Correction: This article originally misnamed the album You Forgot It In People as being You Forget It In People.

Broken Social Scene

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Michigan Theater
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Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff has some explaining to do.

Last April, eager fans of the 15-plus Toronto pack were left dissatisfied and understandably a bit bitter when the BSS show at The Michigan Theater was abruptly canceled. Fans became even more frustrated when rumors circulated that the cancelation was due to the vague excuse of “illness.”

In light of the recently rescheduled show presented by University Union Arts and Programs, The Michigan Daily spoke with Peroff about the reasons behind the bail and where the band stands eight years after their critically acclaimed release You Forgot It In People.

“I was actually sick. So that’s a legitimate thing. In our entire career, standing close to ten years now, we’ve only ever canceled two shows and they were both due to actual legitimate illnesses,” Peroff said.

There was speculation that 2006’s Ann Arbor show would be BSS’s last show ever. But again, Peroff set the record straight.

“I think perhaps what might have happened through the classic game of broken telephone is that we wanted to take some time off. It was our last show before taking a one-year hiatus essentially where we just wanted to recharge.

“I guess we finally decided to grow up and get our shit together, and it’s working out OK.” Peroff said.

Peroff elaborates, explaining that the band needed time to just be normal.

“We didn’t want to end up hating each other or what we do … so we decided to stay home for a while,” he said. “Some of us are married and Charlie (Spearin) has kids, so we wanted to basically save various relationships, those being the relationship we have together and the relationship we have at home. So we decided to take 2007 to reconnect with family life and, to wake up in the morning at home and hug your wife. It’s kind of a nice feeling.”

With the 2002 release of Forgot it In People, BSS became one of the most celebrated indie bands of the decade. Peroff explains why he feels the record resonates with such a wide audience.

“It came at a time that we personally felt that there was a wreck in the type of music that was being created. And a lot of people saw it as a breath of fresh air. It was something unique to a lot of people and the story behind the band was strange and cool. I Think You Forgot It In People was an audible version of what the story of Broken Social Scene is.”

This strange coolness may have to do with the fact that Broken Social Scene is essentially a band made up of other bands.

“We were a music community who found each other and just decided to make music as a whole, not anticipating what would happen afterwards,” Peroff said.

Although Broken Social Scene is a collection of artists, the core membership of the band has stayed together, allowing the band to play exciting live shows.

“As far as keeping it alive as a touring thing, we sort of have refined it because our friends in bands like Metric and Lesley Fiest have clearly established their own bands and we’re proud of watching their successes grow … so really there’s a core membership.”

This core membership includes Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger, Andrew Whiteman and Charles Spearin, and while Peroff can’t confirm any new members of the band, he did have some light to shed regarding recording another album.

“As far as BSS making music until we’re old and gray — some of us are already getting there. I mean I’ve got some gray goin’ on in my head. But if it all ends tomorrow I would be satisfied. I never anticipated making music this good for this long. So I’m already satisfied. In 10 years I’ll be ecstatic.”

Broken Social Scene has been busy touring since September to promote their latest album Forgiveness Rock Record released last May.

“We got to play some shows with The Wooden Birds and now we’ve got The Sea and Cake with us. We’ve all had some good times and we’re all in good company.”

And it seems as though their latest tracks are being well received, including the latest hauntingly trippy track, “Chase Scene.”

“People are really taking a shining to the new songs both on record and in a live setting. We’ve most recently been playing ‘Chase Scene’ live which has been a bit challenging, but the payoff has been really satisfying — just getting through it and getting a response. That’s been a blast.”

Peroff is to still nostalgic for tracks on widely adored album Forgot it In People and he plans to continue playing them before he’s over-the-hill.

“We try to keep it to a 50-50 split. I can’t even believe You Forgot It In People is going to be eight years old this year. It’ll be nice to play the album before we’re old and gray and our kids are all in high school.”

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