that you respect, the bands that you want on there and just seeing all the bands on this cruise, this is incredible. The lineup is just, it blows my mind. Then looking at the years past, is there anybody out there that you haven't gotten to come out on the boat yet that you want to try and get?
Dave King: Absolutely.
Dustin (host): You could sail out into the university [crosstalk 00:10:40].
Speaker 3: I don't really want to say it.
Dustin (host): All right.
Dave King: See, you've got to convince a lot of the bands that you either embrace it or you're trapped in your cabin. It's like you either, for the first year I was trapped. I didn't know what to expect and then as you see me now ... you just got to go for it. It's three days of the year. You just got to go for it. I know a lot of people don't like to do that, people don't like to [inaudible 00:11:13]. You [inaudible 00:11:15] to being in the public that bothers them?
No, it's just like a complete [inaudible 00:11:19]. Everybody's coming from all over the world for this. So you must be part of it too. I've learned to embrace that. A lot of people are-
Dave King: Worry about that, and I understand that. There is a few people in the can for next year that we-
Jeff (host): In the can. There you go.
Dustin (host): In the can.
Dave King: There's a few people that were looking at.
Jeff (host): Awesome. that's exciting.
Dustin (host): How's the coffee business going?
Jeff (host): It's good. It's so good lately.
Dave King: Our crew are absolutely obsessed-
Dustin (host): But that's awesome.
Dave King: Really?
Jeff (host): That's awesome.
Dave King: I'll tell you a funny story. I drink tea, I don't drink coffee.
Dustin (host): That's okay.
Jeff (host): That's okay.
Dustin (host): I like a good cup of tea.
Dave King: Where it came from was, when I was a kid, my mother took me to the doctor and the doctor for some reason sussed out. He said, "Do you give this kid coffee?" And she goes, "yeah." And he goes" What?" She goes, "It's only four or five cups a day." And I'm eight years of age.
Dustin (host): Oh my God.
Jeff (host): Oh my goodness.
Dave King: Obviously I was bouncing off the walls and doing whatever. Since then I've curtailed my coffee intake. I'm a team man now, but I do look a nice cup of coffee every now and then [inaudible 00:12:40] you're doing a great job.
Jeff (host): Thank you very much man.
Dustin (host): Thank you.
Jeff (host): You know it' - it's all about passion.
Dave King: Yeah. And working with bands like you and we work with a lot of influencers like you guys. That gets us passionate about ... how cool is it to work in the coffee business and to be on a cruise like this with you guys. But we've had 10 instances like this this year so fa. And it's like, I'm just some kid from, I was working in a late night restaurant before this. You're going to get that passion because this is incredible.
Dustin (host): We believe in our product and we love hearing that people that are in an industry that are working hard, like you guys. One of the hardest working bands I ever known-
Dave King: That means our crew work even harder.
Dustin (host): That's what I mean. That's what I was going to get at, is like, everybody involved in that is working so hard and yet they enjoy this little product that we get to create into the world and it made that in turn makes us more passionate about it. And I'm sure that's the same way with, you and a band and the fans bringing the passion to you guys as well.
Dustin: Absolutely. I want to ask it Jeff.
Jeff: You to do it.
Dustin: What fuels you? What keeps your passion going to keep on doing what you're doing? To playing night after night after night and putting together giant things like this? What fuels you to do what you do?
Dave King: We never started as band to be successful. It wasn't about that. I'll tell you a funny story actually. I was out with Angus Young from AC/DC one night in Hamburg. I was playing with them at the time.
Jeff: Oh, that's cool.
Dave King: We went out and he wasn't drinking. We're sitting at a bar and he said to me, he said, "I don't care who goes on before AC/DC, the Beatles, the rolling stones. We're always going to be AC/DC." He didn't mean that they were better than the rolling stones or AC/DC, they were just going to be ACDC. I didn't know what that meant. I didn't understand that. And the first time the seven of us got together and played in a room, something happened in that room. The first thing I thought of was Angus Young. Now I know what he's talking about. Doesn't matter how good you are, there something there that, you'll go on stage before or after, whoever and you don't care. You're always going to be that thing. That's the one thing I think we have with Flogging Molly. We've done shows where one weekend and over three day period, we had lined to punk rock festival in Blackpool, the next night we played a traditional festival in Belgium with the Chieftains and Richard Thompson. We were headlining it. And then the next day we're playing with Motor head.
Dustin: Oh my God.
Dave King: That's what keeps me going. It's like being an androgynous band. Is like there's no borders. There's nothing it's just, you are who you are. To be able to do what we do is in itself what inspires me.
