WBRS Interview


Brandeis University



This is a fairly accurate transcription of the Moxy Fruvous live interview on WBRS from Brandeis in Massachusetts, September 29, 1997. I've omitted lots of "um"'s, "like"'s, and "you know"'s, repetitions, Fruvous interrupting and ignoring each others' interruptions, etc; a couple of places, I've deleted what was essentially stalling while Ofer Inbar and Jeremy Sholovitz attempted to engineer all of this; and believe me, I've really, really resisted the impulse to editorialize and tell you what I was trying to get Fruvous to talk about. Let this be a lesson to anyone else attempting to do a live, uneditted interview with Moxy Fruvous: it ain't easy.

I also left out a lot of "laughter" brackets: half the time, Fruvous and others were laughing during what was said. Especially me, 'cause I'm susceptible to that. I don't know the full names of all the people who asked Fruvous questions, so if you recognize yourself and want the credit, please feel free to clue us in to your identity and we'll squeeze it in there. And finally, please pardon any misspellings, especially of names, I've made in my ignorance: I can't possibly keep up with the combined power of Fruvous' intellect.

[Re-broadcast of a previous Moxy Fruvous show at WBRS fades out after "Horseshoes."]

Jian Ghomeshi: That was live?

Ofer Inbar: That was live.

Jian: Those guys sound amazing!

Dave Mattheson: I was going to say, that's a very good recording. My compliments to the engineer.

Jian: My compliments to the chef, no matter who she may be.

Ofer: And we've got some questions for you today.

Dave: In this conference call format?

Ofer: Yes.

Dave, Oh, absolutely!

Jian: Are we on the radio right now?

Ofer: You are, in fact, on the air—but don't blow into the phone just to make sure.

Jian: What the humans may not know out there is that all four Moxy Fruvous members are in separate

rooms. Not unlike the way Bernie Taupin and Elton John do a lot of their work. Two solitudes, two separate rooms. We're in separate rooms of our Boston hotel.

Dave: In fact, I'm rewriting the lyrics of "Horseshoes" right now to commemorate Mother Theresa's recent death.

Mike Ford: Much like Mr. Taupin was apt to. . .

Dave: Exactly.

Ofer: So do we have all four of you?

Mike: Actually, we're in three rooms. Murray and I are in the same room. And at certain key, and I mean, key points in the interview, we'll ask for an interjection from Murray Foster.

Ofer: So Murray doesn't actually have a fourth room.

Jian: No. Hey, Dave?

Dave: Yeah.

Jian: How 'bout [singing to the tune of "Horseshoes"] "Sent her a letter, she didn't read it, 'cause she was already dead"? [Dave laughs hard]

Mike: Well, that was the original lyrics.

Jian: How was that for Mother Theresa?

Dave: That sounds good.

[Ofer stalls for time with them while he tries to get Colleen's headset working.]

Ofer: Okay. And now, we have our questioner. Our inquisitor for you.

Dave Is this someone from Spain?

Colleen Campbell: Actually, it's a voice out of your past. I guess I'm like the Robin Quivers of the show, here.

Dave: Oh!

Jian: The Robin who?

Colleen: The Robin Quivers.

Jian: Who's that?

Colleen: It's a cultural reference to something that you people who are, you know, stuck up several thousand miles into Canada probably wouldn't understand.

Jian [laughing]: Well, what's the reference? Who's Robin Quivers?

Colleen: She hangs out with Howard Stern for unknown reasons.

Jian: Oh. Well, we would understand that, we just don't listen to it.

Colleen: Congratulations. [pause] They haven't recognized yet.

Dave: No, we haven't. It's a voice from our past that we know.

Jian: I--? No, try it again. Keep talking.

Colleen: Well, you'll hear plenty of it. I suppose I'm supposed to ask you questions here.

Jian: Okay.

Colleen: All right. They gave me a few minutes, and I came up with some stuff. . . Um, starting off—

Jian [laughing]: Wait a second!

Mike: Were you in any way involved with the Nixon administration?

Colleen: Not that I know of.

Jian: Are you Barbara Bach, Ringo Starr's ex-wife?

Colleen: No, I can't say that I-- That's privileged information.

Dave: Are you any relation to Robin Givens?

Colleen: No. [laughs] How about I ask you questions?

Jian: Where are you from? Just tell us which country you're from.

Colleen: I'm from America. If I told you which state I'm from, you'd know who I am.

Jian: You're Colleen Campbell.

Colleen: Good guy.

Mike: Oh my god!

Dave: Wow.

Jian: What are you doing up here?

Colleen: Seeing you tomorrow.

