Calgary Sun Calgary Sun

Moxy sick of Monica


Moxy Fruvous' performances this weekend will be 100% Monica Lewinsky-free. You may breathe a sigh of relief.

The Canadian pop quartet may be known for the biting satirical commentary in its songs, but singer-guitarist Mike Ford says his bandmates are too sick of the whole Bill Clinton affair to contemplate singing about it.

"It's too overworked," he says.

"I'd say El Nino is the line in terms of how much coverage there is on something where you can still write about it.

"Monicagate is just so everywhere. There's definitely other stuff we'll be sinking our teeth into."

Which is, of course, good news for all those attending Fruvous' shows tonight at the Calgary Folk Club, 5432 Dalhart Rd. N.W., and tomorrow at the Saturday Night Special, 11024 Braeside Dr. S.W.

Good news isn't something Moxy Fruvous has in abundance these days. Once pegged as the next Barenaked Ladies -- a comparison that didn't go over well with the Fruvous boys -- the humorous harmonizers have been losing momentum in Canada since the release of their major-label debut, Bargainville, in '93.

The group's previous studio album, last year's eclectic You Will Go To The Moon, was not a big seller, and its new CD, the in-concert set Live Noise, could be seen as a contractual obligation filler.

"It was much more of a fan obligation," corrects Ford, admitting he doesn't know if the band will maintain its relationship with Warner Music Canada.

"People were really begging for it, especially in the States, where we play mostly now."

Moxy Fruvous always has been at its irreverent best onstage. But Live Noise really shows how far these four former buskers have come as musicians and as a band. All the time spent touring the U.S. in recent years has turned Moxy Fruvous into a tight and versatile pop-rock outfit.

"Now all my musician friends, who I didn't used to invite to gigs, I drag them out now because we really do groove, rock and shuffle as a collective unit," Ford says.

This improved musicianship could be heard on You Will Go To The Moon, which ran the gamut from hip-hop bluegrass to a Bee Gees cover. It was Fruvous' finest and most ambitious disc.

"Bargainville was very much: 'We are buskers, we play some acoustic instruments and harmonize a lot.' And Wood (Fruvous' sombre second album) was: `Yes, we've been listening to The Band a lot this week. (Moon) embraces what Fruvous is the most, but I'd say we still have a couple of yards to go."

Back to the News Page...