Dustin: Do you like breaking the rules thing? Say anything?
Dave King: Absolutely.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Dustin (host): They're meant to be broken.
Dave King: Whoever came up with the word rules ... but I do stop at stop signs. Nobody wants to die.
Dustin (host): I can't thank you enough for taking time on this cruise to talk to us. And having us on this.
Dave King: Kenny, he's more responsible for all this. It's like, having people, no matter what you do, it's always a struggle and it's always a fight. But hopefully the fight is worth fighting. You guys are doing a great job. You've got a great product out there that you truly believe in. You're working your asses off to doing and we're just doing the same.
Jeff: Yeah. That's awesome.
Dustin: Cheers brother.
Dave King: Absolutely.
Jeff: Thank you so much.
Jeff: Oh my God guys, we're here. We're on the cruise and we can't thank you enough.
Bob: You made it.
Dustin: Yeah. I want to get into this. This is an incredible thing because it's not just about the bands that are here. It's not just about what's going on. It's the absolute energy.
Jeff: It's a culture.
Dustin (host): You guys have created with this thing. I've never experienced anything like this. Can you guys talk about what it is for you guys? With something like this because it's so new. It's such a nuanced thing to think like, "Okay, I'm a band and I'm going to get my fans and other bands on a cruise ship." It seems crazy, but being here and experiencing it, it's the best thing I've ever experienced.
Bob: It looks crap on paper.
Dustin (host): It seems weird actually, I wouldn't say crap. It just seems weird. It seems like something like, maybe that'll work, but being in it, it's like I never want to leave.
Bob: I was the same way. Kind of like about, right between you guys. I was just, "What are we doing? A cruise?" That is so odd. I just thought old people do it and they play shuffleboard. I didn't know about this metal when you guys are talking about it. Kid Rock, everyone. I have to admit I was oblivious to it but, I always tell a story, so I was just okay, whatever and went along with it, and then we got here, first one. I get on the boat, beautiful sunny Miami. I meet two people from Belgium, right off the boat. And I was like, "What are you doing here?" Wait Belgium? You come from Belgium? Then I went to the pool, and I was like, I think this is going to be really good." And it kind of, not kind of, it did. It became its own thing. We were talking earlier about people just took to it with [inaudible 00:18:54]. They brought their instruments to play in the hallway, they play in the rooms. Frank Turner was playing it by the Jacuzzi. He would play in the hallway, Beans and Toast would go play in your room if you want them to and then there's the Shipmates thing that started.
Dennis: Really, it was largely accidental. We put together a framework of like let's get all the friends that we've had over the years that have toured with us, and let's get them all on a boat because a lot of our fans, we'll do a show and they'll be like, "Oh, maybe when you guys came here with that band or this band or whatever oh, that was so great. Are you going to have him back again?" And it's hard to bring the same band out on tour with you too many times because it just gets like, there's so many bands, there's all this other stuff. That was one of the ideas. Just to be able to have that feeling of getting all these bands that we loved over the years and have been friends with, to be able to hang out and do this and all of that other stuff. We didn't have anything to do with how the Shipmates came together or how the fans ... part of it is, when your phone doesn't work, in today's society, that's just a game changer. When you actually have to look people in the eye and have a conversation rather than spitting a text out or whatever. That's such a novel experience in today's world. I think that that along with the fact that everybody here's of like mind. Everybody likes music, they want to hang out, they want to enjoy all the experience of everything.
Dustin (host): They're all covered in tattoos.
Speaker 3: Yeah. They don't spend a lot of time in the sun and then all of a sudden they're all out in the sun together. Like suffering as one.
Jeff (host): It's so true I saw so many sunburns [crosstalk 00:20:32].
Speaker 4: Horrible. The ones where it's just white right here?
Jeff (host): I saw one girl [crosstalk 00:20:37].
Speaker 3: The middle of the back. It's just a big red spot back.
Jeff (host): Back of her legs were just scorched. I was like, "Oh I'm so sorry. That must be so rough." Have you guys gotten pretty toasted out here yet? On the first cruise, did you guys get burnt and then you learn from that?
Speaker 3: I'm half Mexican so I do all right.
Dustin (host): You do all right. Yeah.
Speaker 3: Where I'm exposed I tan and where I'm not I stay white. I'm lucky of that.
Speaker 4: I live near where you guys do in New York and I was well aware that as soon as you step into the Miami Sun. It's going to scorch you if you're not protecting yourself. I think some people just like to push it the first day. They just go for it. They go on the boat and it's on and then you forget that I don't have sunblock on.
