The rock collective Broken Social Scene is like an extracurricular nerds’ music club for past and future Canadian stars.
Culling from acts including Feist, Metric, the Dears and Stars, Broken Social Scene has produced some quality music over four albums — from reverb-soaked orchestrations to horn- and violin-infused pop gems. In doing so, the Toronto band has won two Juno Awards (Canada’s Grammys).
Drummer Justin Peroff simply dubs it volcanic rock. We caught up by phone with Peroff recently in his loft apartment as the band enjoyed a rare week off.
What are you up to this week? “Reacquainting myself with my city, enjoying summertime family activities, kicking my feet up with some DVD rentals and, best of all, cooking in my own kitchen.”
Who are your drumming influences? “There are too many to name. John McEntire comes to mind. He has played in the Sea and Cake and Tortoise and produced our last record.”
How did the band get started? “We were all active in Toronto’s music scene and knew of each other. It formed naturally over the years through casual jam sessions at College Street and Queen Street house parties. One day we just became a band. The group spans generations as well. I’m one of the youngest (he’s 32), and some are in their early 40s.”
How do you organize so many ideas in the studio? “We communicate in the best way we can, and it always involves honesty. If something isn’t traveling in the right direction musically for a member, they’ll speak up and the band will meet them halfway or start from scratch. You have to be able to look your friend in the eye and share your feelings. Maintaining a democracy is the only way it could and should work.”