Kelly made the announcement via his Twitter account.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:18 PM (PST) by Daron
Kelly made the announcement via his Twitter account.
Monday, November 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM (PST) by jaystone
Dying Scene last touched base with the inimitable Brendan Kelly back in early February. At the time, we discussed the budding relaunch of The Falcon, a band that had already been a pseudo-supergroup and was now adding Dave Hause to the lineup. The band’s first album in close to a decade, Gather Up The Chaps, was still a month-or-so from being released. The band’s first-ever tour dates were booked, but hadn’t kicked off yet. Donald Trump hadn’t yet won so much as a primary, his Presidential bid still widely considered a punchline.
When we learned that The Falcon were going to take a break of indeterminate length after their recent bunch of tour dates, we decided it would be the perfect time to catch up with Beex again to bookend what some (read as: nobody but me until just now) have referred to as The Year Of The Falcon. As it turns out, an awful lot can happen in nine fucking months. Gather Up The Chaps was released to stellar reviews. The initial run of a dozen-or-so tour dates ended up extending to close to four-dozen dates in three countries over the better part of the year. And Personified Fart Donald J. Trump is President-Elect of the United States of America. Talk about taking the good with the bad…
We caught up with Beex in person prior to The Falcon’s recent gig at Firehouse 13 in Providence as a bit of a postmortem on the latest incarnation of the band. “This is it for a while,” says Kelly rather diplomatically, before quickly pointing out that it is not, by any means, the end of The Falcon as we know it. “This is just the last tour on the album cycle.“ And while there may not be any pending Falcon plans in the near future, don’t you dare use the ‘H-word’ to describe the break in the action. “You know what annoys me?” asks Kelly before diving immediately into the otherwise rhetorical question. “So many bands make these giant proclamations where they’re like (*mock rock star voice*) ‘We’re going on hiatus now.’…It seems to me that it’s just simply a press release so that they can still maintain a little bit of juice while they’re not active on the road. I don’t need to get into any of that nonsense.”
So instead referring to that-which-shall-not-be-named, we’ll call it what it ultimately is: the end of an album cycle. “we just toured on the record, and now tour’s over and there’s other things to do. We’re (all) still cool.” Instead of diving in to a new tour or a new studio album, the individual Power Rangers will focus on their other projects before someday returning to initiate the Falcon Megazord again some day. Hause, for starters, has his third solo studio album in the bag, set for release this coming February. And Kelly? “The next thing I want to do is put out a Wandering Birds record,” he says, much to the delight of yours truly, who still finds I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever amongst his favorite albums of the last half-decade. He adds: “I think The Lawrence Arms needs to get back out on the road a little bit, to remind people that we exist.”
Still, in spite of the fact that the one door closing temporarily allows for the reopening of a few other awesome doors, there are those among us who A) really dig the resurgent Falcon and especially dig Gather Up The Chaps and B) who can envision this project existing as a regular thing going forward. While Kelly is quick to point out that a lot of people seem to agree that this album is something to be proud of and that the shows are a lot of fun, he also points out that “it’s important for us to keep it a little bit lean in order to keep it interesting,” perhaps mindful of making sure they don’t overstay their welcome. He explains: “It’s important to be cognizant of what you’re throwing out there. We’re not a young, hungry, up-and-coming band, like PUP or something where people see it and are like “oh my gosh! There’s this new band you’ve never heard of! You have to come!” With us, it’s like “oh, it’s those guys that you’ve seen in various incarnations for the last twenty years!”
The Falcon project, and the addition of Hause in particular, seems to have recharged Kelly a bit, opening his mind to new, or at least different, ways of working. “It’s easy to get surrounded,” says Kelly, particularly of his working relationship with Andriano, with whom he’s been working since their mid-teenage years in Slapstick, “in this echo chamber, where we all grew up doing things the same way, and now we come into this band, and it’s like “oh, you’re a meticulous, attention-to-detail kind of guy. You’re very precise!” Where meanwhile, I’m more improve, you know what I mean? That tension is really cool, and it’s informed my worldview. I think it’s informed Dave’s worldview. I think we’ve learned a lot from each other. That’s kinda the coolest part about this journey so far, for me.”
For Kelly and his bandmates, and for many of us, it seems from Jump Street that the prospects of a Brendan Kelly-Dan Andriano-Neil Hennessy-Dave Hause supergroup taking the scene by storm seemed to be more than a little awe-inspiring. “Whenever you start doing something new, you get that kind of “new girlfriend syndrome,” where you think, like, “this is going to be the best ever!” There was a point where I think we all had pretty grandiose ideas about what was going to happen,” Kelly explains, his voice still full of excitement at the prospects. “Did those things happen? No. But it’s been awesome. It’s been really, really fun. We’ve made great friends, we’ve played great shows, we’ve become closer as dudes. Those things are so much more invaluable than some sort of fleeting twenty minutes of playing the big stage at Reading or whatever. That shit is fleeting and comes and goes. The real building-blocks experiences out of this have been totally beyond my expectations.”
