founder and leader of The Chieftains
Good afternoon Mr. Moloney, this is Nicholas Mani from Austin Entertainment Weekly. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I have the double honor of interviewing you today and performing with you next Wednesday as part of the St. Edward’s Masterworks Singers during your stop in Austin.
Ah, thank you so much Nicholas. I am really looking forward to visiting Austin. I have always loved the city. We have many friends there we’ve worked with over the years… Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, and Derek Belle. I worked with Lyle Lovett back in 1980 and was also given an honorary key to the city.
It is quite a city. Despite having grown tremendously over the years, it has maintained its charm and small town feel. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan. What was it like working with him?
We did some shows with Bob in Japan in the 1980’s. He was a very nice individual. Two of the songs I remember performing were “Long Journey Home” and “When the Ship Comes In.” I would have liked to do more but he was moving in a different direction musically at that time. Great man.
You did the soundtrack to Barry Lyndon in 1975, which was one of the events that propelled The Chieftains into a new level of success, especially in the United States. What was that experience like?
I remember being at a press conference and getting a call from Stanley Kubrick. He told me he was a fan and that he’d like us to do some songs for his new movie. I told him I would have to get back to him and when the folks at the press conference realized who was on the line they said I’d better take that call immediately. He was a lovely man, a true genius. I got along with him because he was crazy like me. He had my family and I out to his home in England where we had a huge dinner and shot fireworks. I have nothing but fond memories from that time.
I read that you worked with Madonna at one point. I am a huge fan of hers as well. What songs did you do?
(Laughing.) Oh, that was a rumor a friend of ours started. She was having breakfast in the hotel we were staying in and we sat next to her. A friend sort of took that experience and ran with it. We have actually never worked with her.
Yes! 52 years of The Chieftains and getting to know and working with younger musicians. We will be working with different talent in each city we visit. In Austin, The Pilatzke Brothers, John and Nathan, two amazing dancers, Tim Eadie, and Cara Butler. There will be lots of dancing and a pipe band, good Irish jigs, and a possible ode to Nelson Mandela.
That sounds amazing! Mr. Moloney, thank you so much for your time today. I know you are busy so I will let you go. It was been a true pleasure.
Thank you as well. Really looking forward to being in Austin!