Cruise down Fairfax Boulevard in Los Angeles, and if you're lucky, you'll spot a small Irish watering hole named Molly Malone's. It's a neighborhood pub smack dab in the middle of a big city. Guinness and Harp are on tap, the patrons are friendly (but sometimes dangerous), and overall, the spot is downright welcoming and cozy. In other words, it was the perfect birthplace for Flogging Molly. "It's a lot to be said for alcohol, I suppose," says Flogging Molly singer-guitarist Dave King. "We found each other in a bar and did what we did for the love of the music. Who would have known that in three years we'd have albums out and be on the Warped Tour?" Blame it on the luck of the Irish. The transplanted Dubliner met many of the members of Flogging Molly - which include accordion, fiddle, tin whistle and mandolin players - while bending an elbow. Luckily, the band's thirst for whipping a uniquely unclassifiable style of music is just as fierce as their thirst for Irish Beer. Flogging Molly eventually took its name from a long-running residency at Molly Malone's, where the band's live shows flogged the place into worship. Since 1997, King and Co. have crafted a self-produced live disc, their proper 2000 debut Swagger and 2002's Drunken Lullabies, the latter of the two engineered by Steve Albini. Cross-breeding traditional Irish influences and heavy-hearted storytelling with brazen punk rock, feel free to call Flogging Molly what you'd like: "Agro-Celt," "jig-punk," "Celtic 'core" --they've heard it all before. Their rowdy folk-rock punk revival sound has been compared to the likes of other Irish bands such as the Pogues and Black 47, but the raucous septet opted for their own brashness. "I'm inspired by bands like The Dubliners and The Pogues," says King, who checked out a Pogues' reunion show on a 2001 holiday trip back to Ireland. "And then we do what we do with it. We're taking a love of Irish music and we're making our own thing. We are our own little dot on the map. What we have is really special." King's telling tales of freedom, struggle and his parents (his father passed when he was 10 years old) have been known to move fans to tears. But mainly, the music's kinetic energy winds up the crowds who turn out for the ballistic shows. Often mentioned in the same sentence as contemporaries Stiff Little Fingers and the Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly was recently seen blowing away just about everybody else on the 2003 Warped Tour, and are always up for a sweaty club appearance "The only way I can think to describe the atmosphere at a show is that of a football game - and when I say football, I mean soccer game - in the sense that there's a camaraderie between the band and the crowd," says King. "We become one. There are no barriers at the show. It's just one big f---ing party. When people leave our show, I want them to go, 'I had a f---ing great time there.' That's very important to us." King's been in the States for a little over a decade, and has put some time in other bands - namely Fastway, the band formed by ex-Motorhead guitarist "Fast Eddie" Clarke. But the roots of Flogging Molly can be traced as far back as his childhood. "Both my mother and father were great singers and we had a lot of parties in our house, called 'hoolies,'" says King. "We'd all sit around in a circle and people would be jamming, playing music and singing. It was great. Sometimes when I look at the songs that I write now, I'm really searching to get back there. I'm searching for that spark of inspiration." When recording, the band works to retain that same liveliness and musical freedom. King builds the basic structure of a song and the band comes together to blow it out. It moves quickly in the studio - Swagger and Drunken Lullabies were recorded in just a few days. "We don't want to over-do our albums, because we want to give the songs room for improvement." Says King. "The album shouldn't be the end-all, be-all of what we're saying. There should always be room for spontaneity. The album's just a blueprint of what the band should be about and then you take it from there. It's all about the live show." But the blueprint that King is working from is just as time-tested as his Gaelic tradition. Songs on Drunken Lullabies like "May the Living Be Dead In Our Wake," "If I Ever Leave This World Alive" and "What's Left of the Flag?" are gut-wrenching tales of struggle and triumph, and some of the most honest personal accounts you'll hear in punk music today. "I only sing about things that effect me. And fortunately, or unfortunately, things that effect me effect everybody. I sing about life," says King. "I've had the good times and I've had the bad times. Everybody has. And whether you're 40 years of age or 14 years of age, this music can touch you in some way. Anybody who has a beating heart in their chest can relate to what I'm singing."