And so, it’s on to the next phase, and on to writing music under the umbrella of a Trump Presidency. But he’s also, got to get a real job. “My job kinda…ended. I was like a permanent freelancer at this ad agency, and they let go all the freelancers at once. And I had been there for four years. So…I mean it’s fine. But I’ve got to get a job.” That’s a bit more of a daunting task when you’re forty, and when you’ve only had to get a job once before. “The thing is, I never really had a job before. I’ve always done this. The band I was in in high school (Slapstick) was fortunate enough that, through whatever stroke of cosmic dumbassery, we became very popular and I haven’t had to have a real job since then. I’ve been lucky enough to stay on the road and keep making music. So this job that I was at for four years was the first job I ever had… before that…”drank beer in a van for twenty-five years!”
Something tells us that ol’ Beex will do just fine for himself. Head below to check out our full interview. We talk about more than just The Falcon, naturally. There’s the whole but about “punching babies in the face,” and a particularly interesting story about an encounter with a fan in Texas while on the tour as a seventeen-year-old that continues to influence the way that he writes music as a forty-year-old! And if you’re so inclined, check out our photo gallery from the aforementioned Providence show here.
Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 1:26 PM (PST) by PunksinVegas
Brendan Kelly of The Falcon, The Wandering Birds and Lawrence Arms recently unplugged for a Punks in Vegas Stripped Down Session. The singer/songwriter played three songs acoustic in the back of the Beauty Bar in Las Vegas before The Falcon’s tour kickoff show; “Dead Rose,” “Unicornography” and previously unreleased Wandering Birds song “Hugs.”
Check out the video along with Brendan’s upcoming tour dates below.
The Falcon released “Gather Up The Chaps” earlier this year via Red Scare Industries.
Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 11:59 AM (PST) by jaystone
There are a few ways to handle the composition of an interview introduction. Generally speaking, I’ll spend 500-1000 words composing a rough sketch of a story, that does its best to highlight the noteworthy parts of a conversation. This is not most interviews.
Brendan Kelly has long been one of the more enigmatic personalities in this little scene of ours, whether in real life via bands like Slapstick and The Lawrence Arms and The Wandering Birds and The Falcon, or, more recently in the virtual world (is “virtual” still a word?) that is Twitter, where his personal and Nihilist Arbys accounts are must-follows. The latter of the above-mentioned bands, The Falcon has reformed, adding Dave Hause to the already vaunted lineup that included Kelly, his fellow Lawrence Arms bandmate Neil Hennessy, and, of course, Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano. On March 18th, the new lineup will release the band’s sophomore followup to their 2006 debut, Unicornography, which remains the largest-selling album in their label, Red Scare Industries, decade-long history. The new album, Gather Up The Chaps, which is a dozen tracks that are just as weird and twisted and awesome and dark and depraved as you’d hope for.
So there. There’s your intro to our interview, because this one stands alone. Without engaging in too much self-congratulatory ball washing, it’s smart, it’s funny, it’s a little strange, it takes some unexpected turns. We spend a lot of time talking about the origin, and rebirth, of The Falcon, the different elements that Andriano and Hause bring to the songwriting table, and Tyler The Creator…and Dostoevsky…and killing hookers and leaving them under the crawlspace. Because you’d expect nothing less.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 12:05 PM (PST) by vivalalexy
Some of you may know about the twitter account @Nihilist_Arbys, which has existed for months, spewing darkly comedic nihilist rhetoric under the guise of Arby’s restaurant. The AV Club recently released a video sent to them, supposedly from the Twitter account, that shows Brendan Kelly of The Lawrence Arms leading similar nihilist philosophies and eating Arby’s.
Check out the madness below.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 3:33 PM (PST) by Shawn-Ray Dalinsky
Brendan Kelly last released a split EP with Sam Russo, Split The Tip, this past May via Red Scare Industries, while the Lawrence Arms released their latest full-length Metropole, last February through Epitaph Records.
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM (PST) by redscaretoby
Red Scare Industries has announced the official full lineup for their 10 year celebration weekend happening in Chicago over the weekend of October 24th.
Here’s a message from the label:
“Another thing we wanna add is that we will be doing giveaways for people who are there at the start of the Metro show. Some folks are gonna win VIP tickets which will include a table and chairs in the balcony. You will have a waiter/waitress taking your drink order. COME ON! In addition to the VIP seats, we’ll also be giving away some Red Scare relics to the early birds. Cool, right?”
