Friday February 23rd 2018

Interview with Mike McClogan


Interview with Mike McClogan


About a month back we were pleasantly surprised to be contacted by someone in the Street Dogs organization inquiring if we’d like to interview the band when they hit Boston.

After falling out of our collective chairs we readily agreed and did get to interview Mike McClogan, lead singer and founding member of the Street Dogs before the show (not after as is reported in the live review by the minister of misinformation, Slimedog).

We would like to publicly apologize to any members of the Street Dog organization that were fired or possibly imprisoned because of our actions but we truly had a great time with the interview and of course, the show.


Slimedog- We think the Boston punk community is great and we guess you do to. Got any thoughts on that?

Mike McClogan- I think the Boston music scene, be it punk or hardcore, is really paternal and everybody watches out for each other. And it is a lot of the salt of the earth people trying to make the best possible music they can; they’re inclusive to their fans and they’re approachable, down to earth. That’s one of the beautiful things about Boston. There’s no attitudes or airs or rock star B.S. Everything’s on the level and the people that come to see the bands are on equal footing with the bands. You know, we’re all people and that’s one of the things I’ve always liked about it.

Slimedog- Now you guys go around the world, really and certainly around the country, how does the punk community scene compare to other cities? Is it equal or better or about the same?

Mike- Well you’re gonna think my answer is canned and shtick and maybe predictable and bias, but objectively and all things considered, having traveled extensively around the world and across the nation many times- I’m not tooting my own horn and that doesn’t make me any better- it is what it is, what we’ve been lucky enough to do- it’s a privilege, not a right and we’re grateful for anyone who’s taken money and time out of their lives to see us…There’s no place like Boston on the face of the earth. It’s the most beautiful city in the world in my eyes and I’ve seen a lot of nice things.

Slimedog- It’s great to hear.

Mike- And I mean that with an objective mind set. I’ve lived in other places and there’s no place quite like this.

Slimedog- So how’s your new guitar player working out?

Mike- We got Matt Pruitt in there from the Have Nots, We got Lenny Lashley from Darkbuster.

Slimedog- Lenny’s the newest guy, he’s the young one.

Mike- They came in and it was seamless. There wasn’t any awkwardness or weirdness. These guys are exceptional players and good people and road dogs, know the drill, work hard and are giving and they’re team players. I think for me personally I’ve never had more fun. And if I’m guilty of anything in the Street Dogs it’s being way too serious. I remember one time the guys in the Bronx were intimidated by me cause they thought I was a cop.

Slimedog- In the Bronx that means something.

Mike- I’ve never had more fun. It’s a lot of laughs and we’re playing great shows and I’m grateful.

Slimedog- Let me just put in the interview about Lenny. We know him through Darkbuster, as you do as well, we know he’s a great songwriter but what most impresses us is what he’s done for the punk community in Boston. He’s made the Midway the place for punk music and that’s all Lenny. We’re so grateful to him; we get most of our material from there. It’s a wonderful club; it’s the most supportive club of punk music in Boston.

Mike- With the death of the Rathskeller there’s been a long standing void for a venue that’s sort of an epicenter or a nucleus or a crux, if you will, and Lenny, whether wittingly or unwittingly, has filled that void with the Midway Café. I love J.P., I’m very, very partial to Jamaica Plain, it’s a really nice part of the city. Lenny is a giving guy, he’ll give you the shirt of his back and we’re grateful to have him on board. Speak of the devil (Lenny enters the backstage area) the devil appears.

Slimedog- We’re saying bad things about you Lenny.

Lenny- You guys are lying. (Laughter)

Slimedog- Do you want to say something about your connection with Oxfam?

Mike- We’re not officially connected with them, we’ve just worked and advocated for them because I think at the end of the day they’re trying to help impoverished people become self-sustaining and give them the means to provide for themselves and do a myriad of different things whether it’s poverty, natural disaster, emergency management. It’s not a marketing thing or a way to prop ourselves up- to make us look like we’re these unbelievable, philanthropists and humanitarians. It’s just doing the right thing. And really being in an agency like Oxfam or Unicef- trying to help people is better than trying to hurt them,

Slimedog- People like us are always putting a style on a band, how would you describe your style?

Mike- I would say we’re sort of like a rock, punk, hardcore, folk hybrid. We wanted records to show what we could do and songs to show what we like to write and put forward. Whether it was folky ones, rock anthems, punk songs, hardcore songs and that’s what we’ve always done. We try to fire on all-cylinders. I think we’re a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Slimedog- Tell us about your side project with Rick Barton and others.

Mike- FM359- January 14th we’re gonna release a record called “Truth, Love and Liberty.” We got together and just wrote songs we liked, just tracked them immediately. They weren’t studied and methodically mapped out. It was free, it was loose and I’m really proud of the record. There’s no road map- we’ll put it out, play a few shows and if people like it, they like it, listen to it, pass it on to a friend and hopefully, make your day go better.

Slimedog- I gotta couple more questions. I think I may already know the answer to this. Who drinks the most in the band?

Mike- That would be, with the current lineup, easily- Pruitt drinks the most.

Slimedog- (Gasps in shock) I’m disappointed in Lenny. One more- who in the band is most likely to become a serial killer?

Mike- Jesus Christ. (Laughter) Oh god, that’s Lenny easily.

Slimedog- Good job, Lenny. And why is that?

Mike- He can get easily fiery, ornery sometimes. You know he might red-line and go to a dark place and mow down some people.


So concluded our interview with Mike though we spent some time talking about the local scene and old bands like The Outlets, The Pixies, Tribe and many more. It should be noted that while talking, Lenny was observed running around backstage with big globs of red on his hands and clothes. We can only hope it was ketchup.

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