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Monday, October 2, 2023


Peroff talks life, love, Broken Social Scene

Justin Peroff is part of the Toronto-based Broken Social Scene. The band has been together since 1999. | Courtesy of Dave Gillespie

With its release of “Forgiveness Rock Record” in May 2010, Broken Social Scene struck a chord in the world of personal indie rock. The use of ethereal musical texture with overlaying powerful lyrics makes this album one of the best of the year.

The album was conceived after a significant hiatus due to solo careers and new collaboration projects. We had the opportunity to speak first-hand with drummer Justin Peroff, one of the founders of the band.

Q: Broken Social Scene has come a long way since the release of “Feel Good Lost” in 2001. What direction can we expect the band to go in after this tour?

A: That’s a question that I could ask the band, and the band could ask itself. The nature of the band doesn’t necessarily include designing ahead. We can be a take-it-day-by-day kind of band, especially at this stage of the touring cycle. All we can see is what’s directly in front of us. Keeping it interesting and staying on our toes can be helpful for the creative process.

Q: Though this record seems to be a reformation of the core group of BSS, do you think the “Broken Social Scene Presents…” trend will continue?

A: Again, we’re not one to anticipate, but I for one can say that the “Broken Social Scene Presents…” series has lived itself out. I would love to see a “Broken Social Scene Presents…” film. It’s been spoken about briefly and a very long time ago. So I think if we were to continue that trend it would go in that direction.

Q: “Forgiveness Rock Record” is unique in that each musician has contributed their own personal experiences. What does the word “forgiveness” mean to your life and experiences with the band?

A: I use the metaphor of the record being a love letter, each song acting as a chapter. It’s a love letter regarding the state of the world, as well as immediate relationships, whether it’s a group of musicians or blood relation. That’s what music is, right? Musicians just communicate in a different language. They try to find a group of people they can communicate with and that will create results that are a little bit of everybody. Lately, it’s been a core group of five or six of us writing these letters together.

Q: Houston is seen as undeserving of indie tours with the strong hip-hop scene we have here. Do you feel the difference in fan presence as you travel farther away from Canada?

A: Absolutely. Even within Canada, going province-to-province. For example, when we go to Montreal, sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re even in Canada anymore; you’re just in Montreal. It’s just a different dynamic wherever we go. I personally love the crowds in Texas. I’m actually really stoked about this whole southern run because Florida and Texas especially have always been good to us and brought the noise. I’m just grateful that I’m still able to do this, and people are still listening to our music. And that’s exactly why we’re doing this. We’re touring for us just as much as we are for our listeners, and it’s great.

Broken Social Scene plays tonight at Warehouse Live at 8 p.m.

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