11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory is the ninth studio album by American band Dropkick Murphys and was released on January 6, 2017, on the band's Born & Bred Records label. It is the band's first studio album in four years since 2013's Signed and Sealed in Blood. The album was announced on November 3, 2016, and a video for the song "Blood" was released on the same day. Fans that pre-ordered the album received a digital download of "Blood", "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Paying My Way".
In May 2016, the band started posting videos from the recording the album in El Paso, Texas which they said expected to have released by the end of the year or early 2017.
"To me, the whole journey starts with the fact we actually agreed to go – and then went – to Texas. Because we've never left home to make a record. As everyone's lives have become crazier and busier with kids and families, it's gotten harder to buckle down at home. We decided to leave Boston, go down to literally the middle of nowhere and lock ourselves in a room" Ken Casey said.
The album was influenced the band's work with The Claddagh Fund, a charity the band established in 2009 to help support addiction recovery as well as children's and veterans' organizations. "Rebels with a Cause" was written about kids who are given up on, and left behind by a system that has written them off as hopeless. "Paying My Way" is about the way up and out of addiction and the dream of bigger and better things in life. "4-15-13" pays homage to the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, most of whom the band grew to know personally after visits to their hospital rooms in the aftermath. "Since that day, we felt like not taking the challenge to write a song about what we all went through would be taking the coward’s way out. We put more importance on writing that piece of music than anything we’ve ever done, because if you're going to touch that day, it has to be done right. We went through so many emotions with that whole experience, as did everyone in Boston. It changed the city forever," Casey said. Tim Brennan said of the album "we've stayed true to what the band is and has always been. And we're still expanding on our sound and lyrical content."
In a December 2, 2016 video, Ken Casey discussed the reasons behind the band covering "You'll Never Walk Alone". "As you may know, opiate overdoses are an epidemic in America now particularly in this area. I've been to thirty wakes in two years, three this week, one being my cousin, Al's lost a brother in law. It's hit home close to us. I was leaving one of the wakes and this song came on and as I was listening to the lyrics it summed up exactly how I was feeling. Sad but knowing there is hope. You never have to be alone. I hope you like our version" Casey said.
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