Broken Social Scene Share A Few Of Their Favorite Songs

Charles Spearin discusses the sounds that shaped his contribution to “Hug of Thunder”

Broken Social Scene

Canadian collective Broken Social Scene return with a new album Hug of Thunder, their first record since they declared a hiatus in 2011.

Open chords, multi-voice harmonies, psychedelic tints, and panoramic notes, all the key elements of the BSS sound are represented on the new LP. What the band have always done, they do well here – mixing universal expanses with intimate reflections – but with a sharpened approach, producing one the best albums since their inception back in the early 2000’s.

With a huge line up of members, the inspirations and inputs to the project are far and wide-reaching, so we singled out founding member Charles Spearin, and asked about the music that he considered the most memorable from his formative years.  Here’s what he said…

The first single I bought…

It was “Mr. Roboto” by Styx. My mother took my sister and me downtown to visit the Legislative Assembly to teach us about politics but on the ride home Mr. Roboto came on the radio and that’s all I remember. Bought the 45 the next day.

The first live show I attended…

Well, the first show I attended was The Nylons, and it was awesome, but the first show I went to *of my own choosing* was David Bowie for the Glass Spider tour. Also Awesome.

The fist song I learned to play…

It was “Axel F” by Harold Faltermeyer. My friend played the main synth line and I butchered the bass breakdown in front of my grade 8 classmates. Tricky time signature.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice… 

Tough call. There were so many. Maybe “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. The Ramones taught me that you didn’t have to be very good to be great.

The song that reminds me of home… 

Reminds me of home: “Echo Beach” by Martha and the Muffins. So very 80’s Toronto.

My guilty secret track…

“Popcorn” by Popcorn from the album Popcorn. I listen to it all the time. The drums are great.

One song I wish I wrote… 

is “I’ll be on the water” by Akron/Family. Although I’m just glad somebody wrote it. Either that or “Call of Ktulu” by Metallica.

The finest song by my all time hero…

I don’t really go in for heroes or favorites but “Heroes” by Bowie is pretty untouchable.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud… 

…could be “Mrs. Morris” from The Happiness Project.

The song that should be played at my funeral….

When I’m dead I imagine I’ll have bigger things on my non-existent mind than what jams are dropping around my coffin. Honestly, it could be “it’s raining men” and I wouldn’t give a f***.

Favorite track from Hug of Thunder…. 

is “Mouthguards of the Apocalypse”. I had to go to bat for this one, big time. Not everyone liked it but to me it really resonated deeply both lyrically and musically. So, so glad it made the final cut.

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