The new album from The Lawrence Arms, ‘Metropole‘ has been out for a couple of weeks now on Epitaph Records. Hopefully you’ve had the chance to give it a spin. If not, fix that pronto! This week in The Hotseat, we caught up with Brendan Kelly from the band to answer our questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers. Grab a copy of the album [Here] if you are yet to do so.
Name : Brendan
Band : The Lawrence Arms
Job In Band : I sing and play bass
Website Address : Twitter.com/thelawrencearms
Hometown : Chicago
Hometown is best known for : Hotdogs, pizza, bad weather, bad baseball, tall buildings, murder, Al Capone
Best venue in your hometown : Metro
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Hmmmm. K’naan at Metro was amazing. Real good vibe in that one. Willie Nelson at Ravinia was also great.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Our ten year anniversary show at Metro was spectacular. People came from all over the world for that one. Truly a humbling experience.
How did the band first come to exist? We were three guys who needed something to do before the bars opened and Neil had a practice space in his basement.
How long has the band been going? Oh man. 15 years in Feb of 2014
Any particular story behind the name? It was a building Chris and I lived in on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago when the band started.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… It’s called Metropole and it’s our first record in 8 years. It’s on Epitaph records and it’s probably the dickswinginest record on your list that has a lyric about a naked wet old man with a saggy ass.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? It’s all pretty amazing, honestly. Just getting to go all over the world and do this stuff. I also fucked every single member of Metallica, Sum 41, Blink, Linkin Park and Garbage (except Shirley Manson [her penis was too big]) on the last Soundwave tour. That was cool.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Chris and I both got guitars when we were 12. When we realized that our favorite Jawbreaker, Dead Milkmen and Bad Religion songs were easy enough to play after just a few months, we kind of realized that we could maybe pull off being in a band.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Appetite for Destruction. Straight Outa Compton. No Control. How To Clean Everything. Buzz by a band called Fifteen that probably hasn’t gotten much exposure down in Oz.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Oh man…I was in a band called the eggs of the insane and we played kind of stoner punk funk a la the Dead Milkmen when I was 11 or 12.
Most prized music related item you own? Either my 75 Martin Acoustic, or, more likely, my 78 Les Paul Custom (black). Now, if I could only learn to play em.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Hanging out with my wife and/or kids, drinking beer, writing stuff, riding bikes, reading, dicking around on Twitter (@badsandwich)
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Getting away from my kids’ crazy demands and schedule for a while
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Having to leave my kids.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Beer. Easy.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? I really love Australia, and I’m not just kissing y’alls ass. Maybe it’s because we don’t get down there much and it’s just so far, but it’s always been spectacular. Last time, after the Soundwave orgy of delights, we went to New Zealand. That was amazing too.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Oh man. I hate this question. We’ve been a band for 15 years and played well over a thousand shows. So much stuff has happened I can’t pick a moment. In LA about 6 years ago, two people got kicked out for fucking in the pit. I guess that was kind of cool. Apparently there was a third guy there who just had his thumb in someone’s ass. I don’t know if he was part of the action or not, but he got kicked out too. That really has nothing to do with my memories…I didn’t even see it go down, but it’s a cool story, right?
Got a favourite song to play live? I like to play Like A Record Player and Brick Wall Views the best because they seem like the two opposite sides of what we’re trying to do as a band, and they both go over well with crowds, AND, they happen to be two of my favorite songs we’ve written, as well.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Once in LA, same stage as the fucking incident above, but about 3 years before, someone put something in my drink before we went on and I just kind of flopped around like an asshole for an hour in front of a sold out crowd while Chris and Neil had to carry on the show. At one point I was face down on the stage for a whole song. I came to right after the show with no memory of even walking off the stage. It was scary and embarrassing.
Any pre-show rituals? Nah. Have a beer. Don’t have too many. Eat some food. Don’t eat too much. Warm up, don’t blow your voice out. Suck a quick penis and head out on the stage.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? I don’t know. There are people out there who dig ditches for a living, and I’m not gonna pretend for a second that this job, though demanding at times, has anywhere near the hardships of most jobs. I do miss my kids a lot when I’m gone. But hey, it’s not like I have to miss their birthday because I have to go hose down a nuclear reactor. I have to miss a week of school to go play shows in California. It ain’t bad, man.
Last song you listened to? Some classic rock bullshit my wife was just listening to.
Last album you picked up? Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap mixtape
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Menzingers. They’re great.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? We’re going on tour and promoting our new record. We’ll see if we can’t get to Australia in the next little bit. I’d really like to go back.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Fifteen Buzz, because it’s great, it’s such an important record to us, it’s easy and we could make it sound pretty great, since the original is really, really raw and low fi.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Eminem. Because why would I aim lower than that?
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? The original guns n roses. The original NWA
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? Sydney Opera House
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Alkaline Trio. Those guys are my best friends. It would be fun.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. Menzingers and Off With Their Heads maybe? That could be cool.
Got any final words? I’ve got a beautiful penis, but it’s only the third most beautiful one in the band.
THE LAWRENCE ARMS – ‘Metropole‘
Available now on Epitaph Records.
Grab it on CD [Here], Digitally [Here] and on Vinyl [Here].