THE STORY BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER: THE ROOTS, THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY, AND THAT IT'S A JOURNEY.
It is. So I listened to a lot of their songs, and the rest of the story will incorporate some nods to those songs. Toward the end of the piece, you see the beginning of some reference to songs, like the song about the 57 men who have died on the railroad, trying to incorporate that stuff into the life of Cornelius Larkin.
THEY HADN'T EVEN RECORDED THE ALBUM WHEN YOU WROTE THIS?
They were actually still recording it. They had like four songs done.
SO YOU WORKED FROM THAT?
Yeah, and again from my grandfather. My grandfather was like Kenny's father. Basically, we found out that there is this kind of everyman type that we all have in common, and they have the same appreciation for the fact that coming from these people gives them great empathy for the people who are currently immigrants, or the people who are currently engaged in trying to get fair wages and so forth. They get that too. And that's what I liked, when we were talking about immigrants, for example, the story about Cornelius Larkin — for me, that's not just about some Irish guy, it could be about a Mexican guy. . . . A lot of people forget that the Irish were those people that we're talking about now, looking down on them.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SPRINGSTEEN SHOWING UP ON THE ALBUM?
It's incredible, it's amazing. I can't believe I'm doing anything at all with an album that he's on. The Dropkick Murphys I know, so that's more familiar. I like them a lot, and it says a lot about their openness. Back in the day, the punk crowd would have nothing to do with Springsteen. I think afterward people started appreciating him more, but when people were in the thick of listening to punk rock only, they didn't see that ultimately he is punk rock. The Dropkick Murphys, it just shows that they get it. They definitely have that working-class vibe, and so does he. He's the king of that. So I'm excited about this album. And I think that it will reach broader audiences, too.
>> READ: Dropkick Murphys remain Boston's most treasured punk success <<