Mike [to Murray]: Hey Murray, it's Colleen Campbell, interviewing on the radio. [Murray presumably says, "interviewing who?"] Fruvous!

Dave: Good gravy, I think Ofer and Colleen have out-Fruvoused Fruvous.

Jian: That's right. So Colleen, do the listeners know where you're from? Have you talked to them on the air yet?

Colleen: No, last I checked, this was your interview.

Ofer: We'll be having listeners calling in in just a little bit. And we've also got a few of them out in the lobby and we've got a mic for them, so we'll be hearing from them in a little bit too.

Jian: Why do humans do anything in person anymore, huh? Why not just on the phone?

Mike: Yeah, this is great. If I may suggest, perhaps a prudent thing to do is, Colleen, or perhaps those who phone in or those eating donuts in the lobby, can ask a question and specify which Fruvous they want to answer, to avoid the phone confusion.

Ofer: Okay, well, we're going to start with a few questions by Colleen.

Colleen: Okay, um, randomly then, I'll ask. . .Jian. Rumor has it you're recording a live album during the fall tour. . .

Jian: Not the band, myself, you mean.

Colleen [laughs]: Well, yes, you personally.

Jian: I am recording a live album. We kind of toyed with the idea in the band of doing a Fruvous live album. It's probably not on, but the guys are going to back up some of my stuff. A live album, Jian Comes Alive— [Colleen laughs] Why are you laughing? Kind of—I guess it's a lot of salsa, you know? I like the danceable stuff.

Colleen: Klezmer music, I'm sure.

Jian: Give me a beat, that's what I say. And Dave has this conga pattern that he plays. Dave, can you drum the conga pattern?

Dave: Sure, sure sure. [Dave makes rhythmic sounds: "Dookoo daka. . ."]

Jian: And that's a lot of the backing track. I think it's going to be a good live effort. And it's going to be my first real, bona fide solo album, and I decided to go live, because I'm giving the people. . .

Colleen: What they want. The people have asked, and you're responding.

Jian: Yep. So the rumors are true, I am doing a live album on this tour.

Colleen: So when can we expect to see that out?

Jian: Um. . .probably in a couple of weeks. Gonna turn it around quite fast. We're gonna record a lot of it tomorrow night at the Paradise in Boston, before and after the Fruvous show. There'll be sort of an after-cocktail party that certain people will be invited to, and we're gonna record some of the stuff, try and turn it around real fast, you know, and get it out in the market place maybe in a week or two.

Colleen: Now, if Fruvous were to follow this up—I'm sure this'll be a smash success, and if they wanted to kind of ride your coattails and also do a live album, when might that be out?

Jian: Well, what I'm going for, is—you remember Starsky and Hutch?

Colleen: Well, of course.

Jian: Sure. And then David Soul put out his own album, right?

Colleen: Mmmhmm.

Jian: That's what I'm going for, you know? We're more like the A-Team or the Fantastic Four, but then we each put out an album.

Colleen: You lob cabbages at people out of cannons. . .? Okay. All right, well. . .

Jian: Your problem right now is, which one of Fruvous is Reed Richards, of the Fantastic Four?

Colleen: Dave.

Mike: Ooh.

Dave: Dave?

Jian: Well, there it is.

Mike: Problem solved.

Jian: And yes, Fruvous will be recording a live album on this tour. The rumors are true.

Ofer: And before we go on to our next question, I'd like to open it up to our first caller, if they call in, and I'd just like to mention our telephone number, which is (781) 736-5BRS. And call-in sort of sounds like Colleen.. . Anyway, feel free to call in a question, and let's hear the next question from Colleen.

Colleen: All right—

Jian: This is kind of like the Dating Game, isn't it?

Colleen: Uh—so I get to go home with one of the call-ins?

Dave: Mmm! It's anyone's guess, Colleen.

Colleen: Alrighty. I don't know, I'm sure I'm going to get a smart-ass answer from anyone I ask, so, um. . . Dave. Your relationship with the music industry and with your fan base and with the music itself that you've been playing has always been evolving. What about your relationship with other band members? Do you see that as dynamic, over the course of being Moxy Fruvous, or one member of?

Dave: Did you see that movie, Flatliners?

Colleen: Uhhh. . . Is that the one with Julia Roberts?

Dave: But in direct response to the "dynamic" question, no, we're much more like Flatliners. Flatliners that have known each other not only in this life but in as many as two or three past lives.

Colleen: So you're saying you tend to kill each other frequently.

Dave: No, that's one of those media inferences that people make, usuallly in print. But no, no no. . .

Jian: Don't put words in Dave's mouth, Colleen.

