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Jian Ghomeshi / vocals, drums & percussion
Mike Ford / vocals & guitar
Dave Matheson / vocals, accordion, banjo, guitar
Murray Foster / vocals & bass
Gangsta banjo hip-hop. Accordion love songs. Persian epics. Solid pop songs. Moxy Fruvous entered the studio in the winter of 1996 to try to create something unique. They wanted to create a sound that you couldn't put your finger on and yet at the same time you couldn't let go of. They have emerged with You Will Go To The Moon, thirteen songs that try to answer the question...
"What does Moxy Fruvous sound like? "They sound like the Roches meet XTC at a party thrown by Camper Van Beethoven for Robyn Hitchcock's marriage to Cole Porter with They Might Be Giants as wedding band and Tom Lehrer acting as minister, but just as everyone starts singing old Queen songs the party is crashed by the entire cast of the Muppet Show. Moxy Fruvous is that good." -The Octopus (Champaign, IL), September 1996
The experimental sound of Moxy Fruvous' third album, You Will Go To The Moon, harkens back to the mid-sixties when groups wrote great three minute nuggets and then bathed them in wondrous sounds made by bringing together seemingly incongruous instruments. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album's opening track, "Michigan Militia" in which a pseudo bluegrass riff played on a banjo is married to James Brown's "Funky Drummer," thereby becoming an entirely new genre in popmusic.
Diversity has always been one of Moxy Fruvous' strongest calling cards. Songs such as "Lazlo's Career" and "The Incredible Medicine Show" prove the band capable of writing well beyond the cliche. of three chords for the verse and a fourth for the chorus. A middle Eastern flavor infiltrates the band's sound on "No No Raja" and the beautiful "Sahara," while life is breathed into "Love Set Fire" through the bellows of an accordion (in a way that Lawrence Welk would have never dared).
Their skilled songwriting even works when adapting another group's music. With the Beckish interpretation of the Bee Gees' "I've Gotta A Get A Message To You" Moxy Fruvous prove that humor and serious wisdom are not mutually exclusive. Pure powerpop drives "Get In The Car" and "New Boyfriend" while lots of upbeat angst define the raucous "Boo Time." .
From their earliest days as a band, Moxy Fruvous established themselves as highly skilled songwriters. Performing with their trademark soaring harmonies, the group's songs were heard all across their native Canada, thanks to early support from the CBC who commissioned a series of topical tunes that soon became the basis of their lively club shows. Word of mouth soon spread and before long they were playing to packed houses on Canada's club and College scene.
A self-titled indie cassette was released in 1992 and within a few months it was certified gold in Canada, and catapulted the group to opening act status for Bob Dylan. The record stayed #1 on Canadian independent charts for almost a year. Major record companies took notice which resulted in their signing to Warner Music Canada--a choice that was made largely because of the company's commitment to their artistic freedom.
The first album, 1993's Bargainville, went Platinum while the band toured sold-out theaters across Canada and garnered a Juno nomination for Group of the Year. They followed this with extensive touring throughout the U.S. and Europe in 1994 where Moxy Fruvous have become widely known for the musicality, humor and energy they put into their live shows. Through their non-stop touring playing packed smoky bars, theaters and festivals Moxy have honed their skills, and developed a fanatical fan following who are known internationally as the "Fruheads."
In 1995, Moxy Fruvous released their second album, Wood, a more intimate and personal record which was highlighted by fluent instrumental performances and trademark four part vocals.
In response to fans' demands, 1996 saw the release of The B Album (though not considered the third album), a short 10 song collection of satirical songs and oddities Fruvous had written and performed over the years.
From the beginning Moxy Fruvous have worn their beliefs on their sleeves fully bent trying to help make a difference. They have spoken and performed at a number of political rallies and each year the group holds a pro-choice benefit concert in Toronto. Various band members' prose can also be found in the Op-Ed pages of national newspapers.
In March 1997 Moxy Fruvous releases You Will Go To The Moon (their 2nd album in the U.S.) on The Bottom Line Record Company, a new label formed by Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, owners of the legendary New York venue, The Bottom Line, and Hank Medress, veteran producer and executive. The Bottom Line Record Co. is part of the Velvel family of independent record labels headed up by chairman and CEO Walter Yetnikoff.
Since the live show is the engine of the Fruvous machine, the band will tour extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada --playing clubs and festivals throughout the year.
From MusicBlvd, October 1997:
From their earliest days as a band, Moxy Fruvous established themselves as highly skilled songwriters. Performing with their trademark soaring harmonies, the group's songs were heard all across their native Canada, thanks to early support from the CBC. Techno-grass... Accordian love songs...Persian epics... Diversity has always been one of this theatrical quartet's strongest calling cards.