Dustin (host): It's true.
Speaker 3: For New Yorkers, isn't there like an innate, a built in knowledge of the connection between Miami and Florida and New York? You just grow up knowing like, "Oh yeah, we're going to put sunscreen on."
Dustin (host): That's what I grew up on. [crosstalk 00:21:41].
Speaker 3: Doesn't everybody from New York go to Miami in the winter?
Dustin (host): It's not even that. New Yorker it's ingrained in your brain, if you walk outside your front door, you put sunscreen on. It's just like, we were so afraid of the outside like it's just going to kill us.
Speaker 4: Or the sunshine.
Dustin (host): Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 4: The sun's not usually shining, at least in Rochester it's [crosstalk 00:22:02].
Speaker 3: I feel like I haven't seen the sun in eight months. [crosstalk 00:22:05].
Dustin (host): [crosstalk 00:22:08] left, and it was snowing.
Speaker 4: I rest my case. I rest my case.
Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:22:13] April and it's still fucking snowing. Oh my God. You guys seriously bring a sense of relief-
Speaker 4: And you guys do it by the way. That's the word on the street.
Speaker 3: Really?
Speaker 4: What's in that Coffee? I swear to God, I was just talking to someone-
Speaker 2: It's drugs.
Speaker 4: Not just saying it.
Speaker 2: It's no secret we put drugs in it.
Dustin (host): Where we're so happy to be able to, I mean we love fueling guys like you anyways. To be able to do something like this and be able to fuel your fans too and be able to bring a product that we believe in so much, onto something like this, have people really respond to it. We can't be more thankful.
Speaker 3: And they really need the fueling.
Dustin (host): Of course.
Speaker 4: Morning after? [inaudible 00:22:53].
Speaker 3: Seriously, and to relate a little bit more, that whole Shipmates community group, reminds me a lot of our Death wish community group. It's the same thing. It's the Facebook members community thing, but it's for Death wish, and when we decided to become sponsors of this, we immediately got sucked into the Shipmates.
Speaker 2: Oh, yeah. They welcomed us with open arms.
Speaker 4: All right.
Speaker 2: It was amazing.
Speaker 3: It's so cool to see everybody handing out swag. It's incredible.
Speaker 2: That is a neat scenario. They have their little, like their special private party. I mean it's not private but they go into the front lounge and they all get together and they hand out their swag and exchange shit.
Jeff (host): And to build a little bit more upon that. It seems like something like this, everybody gets it, a little bit more every year or next year we're going to bring it to the next level and the thing that hangs over my head as far as like what I'm wondering, how long do you see something like this going? Because I think in five or 10 years, could you imagine how much the people who come on this year after year after year would build upon a community like this. It could be something huge.
Speaker 3: It could be very frightening because you could imagine there's going to be guys welding stuff onto the boat the night before. [crosstalk 00:24:07].
Jeff (host): But how long do you see this going on?
Speaker 3: As long as it's fun, man. As long as these people have the energy to do it and are still into the community and into do it, I don't see a reason to stop. The band could not be touring anymore, but this would be a reason to come out and still go and do it.
Jeff (host): How fun is this for you guys to be a part of this as well? It's fun for the patrons, technically you guys are working.
Speaker 4: This was the one of the, I was telling my wife that, I'm going to be working. But this is one of my top 10 greatest times of the year of my life. I have just an exceptionally great time. Everywhere you go, there was just positive vibes and people are so friendly and pumped and having a great time. It's infectious and it wears you down, and I'm not just pumping Death wish coffee, I'm just saying like ... you can hear by my voice that it's just a weekend. I don't think it could go beyond the three days it does. [crosstalk 00:25:14]. I thought that's what you're getting at. I was like-
Dustin (host): No, just the years into the future.
Speaker 4: I think Bob said it perfectly. As long as these people want to keep coming and help fun, we can keep doing it.
Dustin (host): That's it. That's exciting. We've had you on the show already, so I want to bring this to you a little bit. I want to delve into you as a musician, because we love talking to musicians on this show, and I want to ask you, where did that stem from? Did you start as a musician? Did you start playing music as a child? Were you influenced to it later in life? Where did the music bug hit you?
