Want to go?
• WHAT: Molly Hatchet
• WHEN: 3 p.m. June 5
• WHERE: Rockin’ Horse Show Arena, Rockin’ Horse Entertainment Complex, 3110 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
• COST: $10-25/ticket
• INFO: ohiobikeweek.com
Musical purists may scoff at the idea of a classic rock band touring without any of its original members still involved. However, most fans don’t give a squat as long as the group in question plays the hits, plays in tune and provides a fun-filled walk down memory lane.
That’s why southern rock act Molly Hatchet is still — well, forgive us — flirtin’ with disaster over 30 years later. Leading the Jacksonville, Florida band’s charge is guitarist Bobby Ingram, who joined the outfit in 1986, making him the longest running member of the group. Funcoast talked to Ingram about the group’s continued appeal, its June 5 appearance at Ohio Bike Week and the band’s penchant for scary album covers.
Q: Molly Hatchet has been touring though Ohio for decades. What is it about the band’s music and the Buckeye State?
A: Ohio has been wonderful for the band through the years. We have such a large fanbase in that area. Ohio is hometown America. So we totally relate to that. The people are so nice every time we’ve been there. You know, Molly Hatchet is a blue-collar band, and we play the people’s music.
It’s southern rock, and they can relate to us because we’re just common people. We’re not presumptuous people. I mow my grass, take my garbage out, go to WalMart and go to the $1 carwash like everyone else. I don’t live in highfalutin place. I guess we are who we are and that translates to our music.
Q: How does your music translate to the Ohio Bike Week crowd?
A: I think we’ve been able to relate to a lot of different organizations and definitely relate to the biker community. We’ve done international Harley-Davidson festivals overseas with 60,000 people in Germany. We have that on DVD. And we did just about every bike fest, from Sturgis to Daytona. We’ve done them all across the United States for many, many years. It’s a very strong following, a very strong community that stands behind the band. That’s what we love, that dedication and support. It’s what keeps us out here on the road. And hell, how do you get better than a bike show? It’s great.
Q: What’s new in the world of Molly Hatchet this year?
A: There’s a lot happening. We’re still on our Justice Tour. We released our 18th Molly Hatchet studio album last year, and we’ve already been to Europe twice on it. We’re getting ready to go back in a couple of weeks. We’re going over to Sweden and will be doing a brand-new DVD with Ozzy Osbourne at the Sweden Rock Festival.
And we have a greatest hits part two album coming out. To have a band that has a greatest hits part one, you’re blessed. We’re thankful we’re able to be here and the fans support us for this long and to be able to come out with a greatest hits part two.
Q: No offense, but it’s probably safe to say the majority of your mainstream fans don’t know your recent music.
A: They don’t. But the fans have been around for so long now, we are seeing our veteran core fans from the ‘70s and ‘80s. They’re bringing their children. We heard so many times, “Molly Hatchet was my first concert in 1978, and I’m here with my son and this is his first concert.”
Q: Finally, speaking of being young and Molly Hatchet, I can remember when I was a kid being scared to death of your first few album covers. What gives?
A: Frank Frazetta did the first three albums, and it kind of stuck like a trademark. It’s tough. The music is tough. I’d say Molly Hatchet is the toughest of the southern rock bands out there, and we’ve proven it through the decades.
Molly Hatchet plays at 3 p.m. June 5 at the Rockin’ Horse Show Arena, 3310 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets are $10 to $25. For more information visit ohiobikeweek.com.