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Interview: Brendan Canty

Brendan Canty is best known as the drummer for Fugazi, the now-dormant post-hardcore / indie rock legends who influenced hundreds of bands both well-known and obscure over the last 30 years. And their influence extended beyond music, through their ethical approach to business and art. Highlights from the Fugazi catalog include the 1989 compilation of their early EPs called 13 Songs, their first album Repeater from 1990, and their final album The Argument released in 2001.

Before Fugazi, Canty had already made a mark on the Washington DC music scene with Deadline and Rites of Spring, the latter being notable because it helped push hardcore music into more introspective territory. In addition to many other projects, Canty was also the drummer for the recent MC50 tour featuring proto-punk MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

Canty currently plays drums for the band The Messthetics, with guitarist Andrew Pirog and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. The band’s instrumental rock features a healthy dose of experimentation and improv, and their songs at times could even pass for Mahavishnu Orchestra outtakes.

This interview with Brendan Canty was done for a preview article for for the concert by The Messthetics in Santa Barbara on 4/21/19. It was done by phone on 4/9/19. (Antonia Tricarico photo)