From an Irish pub to an Academy Award-winning movie: The Mahones have come a long way in 30 years. Heralded as pioneers of the Irish punk scene, and internationally recognized as one of the best and hardest working punk outfits around, The Mahones formed on St. Patrick’s Day in 1990, and have been working on their own brand of Irish punk ever since. With a working-class ethic and a love of classic punk, Dublin-born Finny McConnell (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Songwriter) formed the band to combine his love of punk rock with his Irish culture.
The Mahones have released an incredible ten studio albums, three compilation albums, two live albums, and two EPs. The band has toured through 35 countries internationally, headlined festivals all over the world, and has been honoured to share a stage with nearly all of their favourite bands. The band grew from Irish pubs and punk squats to halls, theatres and arenas, touring relentlessly since their start, and is famous for an incredible high-energy live show.
The Mahones latest albums Love – Death – Redemption, The Irish Songs, and Punk Rock Saved My Life (The Covers) were released to critical praise in fall 2018 and summer 2019. The Mahones brand new UnPlugged album will be officially released worldwide in early 2020, followed by a brand new studio album and a 30 Anniversary World Tour in 2020!
- What passion project are you working on these days?
I am writing a new Mahones album now, putting together our new 30th Anniversary Best Of album, and working on our Live In Hamburg album that we recorded in Germany on Friday the 13, March 2020
- What first inspired you to become a musician? What was your training?
I can really go back to when I was a little child in grade 3 at school in Kingston, Canada. I was invited on stage by a band on the Island Queen boat. I got up on stage to play sing The Beatles song “Rain” (I love that song) with them and never looked back. I knew this was what I wanted to do then and there. I now wanted to play live concerts and make albums.
The was also that time was when I moved to England in 1985 and leaving my band The Filters in Kingston, Ontario (with Gord Downie and Rob Baker who would soon form The Tragically Hip at Queen’s University). When I first got off the plane in London, England I went straight to Piccadilly Circus and bumped into The Clash in the now gone Regent’s Palace Hotel. I knew then I had landed in the right city to start my professional music career. I am a huge fan of The Clash.
I was musically trained by my all-time favourite teacher Ted Brown at K.C.V.I. in Kingston for great 9 to 13th as a classical 1st Trombone player, and I did five years on dark streets of London, England learning to write songs and play the guitar between 1985 to 1989. Then I formed The Mahones in 1990 and never looked back!
- What are some challenges that you have faced while building a career in the arts and how did you overcome them?
It has been very difficult to have a family when you are away so much. I do the best I can, and I love to take my son Kevin on world tours with me. He is 19 now, graduated from art school, and ready to go. I love it when he joins us on tour.
- What lessons have you learned that has proven the most valuable?
Loyalty and trust and the most important to me in this business. Don’t lie, steal or be an asshole, and we will get along just fine. And do your homework!
- What is your WHY? (why do you do what you do?)
My WHY is I do this because I LOVE THIS. I worked very hard for the last 30 years to make 21 albums, got record deals in Canada (True North), Europe (Wolverine), and USA (Sailor’s Grave) and I get to do all these amazing world tours with my band The Mahones. We have played in over 30 countries now and headline festivals all over the world. I live my dream and I got to play guitar on tour with British punk legends and my pals, UK SUBS. Life is great. Pinch me, please!!!