Colleen: Sorry.

Ofer: Okay. And at this point, I'd like to hear the first person out there in the lobby, with a question.

[This fails to happen: engineering problems.]

Jian: Technology's finally caught up with WBRS.

Ofer: This, in case you were wondering, is why people do things in person. 'Cause they don't need an engineer to arrange it for them. Or two engineers to not arrange it for them, which is what is happening right now.

Jian: Yeah, but this is way cooler, don't you think? This is totally like U2 in Sarajevo, man.

Mike: Ordering pizza.

[More engineering problems; everyone waits.]

Mike: They must be signing. ASL?

Jian: Speak up!

Dave: I'm curious to hear a question from you, Ofer, directed towards Mike.

Mike: Shoot!

Ofer: Well, my question for you is, if there is any instrument you have considered or thought of picking up, might be interested in learning, and what is it?

Mike: Lead. Lead guitar.

Ofer: And why?

Mike: 'Cause I wanna be like, you know, Rick Daranger. I wanna have a guitar with lights inside of it. I wanna play, and where my fingers are moving up and down the fret board, the lights are shining through my fingers, and create a big pattern on the wall.

[Engineering now works! We go to the lobby.]

Dave [person from the lobby, not band member]: Hey, what's up, this is Dave. I've seen you guys three times in concert and you've never played "Lazy Boy"once. I was wondering why you don't play it anymore.

Dave [Fruvous]: Are you coming tomorrow night?

Dave [lobby]: Yes!

Dave {Fruvous]: Ask us tomorrow night.

Mike:We can work on it.

Jian: We'll try and get it down.

Dave [lobby]: That's awesome, thanks!

Mike: You're awesome.

Jian: Where are you from, Dave?

Dave [lobby]: I'm from Philadelphia. I've seen you guys in Providence and in Boston a couple of times.

Jian: But never in Philly.

Dave [lobby]: Never in Philly. I've been in Brandeis since I heard of you. My roommate actually introduced me to you. Since then I've introduced quite a few people to you. I was carpooling to work, playing it. Actually had someone bring in an ad that they saw in the newspaper about some soft drink called Moxie, wondering if there was any relationship. I told them I didn't think so.

Jian: Only that it tastes bad.

Mike: And we have bad taste.

Jian: That's right. Speaking of which, every time they mention Brandeis, don't you guys think of Shouldice?

Mike: Ooh. I try not to.

Jian: We have a hernia hospital in Toronto, that's called Shouldice. So every time you say "Brandeis," I kind of have to. . .

Mike: Uncross your legs.

Jian: Sure. Or cross them, depending on what position I'm in at the time.

Mike: I think of sausages, for some reason. Is there something called a Brandeis sausage?

Ofer: Let's hear another question from Colleen, before we go back to the line.

Colleen: Okay, I was wondering just what we're going to have to do—how hard we're going to have to beg, to hear some songs from all those musicals you write. I mean, are you ever going to promo them during concerts or anything like that? [Mike whistles low] I'm supposed to direct this at somebody, aren't I?

Dave: Yeah.

Colleen: Make Murray get on the phone.

Mike: Okay, here's a question for Murray!

Murray Foster: Hello?

Colleen: Hi, Murray. Did you hear the question?

Murray: Uh-huh.

Colleen: Okay. And the answer would be. . .?

Murray: Sorry, ask the question again?

Colleen: He's not prepared for the exam. [Murray laughs] I was wondering when we're going to hear songs from the musicals you guys write, and whether you'd thought of promo'ing them during the concerts.

Murray: Mmm. Well, certainly we're going to write them first, I can just assure our fans of that, before any promo'ing is done.

Jian: Murray, did you just wake up? Why are you slurring your words?

Murray: I've been writing emails, I'm sorry. I've been doing that.

Jian: You're doing a chat-interview, email-chatroom interview.

Murray: That's right. Yes, we're hopefully going to be attempting that in the spring, late winter. And then maybe over the summer, if any of them are halfway decent, let them loose on the world.

Ofer: Okay, and now let us hear from the next person out there in the lobby.

Chris: Hi, my name's Chris. How you doing tonight?

Jian: Pretty well, actually.

Chris: I saw you last night in Maine.

Mike: No way!

Chris: Yes. You were excellent. And I'm having somewhat of a moral dilemma, without you here. You see, last night, I stole Mike's setlist, and Jian made me feel really bad about it. I don't know if he remembers that, but he wrote something on my poster—

Jian: Oh, I remember what I wrote.

Chris: Right, right. Well, I brought the setlist here, and I was gonna give it back to you guys, 'cause I felt really bad about it, and now I don't know what to do.

