Flogging Molly’s bassist plays solo Saturday in Avon
AVON, Colorado – Nathen Maxwell, bassist for Flogging Molly, has taken the advice of Dave King, the band’s frontman, to put out his original music. Maxwell’s family and friends have helped him with the project, called Nathen Maxwell & the Original Bunny Gang. The new band will release its album, “White Rabbit,” on Aug.18.Saturday night, the Bunny Gang will play at Agave with opening bands Eleanor and the Denver-based Tatanka.The show will start at 10 p.m., with Nathen Maxwell & the Bunny Gang starting between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.Vail Daily: Where did you get the name Nathen Maxwell & the Original Bunny Gang?Nathen Maxwell: The Original Bunny Gang is a crew of friends that I grew up with, OBG punks, I’ve got it tattooed on my arm. We were a group of people who had common interests in punk rock music and reggae music, being open minded and anti-racist. Where we grew up there were a lot of idiots, a lot of Nazis, and so we kind of formed together to protect each other, and also just to share, you know, life and have good times and experiences.VD: How does the name of your upcoming album, “White Rabbit,” fit into the Bunny Gang?NM: Everyone called me White Rabbit when I was a kid. Everyone in the Bunny Gang had our OBG name, and I was White Rabbit maybe because I was one of the crazier ones. So, White Rabbit is just kinda what all my friends called me, and knew me as in that group. This album is about going back to the roots, so I just figured I’d just call it what it is.VD: Can you describe the atmosphere of your show? What can people expect?NM: Well, people can expect to hear real music. It’s honest music. I’m blessed to have great musicians up on stage with me. My father’s on drums. He’s just, in my opinion, the best drummer in the world. Two of my old boys from OBG are playing in the band, playing bass and guitar. They can expect good music. It’s intimate, and at the same time, you can rock out to it and dance to it. You know, it’s heartfelt, it’s the truth.VD: What does your music offer in terms of originality?NM: Well, the music is completely original. I’ve never heard anything like it, and that’s one of the things I love so much about it. We’ve got some rhythms that are just completely unique to us. I mean, it’s not just another reggae band, it’s not just another punk band, and I love reggae, I love punk, but we’re doing our own thing. It’s completely unique, and I guess I just have to let the music answer that question.VD: What has been the toughest part about going solo?NM: I guess my nerves. I’ve been blessed to be in one of the best bands in the world, Flogging Molly, for the last 13 years, and I’ve been able to back up one of the greatest frontmen on the planet, Dave King. Now, you know it’s a little more pressure having to sing the songs yourself. I never talked on the mic for Flogging Molly, and now I kinda gotta make sure the show flows. That’s the pressure right there, but it’s good pressure.VD: I read on your MySpace page that you said it would be bad karma not to release your solo stuff with the blessing of Flogging Molly’s Dave King. What did you mean by that?NM: In my opinion, bad karma is simply … if you have energy in this life, everyone is born with a certain amount of energy, and if you don’t put that energy forth, then to me, that’s bad karma. We’re all alive here, and we’ve got to do the best we can. Whether it’s building a bridge, or grilling food, you know, right now I’m flipping a burger for my family. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, you’ve gotta live, you’ve got to work. I’ve got this music to share, and I’m not sure if everyone is gonna dig it … but I dig it, and the people around me dig it. So, to not do this, that’s my definition of bad karma.VD: How has your dad (maxwellvision) influenced your music?NM: He’s done everything for me. He’s kept me around music my entire life, he’s been a musician. … My entire life, he’s turned me on to so much music that I love to this day, and he’s the one that introduced me to the guys in Flogging Molly. So he’s been such a crucial part of my musical career, and to be able to wrap it all back full circle to make an album together, and now to actually be touring and playing on the same stage together, it’s an amazing experience. … It’s just wonderful.
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