April 26, 2006
Saw Doctors Strike A Chord For Stella Maris
The Saw Doctors visit the Stephen Talkhouse on May 10. On the eve of the official kick-off of their American tour. Leo Moran, Davy Carton, and the band are making this rare club appearance to raise funds for the Stella Maris School Music in Education Program. The band's new CD, The Cure, is perhaps its most introspective. Mixed Bag Radio host Pete Fornatale sat down with Davy and Leo to discuss the band on his XM Radio show.
|Independent / Courtesy of sawdoctors.com
Davy Carton and Leo Moran|
PF: There is such a high energy to the group's music that I wonder if at times you run into the problem of people not letting you do the softer songs. Is that an issue for the group?
Davy: It can be in certain situations, at certain gigs. You just look at the crowd and (sometimes) they just want to go and so you end up just going with them.
PF: I am guessing, and you can confirm this or not, that when you play in America that the Irish population comes out in force to see you and to support you. And that probably covers, these days, a wide age range. Depending on the venue, do you sometimes see an older crowd and have to adapt to their taste and sometimes a younger crowd and have to adapt to their taste?
Davy: For some reason, our crowd is rejuvenating itself and we are getting a very, very young crowd, which is great for the energy of the show — younger. I don't know where God is sending them from or how they are finding out about us.
PF: Coming to America, was that a dream or a goal?
Davy: If you start a band in Ireland and love the Ramones and Bruce Springsteen you'd certainly want to come and play in America. So it was kind of a dream to come over here and it was dreamlike the first couple of times that we did come over here.
PF: Leo, your first taste of this country was as a student, am I correct?
Leo: Yes, it was. I was over here for a summer working. Washing dishes out in New Jersey, Exit 8A.
PF: I am told that your admiration of Springsteen has brought you to many of his shows.
Leo: I went to a good few shows and stole a good few tricks.
Davy: And brought you to his house as well?
Leo: We went to leave him a CD of the first album up at the house. It was the first time that anyone pointed a gun at me. That's OK, I'll get over that.
PF: You must know the famous story of Bruce jumping the gates at Graceland.
Davy: So, he did it himself!
PF: Exactly! The reason I'm asking about the dream of coming to America, is because of the song "N17." That's about a road leading to the airport from your town. It seems to touch and grab a lot of people over here that have had that experience. Is that what you intended in writing that song?
Leo: I don't know what we intended. I remember Davy saying to me about having a chorus "I wish I was on the N17." I thought he was off his rocker, I didn't know what he was talking about. Funny thing about the N17, it was never referred to as the N17. At the time it was referred to as the Galway Road from Tuam. That's what we knew it as. There were all these signs up N17 that nobody seemed to notice. If you can hit those things with songs that are in front of your face, but nobody's spoken about, that's probably what you're aiming for.
Davy: There was a nice kind of musical ring about the words N17, begging to be music.
PF: When you do it for your audiences here, do you get the sense that it touches the homesickness chord to some extent?
Davy: No doubt.
Leo: We have people come up to us saying they were crying during it. They were crying during a few more songs as well, but that's because we were out of tune!
PF: Davy, Leo (Laughs)
There will be plenty of laughter and maybe a few tears as the Saw Doctors visit the Stephen Talkhouse for a rare club gig. For tickets call The Talkhouse at 267-3117 or visit them on the web at stephentalkhouse.com.
Fornatale is a regular contributor to The Independent. He is a respected rock historian who revolutionized FM radio as a disc jockey on WNEW and later on K-Rock. You can hear Pete's Mixed Bag Radio every week on XM Satellite Radio. Learn more by visiting www.mixedbagradio.com.