Speaker 2: I don't remember what ... I think my mom used to play. We used to have a little, just a record player and my mom had 45s and records of seven. She used to play Beatles records and Motown records and stuff, and my dad had all these Elvis singles and so I grew up around a record player. It was just like a little corny job, but there was something about hearing the guitar, I started playing when I was seven or so, but I grew up in LA, so even though I always played music and I always loved doing it, it really was not a realistic thing to think-
Dustin (host): I'm going to do this [crosstalk 00:26:24].
Speaker 2: Yeah. Just because ... when I got into high school and started to see bands, they were no they weren't crap, they just weren't what I was into. Like the metal scene was going on with the big hair and stuff. I just wasn't into it. It never occurred to me to be in a band at that point even though I had been playing most of my adult life or whatever. But it was just that thing where, I would always play with friends, we would always have parties and put bands together for that kind of stuff. Then when I met Dave and these guys, at that point I'd started playing in a couple of bands just for fun, and playing in little crappy bars around town or whatever. Then when I met Dave, and this thing happened, it was just fun. We were doing it every Monday night. We're having a blast. It wasn't about trying to get a record out, it wasn't about trying to get signed, it was just let it be what it was and it like really naturally evolved from there.
Dustin (host): How has the momentum? When did you start to feel that pickup from a Monday night thing to like, "Oh shit, I can do this for a living." Where did that pick up and can you pinpoint it to a reason why? Or is it just purely hard fucking work?
Speaker 2: For me I think it was when we did the Warp tour. We did a bunch of tours, we did like a bunch of stuff on the West Coast where we'd all take vacation days or whatever and take four days off and go up and down and do Seattle and San Francisco and we booked the Warp tour through our label and that summer we went out before the Warp tour and did six weeks of residency on the East Coast where we played New York every Monday and Wednesday. We played Boston on Saturday and we played Philly on Thursday or whatever.
Dustin (host): [crosstalk 00:28:11] working?
Speaker 2: Yeah. And just for six weeks, went to the same bar as every week and just built an audience out of nothing. That was the first inkling for me that like, "Oh, we can do this." We started playing these places like the Continental in New York with four people showing up at the beginning, and by the end of the six weeks the place was packed. That to me was the first ... we spent a long time building the audience on the West Coast, and to be able to do that in six weeks on the East Coast, that's when it started to feel to me like, "Oh, we do actually have something here." This is an unusual scenario. Then we did the Warp tour and then from then on out it was just like, "Oh yeah, there's no more [inaudible 00:28:53]."
Jeff (host): Was that the first Warp tour? When did you guys [crosstalk 00:28:56]
Speaker 2: No we ... was 2003 I think 2002.
Speaker 3: It was pretty early on.
Speaker 2: It was 2000. [crosstalk 00:29:01].
Dustin (host): When did that start? Like 97 or some shit?
Speaker 4: Yeah. It's a ironic you asked that question and I don't know if Bob will remember this, but we were driving on the 101 going to Dave's house, me and Bob. I was driving and I always remember, it was like this ... Bob, I think you had probably one of the better jobs, [crosstalk 00:29:25] we had to quit our jobs now.
Dustin (host): Oh, of course.
Speaker 4: To me this was, "This is a dream come true. I'm going to go be a professional musician than to sleep on someone's floor," But, I remember Bobby, he had a pretty decent job and I remember having that conversation with you like, "Dude, you going to quit your job. That's not an easy thing."
Jeff (host): What were you doing at the time?
Bob Schmidt: I used to run the service department for Roland, the manufacturer. So I was the consumer liaison guy for the-
Dustin (host): You did have a good job.
Bob Schmidt: Yeah, it was decent job and it was tangentially in the music business. So I felt like I wasn't selling myself out to [crosstalk 00:30:00].
Jeff (host): Was that tough to give up?
Bob Schmidt: It was because I had been there for five or six years at that point. But it was just one of those things where I was kind of like, I got to take the shot.
Jeff (host): Did they take it well?
Bob Schmidt: What's that?
Jeff (host): Did they take it well?
Bob Schmidt: The thing is, this is not an easy lifestyle and this is hard, but you'll never talk to a guy on the street who works in an office that doesn't wish he was in this job. It's like all those guys there, this was the dream for everybody at that company. It was like, "What? You're going to go tour?"
Jeff (host): Everybody you were working with was probably somewhat in that position and trying-
Bob Schmidt: A lot of the people that I worked with had come down to see the band at wherever we're playing before, and so a lot of them were aware of what was going on and they were like, "Oh yeah, the band is great."
Jeff (host): They knew you guys were kick ass?
Bob Schmidt: Yeah. So they were like, "Oh, you got to go. You got to do this." But it was, there was a risk element [crosstalk 00:30:55].
