The Langer’s Ball has been performing since 2007, with their first album release in 2008, they were hailed as "...A Band To Watch" by PaddyRock.com.
And watch people did! Called “The Punk Rock Pogues”, their music has been described as “Straight ahead, no-frills Irish ballads with just a hint of razor blades, safety pins and American rock 'n' roll".
Their latest album “The Devil or the Barrel” earned them a top spot on virtually every Irish music writer, podcaster & bloggers best of 2012 list. As a reviewer in London says about TLB “Showing no signs of stopping or slowing down…put your best dancing shoes on because The Langer’s Ball are in town and there’s no excuse for sitting down. (TLB) are swigging Jameson’s and writing some of the best Celtic punk you may ever listen
Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence.
The goal of our music is to have fun and inspire people to party and drink and socialize, we take a direct link from Irish folk music but blend it up with rock, punk, ska and whatever suits us for the particular song we are working on - anything from Russian folk to German and Norwegian Polkas to The Clash and The Who.
What inspires you to make music?
Performance is one of the biggest inspirations. Getting to be the performer is such an honor. Being the catalyst of a memorable evening or festival is awesome. There can be great connections between the musicians and the audience. That is also why we draw so much inspiration from seeing other great performers, both in and out of our genre. When we're in an audience, we can't help but to learn something from every performer
- and it's the really great performers and memorable performances that
What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
We have been working towards a new album, we have about 85% of the material, and that is very exciting for us. We are taking our time and not trying to rush the process, even though we are chomping at the bit to get back into the studio.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
Sometimes the biggest hurdle for us is the fact that we do identify our music with a label like "Irish". That can get us pigeon-holed where bookers say "We don't do "Irish Music". Try the Pub around the corner".
Truth is we can share the stage with punk bands, rockabilly bands, rock bands, country bands, we've even done shows with metal bands where afterwards metal-heads have approached us with delight at seeing their hardcore metal friends try to dance a jig in the mosh pit! If we can get past the bookers idea of what our music might sound like, the audience is usually pleased and can really get into what we are doing.
What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
"If I Should Fall From Grace With God" by The Pogues. They have been and
continue to be a big influence on our music. As a band, they opened doors
for the "Irish Punk" genre. On this album in particular, they gave license
to "Irish" bands to branch out and not be tied down to music from one
island in Europe. They blend in Middle Eastern and Spanish Folk Music. Oh,
and didn't lose the Irish or the Punk in doing so.
Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
The Pogues - Saw them in Chicago in 2008. On stage were 7 guys in suits in their 50's & 60's, all playing their hearts out on acoustic instruments to 4000 people in a sold out hall with a mosh pit of at least 300 people. It was pure punk rock blended with amazing musicianship & showmanship.
They Might Be Giants - They are brilliant songwriters, amazing performers and are not tied to a genre. They know that accordions are cool and nerds rock. They make you laugh. Then think. Then "Ah ha.."
Billy Bragg - One-man pure punk rock, just four chords and the truth!
Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
Last August we released a 7 song EP for free download on our Bandcamp page. It had 7 songs that were recorded live in a session we did on Iowa Public Radio. They gave us the tracks after the session, and we thought we'd pay that forward. So go download your EP now at:
What is your ideal or target audience?
Anyone looking for a memorable show and catchy music. We seem to really appeal to fans of Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and The Pogues, and it's not too far of a stretch to figure out why, but we really resonate with people who are willing to push their musical boundaries to where good music is just good music and they can get whipped up into the show.
Do you write your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process.
We do write our own music. Michael, the lead singer, writes the songs, but there isn't one process for it. Sometimes it starts with a hook, or a line or a concept. To date, we have about 15 or 20 original songs, so having a defined process seems a little premature; we're still a work in progress.
What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
We love the reports and the close connection with the listeners. They can send us messages and share their email with us if they wish, and it's a very democratic system of listening - if they like the music, that's what they hear, if they don't then it doesn't get played. As an Artist, we can get music out to fans very quickly, and can see almost instantly how people react to the songs.
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** Optional - Interesting story about you, or anything extra you'd like to add:
The word "Langer" originated in the Irish county of Cork. It has several meanings, depending on context.
1) To be intoxicated
2) Foolish person
3) Eh... look up the 3rd definition for yourself...