It may surprise some people to learn that the chart-topping Irish rock band The Saw Doctors have roots in punk and reggae music, but for lead guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist Leo Moran, all music is good music.
As one of two founding members of the internationally renowned act, Moran has stuck with the band since their inception in 1986 because it‚??s not only allowed him to keep making good music, but to express himself in his own voice.
‚??I think we realized the reason all music is good because people‚??s true personality comes out through it. Punk really wasn‚??t really good because they were putting on an accent; punk really was good because the singers were singing in their own accents, and then when we realized that and the penny dropped that that‚??s actually how you have to express yourself ‚?? in your own accent and with your own words,‚?Ě Moran said while recalling The Saw Doctors‚?? formation.
‚??When we did that, we realized that‚??s exactly what they were doing. It‚??s just that they were doing it from different parts of the world with different accents and different vocabularies.‚?Ě
There‚??s a universal nature to their sound and lyrics, however, that he believes transcends those borders.
‚??We love simple music ourselves, and we always try to write songs that we like ourselves and get to the chorus quickly and try and keep it hooky and try to keep it interesting. We‚??re just lucky enough that enough people, I suppose, agree with us that the songs are likable and they obviously touch people in some way,‚?Ě Moran explained.
‚??We‚??re always just hoping that the next song is one that will work for us.‚?Ě
That next song is often a hit, having achieved 18 Top 30 singles in Ireland, including three number ones. The 2011 holiday season brought another surprise hit for the band when they released a cover of ‚??Downtown‚?Ě featuring original singer Petula Clark.
‚??It was some experience to work with such a legend, an entertainment legend of the 20th and 21st century. God almighty, it was very exciting,‚?Ě Moran beamed.
The Saw Doctors are also well-loved in the States, making a stop at Penn‚??s Peak, 325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe, on Friday, March 2.
‚??In general, people are the same the world over regarding audiences. But American audiences are very diligent. Irish people kind of have it built-in that they come in late and they congregate around the bar more. Americans generally come to shows early and they get settled in and they really focus on the songs and the music whereas Irish people sometimes have a tendency to focus on the other element of the night out,‚?Ě he noted with a laugh.
While he hopes their music is reflective of their homeland, its themes tend to reach listeners all over the world during their consistently lauded tours.
‚??We‚??ll always be looking around to try take things from our environment and from the way people speak around us and from the way people think because, generally, the bits in songs that people love are those things that are just the really obvious things that everybody knows but they just maybe don‚??t hear them pronounced or hear them stated, in music anyway,‚?Ě he said.
‚??You can still really move upon those really obvious things and put them into a song and people can see themselves in the pictures of the song.‚?Ě
While Moran feels that fellow founder, singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist Davy Carton enjoys their upbeat songs the most, Moran admits that he prefers the more serious side of the band.
‚??I love ‚??Same Oul‚?? Town‚?? because it kind of balances out. We‚??re generally known for our good humor and our upbeat boisterousness, and ‚??Same Oul‚?? Town‚?? is the opposite. It‚??s about somebody living in the same place for too long and being bored and wondering what they‚??re really doing and being a bit philosophical about it all. While I love all the upbeat ones, I like the idea that that one exists and some of its comrades in order to balance out the spectrum of emotions that we‚??re able to deal with,‚?Ě he said.
While it took much dedication to turn his hobby into a way of life, Moran considers himself lucky at least and blessed at best.
‚??I‚??m too old to be retrained for any further employment, I think. But I just love it. I love doing it. I love the traveling. I love all the aspects of it. I love the recording. I love the writing. I love going to different cities and meeting different people and eating different foods and drinking different drinks. It‚??s a wonderful lifestyle. We‚??re very, very lucky,‚?Ě he emphasized.
‚??In particular now we have to count ourselves very lucky in the climate at home because so many people are going through such hard times and so many people have no work at all now. We‚??re very lucky we‚??ve been able to stay steady doing what we‚??re doing for over 20 years now and you really just have to count your blessings.‚?Ě
WHAT: The Saw Doctors
WHERE: Penn‚??s Peak, 325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe
WHEN: Friday, March 2, Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m.
COST: $24, $29