Speaker 4: I was thinking hindsight is 20/20.
Dustin (host): Of course.
Speaker 4: It was just like taking the [inaudible 00:31:02] It's like bungee jumping almost. You're like, somebody's saying jump, and you're like-
Bob Schmidt: You sure this thing works? [crosstalk 00:31:12].
Speaker 4: When we come back, we're not going to have a job, at least, especially for me, I was in my thirties and I just was like, "Wait, I'm not going to have a job." But it was that leap that for me, that was the time I knew that [crosstalk 00:31:32].
Jeff (host): What were you doing that time?
Speaker 4: I was painting in a huge apartment complex that had 550 units in it, so I compare it to being like Sisyphus. Same color same layout [crosstalk 00:31:44] everyday. Guess what you're going to do today? Paint a couple of apartments, the same color, the same apartment, the same day after day.
Jeff (host): So you were like [crosstalk 00:31:52].
Speaker 2: [crosstalk 00:31:52] fuck out of here.
Speaker 4: Off wait, I don't ever want to see you-
Jeff (host): Now you're here on this cruise with this amazing community. How vindicating is that with all the hard work that you guys have put in over the years? Do you guys feel a sense of satisfaction when you're here in particular?
Bob Schmidt: I think for me it's very satisfying mostly because, it's great the fans have a great reaction and they're having a great time because we've put together a lineup and we've spent the time figuring it out or whatever, but when the other bands come up to you and they're like, "I had no idea this was going to be so great." People are great, the shows are great. I'm getting to hang out with the other bands that we haven't seen in five years. That's really gratifying to me to have bands that you wouldn't assume would enjoy anything like this come out and be like, "There was the time of my life man. I had such a great time." Lars Frederiksen and Tim Armstrong last year did it and they were like, "Oh, it's such a blast. Thank you guys so much." These are not guys you would imagine getting on a cruise ship and having a good time.
Speaker 3: Well, that's what I think like. If you keep this up, the word's going to get out on the street and giant bands are going to be fighting to be on a cruise like this. They don't even know what ... you guys must get that over and over again where you invite a band on. They have an amazing time and they always have that-
Bob Schmidt: The skepticism going in?
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Speaker 4: We are still in that phase I believe it's, I don't know if the word's gotten out yet completely, but I know we have a buddy Steve Soto, he's in The Adolescents and Punk Rock karaoke and he's with a [inaudible 00:33:37] thing that they were calling him like, "Dude, is this going to be okay?
Dustin (host): Steve's an ambassador, that's awesome.
Speaker 4: You're going to have a great time? Then Bob said Tim and Lars are leaving. They're like, "We will do this again." [inaudible 00:33:51] Frank wasn't skeptical, he really took to it NOFX did it and they were, was super into it. That's really vindicating, gratifying in itself as Bob was saying and every year just showing up and like this is not, let's admit it's not an inexpensive thing to do. In every year I just, complete gratitude. You walk out and like all these people and all this money to do this, but they will have the time of their life. So I feel great about that and if you put all the music together and all the free booze and-
Speaker 2: The food, the accommodations and everything else.
Speaker 4: I think it's super worth it.
Speaker 2: Seriously, if it's a one trip you're going to take in a year, you know you're going to have a good fucking time. You know it's not going to be money wasted and you're not wasting anybody else's time or money inviting them onto a trip like this. It's so cool. You'll see bands you love and you'll discover new bands that you'd never heard of before.
Dustin (host): I already have.
Speaker 2: You can see them in a room on the deck of a fuckIng boat and with like at most like 70 people sometimes.
Speaker 3: It's insane.
Dustin (host): With the glorious sunset out [crosstalk 00:35:08].
Speaker 2: It's incredible.
Speaker 4: And walk back to your room.
Dustin (host): Yeah and walk back to your room.
Speaker 4: And call it a night.
Dustin (host): I said this to actually Dave earlier today, I experienced something that I've never seen before and I had to bring it up again to you guys, because it blew my mind last night. The pool mosh pit, like oh my gosh you guys-
Speaker 2: Does that happened every year?
Dustin (host): What is that like to be on stage and like to witness that? That's-
Speaker 3: Honestly I'm too short to see it over the crowd. [crosstalk 00:35:39].
Speaker 4: I to admit, I'm just like, "uh, nobody gets hurt."
Dustin (host): That's what I was thinking. [crosstalk 00:35:45].
