Interview – Broken Social Scene (TIC 2010)

Change is constant in today’s society and a perfect example of that is Broken Social Scene. As founding member Charles Spearin told us before the band’s scheduled appearance at the Toronto Island Concert, the indie rock troop started off on a different foot to create a record that won’t be their last.

Is it wrong to seek forgiveness?

That’s a good question. Off on the right foot here! If you did something wrong, then you have to set it right. You have to be able to regret what you did and notice that made you a mistake. If you can’t see that mistake, then you can’t seek out forgiveness. But its something that isn’t forced as it comes natural.
Why did you guys choose to title your latest release Forgiveness Rock Record?

We wanted to start fresh. There’s a lot of people in this world that are pointing fingers and blaming each other. No one’s interested in solving problems or getting to the point. In order to fix the world people need to understand the situation, forgive others and themselves for their actions and start over.

That sense of forgiveness can relate to economics, politics and even personal relationships. A dose of forgiveness is essential to starting off fresh and we wanted to do that.
Can the record also be seen as a celebration of music and what Broken Social Scene stands for?

The music is the band. A lot of people overlook the fact that we’re ordinary people when we’re not recording and touring as musicians. We gave the group a name and created a beast. Broken Social Scene doesn’t really exist, its just a creation from music and people.

Every track on the album works well because everyone’s part seems to blend with one another, like that spontaneous yet perfect jam session. Why is that?

I agree, the album does flow nicely. Its more of an adventure than a concept album but it’s built from emotional intelligence. There’s a lot of emotion in the record as one track quietly leads into the other. Part of the reason for that could be because we wrote close to 50 songs for the album and those were just the ones we chose for it.
Was it great seeing old faces come back and contribute to the recording process?

Its always good. Everyone we worked with in the past like Feist and Emily Haines are welcome and they will always be welcome. This time around, they seemed quite excited to work with us. Its just people have their own lives now.
What has the whole release taught you as a human being?

I love these questions! I always end up getting the same ones from others. The album is a reminder of how you need to leave room for those around you. When we write, it’s a collective way of making music. It’s almost like making a stew: everyone has their own spice and you don’t want to throw too much of your ideas in or else you will overwhelm what you’re making.

To do that you have to be able to trust people and know things may go somewhere different at any point in time. To us, the album is definitely more mature.
Do you think its the last record we can expect from the group?

I hope not. We wrote a lot for the record and there are a few tracks that need to see the light of day. This definitely won’t be the last record from Broken Social Scene.

After it was abandoned last summer, you guys are set to play this year’s Toronto Island Concert. How excited are you for the gig?

We are definitely excited. We haven’t been to the island in a really long time and its just great because even though it’s separated from the city a bit, it’s still a part of Toronto. The sense of space is nice and makes it local and as a venue it can fit a lot of people without the hassle you get at nightclubs. Plus its always cool to take a ferry to a show.
Do you think more artists should follow suit and play unusual venues?

Its always a good thing. When Do Make Say Think started, we tried to find different venues to play like churches and other spots in the city. But it can be very expensive because concerts have a unique relationship with alcohol. If you can’t sell alcohol then it usually won’t work out. Younger bands these days are becoming more adventurous because they’re open to play different places. New venues are great because they keep cities interesting and improve the scene.
What kind of feeling do you hope people leave with once the concert’s over and its time to head back home?

I hope people feel good. I know, lame answer, but hopefully people leave and feel good about themselves, the city and the future because the world is f*cked. They should also feel alive and being willing to accept emotions. We should all accept being a human being and the feelings that come with it because it makes us who we are.

[Can’t get enough of BSS? Let us know what you think of them below!]



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