“We approach each project without referring to the previous one,” says Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. Indeed, Fugazi’s sixth full-length album, The Argument (Dischord), once again shows the veteran Washington, DC punk band moving into fresh territory. About half of the album features not only Canty but also drummer/percussionist Jerry Busher.
The new approach, which is still dominated by Canty, broadens the percussive side of a band that’s always been known for its intriguingly rhythmic merging of punk, dub, world music, and other forms. On The Argument, songs like “Cashout,” “Strange Light,” and “Life And Limb” showcase Canty’s multi-faceted, intelligent stylings, while “Epic Problem” and “Ex-Spectator” prove he hasn’t relinquished his gritty hardcore roots.
In Fugazi, Canty’s drumming has become more inventive than ever. “Creating an atmosphere in the music where I’m making it sound as twisted as possible is paramount to me,” he explains. And Canty isn’t always behind his kit while creating said atmosphere, as he writes a lot of Fugazi’s music. “We all contribute music,” he reports. “I even write guitar parts.”
As for The Argument, Fugazi took more time than usual to write and demo material. “We spent enough time with these songs to get them to a point where each had a very specific atmosphere,” Canty continues. “And then we recorded them all very differently in terms of the drum sounds. I used a lot of different cymbals, snares, and ways of miking. And when using the double drums with Jerry, we tried to get our kits to sound as different as possible.”