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Monday, October 10, 2011

Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Jimmy Kimmel Live

Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
One of the guys in DYS knows Dicky Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and asked Mr. Barrett for me for an interview.  Mr. Barrett was really cool and said yes.  He also was really cool and said he would also donate some Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Jimmy Kimmel Live stuff for the next Hardcore for Education fundraiser!

PMAKid: You have done a lot of different things that you are well-known for like singing in the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, being on some TV shows and in movies and being the Announcer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Have you always wanted to be a performer? What made you get into it in the first place?

Dicky Barrett: No I don't think I always wanted to be a performer but I've always loved entertainment and entertaining people. As far back as I can remember I've always loved music, Rock and Roll, and especially Punk Rock. I end up doing the things I do just by trying to see if I can. I'm not afraid of failure, and I'm willing to give anything a shot.



PMAKid: Last year, some really cool bands and labels (like React Records and Revelation Records and Mindset and Police & Thieves) were really cool and donated rare stuff to my school for the Hardcore for Education fundraiser that raised almost $3000. Some of that money helped pay for my school's band teacher. We are having another fundraiser in a couple months and you were really nice and said you would help out (thanks!). For you, how important is it for schools to have music and other enrichment programs in elementary schools What do you think about how schools have been cutting out music and arts and stuff?

Hometown Throwdown
Dicky Barrett: Arts and music seem to be the first things to take a hit whenever school budgets get cut. It was that way when I was at Norwood High School, in Massachusetts, 500 years a go. I'm not sure why. It seems like you're more likely to develop people who can make a living in the world of art, music, and entertainment in general, then people who are going to make a living in sports.
You're doing a really good thing Julian, and I'm happy to help.

PMAKid: I played trumpet in my school band. The Bosstones has horns in their music. Do you play any instruments like that? Or were you always just a singer?

Dicky Barrett: I played trombone in my school band. I was horrible. I had some natural ability but I didn't apply myself. The band teacher said I was the worst music student and the most successful musician he ever taught.

It's not really fair to the great singers past and present to call me a singer. I'm the front man of The Mighty Mighty BossToneS, and I'd say I'm pretty good at it.

PMAKid: You have toured all over the world. What is the coolest place you have every played. One of my friends (Kevin Seconds) said in his interview that 7 Seconds' weirdest places to play were at a pig farm and at Folsom Prison. What was the weirdest place you ever played?

Dicky Barrett: I like doing shows in Boston the best but I also enjoy playing shows in London England, Tokyo Japan, and Sydney Australia. To be honest it is difficult to not have a great time playing songs you created, with people you love, in front of people that love what you're doing.

PMAKid: You are well known because of the stuff that you have done. I have asked other people, and I wanted to ask you if it is hard being famous. C.J. Wilson said he does not have to deal with it too much, except in Texas. Do you find it is different in different places (like Boston and Los Angeles)?

Dicky Barrett: I am not by any stretch of the imagination what any sane person would call famous. I got some attention for doing something I love doing, and for something I would have done regardless. I'm well known by a certain amount of people for something I played a part in creating, and that's a good thing. In Boston for sure, and sometimes in other places, people recognize me and that doesn't bother me. It means they know my music and like it. Most people that don't like the BossToneS don't know what I look like.

PMAKid: I know from listening to your music that you probably like a lot of different bands and songs. Can you tell me some of your favorite bands and songs and why they are your favorite? I know you are friends with the guys in DYS (Hi Mr. Smalley! Hi Mr. Anastas!) and it was Mr. Anastas who helped me get in touch with you. Your older music definitely has some hardcore feel to it. Did you go to all the old hardcore shows when you were young? Which bands really made an impression on you?

Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Dicky Barrett: Back in the 1980's I was part of the Boston Hardcore punk scene. Bands like DYS, Jerry's Kid's, SSD, and Gang Green were some of the Boston based Hardcore bands. I loved those bands, the Boston scene, and Hardcore punk at the time. I was in a band called Impact Unit, and we got to play with those bands as well as national acts like The Misfits. You name the Hardcore band and I saw them play live, Minor Threat, The Bad Brains, Black Flag, DOA etc. It was a very important time in my life, it gave me something to belong to, and something that I felt was my own. I met friends then that are still very close and important to me. I also loved the punk-rock of the late 70's bands like The Clash, The Ramones, and Stiff Little Fingers were hugely influential to the music The Mighty Mighty BossToneS would end up making. The Jamaican Ska music of 1960's and the Two Tone English Ska band like Madness, The Specials and Bad Manners played quite a role in what it is we do as well.