Jian: Well, I wrote that in jest, Chris. You should keep that setlist. Keep that as a souvenir.

Chris: Oh, so, when you guys are big and famous someday, I can make lots of money off of it?

Jian: Yeah, that'll never happen, but whatever you do, don't give it back to us.

Chris: Okay, well, I really wasn't going to anyway.

Murray: People like you are needed in the foreign service, that's all I have to say. Overseas, you're good people.

Jian: I thought it took great stealth for you to get your nimble fingers on it, that's all I was thinking. The kind of cunning, criminal mind that would think of going up behind the monitors and stealing the setlist.

Chris: So that was a compliment, then?

Jian: Sure.

Chris: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Jian: Manson was a genius.

Ofer: And I have a question for you guys, now. And I think I will direct this one at Murray as well, hoping he's waking up.

Murray: Oh dear.

Ofer: So, you guys seem to build your fan base by touring a lot, and I wonder if you foresee keeping that up, and continuing to tour for years, a lot.

Murray: Well, it's hard to say. I think we've recognized that touring is our way forward in America. But certainly after this tour ends, we're going to take some time to write the new album, and get started on that musical, and maybe another B album. And in the near future, at least after this tour, it'll be a little more writing than has been the case this year. As for the long term, it's hard to say, because radio could take off, or we could just decide to tour less. A lot of things could happen. It's really tough to say.

Ofer: Colleen, do you have a follow up, or another question?

Colleen: Well, I have other questions.

Ofer: Go ahead.

Colleen: Is Mike on the line, or did you banish him to a corner?

Murray: He's just popping out now. Do you have a quick question for him?

Colleen: No, it's got a lot of lead-up.

Jian: He's popping out? [everyone laughs]

Ofer: Popping out of what?

Colleen: I'm not sure I want to know.

Murray: Well, he has his jacket on, so I'm sure he's off to phone his lovely wife.

Colleen: All right. Well, I'll direct it at Jian then. I guess a little background is in order, for the more sane members of the listening community, who would never, for example, travel several states to see Fruvous—according to Chris, who came from Maine, and from me—

Jian: What's your question to me, Colleen?

Colleen [laughing]: I told you, it had background! Your show tends to attract a group of lunatics who have self-dubbed themselves Fruheads. Some of them have seen you several dozen times. And you've offered an ass-brand of the Fruvous logo to any Fruhead who attends fifty concerts by the end of this year. There are a couple who look like they are going to make it to that number of concerts. What are you going to do about that?

Jian: There is absolutely nothing humorous or duplicitous about our promise to give someone an ass-brand at fifty stamps. We are completely committed to doing that. I'm very serious about this.

Colleen: So you're going to have them sign a waiver. . .

Jian: What waiver? What waiver? The person bends down, pulls down their pants-- To be quite honest, I feel very good about the idea of the Fruvous logo, perhaps the budgie dog, being on various people's asses around the United States. That's a good feeling for me, so I have absolutely no problems. The thing that we actually didn't state when we originally released the Fruhead cards was that the person who's going to get the ass-brand. . .Well, it's actually the opposite of what you're asking. You're asking if we'll still go ahead with it, basically.

Colleen: Yes.

Jian: I don't know if we have any choice. Like, it's legally binding, that we have to give the ass-brand when somebody gets to the fifty stamps, so somebody might want to consider that, when they're wavering at forty-nine. But the one thing I don't think we did state explicitly is that the person who is going to be receiving the ass-brand, the ass-brandee. . .

Colleen: Ass Brandeis?

Jian: . . .gets to choose which member they want to do the deed. Because we'll probably all be around, holding the person down, that kind of thing. But which guy they actually want. . . Which guy or woman, to be gender-neutral, neutered, about it.

Murray: One of us might be a woman by that point.

Dave: The great thing about the ass-brand, Colleen, is that it ties in with our fan-base, as you've mentioned—a very specific type of person.

Colleen: Yeah, lunatics.

Dave: Well, lunatics and nudists. By and large, I think everyone who's a Fruhead spends a lot of time out in the wilderness, so to speak, in various remote locations—Vermont, Maine, all around the upper east. And they're nudists! So you see, it's a marketing thing. We really do want to corner that particular side of the market. And if they're walking around, buns a-flappin', so to speak, there's that logo, getting right up there in people's faces. [sings, a la the "Twelve Days of Fruvous" song sung to them by Fruheads] Two buns a-flappin'. . . [Colleen breaks down in uncontrollable laughter]

Ofer: And before we go on to the next person out there in the lobby, I'd just like to announce our telephone number once again, and let Colleen catch her breath. We are at (781) 736-5BRS. If you don't read phone, 5BRS is actually 5277. So let's go out now to the next person in the lobby.

