Sunday, December 19, 2010


Boston has always been a city of punks, historically it will even show that those that founded the city were rebelling against a system of unjust causes. Therefore it is no surprise that some of the best punk bands have been birthed in Beantown. Street Dogs are one of those bands, founded in 2002 by former Dropkick Murphy's singer and Boston Firefighter Mike McColgan, Street Dogs have been cranking out loud, fast and furious punk for nearly a decade. This past fall the band released their self-titled fifth record and have been working non-stop to get it to the masses. The band's road dog DIY - punk ethic has been a strong foundation for them and their fans. As the band's tour calmed down a bit, I had the opportunity to speak with founding member and singer, Mike McColgan as we discussed the band's new record, the city of Boston, Firefighting and his former band - Dropkick Murphy's. Take a look at my interview with Mike below.

Your latest record is your fifth full length in eight years and it is a monster of an album. What was it like recording this album?

Recording this album was different than any other before it. Usually there are freak outs,punch ups or band members going on benders but this time we recorded in Fort Collins,CO at the famed Blasting Room and things went smooth. I love Fort Collins and I love the Blasting Room and Dazbog coffee!

You opted to self-title the record, is this a declaration as to who Street Dogs are as a band and musicians?

I think we self titled our record because we did want to declare this is who we are and we believe this to be our best. All five band members feel this record is our best and that has never happened before. Getting our five guys to agree on anything is virtually impossible. So we knew something great was afoot with this record.

How does this record compare and contrast to previous albums?

I feel like our previous efforts all had an overriding concept or theme where this new and self titled record is us keeping it raw, simple and well rounded. This is us firing on all cylinders.

This is your biggest record to date, in both number of songs and sound. Going in, did you want this album to be so large?

Going in we didn't anticipate making an 18 song record. We just tracked more songs than ever before in the studio and got bold and said lets give people there money's worth and load it up.

Being the former singer for Dropkick Murphy’s and hailing from Boston, does the city still play an important role in your music and in Street Dogs?

Yes this city of Boston is still the official home of the Street Dogs even though the lot of us have moved away from her. We started our group there. We made our first two records there and I was born and raised there. Our music bleeds Boston and always will.

In 1998 you left Dropkick Murphy’s to become a member of Boston’s bravest. Yet still went back to music and formed Street Dogs. Do you still do volunteer work for BFD when you get a chance?

No I don't do volunteer firefighting with BFD as it is a full time fire department. When I left the job in 2004 it was to take Street Dogs to the world and have it be a one hundred percent endeavor and in that we have suceeded ten fold.

How would you describe punk rock today?

I would describe punk rock today in two categories. The first category is bigger punk bands with a record label with traditional release, touring etc and the second is underground upstart bands who are playing in basements, backyards and garages. It is above ground and underground and it will never fucking die. I also think punk takes pride in being the bastard child of music genres as well.

In 2008 you signed with Hellcat records and that relationship seems to be going very strong. How has the label been to you through the years and will this be your home?

The label has been great to us and one hundred percent supportive. It is our home and we do not want to go anywhere else.

One of my favorite things about the band and you has always been activism. You are a proud and outspoken member of Oxfam America. Why is this charity so important to you?

Oxfam is important because it assists the impoverished and empowers them as well. They feed the hungry and then show the hungry and poor how to fend for themselves. They assist with natural disaster aid and with emergency management aid as well. Basically Oxfam is about helping others and that appeals to me.

In relation to the last question, do you think it is an important part of you job as a singer, vocalist and songwriter to draw attention to certain issues?

It isn't formally my job to draw attention to charity relief agencies or my political dispositions. People can take it or leave it and that applies to whatever we say and do.

How do you feel about our current state of our union?

I feel like we need to once again manufacture things in America and create more middle class jobs. We need to address the widening wealth disparity between the top, the middle and the bottom and we need to forcefully root out the greedy bastards on wall street who wrecked our country with ponzie schemes and inside trading. I am not feeling too positive about our union these days and I am not alone.

What is next for Street Dogs?

What is next for The Street Dogs? This is what is next for SD. We will tour relentlessly and slam our songs into the barricade and the circle pit when we play live. Nuff ced....