I think it is probably pertinent to add The Mighty Mighty BossToneS coined the phrase and created the musical genre known as Ska-Core by combining Ska music and Hardcore punk. I consider myself to be "The Godfather Of Ska-Core"

PMAKid: What is the coolest thing about being a dad? How do you teach your kids to keep a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and stay away from bad things like drugs? How do you yourself keep a positive attitude when bad stuff happens?

Dicky Barrett: I will be a dad for the first time in roughly 8 weeks. My wife is pregnant with our first child, so I'll let you know what it's like at that time.
I've called myself a proud father, devout Mormon, a minor league fast ball pitcher, the Mayor of Monrovia California and the wearer of the worlds best toupee in interviews before, just to amuse the other BossToneS. I'm none of those things but that's going to change in November.

PMAKid: Do you like being the Announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live? I would be really nervous to be on TV every night like you are! How did you get that job?

Dicky Barrett: I love being the announcer but when I first started I was very nervous. I'm not on TV enough to screw up. The reason I love it so much is because Jimmy and the folks I work with are really nice people. They're my good friends, and they're good friends to have.

Jimmy used to be on the radio in a few different places, Florida, Washington andLos Angeles California among other locations. We met when the BossToneS would go to the stations he was working at to do on air interviews and Jimmy and I became fast friends. When he was offered a TV show he offered me the announcing job.

PMAKid: Are you active in your kids' school? If you are, what do you do to help out?

Dicky Barrett: I'm sure I will be.

PMAKid: I'm guessing that you live somewhere around Los Angeles because that is where the Jimmy Kimmel Live show is at. My dad talks sometimes about missing Connecticut. Do you miss living in Massachusetts?

Dicky Barrett: Good guess. I live pretty close to Hollywood. I miss Boston almost everyday. People that are from Boston have an almost scary pride. It's a great place and I love being there. I love it so much I named my band after it.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview.

    I found this after having a Bosstones revival this week. But the Bosstones summed up a great musical period for me between the years of 1990-96. I had a MMB hoodie which was practically welded to my body, only came off when i went to their shows (C'mon now, nobody wears the shirt of the band they're off to see!)
    And those were shows. I'm from the UK but seen them in Newport, Glasgow, London and at the Reading festival. Pass the mics and reckless stage diving long before the days of health & safety regulations.

    Met them several times and interviewed for fanzines twice, including one at a London hotel where i could only interview them if i wore those glasses where the eyes are dangling on springs.

    All that was 20 years ago and i've moved on... well kinda. Don't listen to hardcore so much. Listen to extreme power noise, world music.. everything really. But hardcore always has a place in my heart and.... dub reggae. My two oldest passions in music, well threre's ska too, but ((DUB)) is right up there.

    I keep running this fantasy over when i'm in work of creating a steppers / dub reggae album in the next 5 years. (NOT dubstep, but 'Steppers Dub'), but somehow i always think out the box. Lying & stealing is a big NO NO. Gotta be original and fun first. (Ska-Core! Anyone!). I plan on making a real hardcore steppers dub album with monstrous bass and hard solid drums. My dream team for laying the rhythm down is Justin Broadrick (on bass & guitar) and Ted Parsons on drums. The Motherhead Bug orchestra, Smadj on oud (as there'll be a strong middle eastern musical influence on there).

    And the singers.... (it's just a fantasy remember....) A duet between Julie Christmas & The Rev Paul Bearer on "I'm Still In love with you", Samia Farah & Marco Neves, David Ouimet, Rumi (Japanese female rapper, she sings great reggae on The Heavymanners ' Survival" album), i'm sure Walter from Quicksand can fit in there somewhere, i'd have a no nonsense ska tune dedicated to Amy Winehouse with dual vocal attack by Amy Mirret and Chantal from For F*ck Sake... and of course Mr Barrett would be on the opening vocal cut with that almighty growl and verse and on his crooning for the last song. Everyone would be chosen for what they do best, tho Bearer can croon well with Joe Coffee.

    Steppers dub is not really live music as in the band sense but more of a sound system 'ting. You feel like your trouser legs are flapping and you're heart is gonna burst out of your chest... and what better than to have these voices forged in Valhalla... well NY, Boston, Tunisia, Paris and Tokyo really.

    And Kanka to remix.

    Thats my fantasy after my animated documentary on dub & hardcore.

    I watched a clip of 'Drunks & Children' this week, i had a tear of nostalgia and pride in my eye.

    Good times good times and i'd still fit them into my future.

    Congratulations on the new member of the Barrett family.

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