Check out the full list of bands and set times below.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 12:44 PM (PST) by Bizarro Dustin
Brendan Kelly is a pretty well known name in the modern punk scene. From every single one of the bands he’s played in, to the lengthy blog ramblings, to his oft-retweeted one liners on Twitter, Kelly has become as big a celebrity as a punk can become without turning his music into a Broadway musical (probably). Sam Russo, on the other hand, is not as well known. That said, the more-folk-than-punk singer has been around the block: two years ago he joined Kelly and Dan Andriano on their European tour, and in 2013 he was signed to Red Scare Industries and traveled the US with Masked Intruder and Elway. Regardless of much weight their name carries in the scene, the two have teamed up together to release the four song split EP, Split the Tip, highlighting what gives them their own unique voices and styles.
[Wait! Before I go any further, I was wrong. Laura Jane Grace is definitely a bigger punk rock celebrity, but Kelly is still up there]
The split starts off with two new tracks from Sam Russo. In case you missed out on Storm last year, fret not: you won’t be lost as Russo’s contributions to this split pick up right where his debut album left off. Sam Russo has a lot of sad stories to tell, and he tells them with nothing more than his acoustic guitar (okay, and sometimes some soft percussion and a second vocal track). “Small Town Shoes” immediately jumps into heartache: “You don’t mean nothing to me” is the very first line, and its followed closely by “She meant nothing to me”. His second track,“Crayfish Tales”, eases up on the sadness a little bit. A somber tune at the beginning, the song goes from dropping lines like “I can’t stand when I’m alone” and transitions to nostalgia: “I guess the fire in my soul just needed a poke, so you took the poker with both hands and you gave it a stoke.” In a few ways, Russo’s storytelling makes him a bit like a British Dan Andriano (or at least like Frank Turner if Frank Turner didn’t shout at much).
Side B kicks off with Kelly’s “Frangelico Houston”. Between the chord progression and it’s mentions of “boner pictures” and allusions to losing one’s soul behind a mini-van, “Frangelico Houston” is a classic Kelly composition through and through. It’s not hard to think that the track might have been a leftover from the Metropole writing sessions, although its slow tempo is more in line with what Kelly had to offer on I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever. “Pigs”, as you might have guessed, is an acoustic version of “These Pigs Seem to Be Getting the Best of Me”, which appeared earlier this year on The Lawrence Arms’ News From Yalta EP (or the digital deluxe versions of Metropole, I don’t know how you bought it). The track retains its catchiness even in stripped down form, but we’ve all kind of already knew that from when Kelly originally debuted the song roughly two years ago.
Combining Kelly’s raw, live-in-the-back-of-the-bar recordings, with Russo polished and layered Americana, these two artists have created a release that puts their individual talents in the spotlight, and complements their recent studio releases (Russo’s in particular, but that’s because Metropole wasn’t a Brendan Kelly acoustic album). The only major disappointment that comes from this release is that it’s a split EP, and not a split LP. Maybe that’s something to keep in mind for the future, fellas.
4 / 5
RIYL: Frank Turner, Anyone who has ever played on The Revival Tour, The Lawrence Arms (and related former bands and side projects, particularly those that Beex has participated in)
Monday, May 12, 2014 at 11:22 AM (PST) by connor_maoil
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM (PST) by Midwest Punk
Monday, April 28, 2014 at 9:13 AM (PST) by connor_maoil
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:22 PM (PST) by jaystone
The great Red Scare Records folks announced today that they’ll be putting out a new split 7-inch featuring none other than Brendan Kelly and Sam Russo. The release, entitled “Split The Tip,” is due out May 20th, and features two songs per artist.
Brendan Kelly’s last solo release (with The Wandering Birds), “I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever,” was put out in 2012, as was Sam Russo’s debut full-length, “Storm.”
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:35 AM (PST) by Midwest Punk
But he doesn’t simply hate the song, it goes much deeper than that. Kelly explains, in part:
“There are a lot of criteria that goes into deciding what makes a song bad, especially what makes a song epically bad. But when push comes to shove, the main reason I hate this fucking song is that it’s so annoying on every single possible level. The lyrics irritate me, that fucking jangly riff in the beginning of it makes me insane, and the sad French circus breakdown is fucking pompous. I think there’s an intellectual reason to hate this song and there’s a visceral reason to hate this song, and I firmly hate it for both reasons.”
Check out Kelly’s full interview in A.V. Club’s “HateSong” here.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM (PST) by bob9746
You can check out a video of the performance below.
The band released “Shit’s Fucked,” a compilation of rarities and b-sides, on May 27th via It’s Alive Records.
Friday, August 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM (PST) by Johnny X
Hailing from Lincoln, UK Nieviem is a newer skate punk band that has been tearing it up for a little over a year. Steadily releasing new songs, live recordings, and EPs, the band continues the trend with their second EP The Hope Is There. The EP is fast and heavy, borrowing from hardcore but still strongly entrenched in 90's skate punk. If that sounds up your alley, then give it a listen here.