Skip to Content

LISTEN: Dropkick Murphys' Frontman Ken Casey Talks Opioid Epidemic, Band Origins


If you've seen a Red Sox game anytime in the past decade, you've probably heard the Dropkick Murphys.
Their song "Shipping Up To Boston" - originally by Woody Guthrie - is known worldwide, but especially here in its titular city, where it's played frequently at Fenway.
Last night, the Dropkick Murphys stopped by WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio to preview some of their new record, 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory, for FrontRow Boston.
(View the performance here.)
Dropkick Murphys' frontman Ken Casey sat down with WGBH All Things Considered host Barbara Howard to talk about the new record and how the band got its start.

<b>On how Massachusetts' opioid epidemic influenced the new record</b>

"I think we've mostly written about what's going on in our lives. Sadly, a personal part of our lives, be it family members that we've lost, very close friends, fans of the band, I think that it's a broad message really to anything that anyone struggles with that you know sometimes you gotta fight through the bad to get to the good."

<b>On the origin of the band name "Dropkick Murphys"&nbsp;</b>

"John 'Dropkick' Murphy was a legendary wrestler and then he had a boxing, wrestling camp and then in the end he was best known for experimenting for detoxifying people way back in the old days before there was such a thing ... We just thought the name was cool ... and it was just kind of the tie into Boston history. He's long since passed but his son comes to see us now and gets a kick out of the fact that his father name is you know carried on this way so it's been nice to be able to use the name and also get to know the family as well."

<b>On how the band began</b>

"The band actually started as a bet. I was going to UMass Boston to get my special ed teaching degree. I was working construction in the day, and I was bartending the nights I wasn't in school. And a kid that I worked with said 'You're always talking about starting a band and I dare you to open up for my band on three weeks notice' and I took the bet." 


WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.