It has been about three years and three albums since Kingston born, Montreal based Celtic punks the Mahones visited Lethbridge, but they are excited to finally return to the Slice, Dec. 2 in support of their latest album “The Hunger and the Fight (Part 2), the second half of a punk rock concept album about Ireland, Irish music and the Mahones.
“I think those are some of the best songs I’ve written. It’s our masterpiece,” said Mahones frontman Finny McConnell, who is excited to finally return to Lethbridge with band mates Katie “Kaboom” McConnell on accordion and vocals, Dominique Whelan on drums, Michael O’Grady on tin whistle, Sean Winter on banjo, mandolin and accordion and Sean Riot Ryan on bass.
“The first one is more acoustic and traditional and there are covers of Stiff Little Fingers and Thin Lizzy on It. The second is electric. I was looking at Ireland and New York, which is where you’ll find the greatest number of Irish people,” the Dublin born McConnell said adding his lyrics explore important event in Irish history, famous Irish people and much more.
“We released it in two parts so people wouldn’t have to listen to 24 songs straight in two hours. Unless they want to,” he said.
“It’s a really very positive CD. We have a very positive message. We want to give people a positive boost. Of course there’s a song called ‘Fuck You’ on it, but it is about giving the finger to bad people and corrupt politicians. So it is positive that way,” he continued.
“We’re a very progressively minded and egalitarian band. We believe in power to the people,” he said.
“After 25 years and 15 albums there’s nothing left for us to do than release a double concept album,” he said, adding that doesn’t mean the band will quit anytime soon.
“ You know me, I’ll make it work. I want to be in the 50/ 60 year club like the Who and the Rolling Stones and the Irish Rovers. I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” he said.
The project features a lot of special guests as usual including members of the Tossers, Joydrop and Simon Townsend of the Who.
“We have lots of guests. We usually do and it’s usually my idea, so I’m usually the one who tracks them down and asks them. Most of them are my friends anyway and I’ll play on their albums too. Nine out of 10 times they’ll say yes. Sometimes it’s ‘you're an Irish punk band and I’m a blues singer, I don’t know.’ But that’s why I asked you,” he said.