Mar. 13, 2013 - Issue #908: In Your Face
The Real McKenzies
Twenty-odd years and 100-odd band members later and the Real McKenzies are still touring eight out of 12 months, while donning their kilts and boots.
"It's not like I have anything better to do," says Celtic rocker Paul McKenzie, the band's frontman. "I'm going to be working until the day I die."
Often called the forefathers of Celtic-punk, the Real McKenzies formed in 1992 and the band has since released 10 albums. The latest, Westwinds, dropped in March of 2012.
With such a long history of crushing beers and performing boot-stomping punk rock, the band has lost numerous members, some on good terms and some on bad. But, whatever the case—whether they retire to have a family or they jump out of a moving vehicle because they're pissed off—McKenzie has replaced each and every one of them.
"The alumni is over 100 men," he says. "I keep having to get younger people because they're the only ones that are good at putting up with this rock 'n' roll lifestyle, and then they last a few years, they get older and I have to find someone else young again."
McKenzie admits that travelling for eight months of the year and playing shows every night or every other night isn't an easy lifestyle.
"It can really screw up a normal person's life," he says. "I had to say goodbye to a normal life. I used to have a nice house, a nice girlfriend, motorcycles, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but I suppose I opted for things I felt were a little more important."
Like, for instance, playing shows with NOFX, Rancid, the Misfits, Voodoo Glow Skulls and Flogging Molly. And writing songs, recording albums and having his kilt torn off by Swiss girls.
"Sometimes the kilt just drives people crazy," he jokes.
Sun, Mar 17 (8 pm)
With Fire Next Time, East End Radicals
Pawn Shop, $17.50
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