Dave [a second person in the lobby]: Hi, this is Dave. I was also at the show last night in Maine.

Jian: Oh, cool.

Dave [lobby]: We were the crazy people in the front, jumping up and down and singing all the words. I think you remember us.

Dave [Fruvous]: Ahh! I gotcha, Dave. Backwards cap.

Dave [lobby]: That's me! I'm wearing it right now. I wanted to say, first of all, that I don't want you guys to think we're stalking you, because we drove all the way to Maine to see you, now we're back in Boston, we heard about the show today here, we drove from Boston to Brandeis, and we're gonna be at the show tomorrow night. We don't want you to think we're stalking you.

Murray: Now, why wouldn't we think that, is my question to you.

Jian: We hope that you're stalking us. That's what our career is built on. Stalking.

Dave [lobby]: And I wanted to say—I mentioned this to Dave last night—you guys played "Fell in Love" last night, which is the first time I've ever seen you play that, and I'm very grateful, because that's my favorite Frusong.

Dave [Fruvous]: Oh, great. And tomorrow, we're going to do it in stockings.

Ofer: Okay, and let us hear the next one from Colleen now.

Colleen: I feel cheated. I've never heard "Fell in Love," and I've seen them twenty-one times.

Jian: And are you coming tomorrow night?

Colleen: Of course.

Jian: Well, we won't be playing it then.

Colleen: Well, I know.

Jian: Certain things have to be preserved. The integrity of certain songs.

Colleen: They don't suspect me of stalking, and yet I come up from Florida. Does this make any sense to anyone? Ji, I've got another question for you. I'm kind of wondering, what kind of a response are you hoping to provoke by frequently wearing a bright orange tee-shirt that proclaims, "I dig your boyfriend"?

Jian: What response am I hoping to provoke?

Colleen: Yes.

Jian [laughing]: Oh, dear.

Colleen: I'm wondering just how you're going to doubletalk this one.

Jian: You expect me to doubletalk this one? Look, I just think it's a cool tee-shirt, and I don't really have any scruples about who men should or shouldn't be with, so I don't really have any—I guess it's kind of playful, it gets a reaction—but I don't really have an agenda behind wearing it, except for the fact that I think it's a fun tee-shirt.

Colleen: Okay.

Dave: Singletalk!

Murray [laughing]: Jesus! Wow.

Jian: Yeah, the strait to avoid.

Colleen: I didn't know you were capable of it. [Everyone laughs]

Jian: Thank you, Colleen.

Colleen: Anytime.

[More engineering difficulties, ascertaining whether a call to the studio is intended for Fruvous and getting the caller onto the radio. They all greet him.]

Jason Reiser: The caller is here! I was wondering what y'all thought of the Internet presence, beyond the average stuff, like websites. There's currently an IRC chat taking place with people from, geez, seven different states, two different countries. Does it scare ya, or is it kinda cool? [pause]

Dave: Wow. Stumped us. You stumped the band on that one.

Jian: You mean, like, how it relates to us, or are you asking a general question about how we feel about the Internet?

Jason: No, I know some of you guys have been on IRC at times, on the chat group, and the discussions frequently stray so far away from Moxy Fruvous, and yet it's titled under #moxyfruvous. Just the power of that medium.

Jian: Lemme tell you something, without getting philosophical about the implications of the Internet—This is Jian. What's your name?

Jason: Oh, this is Jason.

Jian: Jason? Without getting philosophical about the implications of the new technologies and stuff like that, I just want to tell you something about how it affects us. Like, with a band touring ten years ago, we simply wouldn't have had—other than word of mouth or people phoning each other. . . Well, we're doing quite a different show now, as of Friday, this whole "Your New Boyfriend" tour, there's a bunch of different songs we're playing, and a different beginning and end than anyone's seen before, and within hours of playing our first show in Ottawa, on Friday, of this tour, various people around the continent, or I guess around the world, knew the setlist. And for a band like us—we're not U2 or REM or something, it's not on CNN or MTV—it's pretty wild to go to another city, another small town, and have people have that kind of information already. And posting visuals now—when I came back to Toronto a few months ago, a friend of mine said, "Hey, I really like your red pants," and I'd bought them three days before in New York, and I said, "How do you know I have red pants?" and she said, "Well, I saw them on the website in a photo of you performing." That kind of thing is quite freaky. On a creative level, it's a whole new bunch of information to deal with, that whatever we do creatively, or however we present ourselves, for those people who are on the Net, checking the website or on the chat groups, et cetera—to know that they're going to know within minutes of what happens, what we're up to, is a whole new world that a band at our level wouldn’t have to deal with at all, ten years ago. Or at any level, other than complete superstardom, other than Michael Jackson. And maybe the downside of that is, it takes away a lot of the mystery? In a lot of cases, Fruheads out there on this tour—we're going to change it up every night, it's not going to be the same show—but in terms of elements of the show, twenty years ago you'd wait for Rush to come to town to see what their new show is all about. . . I mean, you're never going to get the same thing with Fruvous every night, you guys know that, we improv and we do different things on stage, but the thing is, you almost don't need to see our show now, you can just go to our website and see what the people who've already seen it have reported on what the show is about, within the first four days of the tour.

