was a socially conscious and politically satirical folk-pop
band from Thornhill, Ontario
. The band was founded in 1989, and was active throughout the 1990s. Common themes in Früvous songs include Canada and the "human experience".
The band formed in 1989
when Jian Ghomeshi
, Murray Foster
and Mike Ford
, former classmates at the local Thornlea Secondary School
and playing in a pub band called The Chia Pets at the time, joined with David Matheson
in Toronto. They drew unusually large crowds, and, eventually, the attention of Toronto-based CBC Radio
, which commissioned songs about political and local issues for the radio show Later the Same Day.
Some songs written for the show later appeared on their albums; these songs include "The Gulf War Song" and "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors
", which was written for a Toronto authors' festival.
They cut a six-song demo tape in 1992, and their first major-label album, Bargainville, was released the next year. Its single, "King of Spain", was only the second Canadian independent #1 hit in that country's history. (Torontonians Barenaked Ladies were first by a few months, with 1991's "Be My Yoko Ono".) Shortly after, they embarked on a touring schedule that continued, practically without stopping except to record new material, until the end of 2000.
The band sometimes sang with little or no accompaniment in a style similar to contemporary a cappella, drawing comparisons to Da Vinci's Notebook. A number of their songs also express the band's progressive political leanings ("The Greatest Man in America", for instance, harps on Rush Limbaugh, and "Big Fish" lambastes former Premier of Ontario Mike Harris). Früvous was also known for their close relationship with their fans and their live shows, which were full of political commentary, humorous banter, and musical improvisation.
The band gave its last concert in 2000 (excepting performances at annual fan conventions in 2001 and 2002). On September 5, 2005, Ford, Foster and Ghomeshi performed on CIUT, the U of T's campus radio station, as part of the morning program Toronto Unlocked (an ad hoc program produced and hosted by locked-out CBC Radio One staff).
The last update to the band's website occurred July 8, 2008.
Where are they now?
- Jian Ghomeshi works for CBC Radio One and writes.
- Murray Foster is the bass player for Great Big Sea and is part of the band Great Atomic Power, with Dave Matheson, Tory Cassis, Mark Mariash and Jason LaPrade. He also performs in a vocal jazz standard group called The Lesters. Most recently, Foster has been touring as part of Great Big Sea, replacing bass player and singer Darrell Power.
- Dave Matheson performs solo and with Murray Foster in Great Atomic Power.
- Mike Ford often performs in schools, singing his songs about the history of Canada.
The name "Moxy Früvous" is a null
phrase, although the liner notes of their first CD Bargainville
contained a faux-dictionary listing of definitions for früvous.
The band was known to never provide a straight answer (and for that matter, almost never the same answer twice) when defining the band's name. However, in an interview with WBER
radio in Rochester, New York, on November 23, 1999, Jian explained the band's name origin by saying that they were "trying to think of a name that wasn't easy to remember and doesn't mean anything," going against the two conventions most bands might use in determining a band name. The name includes a heavy metal umlaut