Brendan Canning Interview

Brendan Canning, one of the founders of the Broken Social Scene, sat down with us at The Calcutta to answer some of our questions about his new album, his touring experience, and some un-“canning” questions. Cheers to Brendan for being the first interview!

Your most recent album, Broken Social Scene Presents Presents: Brendan Canning “Something For All of Us,” as we understand it was recorded in a neighbor’s studio. What was it like to sit and write by yourself without the direct influence of say, your friends in BSS or were they present at some points in the writing process?
I sit and write by myself a lot of the time…but when recording, I’m generally collaborating with those I’m with.

Where did the album name come from?

It’s the great lie from most politicians.

When was it that you realized you wanted to spend the rest of your life playing music?
Who says I want to spend the rest of my life doing this…I’m in my thirties now so I really can’t say what will be happening in my sixties.

Broken Social Scene has played music all over the world. Did you ever think music would take you this far?

I always hoped.

Before a show, or tour, how do you decide on a setlist?
The setlist usually decides itself halfway through any given performance.

Can you share with us a crazy tour experience you’ve had?

I left my passport in a German hotel, didn’t realize it until Brussels, was able to fly to Portugal anyway. Then our tour manager flew from a small airport in Spain back to Germany to retrieve my passport because I needed it to get into the UK….two days later we were flying to Moscow and Justin left his passport at the hotel and missed the flight…two days later Amy’s purse was stolen from the lobby in a Helsinki hotel and her passport was in her purse. The passport was later returned but she also missed her flight.

While playing live, which instrument do you prefer, bass or guitar?

I also play keys

Which city has given BSS the biggest response at a live show?

Tokyo, Toronto, Dublin

If you had to describe the perfect show with three bands (dead or alive), who would they be, and who would open, play second, and headline? Where would it be held?

Miles Davis(classic 1960’s line-up), John Coltrane(also classic 1960’s line-up), Thelonius Monk(solo). Any order at the Rex Hotel in Toronto

Norman Wong

Photo Credit: Norman Wong

Side Note Section

Would you rather (unavoidably) get eaten by a bear or a shark?


Red or White wine?


Coffee or Tea?

How come BSS always make such sweet music videos? Seriously, they’re awesome.

I have personally made some bad ones so I’d like to think because of some of the poor ones, the laws of averages were gonna let me be involved in some good ones.

Any comment on George Bush getting a shoe thrown at his head?

Good response time

What is your favorite instrument that you own?

They’re all my children.

5 Top Fives

Top 5 favorite bands.
Deerhunter, Public Enemy, The Jam, Wilco, The Pretenders

Top 5 favorite albums.
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
Black Sabbath – Vol 4
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
Flaming Lips – At war with the Mystics
Miles Davis – On the Corner

Top 5 favorite films.
All the President’s Men, The Shining, Paris-Texas, Planes,Trains and Autombiles,
Fitz Corraldo

Top 5 favorite people.
I don’t like to rank my friends.

Top 5 favorite things in ze world.
My sweetheart, good coffee, good food, Ontario lakes, people willing to say hi to strangers

The Last….there’s a clarinet in the basement.

Last time you felt inspired.
Jan 2. I cleaned the basement after a good strong capp

Last show you played.
Late night with David Letterman…oh ya, I DJ’d on NYE.

Last drink you had.
Last night-Grolsch in a bottle

Last album you bought.
Funkadelic-Better by the Pound (oh wait that was a single)
Album…J. Dilla-Anthology Vol 4

Last time you were scared.
When I couldn’t find my Manu Djbango record Soul Makossa.

Last country you visited

Last song you listened to
Sun Ra-Dorothy’s Dance

Last song you wrote
Still working on it

Last non-BSS show you went to
Still Life Still at the silver Dollar last Saturday,
Before that Neil Young/Wilco

Last life-changing experience

The Russian salt cave


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