Jason: On the other hand, you see reports of shows and you go, "My god, I can't believe I missed that," and the next day, you go, "Well, it's only a couple hundred miles, I could do that."

Ofer: I'm going round-robin here, and I'd like to thank Jason for calling in. We actually have another caller—

Dave: I'd like to interject, Ofer: was that Jason Reiser?

Jason: It could be, yeah.

Dave: I thought it might be. Hi, Jason.

Jason: Take care, guys. I'll see you in a few.

Ofer: Before we go to another caller, I'm going to go back to the lobby.

Chris: Hi, this is Chris again. I have a serious question for you this time, about the song "Fly." Two questions about the song "Fly," actually. The first one is, whatever happened to the mysterious middle verse that disappeared? And the second one is, for us who aren't quite as intelligent as others, what exactly is that song about?

Murray: The verse disappeared I think for arrangement reasons. It became a tighter song. It felt a little long in the studio. So the verse was written, and I think recorded, and then chopped out.

Dave: How do you know about this, Chris, if I may interject, this extra verse? Did you see it live?

Jian: No, it's on the liner notes.

Dave: Oh, that 's what it is.

Chris: I also have a bootleg where you actually performed the middle verse.

Jian: As the writer of that song, I should feel like it is a more complete song with that verse in, and that's why, after we made the decision in the studio, I still wanted the lyrics to be printed, because it just adds a little more information—as the song was written, it's more complete that way. But Murray's right, sometimes there's arrangement decisions, and we felt that the second verse went on a little long. We're in the era of cutbacks, right?

Murray: It's a dollar per word, from where we stand.

Jian: What's the song about? I almost fear explaining exactly what it's about, because so many people have so many different feelings about that song at this point, it seems, as they tell us at shows and stuff, that I don't want to paint too clear a picture and change what they think it's about.

Chris: Well, I won't be putting it up on your website or anything. [smirk! from the transcriber]

Jian: I've explained a few times on stage that what the feeling of the song comes from is the moment where somebody you love--you have a partner, a girlfriend or boyfriend or some sort of love partner--and you realize that despite how much you care about this person, you're not meant to be together. That feeling of that moment is what the song is about. The metaphor, in the song—there's a video for the song, that runs with the metaphor a little more of actually flying, like taking a final leap with that person, of love, even though you know it's going to end.

Chris: Right. And I had one more question for Dave. I was wondering if he could wear the vinyl pants tomorrow.

Dave: If you'd like, sir, I'd be glad to.

Murray [laughing]: A civilized response, there.

Ofer: Thank you. And before we go back to Colleen, we'll go to our second caller.

Doug Sheppard: Hi. I'm actually calling—and this is going to kind of confirm your hypothesis about the Net—I'm calling from Saskatchewan. . .

Dave: Woah!

Jian: You're not!

Doug: Because I heard that you guys were on the radio from Jason Reiser and Dan J, I forget his last name, on line.

Murray: Jablonski.

Doug: Yes, that's him.

Jian: How are you hearing this?

Doug: Through the phone. [laughter]

Ofer: Through the wonders of technology.

Jian: How did you know to call in, is what I mean.

Doug: Dan said that you were on the radio, he gave the number, so I said, "Okay, I'll call." and I just have two little questions, and then I'll go back to being online and saying, "Oh my god, did you hear me?" And the first one is—I'm pretty far politically on the left, so I was in a fit of ecstacy the first time that I heard "The Day That We Fight Back." And I was wondering if you guys were going to be doing any more political stuff of that caliber, anytime soon.

Murray: We're going to be doing political stuff of that type, but not of that caliber.

Doug: Yeah, well, there's not quite as good a target as Mike Harris out there anywhere.

Jian: Who are you, by the way?

Doug: I would be Doug. I actually talked with you guys at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. I was Sharilyn's friend.

