Q & A with Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning

Way back in 1992 (or maybe 1993), I had heard a great deal of good about a band from Toronto called hHead. As good luck would have it, hHead came to Moncton that year as an opener for fellow Canadian band The Watchmen. Being young and naive (and under the age of 19), I reached out to the club to see if they could pass a message along to the guys in hHead: I had heard a great deal about them (thanks to my friends in Eric’s Trip) and wanted to see how I could go about getting a demo cassette from them.

A surprisingly short time later, hHead member Brendan Canning (seated in the smack dab middle of the photo above) called me back and invited me and my friend Derek to head over to the motel they were staying at close to the club they were playing to hang out for a bit. Brendan and his band mates Noah and Mark were extremely kind and invited us to tag along to their show. Neither Derek and I were of legal age to get into the club but Brendan got us by the bouncer saying we were saying their merch for the night (at least I believe that’s the case…)

That evening of chance began my friendship with Brendan. He was always a great supporter of my band and anytime he was close to Moncton with one of his bands (By Divine Right, among others) would call to say hi just to see how things were going with me.

These days, Brendan is a member of the uber-successful band Broken Social Scene whose excellent most recent record, Forgiveness Rock Record, walked away with a Juno Award earlier this month. Broken Social Scene only have a few tour dates scheduled at the present time, including an August 7th show in Dartmouth / Halifax, Nova Scotia as a part of the M-Fest.

Brendan recently took the time to take part in the MusicNerd Q&A:

Where do you currently call home?


Why do you live where you do?

Because I haven’t found somewhere else I’d rather live and I don’t have the money for a second home in Costa Rica or Newfoundland.

What is occupying your time these days?

Organizing records, keeping my girlfriend happy, taxes and other annoying admin. things, keeping our dog slim, getting ready for a West Coast tour.

First record purchased?

There were two: Triumph – Rock n Roll Machine and Genesis – Duke.

When did you start to play music?

I started playing music at age 15.

If we took a look inside the bedroom of a 13-15 year old you, what posters would have been on the walls?

I never really had many posters except for a Max Webster Universal Juveniles one where Kim Mitchell is in a yellow spandex one-piece.

What three records could you not live without?

Boards of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children
Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
John Coltrane – Giant Steps

Who or what is getting too much attention these days?

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other world leaders mired by womanizing issues.

Who or what is not getting enough attention these days?

The NDP.

What has been your most memorable show?

The Chemical Brothers & The Orb

Worst career moment thus far?

I was high on magic mushrooms at the Royal Albert in Winnipeg. I was on tour, so it was an official career moment.

Most extravagant rider item?

Veuve Cliquot, Patron, fresh mint.