Staff Writer/Photographer M.J. Rawls caught up with lead singer/guitarist of The Bunny Gang and bassist of Flogging Molly Nathen Maxwell to discuss The Bunny Gang’s newest album Thrive, his influences on music, and their future plans for 2015.
MEB: Listening to the The Bunny Gang and Thrive in particular, I sense influences from The Clash and older punk rock bands from the 70’s. Can you let me know where you draw from while doing this side project?
I draw from all the influences that I have. The Clash are definitely one of them. Stiff Little Fingers is another. But its not only 70’s punk that I’m influenced by. I’m a big fan of dub and reggae, cumbia, and bands like The Cure and Tool. Too many influences really to mention. We were really just trying to make the best music that we could in that time. Hopefully something original comes from all of that.
Songs like “Uprise Underground” and “Sirens Through The City” (love the Guy Fawkes masks in the video) have a real political tone to them. Especially with how the world is now, do you feel that music has an obligation to address wrongs in society?
No, music does not have an obligation to anything. I however feel an obligation to communicate as honestly as I can while writing, and I feel passionate about certain issues.
How different is the writing/recording process between The Bunny Gang vs. Flogging Molly?
Its very different in the sense that it is a completely different chemistry.
Thrive is more of a full band effort with you adding Michael Peralta on bass and Nat Nelson on guitar. Was it better to have that experience than the most acoustic ladened White Rabbit?
I’m happier with the way the recording turned out, thats for sure. And I prefer recording with a band than overdubbing most of the parts myself like with White Rabbit. I wouldn’t trade either experience though. One thing leads to another.
With Thrive and White Rabbit, there are 10-11 tracks. I’m a fan of this because both albums are concise and structured. Was it a conscious decision to lower the amount of songs to tighten the whole project?
Yeah, I think the classic 10-11 track album is the most enjoyable. These days most people just listen to individual tracks, but I still enjoy listening to records from start to finish. It’s very important to me that the album is cohesive and flows from beginning to end like one piece of art.
How is it to be a big part of two really good bands? I could imagine it’s fun but taxing.
First of all thank you! It’s truly a labor of love, so I couldn’t imagine not being able to do both bands. It can be taxing, but that just inspires me to take better care of myself!
Are you guys planning to tour the U.S. Soon? (Especially in New York because we would love to see a show!)
We have a South West tour coming up in May, then Riot Fest in Denver and some other local stuff. We are looking forward to hitting the East Coast ASAP.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
Thank you. One Love. One People. Up the Punx!