Murray: Oh, right, right.

Jian: Where are you calling from in Saskatechewan?

Doug: Saskatoon.

Jian: Wow. How is it?

Doug: It's very flat and very cold, which is completely unsurprising. And my second question was, I notice that you guys are going to be heading into Winnipeg next month, and you're probably going to end up seeing me there. So, when did you first notice that people were traveling hundreds of miles in order to just see you guys and then head back home?

Murray: It started about four years ago in Canada. We had the original Fruheads, who were actually Canadians—this is a bit of apocrypha—and they didn't call themselves Fruheads. There were, like, Moxy Morons or something. But about four years ago on the Bargainville tour, we had people driving from Toronto to Nova Scotia and Winnipeg.

Doug: Where I'm originally from, actually.

Murray: Sorry?

Doug: I'm originally from Nova Scotia. If I'd known, back during 1992, I would have seen you in Sydney.

Murray: Yeah. But since we've come to America, the tradition of coming to see bands, in the Grateful Dead style, is much healthier here, because cities are much closer together. It sort of makes more sense to—you can do as much driving in an hour and a half in America as you can do in eight hours in Canada.

Dave: Which is great for the gasoline industry up in Canada.

Jian: But by the reaction of a bunch of club and theater owners, that we play at, it is a bit anomalous, it's not something that bands of our stature have, this following that travels around. It is regional, too. There's a contingent of people who drive around in the Ohio and Michigan region, and then there's the New York and Philly, New York State, and Pennsylvania kind of region, and then the northeast, Massachusetts sort of region, of people doing that. And there's a few people in Canada who do it. But that's something we take a lot of pride in. The whole Fruhead card thing is basically a way of us saying, it's really great that people do that, we really appreciate it and it makes us feel very special that people consider us good enough to want to see us more than once a year.

Doug: Well, those of us who can.

Murray: We get compared to Phish quite a bit in America, and the only similarity I can see is that we have fans who follow us city to city. I don't think, musically, we're that similar, but we strike that same chord that for some reason makes people want to follow us around the country.

Ofer: Thank you for calling in, Doug. We have another set of people out in the lobby, but first I'd like to go back and here another one from Colleen.

Colleen: I find it amazing that we're getting phone calls from people that I also know. I find this very amusing. Both of the last two. They've introduced some threads I think I'm going to follow along with and ask Dave a question. I'm wondering if you've noticed a difference in response to your latest album, You Will go To the Moon, from your Canadian and American fans.

Dave: Hmm. A difference in response. No, I can't say that I have. I think people have been duly impressed by the thing. . . Do you think that Canadians would have reacted differently than Americans?

Colleen: I guess then, rather, to the touring that you're doing right now, do you see the same kind of "Let's take off and go see Moxy Fruvous for the third time" that you see in America?

Dave: Oh, I see. No, I would say that happens in Canada as well. We don't tour as widely in Canada as we once did, we don't go across the country quite as often as we did in the early days of the group. But per capita, on average, I would say that there are as many Canadian fans who do the same kind of thing, the same nature of driving. With the exception of yourself, Colleen—there's no one from, say, Whitehorse who regularly flies down to more populated areas to see the band. No, I'd say it's pretty general, it's a North American thing.

Colleen: Okay. Do you get feedback—I don't know who to address this to; I guess, Jian, since this actually pertains more to his stands—do you get more feedback from your fans now that you've altered or informed their politcal outlook, when you've introduced songs, as was mentioned, "Today's the Day That We Fight Back"?

Jian: Yeah, sure. It's really nice that sometimes people in the States talk about having a sense of what's happening in Toronto or what's happening in Canada because of the things we sing. But the political element of Fruvous has been there since the beginning. In fact, I would argue that to a certain extent, we are not as political as we have been at times in our history. When we actually started on the streets five or six years ago, in Toronto, we were writing the social and political satire for the CBC, the radio up there. There was a lot more, a greater part of our repertoire, that was actually quite political. There was a lot of satire and political digs in there. So really, from day one, there was a group of people saying, "It's very informative to listen to you," or "We agree," or "We disagree with your politics," or "Why do you think you can say those things" or "Thank you for singing those things." And that's the kind of reaction we're still getting. It was nice to do the B Album because that gave us the opportunity to put some political songs on there, like "Big Fish" and "Jenny Washington" and "Cedric Fruvous" and the Rush Limbaugh song. I certainly appreciate when we get that kind of feedback. It say that people are hearing what we're about.

Ofer: Okay, and now I'm going to go back out to the lobby where we have someone else ready to ask a question.

Dan: Hi, my name is Dan, and I have a friend over here. . .

