Arts Q&A: Writer Gerard Brennan on Metallica, Stephen King and Scott Bradlee

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: Co Down crime author Gerard Brennan

Warrenpoint-born crime writer Gerard Brennan, who will be taking part in this year's Aspects Irish Literature Festival in Bangor Picture Mal McCann
Warrenpoint-born crime writer Gerard Brennan, who will be taking part in this year's Aspects Irish Literature Festival in Bangor Picture Mal McCann

1. When did you think about a career in writing and what were your first steps into it? When I was about eight years old I read a pile of Roald Dahl books. That was when I decided I wanted to write. And then I kept on reading until I could figure out how to craft my own stories.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to? I saw Clutch at the Limelight with my crime fiction colleague Stuart Neville last year. That was mega cool. The first real gig I went to will always be one of my favourites. I saw Metallica and Corrosion of Conformity in Dublin around 1996. And the most recent one I went to, Guns N' Roses at Slane last year, belongs in my top three as well.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? Probably Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. Not everybody likes heavy metal, and these guys could please an eclectic crowd.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island? Tool's Aenima, because it’s one of my favourites. It’s quite long and they sample Bill Hicks on one of the tracks.

5. And the book? The Stand by Stephen King – the unabridged version. It’s super long and could be re-read a bunch of times.

6. Top three films? Goodfellas, Fight Club and Deadpool 2.

7. Worst film you’ve seen? Recently, Hereditary. A weirdly unbalanced, poorly-paced horror movie that seems like two scripts spliced together. And both the scripts suck.

8. Favourite authors? Ken Bruen, Dashiell Hammett and Claire McGowan.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? Mixed Martial Arts (promotions include UFC, Bellator, Cage Warriors, BAMMA, Cage Legacy). My favourite team is Team Torres, an MMA club based in Newry, Dundalk and Lisburn. I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai in their Newry gym.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Austin Texas, where my brother got married and now lives.

11. Pet hate? When my cat Amadeus poops in the sink.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Burger and chips.

Dessert? Cheeseboard or coffee.

Drink? Beer with a whiskey chaser.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? Michelle Brennan. She’s my badass wife.

14. Is there a God? I hope so, because I’ve a couple of bones to pick with him or her when we meet.

:: Gerard Brennan will be joining fellow writers Brian McGilloway and Simon Maltman for a special Crime in the Castle event at Bangor Castle on September 22 as part of the Aspects Irish Literature Festival. The writers will be reading from their work and discussing the importance of location in crime fiction novels. For tickets and full details of the festival, which continues until September 30, visit Aspectsfestival.com