Kevin Drew Explains How Broken Social Scene Reunited for Their First Record in Seven Years

The Globe and Mail had a sprawling story on the return of Broken Social Scene on Saturday that featured a very candid interview with Kevin Drew. This is definitely worth the read.

One night in May, on the west side of Toronto, Kevin Drew is reminded of a feeling his band had back in 2002. There he is, sitting in the park with his friends, including musicians Leslie Feist, James Shaw and Emily Haines, drinking wine. “I’m sitting there with all the kids, and no one knows who we are, no one cares, and I’m thinking: ‘This is what we do,’” Drew says. “Everyone has their own OCD ways of how they need to be treated, but these are the moments that get us together onstage.”

The band, Broken Social Scene, hasn’t been together onstage with new music in seven years and there’s a double-album worth of reasons why. BSS is like a frozen-in-time Saturday Night Live, its most popular members having departed to make their own solo stabs at fame. But it’s even more fraught. Because all of the BSS members make their own music – often together – and while some break out and some falter, the band is less like SNL and more like NBC, the network umbrella they all live under.

In 2014, when Vogue magazine calls Toronto’s West Queen West the world’s second-coolest neighbourhood, some of that is because it’s where Broken Social Scene partied in 1994. It’s the group that made Toronto sexy while Drake was still a student at Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Walking around the area with Drew in April, he laments not investing in real estate. “I don’t buy neighbourhoods, I build them,” says the BSS member, but also the co-founder of Arts & Crafts, the band’s label. “It’s my curse.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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