Published Jul 01, 2002Brendan Kelly is the bassist and singer from Chicago punk band Lawrence Arms. Their latest album, Apathy and Exhaustion, is out now on Fat Wreck Chords.
Right now, I'm really into polish sausage and beef tacos from Taco Bell. I just started eating meat again after about seven years of being vegetarian and these are the best forms of meat that I've found so far. Also, Dillinger 4, the new Andy Richter show, baseball, Chicago history, beer, vodka and impersonating a priest.
Mind-altering work of art:
A Brief History of Time by Steve Hawking. Once you read that, nothing is the same.
Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
National Dust at the L&L Tavern in Chicago. They are just two of my friends who can't really play their instruments very well (drums and an acoustic guitar with a pickup in it) rocking with all their hearts and souls, playing songs that they wrote and love in my favourite bar in the world. It was the only show that they ever played and it totally reminded me why I fell in love with this music and lifestyle in the first place.
What has been your career high and low?
Our career low was definitely getting stranded in London after our tour manager threw all of our gear out of his van and drove away, leaving us stranded the night before we were supposed to fly home.
Our career high happens every time we play in Chicago. Nothing is better than playing a good show in your hometown.
What should everyone shut up about?
Dashboard Confessional. That guy is a dong huffer.
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
Lots of things. That's the greatest part of being in a band: helping people. We are always down to play to help out any good cause. As a band that tours all the time, it's about the only thing we can really do to help out around this planet.
What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?
I love that I'm perfect. I hate that I'm so modest.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
If they betrayed my trust. Uh, usually I just leave rather than barking orders at people.
When I think of Canada I think:
Canada is right on. The U.S. could really learn a lot from Canada. Your domestic and foreign policies are so much more in tune with my own beliefs, not to mention that every city I've been to in Canada has been great. The only downside is that your border patrol guys are dicks to me every time. Goes with the job, I guess.
What is your vital daily ritual?
Getting as drunk as possible before I fall asleep.
How do you spoil yourself?
I don't really do that. My needs are pretty simple and I don't really buy anything besides food and beer.
What was your most memorable day job?
Working at McDonald's. Right before the night manager moved to become the full-on manager of another McDonald's, he took me out by the dumpsters and looked up at the stars and reminisced about how much he was gonna miss that location. Things like: "Ah, old Joe, who comes in every morning and gets a paper and a cup of coffee, and just sits and looks out the window....take care of him for me, Brendan." It was the most pathetic display I have ever seen.
If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Probably doing something that had to do with movies. That's what I went to college for.
What is your greatest fear?
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Flying. Anyone who says anything else is stupid.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
My girlfriend. Also porn.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Yeah, I play music with two other dudes.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
I met Little Richard in the lobby of a hotel in Hollywood. I was piss drunk and I ran up and pushed through his bodyguards and told him what an honour it was to meet him. I extended my hand for him to shake it and he handed me some kind of religious book, told me that it would help me get my life back on track and then walked away.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Selling more records. My mom is pretty cool.