The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
A Trilogy a Decade in the Making
Dicky Barrett, the singer and co-founder of Boston punk/ska legends The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, always knew they would finish their trilogy. Even if it took almost a decade to do it.
"I always knew this other record was coming," Barrett says. "What I sort of worried about was Ted's availability. But somehow the stars lined up and it worked. He's busier now then he's ever been and that's because the guy is so fucking good."
Ted is Ted Hutt, a former member of Flogging Molly and the producer behind some of the most stand out punk rock albums of the past 15 years, including records by the Bouncing Souls, Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Lucero and, of course, The¬†Bosstones.
The final record in the trilogy is the band's latest, While We're At It. It's coming out June 15th on the band's own Big Rig Records. It follows 2009's Pin Points and Gin Joints and 2011's The Magic of Youth.
Barrett was kind enough to talk about the new record recently, along with what's next.
I've been listening to the new album "While We're At It" and it wasn't until I read the press materials that I realized it was actually the third part of a trilogy, alongside "Pin Points And Gin Joints" and "The Magic of Youth." Is that something that sort of happened as you were writing for the albums or did you know all along you wanted to write a three-part series of¬†albums?
It was kind of always in my head that that was how this was going to work. And you can decide if it worked or not. I wasn't saying that when number two came out, but it was always in my head. You never know what's going to happen, but it was always my intent to do that and to do three albums with (producer) Ted Hutt. The songwriting and the way I approached the songs were all done in the same way. It really explains itself if you listen to all three albums and the you go, "Oh yeah, that's definitely a trilogy."
So, what is the general theme that makes it a¬†trilogy?
You just need to go back and listen to all three. It's the way I envisioned it and it's the way I planned it and it's really what it is and no one can argue or deny it once they listen to it.
It's been about seven years since "The Magic of the Youth" came out. Was there ever a point when you thought that might be the last record from the band?
No. I always knew this other record was coming. What I sort of worried about was Ted's availability. But somehow the stars lined up and it worked. He's busier now then he's ever been and that's because the guy is so fucking good.
There are a couple of songs on the new record that really stand out. Songs like "Divide" and "Here We Are." These tend to be particularly poignant given the times we are living in now.¬†
You guys have never shied away from politics, especially when it comes to issues like race. Have you ever been concerned that some folks might get alienated because you're knocking their guy‚Ä¶
No, because here's the thing, I'm not knocking anyone's guy. I'm looking at the situation and telling you how it makes me feel and how I feel about it. The real problem is that we have always been hedging toward splitting everyone in half and we've officially done it. You're either drinking the Coke or you're drinking the Pepsi and the guy drinking pepsi is a fucking asshole and the guy in the Red Sox shirt sucks. It's right down the middle, blue/red or how ever you want to classify it. The album does a very good job of saying exactly what we want to say right now. Evaluating the world and life and the way things currently are, this is what I see. If you like it fine, if you don't fine. We're not here to preach. You know how we feel and we wear it on our sleeves. We toured with "Let's Face It" last year. It's been 20 years since it came out and there are so many songs on that cover a lot of these issues.
I caught that show in Philly last year and it's hard to believe 20 years later some of these issues are still around.
That's the thing. The lyrics still hold up, these things still happen. You still have to mention to people "Hey, its' not about the color of somebody's skin; it's not about somebody's sexual preference. That's not where the enemy is." I never in a million years imagined that 20 years down the line that we'd still have to talk about this. In some cases, it's getting worse.
Have you talking about touring around any of your other records ‚Äď playing them all in their¬†entirety?
We did "Devil's Night Out," our first record at Punk Rock Bowling a couple of years ago. It's kind of hard, you know you're plowing through songs you never really got your teeth around, but sure why not. If people would enjoy it. Someday we're going to do the entire trilogy and it's going to take all night.