“This is the best of what we do best,” vows The Mighty Mighty BossToneS vocalist Dicky Barrett of their socially-charged upbeat and optimistic new album While We’re At It, which is due out on July 27th via their very own Big Rig Records. “It’s us firing on all of our cylinders. This is where we’re at in our lives with no regrets.”
Their 10th studio album was produced and mixed by Grammy Award winning producer Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Lucero, The Bouncing Souls, The Gaslight Anthem) and mastered by Grammy Award-nominated Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan) at Sterling Sound. This collection of timeless soon-to-be ska classics brings to light current events and showcases the band’s signature ska-core sound. It’s a very intellectual approach that paints a lyrical picture with upbeat and optimistic brush strokes.
“That song was based on the insignificance of what we truly are, up against the importance of what we are,” says Dicky Barrett. “Our place in the universe and who we think we are versus who we really are. It flip-flops back and forth between those two thoughts, ultimately landing on the importance of love and unity.”
The title was inspired by something Barrett’s dad liked to say back in the day: “It’s a wonderful day for the race.” “I was always caught off guard,” says Barrett. “As a dopey kid, I would go, ‘What race?’ And he would always go, ‘The human race.’ It’s a tribute to him as well as a good message. We’re lucky to have what we have. We have this day, and we have who we are in ourselves. If that’s your starting point, that’s pretty damn good.”
“I read While We’re At It lyrics as a timely and thoughtful dispatch for citizens of an increasingly complicated world,” describes bassist Joe Gittleman. “Some of the commentary and meaning is clear or sort of worn on the album’s sleeve.” From celebrating our significance (“Wonderful Day For The Race”) to the desecration, destruction, and demolition of a historic Boston neighborhood (“The West End”) to loss (“In Honor Of”) to the classic American working-class story of the under-appreciated laborer being chewed up, passed over, mistreated, ignored, and finally spit out by the heartless corporation (“The Constant”) to being blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios in the 1950s (“Hugo’s Wife”) to railing against the current state of American politics (“Divide”, “Here We Are”) – While We’re At It chronicles the harsh realities of life and gives hope for a better future.
Nine years later, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS trilogy is finally complete. “Pin Points and Gin Joints is about the journey, the story, and the people involved,” explains Barrett. “It looks fondly and proudly at where they’ve been and who they are and ultimately comes to the conclusion that there is so much more to do and see. The Magic of Youth is an album filled with hope and great optimism. Finally, While We’re At It applies the wisdom while maintaining an understanding that some things might be out of your control. Its most powerful message is it’s not what you had or what you have or what you hold onto – it’s how you handle what you’re handed when it’s handed to you.”
The unstoppable and tried and true The Mighty Mighty BossToneS are Dicky Barrett (vocals), Joe Gittleman (bass fiddleman), Chris Rhodes (trombone), Tim Burton (saxophone), Joe Sirois (drums), Leon Silva (saxophone), Ben Carr (dancer), Lawrence Katz (guitar), and John Goetchius (keyboard).