Flogging Molly's Bob Schmidt Says Tempe Is the Best Place in the Country for St. Patrick's Day
After nearly a decade, Celtic folk punkers Flogging Molly have become a St. Paddy's Day staple in Tempe. The band's anthems -- "What's Left of the Flag," "Devil's Dance Floor," and "Salty Dog" -- pull double duty each year at Tempe Beach Park, serving both the energetic moshers and the waves of bros looking to pound rounds of Guinness and shout at each other.
Bryan Sheffield Flogging Molly
"It's the best place to be doing that day in the country," says multi-instrumentalist Bob Schmidt on why Flogging Molly keeps coming back to Tempe (this year marks the band's ninth stop). "Just about everywhere else you go, it's freezing cold and nobody's going to congregate outside for more than five minutes."
We recently caught up with Schmidt to discuss Flogging Molly's annual St. Patrick's Day shows and how its most recent album, Speed of Darkness, deals with social issues.
Up on the Sun: You guys are about to play in Tempe on St. Patrick's Day for the ninth year in a row. What keeps bringing you back?
Bob Schmidt:There's not a lot of places [in the country] you can play an outdoor show and cram in a bunch of people in the middle of March. It works out really well doing it in Phoenix because it's just a great outdoor party and everyone has a good time. You can bring a bunch of bands and have it go all night. The Town Lake is a beautiful area.
What else do you guys like to do when you're in town?
The university restaurant and bar area can keep you well occupied for a couple of days. We've got a couple guys who like golfing, so there's great golfing in the area. I've got bunch of friends at Fender, so I spend some time over there, and they've been in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas for a long, long time. Every once in a while, we'll do the hike up the hill there where the radio tower is and get a little exercise in. I always have my bike with me; I'll bike up and down the river path. Before the show, generally we're out in the bars and restaurants down the block for a couple hours in the late afternoon, just hanging out and seeing people and eating some food and drinking some booze.