Speaker 3: Because of the, there's some against with the water, it's kind of a geriatric mosh pit. [crosstalk 00:35:53] everyone's kind of slowly [inaudible 00:35:53]. The danger just comes from morons crowd surfing on the mosh pit in the pool but so far so good.
Dustin (host): Moments like that are just ... you can't experience that unless you're in something like this. You guys are creating that.
Speaker 3: Nobody's put in the pool in the venue.
Dustin (host): No. Not at all. It's incredible.
Speaker 3: I think Jeff and I have talked about this so many times where we've seen so many MTV spring break-
Speaker 2: Little beach house [crosstalk 00:36:28].
Speaker 3: Any time I've seen that as a kid it was like, "Oh, shit, I want to be there." And now we're here? Is that what this is? It's like fucking MTV spring break. It's just like and it's insane.
Dustin (host): It's incredible.
Speaker 3: But better because it's like a culture [crosstalk 00:36:42].
Bob Schmidt: One of the Warp tour years we did, they had it at the MTV beach house.
Dustin (host): Oh my god!
Bob Schmidt: We played that stage in front of the swimming pool. It was weird because it was like, it was a cut down version of the Warp tour. So it wasn't like the sprawling mass. It was like the top 20 bands or something or 15 bands and it was ... people were in the pool, watching the show in the pool. It was kind of cool and kind of ... because it is like you said, that thing that you just grew up watching year after year.
Dustin (host): It's just it doesn't seem real. [crosstalk 00:37:14] experience it like, "Oh my god, it's really happening."
Bob Schmidt: It still didn't seem real. It was still kind of like, they just paid these people to be here. Like this is [crosstalk 00:37:21]
Dustin (host): Holy molly. I wanted to ask you too, musically, you said you started playing guitar when you were seven, when did you become multi instrumental? When did you learn banjo and mandolin and like all that kind of stuff. Was that natural progression from that?
Bob Schmidt: I played guitar and bass for a long time and then I started to play upright bass. There wasn't a lot of call for upright bass players unless I wanted to go full jazz, which was, I like jazz but it would just never called to me. Being a guitar player in lA and not having the desire to just be like pick sweep shredder. I just had to start looking for different things. So it was kind of, I just wanted to not be the dude who had to do that. I would go to swap meets and see weird instruments and I just started to buy weird things and learn to play them. Like viola I think was one of the first things. I had a cello and got into doing that, broken down crappy instruments and I just get them into working order. Then I found a mandolin and I bought it and every maybe nine months I'd pick it up and try to figure it out and then get frustrated and throw it in the corner. Then when I met Dave, he had a mandolin player got sent back to England with his old band and I said, "If you want, I can learn the songs and come up there." His old band was breaking up. It was the band that was together before this one with this lineup was there. And he's like, "Yeah, that'd be great." He gave me a tape and I learned the songs and I never ended up playing, like I practiced with Bridget a couple of times and the band broke up, but at the last show he's like, "I'm putting a new band together. I already have a mandolin player." He had never heard me play a lick of mandolin, not a note. It was just, that made me like, "Okay, I got to figure this out." Then there were a couple of like, instantaneous revelations that I had over the course of a week of trying to figure it out. Then I'm like, "Oh, okay, I get this now." There just hadn't been anything to really push me through that before. Then the tenor banjo grew out of playing the mandolin and just, I've had these things in my peripheral vision in the house for like years and then it just became a point of getting into that rather than playing guitar. [inaudible 00:39:46] It's kind of like you know how to drive a standard vehicle until you buy one and you're forced to drive it every day and it's like, "Oh shit! Now I get it." Because I was playing bass, predominantly at that point, I was coming already at things from a different mentality. So when I got the mandolin and a banjo, it was easy to not just try to adapt the guitar mentality to those things. I don't know how to explain that. It's just coming from a different part of your brain or whatever.
Jeff (host): Yeah. With like rhythmical. [crosstalk 00:40:22].
Bob Schmidt: Yeah. Bridging and melodic and rhythmic and bass playing is very much the same as what you're doing with a mandolin-
Jeff (host): Absolutely. That's the way I would think about it. Looking at it from like "Okay, I only played kind of when I felt like it and I was forced into playing mandolin and banjo." But now you've helped design signature instruments now. Right?
Bob Schmidt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jeff (host): How do you get into something like that?
Bob Schmidt: That comes I think from touring. It's like Dennis too. He's frankensteined to ton of ... you just build things that do what you need them to do as best as they can and the way we tour and play, there's a lot of modification that goes into stuff that comes off the line.
