Broken Social Scene looks back to the future

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Kevin Drew is groggy from an afternoon nap when the Georgia Straight reaches him at home in Toronto, but after splashing some water on his face “and slapping myself around a bit”, he sounds absolutely enthused about playing the Pemberton Music Festival with his on-again, off-again band, Broken Social Scene.

      “We got a phone call 10 days ago, and it was too generous and too much of a celebration to turn down,” the songwriter reports. “So we just said, ‘Well, let’s do it!’ ”

      Since going on hiatus the year after the 2010 release of Forgiveness Rock Record, Broken Social Scene has only played twice, both times at the Arts & Crafts label’s annual Field Trip festival. Blowing the cobwebs off the band shouldn’t be much of a challenge, however.

      “What have we got planned for you? We have a Broken Social Scene show planned for you,” Drew asserts. “We’re going to go there and rock out, put our guts on the line and play to the biggest ability that we can. And when you do these one-offs, that’s the only way you can do it. You do it with your future and your past there with you in that moment.

      “These are songs that we’ve played more times than I can remember hugging people who are in my family,” he continues. “I believe in the vibe of off-the-cuff, but I also believe in following the melodies that you’ve put down and that have become immortal. So that should be the way that it goes. We don’t plan on going all the way there, and going on at that time, and putting on a loosey-goosey show. We plan on bringing it, not only for those in front of us, but for ourselves.”

      That might read a little more self-congratulatory than it sounded over the phone. At the time Broken Social Scene dissolved, Drew admits, the band was coming off one of the best records of its career, but it was also getting decidedly blasé about what it delivered on-stage.

      “I think sometimes you’ve got to figure out what you value in your life to really come back to it,” he explains. “I thought we were an incredibly crazy but kind band—and I can’t take advantage of something that’s magical to me. And I think near the end there, we were. That’s my personal opinion, but when I get together with these guys next week and we start rehearsing, we won’t be. We’ll be there for the sole reason of being there for each other and being there for the work that we’ve created—which is, I think, a very solid body of work. So there’s a future there, and this is part of it.

      “This show couldn’t come at a better time, because there is a future, and there is music, and there is more to come,” he adds. “That’s all I can say, and all I can hope for.”

      Broken Social Scene plays the Pemberton Music Festival on Saturday (July 18).