1993 background on the band
Background on the Band - 1993
We met, the four of us, on a school trip to a pig-calling contest in Flesherton,
Ontario. Although none of us won, we split the "Most Promising Pig-Caller"
award and met for the first time on the podium. Incidentally, the two pigs
used in the contest were "Moxy" and "Fruvous."
Back at high school we became friends and, after discovering common musical
and theatrical interest, began collaborating. Two of us wrote three full-length
musicals for a nearby school of the arts, two formed a pop-funk combo called
Tall New Buildings, and all of us acted in high school and community theatre
(one of us even became a regular on a couple of ill-fated Canadian Broadcasting
Company series). During all of this, we managed to maintain a thrilling,
three team Caleco table-hockey league.
In 1990, while in university, we decided to come together as a foursome
and busk (busk: to entertain, especially by singing, reciting or break dancing
on the street, in pubs, or in subway passages) for money on the streets
of Toronto-a strictly recreational project. Moxy Früvous was the obvious
choice for a name, and we decided to busk a cappella so we wouldn't
have to carry instruments.
We quickly learned that a strong reaction from the crowd meant more loonies
in our hat, and so, driven by hunger, we drew upon our musical and theatrical
backgrounds, as well as a shameless instinct for pandering, to develop a
set of music that included rap, folk, soca, impromptu theatrics, comedy,
political satire, bad choreography, the occasional dirge and a lot of shouting.
Through all of this ran the common threads of strong four-part vocal arrangements,
sparse acoustic instrumentation and irreverent and incisive lyrics. In short,
we were a four-man tornado that descended onto Bloor Street every Friday,
then vanished with pocketfuls of loot to plot the next week's mischief.
It didn't take long to catch the attention of someone important-attention-grabbing,
was, after all, our business. In the fall of 1990 a CBC radio executive
spotted us on the street and hauled us in to perform on the local drive-home
show, "Later The Same Day." During this performance the CBC brass
noticed our penchant for political satire and commissioned us to write what
eventually added up to twenty-five satirical songs-on topics ranging from
gambling in Ontario to the LA riot-for such shows as "Sunday Morning,"
"Morningside," and CBC-TV's "The Journal." Many of these
songs made their way into our live set and, subsequently, our album.
In the summer of 1991, we decided to become a real band and move indoors.
Soon we were playing to our own large and obedient crowds around Toronto.
Early in 1992, we recorded and released an eponymous and independent six-song
cassette, which caused a commotion in the Canadian music industry to a degree
unheard of since the Martian Conflux of 4,000,000 BC. It quickly rose to
the #1 position on the Canadian independent charts and stayed there for
a year. By the summer of 1992, it had entered the national charts, and we
were opening for the likes of Bryan Adams and Bob Dylan.
In the fall of 1992, the band won a CASBY award for Best New Central Canadian
Group and embarked on a cross-Canada tour. By the time the dust had settled,
the cassette had gone gold in Canada (with half of those copies being sold
"from the stage"), and we signed a deal with Warner Music Canada,
which include release commitments in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Just thinking about that year makes us tired.
1n 1993, we finished recording our debut album at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock,
New York. The album is called Bargainville, and it's being released
by Atlantic in the States. We produced it ourselves because we have a lot
of gumption, and because we felt that the artistic entity that is Moxy Früvous
is best understood only by the four of us.
To date, such tunes as "My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors," "King
of Spain," and "Stuck in the 90s" have pushed Bargainville
beyond the platinum mark in our native country. For the first time in our
career, we don't have to worry about peddling albums between songs. It's
the small victories that make life worth living.
So prepare yourself for the poignant, political, funny and adventurous songs
of Moxy Früvous; coming of age somewhere between the baby boomers and
the computer revolution, we've attempted to sum it all up with the 16 songs
on Bargainville." As Hal the computer said in 2010, get ready
for "something wonderful."
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