Winnipeg Free Press: 9/22/99 9/22/99
Winnipeg Free Press

Moxy Fuvous's new CD tribute to musical roots

By Bartley Kives

Music Reporter

With its long rows of strip malls, fast food outlets and winding residential streets, Thornhill, Ont. looks like any other middle-class suburb in Canada.

But the Toronto 'burb is also the birthplace of recording artists The Philosopher Kings, Hayden, By Divine Right and Moxy Fruvous -- The Latter of which just released and album of the very same name.

As singer Jian Ghomeshi explains, Thornhill the Cd is less of a tribute to the place than it is a celebration of the quartet's musical roots.

"It's a paean to being 15 years old, going to basement parties and coming of age musically," says Ghomeshi, who met with his Fruvous bandmates in the theatre program at their Thornhill high school.

As kids in the mid-'80s, they all discovered The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who and The Grateful Dead at the same time -- along with the libations that went a long with them.

"It was a bit of stoner culture," Ghomeshi says.

Thornhill the CD, the group's first for pioneering indie label True North, is a clear and obvious tribute to the Beatles. If that seems arrogant -- the Beatles, after all, were "bigger than God" -- Moxy Fruvous couldn't care less.

Just like the Barenaked Ladies, albeit on a much smaller scale, Moxy Fruvous has revived its career in the United States.

Meanwhile, in Winnipeg -- the home of the group's most loyal Canadian fans -- Moxy fruvous performs in venues such as the 300-seat West End Cultural Centre. Moxy will return to the WECC for one show tomorrow night.

Moxy Fruvous was that flavour in 1994, the year Bargainville was released in Canada. Now, Ghomeshiclaims that life is better outside the spotlight -- an oft-repeated cliche that is nonetheless believable in this case. "We're an underground phenomenon in the U.S." he says, citing the band's Web presence (eight sites and counting) as proof. "That feels better, because you don't have to worry (that) the teenage girls at your show are only there because they saw the video."

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