Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jun 26th 2012 2:00PM by Lonny Knapp
"We finished our last gig in style in Rio de Janeiro. It was a classic end to a long and crazy ride," Canning tells Spinner. "But I don't think enough time has passed to really look back."
Canning stays in touch with fellow Social Scene co-founder Kevin Drew, and says the two are open to a future reunion. BSS fans shouldn't hold their breath waiting, though. Canning has other things on the go.With the release of When Flying Was Easy from Canning's new/old band Cookie Duster, it's clear Broken Social Scene is definitely still on hiatus.
Much like BSS, however, Cookie Duster is a band of alt-rock veterans. Along with Canning, the band features keyboardist Bernard Maiezza (Change of Heart), drummer Damon Richardson (Danko Jones), and guitarist Matt Murphy (Super Friendz, Flashing Lights), all of whom are known and respected Canadian scene musicians.
Singer-songwriter Jeen O'Brien, a relative newcomer, rounds out the lineup and injects a much-needed feminine sensibility.
Unlike Broken Social Scene -- an expansive musical collective with a revolving cast that at times included the likes of Feist, Metric's Emily Haines and James Shaw, and Stars' Torquil Campbell -- Cookie Duster has a fixed line up. When Flying Was Easy also has few guest turns and is void of cameos from Broken-Social-Scene alumni.
Canning says it was all about getting back to playing with friends from an older social scene.
"It's nice to do shit with people that you haven't been doing shit with for 12 years," Canning explains.
Canning further distanced himself from his former band with his choice of label. In Canada, Cookie Duster's debut is out courtesy of MapleMusic (home to the likes of Kathleen Edwards, The Dears and Joel Plaskett), not Arts & Crafts, the label and management company founded to release Broken Social Scene and its satellite projects.
"I just wanted to work with a different team," says Canning. "With bands and managers you get clashes and you start to be able to predict outcomes. You don't want to take any thing or person for granted. I wanted a fresh perspective."
Canning has already had more success than many musicians dare dream. With Broken Social Scene on the back burner, he seems hesitant to lock himself down. In fact, at the time of this interview, Cookie Duster had no tour dates scheduled and hadn't even begun rehearsals for the inevitable record release party.
"Just because we made a record, doesn't mean I'm going to spend the next six months touring," he says. "I've got other things I want to do."
Those other things include working on a solo record of "psychedelic folk," and he's already trolling Toronto's music scene for intriguing collaborations.
Free of the commitments that come with running a storied and much-loved indie rock collective, Canning is excited to make music without an agenda. As for the future, his plan is simple.
"I saw this guitar player last night, goes by the name Champagne James Robinson [of the band New Country Rehab]. I said to him, 'Dude, I want to jam with you.' There are still lots of people in this city I want to jam with," he says. "That's exciting enough. I just want to continue on the path, making music and trying not to get too neurotic about it."