Jeff (host): Like if something's just a little bit uncomfortable, and you're playing that fucking instrument every night, you're going to want to make-
Bob Schmidt: We're not like a finesse band that's up there gently strumming. We're just beating the crap out everything. It's got to be able to handle that stuff. My fenders, they took a beating pretty well and there were a couple of things that I needed reinforced a little bit or extra things I didn't need. It was kind of that thing where I was just always trimming the fat and just bolstering the base model with what I needed. They came to me and they're like, well, you know-
Jeff (host): Is that how that worked? They came to you for that?
Bob Schmidt: I had a relationship with them already. It was the thing where, if you play bluegrass, you play Gibson, but fender is ... a bluegrass guy's not going to play a fender and so I'm playing mandolin in a way that those guys aren't playing it. There's a handful of us that do that and they're like, oh, well [crosstalk 00:42:00]. You will be the Gibson mandolin for guys who beat the crap out of their instruments.
Jeff (host): Right. That makes sense.
Bob Schmidt: For rock and roll mandolin. So we just stayed. They said you want a design, just tell us what you need and it went really well.
Jeff (host): You feel like they did a good job with that?
Bob Schmidt: Yeah.
Jeff (host): So you play that mandolin?
Bob Schmidt: I still do. Yeah.
Jeff (host): That's awesome. Have you had to make any customizations to that yet?
Bob Schmidt: No. There was one modification that I had done to the original ones that I wanted done on these, but it ended up being difficult in production and the wiring for the bridge, it's a poi pickup in the bridge so it just uses the vibration rather than magnetics. It's routed through the body, and every once in a while I'll just take a wild swing at it, like windmilling or doing some inane stupid thing and it'll move the bridge just enough that it shares that cable.
Jeff (host): Oh really?
Bob Schmidt: Then the pickups gone and you got to pull it apart and peel everything and re set it and then put it back together. That's hard to do in the middle of the show, so I routed it through the F hole of the mandolin so that if I hit the bridge and it shifted, it would just move the cable and not like cut it in half.
Jeff (host): In a logistical mass production level, you just can't probably achieve that.
Bob Schmidt: Yeah, you can't be talking [crosstalk 00:43:14].
Jeff (host): Makes sense. That's cool.
Dustin (host): That's awesome. Outside of this incredible experience we're having, which is the cruise, you guys have, and I say this all the time one of the hardest working bands out there, have been able to, build something from nothing. You've all talked about that before, where this was the band when you started out that nobody wanted to book, nobody wanted to put on the radio, nobody wanted to do that, and now you're touring the world, you're doing all that kind of stuff. Is there a place out there in the world that you love to return to? Again, outside of the cruise because I'm sure coming here every year is great, but is there ... do you love touring a place different than here more so than another one? Is there a place that like?
Speaker 3: There are definitely venues around the world, like the Arena. There's the Arena in Austria, it's like an old meatpacking plant that became a punk squat in the 70s.
Dustin (host): That sounds so awesome erupted.
Speaker 3: It's just like essentially a big grass field in front of what used to be the loading dock for this meat packing plant.
Jeff (host): Weird.
Speaker 3: There's just something magical about the place. Red rocks in Colorado-
Jeff (host): Sounds like post apocalyptical [crosstalk 00:44:26].
Speaker 3: Yeah. It is very-
Speaker 2: It's got these huge smokestacks and-
Speaker 3: Every other buildings are painted black.
Dustin (host): Wow! That's so cool. I want to be there.
Speaker 3: We played a little beach town in Brazil that's one of the big surf beaches down there that's like you're in the jungle. You're staying at this little hotel in the jungle and playing this little club in the jungle and then you walk out in the beach is just, it's beautiful.
Speaker 4: Playing those of European festivals is really, we would do it every summer. That's quite an amazing experience because the people are generally there. I guess it's sort of like festivals here to just go check out music and playing in front of 40 or 50,000 people is quite exhilarating.
Speaker 3: That Woodstock festival.
Speaker 4: The Woodstock festival in Poland.
Speaker 2: We did this festival in Poland, it's a free festival and they do it every year. The guy does like a Jerry Lewis telethon to by hospital equipment for independent hospitals around Poland, and as his thank you to the people who donate money, he does this free concert in the middle of the forest in Poland and 750,000 people a night, not and like in total. It's like playing into the ocean. It's just like as far as you can see, just people. It's nuts.
Speaker 4: Took us a half hour to drive out and drive in with a bus. You're looking out the window and it's just-
Speaker 2: It's endless.
Speaker 4: People everywhere. Kids being born and it's just so crazy.
