Dropkick Murphys Talk About Their New Album
Billboard spoke with Dropkick Murphys about their new album Signed and Sealed in Blood, which was released today through its own label Born & Bred and ADA Label Services. The album is a follow-up to 2011’s Going Out In Style, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200. It’s part of their work with ADA and their new manager Jeff Castelaz, the founder of Cast Management and president of Elektra Records.
Castelaz said: “We started setting up the record a year ago. It was all about engaging their fan base around the world, which is a rabid, utterly dedicated fan base that buys concert tickets, T-shirts and lots of music in all formats available. The idea was to go to radio early-first to the NPR format to tell the band’s story, which has not been told well enough in the past, and then go to modern rock and show the programmers that they can add Dropkick Murphys on their eighth album.“
The album was recorded with producer Ted Hutt during the summer. Hutt also produced Going Out In Style, which was a concept album. Singer Ken Casey said of the new album: “This album was like taking the chains off. We wanted to keep expanding the sound. I think we were always this band who had multiple personalities. We were all over the map from song to song, and I think the last two albums have kind of refined it into one sound.“
The first song is “Rose Tattoo”, which Casey says the band felt was “a great combination of a slow chorus [and] something that’s in your head after you hear it once.” A music video was released in early November. The album’s holiday song “The Season’s Upon Us” had the most radio airplay, however. It was the #1 most-added song at Alternative on the second week of December and one of the most requested songs at KROQ Los Angeles mid-month, according to Castelaz.
ADA senior VP of A&R and label services Kenny Weagly added that this is the first time the band have charted at Alternative. The song debuted at #33 on the week of December 29 and climbed to #28. It’s rare for a holiday song to chart at the format. Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” debuted in January 1996 and hit #25, for example. Weagly added: “We’re excited to open new doors for the band at multiple radio formats with such an amazing track-and one so appropriate for the holiday season, at that.“
ADA and Cast Management will then release the new single “The Boys Are Back”, which is in rotation on SiriusXM Alt Nation and will hit Alternative on February 5. It goes along with the band’s St. Patrick’s Day tour of the US, which will end with the Dropkick Murphys Irish Festival in Boston on March 15.
Casey says their live show is important to understand their music. He added that he doesn’t care about singles but thinks there could be a larger audience at this point in the band’s life. He said: “We’re not striving to be Green Day or something, but I do think, with the nature of what we do musically and what our lyrical message is all about, there’s definitely a wider portion of the population that can relate to us. It’d be nice to see people actually hear about us, and I think that will happen with this album.“