Brendan Kelly – Interview

Punk musician Brendan Kelly recently released a new album with his side project Brendan Kelly & the Wandering Birds. Find out how things have been going for him and the rest of the band below!

By Jane Howkins

You’ve just released a new album titled Keep Walkin’ Pal. How has the reception been so far?

Ha! It’s been terrible! I could be mistaken, but I believe you guys gave it a pretty bad review. That aside (and I’m kinda just busting your balls), it’s been extremely polarising. Some people are super into it, and some people just don’t get it. I expected as much. It’s not what anyone was expecting. I predict that someday in the future, history will look back fondly on this record. Well, I hope so. What the fuck do I know?

What can you tell us about it for our readers who haven’t checked it out yet?

It’s not a punk record. It’s uh… it’s a soundtrack for driving around at night with a handful of pills doing very bad things with scantily clad people. It’s a pretty good soundtrack for that.

You released a couple of singles titled Shitty Margarita and Black Cat Boy. Why did you decide to release those tracks as singles and what can you tell us about them? Do you have any more singles planned?

Shitty Margarita is a pretty simple song. It just seemed like a single. It’s about finding joy in the disgusting. So is Black Cat Boy, for that matter. Uh… actually, that’s what the whole record is about, now that I think about it. I will release every song on this record as a single if there’s enough interest. I’m pretty stoked on all of ’em.

You’ve got some tour dates coming up in the States. Are you looking forward to going out on the road again?

Yeah. I like playing these songs and I like being out by myself. All these dates are acoustic. I don’t have an actual band for this project. It’s too complicated to do simply and not enough people care to make it financially viable, not that I’m ruled by money or anything – but I can’t go out and lose money. I’m too old for that shit.

Do you have any UK tour dates planned for the future? If so, when and where can we expect to see you?

Not as of now, but hit me up. I’d love to come back to the UK

Why do you think people should come and see you live, and what can people expect from a show?

I like meeting people and I think the shows are pretty fun. Expect some semi heartfelt, sometimes well performed songs and a lot of semi witty repartee.

Brendan – you’re perhaps more well known for being a member of The Lawrence Arms. How do the Wandering Birds differ from that band and why did you decide to move away from The Lawrence Arms?

Well, they’re totally different bands in totally different genres. I love being in The Lawrence Arms, but I have other stuff that interests me that just wouldn’t fly as Lawrence Arms material. That’s what this band is for. Plus, I do the birds with my old friend Nick who is brilliant, and he blows my mind every time we collaborate.

What other projects are you working on? Can we expect any more music from The Lawrence Arms in the near future?

Yup. That’s the next thing I’m gonna do.

The band is a bit of a collective, featuring members from others bands such as Alkaline Trio and Atlas Studios. How did you all get together, and how is the writing and recording process different from with your other groups?

I’m lucky enough that these very talented people have not yet figured out that I’m a charlatan. These guys all expressed interest in helping me make this thing come to life, and I wrote the songs and sent out demos, then discussed with them how I’d like to see them develop. Then once they did the basic instrumentation, I did the vocals and lead guitars. When I do anything else, the beginning part of the process is the same, but the part where the whole song is delivered to me to sing over is a different experience. It’s like being Ariana Grande or something.

Any last words for the fans?

Um, thanks for listening if you have. And if you haven’t, give it a listen, and come see me if I come to your town. I promise I’m pretty nice and fun. Thanks!