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Mighty Mighty Bosstones


Arts Writer

The many, many faces of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Eight years after the release of its first album, "Devil's Night Out," Boston's The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is kicking down the door to widespread fame with its fifth album, "Let's Face It."

"We've been friends for a long time," said front man Dicky Barrett last Friday night before the Bosstones' SOMA show. "We grew up together. We'll be friends even when we're not doing music together.

"More people know about what we're doing (musically these days). It's not a lot different (from when we started); it doesn't feel different. I still go at it with the same head and the same heart, so it doesn't feel different to me," Barrett said. "I know what it is that I want to do. I know what is important to me Ñ that when people see us and are around us that they have a good time."

The band's new single, "The Impression That I Get," seems to be getting more airplay every day. The Bosstones' style is a mix of ska and punk that has been gaining a large amount of radio and MTV support lately. But that doesn't seem to affect Barrett.

"I don't like to think of it as a trend," he said. "I don't want to be any part of a trend. I don't want to get all whirlwinded up in a trend with a bunch of bands that don't have what we built this on, and when it's all over, we kind of get discarded like that. I hope that doesn't happen, but you never know. We really don't know how to function if we're not running around being Bosstones."

The band's newest release is the culmination of two years of hard work.

"It took two years, and only then, because we wanted to do it, to take that much time," said Barrett. "We afforded ourselves that much time. We thought about it a lot Ñ much more than the other (albums). I don't think it's any better or any worse. It's a Bosstones record.

"I think it's different, not from all of them. I think they are all different from each other. I think 'Devil's Night Out' is nothing like 'More Noise' and 'Other Disturbances,' and that's nothing like 'Don't Know How to Party.'

"'Don't Know How to Party' is nothing like 'Question the Answers' to me. I think that there is always similar elements that come up because of who we are and the way we were ... 'Let's Face It' seems different because of the musical climate. When 'Devil's Night Out' came out, no one else was doing anything like that."

The Bosstones' music has always been about tolerance. The band has a standing relationship with the Anti-Racist Action Group, which, due to its presence at the Bosstones' shows, has increased the membership of local chapters across the United States.

"I'd like to be remembered as a decent dude," said Barrett, "a guy people cared about. A nice guy. I don't like fÑking with people. I try to get along."

This desire carries through into the Bosstones' music and its relationships with its fans. The band members take the time to get to know their fans by talking with them and signing autographs, and the fans return the favor by following the band all over the country.

And life on the road seems to agree with Barrett.

"It's a nice life; it really is," he said. "I enjoy it a lot, and if you like it, it's a great life. It's fun; you go places and people are excited to see you. You get to do something you created. I want to take advantage of this so that when I am gray I won't say, 'Geez, I wonder what that would have been like.'"

Next up for the Bosstones is this summer's Horde Tour. And according to Barrett, after that, "naps, decent naps."