Dorrie: Hi, I'm Dorrie.

Dan: We just have one basic question, which is—

Dan and Dorrie: Why aren't you here?

Dan: Why didn't you come tonight? We miss you guys. We wanted to sit here and watch a concert. Instead, we're sitting here, listening to you guys talk and an old concert.

Dorrie: It's nice hearing your voices on the phone and all, but, you know, we wanted to see you live.

Dave: Thanks, Dan and Dorrie, that's nice of you to say. What we're trying to do is preserve our health. To that end, we're all feeling a little bit run down, and we all felt it's probably better that we do great live shows than risk serious illness. So at this particular juncture, because a couple of us are feeling a little under the weather, we thought, look, we'd better just do a phoner if we can tonight, and therefore do a better show at the Paradise tomorrow and gigs further on. So that's the short answer. We're very sorry we're not there, we wish we could do everything, but we're not that far into it yet, and we've got to be up for quite a few weeks. And as you can imagine, it's easier to get sick in the space module than when you're wandering the fields on earth, and we're definitely in the space module these days, so we've got to be extra careful about our health. So we hope that our bon vivance transfers over the lines here in the modern world, enough that you don't feel totally ripped off.

Dorrie: Oh, no. We hope that you feel better.

Jian: One of the things about being in Fruvous is unfortunately, we're not a rock band in the sense that—if I were just a drummer, or Dave were just a guy that plays lead guitar, or something, it would be a little easier to be under the weather during a gig. But we really depend on all four of us having energy, having our voices in top form, being ready to get up and do feeder on stage. With this tour especially, there's a whole bunch of stuff that we're doing in the show now that's really challenging to us, both vocally and theatrically. We just want to keep that up. So I just want to echo Dave's apology for not being there. I'm going to go to sleep as soon as we finish this. We're not exactly up partying in Boston tonight.

Dan: And one more question from out here. When are you playing tomorrow night at the Paradise? When do you get on?

Jian: Sorry, only one question at a time from the lobby. Can we go to a caller now?

Ofer: We don’t want anybody to know when you're going to play, because they'll mob the place.

Jian: I think we're going on around ten o'clock. Hamill on Trial is on around nine o'clock before us. Get there in time to see Hamill as well, and we'd love you to come out.

Ofer: Is this an opening band that you've performed with before?

Jian: Yes. He's done the last couple of shows with us. He did Irving Plaza with us. Guy named Ed Hamill.

Murray: He's a beatnik.

Dave: What did you say, Murray? He's a what?

Murray: He's a beatnik.

Dave: He's a beatnik, yeah. He's a beatnik.

Ofer: What's a beatnik?

Murray: A wandering poet who accompanies his poetry with—well, it's a slight misrepresentation, but. . . He's sort of a spoken word guy, about half the time. Very interesting. Very good performer.

Ofer: And he's on at nine, theoretically, and you're on at ten. And Colleen?

Colleen: I'm back on, I guess?

Ofer: Yes. Do you want to close out with one or two?

Colleen: All right. I've got a question for Murray, then.

Murray: Lay it on me.

Colleen: It seems to me that Fruvous has a—well, I couldn't say unique, having not explored all the other options, but—a very unusual relationship with their fans. One aspect of that, for example, getting back to the Internet, is that your record company, Bottom Line Records, suggested that you keep a diary on the road, and has posted a couple of entries from that to the Internet, where your fans can read it. I was wondering, what was the inspiration behind that, what you were trying to communicate—and whether there will be any more forthcoming?

Murray: I've sort of struggled with that in the last few months. It's been very hard for me to find the line between the tell-all tabloid journalism and the accurate, truthful portrayal of what happens on the raod. There's a line of privacy that has to be protected. We are individuals and we needs some sort of privacy from the public. But we were asked to keep a diary and to publish that diary on the Internet, on the website, by our record label. So I've been trying to explore where that line works, to keep it sort of truthful and interesting and yet somehow keep all of the truthful and interesting bits out of it. [laughter] It's a bit of a paradox. But I think for me, my energy for writing that kind of stuff is higher than it was in the last couple of months.

Dave: So we might be seeing more?

Murray: Yeah. I hope so. I hate to promise, because I've hurt people in the past by saying that. [Dave laughs] But hopefully, yeah. I hope more are produced.

Colleen: Well, I guess that closes it up on my end, at least.

Ofer: And that does, in fact, close it up for all of us.

[Goodbyes and such all around, iterations of the showtime tomorrow, and thanks from the guys for indulging them in the call-in show. Fade back in to previous WBRS Fruvous broadcast.]

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