Brendan Kelly (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Brendan Kelly
Brendan Kelly.jpg
Background information
Birth nameBrendan Kelly
Born (1976-09-08) September 8, 1976 (age 43)
OriginSt. Louis, Missouri (born in Missouri)
GenresPunk rock
Occupation(s)Bassist, musician, songwriter, writer, television host
InstrumentsVocals, Bass, Guitar
Years active1993–present
LabelsFat Wreck Chords
Asian Man Records
Red Scare Industries
Associated actsThe Lawrence Arms
The Falcon
Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds

Brendan Kelly (born September 8, 1976) is the bassist/vocalist of Chicago-based punk band The Lawrence Arms, as well as guitarist/lead vocalist in The Falcon and Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds. Kelly's former bands include Slapstick and The Broadways. He is known for his raspy vocals, drunken demeanor, and onstage witticisms.

Kelly also appeared on The Daily Show in a correspondent piece by Ed Helms entitled "The Clash" in which he criticized Michale Graves for being a Republican.

Early life and education[edit]

He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor's Degree in Radio, Television, and Film.


Kelly boycotts the Warped Tour on the belief that it ruins the original system for underground bands of touring and supporting larger bands, as well as ruining business for small venues. He along with The Lawrence Arms were banned for life for spreading this belief to the audience whilst participating in the Warped Tour. The band does not however boycott all festivals, having played at Riot Fest in their native Chicago in 2017 for instance.

Kelly provided backup vocals for the songs "The Company," "Stuck in Summertime," and "Unsatisfied" on The Copyrights' third full-length album, 2007's Make Sound, released on Red Scare Industries, a label owned and operated by Tobias Jeg, a close friend of Kelly. Kelly (along with Chris McCaughan, co-vocalist of The Lawrence Arms) also provided back-up vocals on Common Rider's This is Unity Music album.

In 2010, Kelly released a split album with Joe McMahon of punk rock band Smoke or Fire, entitled Wasted Potential. Kelly's half of the split contained acoustic versions of Lawrence Arms songs (both his and McCaughan), as well as a cover of "Kiss the Bottle" by Jawbreaker.

In 2011, Kelly released a 3-song EP, A Man with the Passion of Tennessee Williams, with new band the Wandering Birds. A full length, I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever, followed in 2012. The Wandering Birds are generally darker in tone than Kelly's earlier musical output. He also created a short film, The Spirit of Transparency, to promote the project.

During the periods of inactivity of his musical projects, Brendan has been joined by fellow punk rock singers Laura Jane Grace and Brian Fallon in maintaining a blog, Bad Sandwich Chronicles. The blog is a mixture of scatological humor, social commentary, and stories of life in music. Kelly also co-hosts iconic music television program JBTV in Chicago.

Kelly also provided guest vocals on the Alkaline Trio song "I Wanna Be A Warhol" on their 2013 release My Shame Is True.

Kelly is also now part of Punk Rock Weddings [1] which is the Brainchild of Mike Park founder of Asian Man Records

Nihilist Arby's[edit]

In 2015, Kelly started a Twitter account, Nihilist Arby's, which garnered a huge following with its "absurdist, death-and-doom tweeting"[2] about Arby's and life in general.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Meet the Twisted, Brilliant Copywriter Behind Twitter's Nihilist Arby's". Retrieved December 7, 2017.

External links[edit]