Speaker 2: Oh my God.
Dustin (host): Oh my gosh. Speaking of tours, I know you guys, European tours at least you guys just did that one, wrapped up the one with Dropkick Murphy, which I know when swimmingly because you guys are now doing that in the states. Are you guys excited for that?
Speaker 4: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Dustin (host): That sounds exciting. Especially for both your camps. We're very excited at Death wish for because we love both you guys as much as we can. The question we get to, we've asked you this on the show, so feel free to answer it again if you'd like, but to you as well. Again, being such a hard working band, going out there, touring the world, doing stuff like this, bringing this to your fans and all that stuff, what fuels you specifically to keep wanting to do this? To keep wanting to get out there and be a part of this?
Speaker 3: Honestly, for me, part of it is the reaction that we get from the fans. That's gratifying. Part of it is that like for me, if I'm going to be away from my family, and I'm going to be spending with this guys, it's got to be worth it. I got to make it count. I can't half ass it and not make this the best thing that I can make it if I'm sacrificing being with the kids that I brought into the world and my wife who's doing it all by herself while I'm gone. That's a motivation for me everyday to know that if I'm not giving it my all, and I'm not out here just doing it to the best of my ability, then I'm really cheating myself and them out of something. It's constantly a motivating factor for me to like, do better, play better, be better-
Dustin (host): Awesome.
Speaker 3: Grow it.
Dustin (host): Yeah. That's awesome. I know you guys are riding high and life is good. Life is good.
Speaker 2: Life is good when you're out here, it's very crazy.
Dustin (host): Are you working on anything new in the works or just keep going with what you got kind of thing?
Speaker 3: We've been really trying to retool and just strengthen the organization from the back line all the way through to the front and try to figure out how to make our shows the best like, visually, musically, thematically, whatever way we can. So we've been spending a lot of time, I'd say over the last year, just really trying to tighten up ship and really just bring the best. Because we've been doing it for a long time and we don't want it to become boring for people.
Dustin (host): Right. That's got to be interesting. You go all the way back to 97, 98, and you've got old record and you're touring on that record and now you have this wealth of stuff. It must be interesting to be able to tool sets and really revisit that older stuff and the newer stuff. Is it a harder process to juggle all that? Do enjoy doing that?
Speaker 4: The Set list?
Dustin (host): Yeah.
Speaker 4: Dave does it and I have been sitting there and hearing him say, especially almost every time, like after a new record comes out, because then it's like, "Now, what are we going to cut out?" We've been doing this for the long, that you got to cut like four or five songs out and put new ones in. He's expressed that difficulty and it might take a few shows are a few tweak here and there, but I think we get it right. I was going to say earlier, we released two new songs recently.
Dustin (host): Yes. I wanted to talk about that.
Speaker 4: [crosstalk 00:49:24] then we put it on Spotify.
Dustin (host): That's awesome. Again, was that something that was just kind of cutting room floor from what you had? Or was that just brand new material that-
Speaker 4: No. It was leftover from the record and then, the business is different now. You can do things like that and [crosstalk 00:49:42] Spotify and it's not like 98 anymore where you're touring on that record and-
Speaker 2: We don't have to make sure the cassettes in the store.
Speaker 4: Cassette's in the store.
Dustin (host): Exactly. right?
Speaker 4: Yeah. We just put them out and-
Dustin (host): That's excellent. You guys make it hard on yourselves, because every record you come out with has way too many heads on it. Then you have to come up with a set list and then put all those sets in there. I can't thank you guys enough.
Speaker 4: Thank you. [crosstalk 00:50:13].
Speaker 3: We're happy to do it.
Dustin (host): For real.
Speaker 2: And mostly for having us here, seriously this is such a nice break from-
Dustin (host): We're working, but it's-
Speaker 2: We work to the bone.
Speaker 3: Jeff and I easily put in 60 hours a week doing what we do-
Dustin (host): Because as we love this. We love this company.
Speaker 3: We love it and as you know, passion can definitely be a little bit exhausting sometimes, but something like this really puts everything in perspective and puts a fucking smile on my face. You know what, Death wish coffee really fuels that passion. And here's your money.
Dustin (host): Love you guys. Thank you so much.
Speaker 3: We're glad you guys could come out. It means a lot.
Speaker 4: Hopefully we'll be able to do the pool thing next year. Have you guys pour a nice coffee pool side in the afternoon.
Dustin (host): Yes. Let's make it happen.
Speaker 3: Alright. Cheers guys. Thank you so much.