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- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 1:30PM by Liisa Ladouceur
The bassist/vocalist of the Canadian indie superstars recently returned from Vancouver where he helped orchestrate Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and others for the Hal Willner Neil Young Project as part of the Cultural Olympiad, just as the world was finding out the long-awaited new BSS release, 'Forgiveness Rock Record,' would be out May 4.
In advance of the band's triumphant return to SXSW, Canning took a moment to recap some highlights of their journey so far.
In your own words, describe your current sound.
The new record is filled with sprawling anthem rock with weird and wonderful twists. Just the right amount of humour to displace any hint that we might be too serious. And just enough seriousness to let everyone know this is serious business.
How did your band form?
'Feel Good Lost' is the first BSS record, and that process was started when I first heard the Kevin [Drew] and Charlie [Spearin] recording called 'KC Accidental.' I knew Kev a little from around town and I gave him a couple of phone calls and then we started recording. We also had many friends join us on that recording. Before we knew it there were thirteen of us on stage.
What are your personal musical influences?
Everything. Pop, rock, reggae, hip-hop, house, jazz, classical, folk, blues... whatever sounds pleasing at the time. I'm listening to Michael Hurley's 'Parsnip Snips' and last night I listened to Animal Collective.
How did you come up with your band name?
Kev played a solo show under 'John Tesh Jr. and the Broken Social Scene.' I thought, "Let's just lose the John Tesh part and we have a good band name."
What live incarnation of BSS will be performing at SXSW?
Sam Goldberg, Charlie, Andrew Whiteman, Justin Peroff, Lisa Lobsinger, Kev, myself... and a few others, I'm sure. We have a Texas horn section.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Directions to the hotel and Death Metal Pizza on 6th [Street, in Austin].
What's your biggest vice?
Mejool dates and tamari almonds. Also tequila, sneakers and weed.
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
"These Dreams" by Heart.
Beatles or Stones?
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced at SXSW?
In '95, I saw some buskers doing their version of the theme to 'Cops' while someone was getting busted. Not so much crazy, but quite surreal.
Anything more recently?
Well, last week in Vancouver after singing on K'Naan's song to benefit Haiti -- 'Tears Are Not Enough'-style, this time produced by Bob Ezrin -- I saw a guy using the side-view mirror of a white van to shoot heroin into his bloody neck. Thirty minutes later I was teaching Lou Reed the chord changes for Neil Young's 'Dead Man.' Kinda makes you think, don't it?