There are more than 25 people who can say they have been members of the band Broken Social Scene. For the past decade, this Toronto collective has churned out glorious bursts of indie rock and pioneered the movement of having so many musicians onstage that it can be difficult to figure out who is producing what sound. BSS alumni have included members of Metric and Ms. “1234” herself, Feist. Drummer Justin Peroff, who has been a full-time member since 2002, says being part of the band is a lifetime membership.
“The revolving door of existing family is absolutely always open,” he says. “That is exampled in the last few local Toronto shows and there was the movie that documented one of them, and that was called ‘The Reunion Show’ by some bloggers, but it wasn’t really a reunion show. Those people are always there, and we’re always creating and having brunch together.”
Getting so many people together to record isn’t always easy, which is one reason why there are only four albums officially credited to Broken Social Scene, including last year’s “Forgiveness Rock Record,” which they are still touring behind. But Peroff says BSS found a remedy in releasing remixes of material from that album.
“In this day and age of Internet culture, when you release an album you generally want to create awareness, and a lot of how music is being listened to and shared these days is basically on a newsfeed on a blog,” he says. “That’s one way of communicating with your fans, so if you pop up on a newsfeed and you have an annex project to your re-cord, like a remix series, you keep that awareness alive.”
Peroff recounts with a laugh that in the early years of the band, one member wanted to actually quit: “He was like, ‘Well, you know, I’m kind of giving my mission statement. I’m out of here.’ … And we were like, ‘Dude, what are you talking about? You don’t have to quit. You can always come back.’ We’re like, ‘You do your thing. Give us a call. We’ll be right here in six weeks, six months or six years.’ … So for the absolute family, nobody ever really dies. People always come back.”
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