13th Jul2009

Brendan Canty: The Interview

by Todd


The first time I saw Fugazi was in an elementary school gymnasium in one of the worst neighborhoods in downtown Detroit. It was $5 at the door (no advance tickets), no opener, no merchandise. Fugazi came on stage to a packed house and proceeded to issue one of the strongest statements on the power of punk rock music I ever witnessed. It was about the music with a sub-text of anti-commericialism, DIY, “Simple Living” philosophy. While some bands spend more time working on a philosophy than on the music, Fugazi also generated one of the most interesting sounds of any punk band of any generation. The start/stop, funk, jazz rhythms generated by vocals, guitars and drums were truly unique. Their drummer, Brendan Canty took a remarkable path upon completion of the last Fugazi record in 2001 and has become an acclaimed director, thanks to his work on the Wilco concert film, “Ashes of American Flags” and his own production company Trixie (a fascinating project on its own). The differences between the music of the two bands is obvious and makes the prospect of interviewing Brendan that much more exciting. Thusfar, we’ve posted audio interviews conducted at the CBS studios (Living Things) and in a hotel lobby (Peter Hook). Today, we’ll venture into the land of the telephone interview. We were fortunate to get Mr. Canty to spend a good 40 minutes with us on the phone while we wrestled with our new-fangled equipment. As always, I’ve left the interview unedited. While some interviewers would rather that you don’t hear the sound of disagreement, I think it’s interesting to hear where Brendan and I go down different paths on the subject of the Fugazi aesthetic as it applies to current bands. While our opinions may differ on some topics, there is no denying the talent of Brendan Canty and his impact on the history of music.

Brendan Canty Pt.1 [Play]

Brendan Canty Pt.2 [Play]

Brendan Canty Pt.3 [Play]

Brendan Canty Pt. 4 [Play]

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Albums of the Decade- #11-20 says:

    [...] 11) Fugazi- The Argument (2001) Recommended Track: Cashout Why We Love It: The last album from one of the greatest punk bands of all-time. A criminally under-rated album from a band that should have received even more accolades. By the time The Argument came out, this band had become far to complicated to be pigeon-holed as “punk”. Complex rhythm changes; on drums, guitars and vocals made this band a challenging and rewarding experience throughout their career. How many other legendary bands can claim that their last was a “classic”? To read our interview with Brendan Canty from Fugazi, click here. [...]

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