Rick Barton, Continental – Interview

26 Oct

Rick Barton
Band: Everybody Out!

In the years that I’ve been doing this column, I’ve had the privilege to interview, and meet some of my heroes, and idols. But of all the people I’ve interviewed Rick Barton was the fastest response, and the least egotistical musician I have ever encountered. Most musicians I contact will only agree to be interviewed if they see my questions first or I take them out to dinner. But not Barton, accepted the questions, and we had this whole thing wrapped up inside of a week. Great guy, great musician. Maybe those Boston guys are a bit more grounded . . .

1. As one of the founding members of the Dropkick Murphys you played on Boys on the Docks EP, Do or Die, The Gang’s All Here, and the Mob Mentality split album with The Business, how long were you in the Dropkick Murphys?

We started the band in Jan 96’ and I left in Apr. of 2000. I am also on Sing Loud Sing Proud, which features about 10 songs that I was part of writing including The Torch, which I am currently playing live with my band Continental.

2. Why did you leave the Dropkick Murphys?

It’s a long and sad story but the gist of it is the whole thing happened really fast and as strange as this may sound I was ill prepared for success! As humans we can be locked in to a certain mentality and mine has always been one of immense hard work and struggle. This is the tradition I am currently carrying on.

3. In the early 1980’s you were a member of the popular Boston band The Outlets, maybe best known for their song “Knock Me Down.” How was it was it playing in a band with your Brother David Alex Barton in the band?

We grew up playing together so it was really all I knew. I was kind of wasted during that whole period. I pretty much existed to attain as much false pleasure as I could possibly get!

4. How long were you with the Outlets?

The Outlets main run was from late 79’ till 92’ of which I was always a part. The last 17yrs has pretty much been reunion shows of which I am not always a part! Ha ha ha

5. What prompted you to leave the Outlets?

I was always there I just despise reunions and I should know because I’ve done my fair share.

6. How soon after leaving the Outlets did you start forming the Dropkick Murphys?

I guess this one has already been answered. With a bit of quick arithmetic

7. My big question is “What happened to Sweeney Todd”? I heard he deleted your My Space page, and then put up a new one stating Everybody Out! Was a side project!

I really wish I knew. He just developed a strong hatred towards me and the rest of the band. I’m not even sure he knew our bass players name. But man that guy is a star we could have gone all the way! But instead I just went all the way into debt to the tune of about 25 grand! More hard work and struggle.

8. In May I read that Eric Della Barbara, from The Confrontation was chosen as the new singer for Everybody Out! How did Eric win this position?

We just started playing with Eric as he is a friend of ours.

9. The first Everybody Out! EP (which I’m lucky enough to have bought at TAANG) sold out rather quickly, and now every bit of press mentions the “Sold-Out” first EP, any plans to re-press it, or to have Curtis Casella over at TAANG release it?

It is the best thing we recorded but it would be an injustice to re-release it as it was a limited pressing.

10. Your second EP, Struggle & Strife features the song A Battle Song, which is featured in Rooters: The Birth of Red Sox Nation, how did the film makers come about choosing your song?

I just submitted it and they loved it.

11. In the early part of September you announced yet another band, Continental, with your Son Stephen. Over the weekend of September 12-13, 2009, you posted your new 4-song demo, which received 1,055+ hits, how did this band come about?

This is just me and my son with a few of his friends I promised him if he got good enough we’d do a little jamming and he got good enough!

12. Over the weekend of September 19-20, 2009, you have two shows with Everybody Out! with the Ducky Boys, and a show with Continental opening up for another Boston legend, Joe Perry. How do you land such great shows, and don’t you ever get tired?

We just get asked and show up. The great thing about working hard and struggling is I don’t have time to be tired. I still routinely put in 14 hr days swinging the paintbrush. I’ve also been flying down to Houston helping out my friends with their new album and I can easily work those guys under the table in sweltering 100-degree heat!

13. For those who don’t know the story, how did Everybody Out! come to be?

I met Old Sweeney when he was a young buck of 19 back in 97’ in England. I was completely blown away by his singing. We didn’t stay in touch but I ran into him at The Abby one night 10 yrs later and he asked me if I’d like to work with him.

14. When will we hear another Everybody Out! album?

Unfortunately maybe never. Although Sweeney despises me I just don’t think the band works without him. And that has nothing to do with Eric . Working with Eric is great! I’d rather saw off one of my arms than have to work with Sweeney again!

15. Are there any more unreleased Sweeney Todd tracks that may find there way onto future releases?

I actually do have some material. A bunch of acoustic stuff.

16. After two self-released EP’s how did you end up on Curtis’ legendary TAANG records?

Curtis loved the first EP and of course I’ve known him for almost 30 yrs.

17. Of all the labels I reviewed and/or interviewed Curtis Casella is the busiest label owner I know. He attends as many shows of his bands as possible, every time I call him he is in another state. How has being on TAANG benefited Everybody Out!?

Curtis helped us every step of the way including paying about 10 grand to get Sweeney a 3yr visa. That’s still quite disturbing to me that he was able to quit after someone went out on a limb for him like that. Oh well LSD.

18. As one of the biggest Everybody Out! fans in the world (I own both EP’s, the TAANG CD release, the LP version, and have the Japanese version with the album and first EP on one disk, on order) where can people order Everybody Out! merchandise, t-shirts, posters?

They can contact TAANG

19. There is a handful of Everybody Out! video clips on Sweeney’s You Tube page, are there any plans of doing an official DVD release of videos and concert footage?

I think that would be a great idea!

20. As I mentioned in past Mike Check column’s on Strange Reaction, Everybody Out! is the best new band in the last twenty years, how long do see this lasting?

Well I guess I already answered that one too! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Sorry man but that’s the music biz.

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