Rob Benvie is a novelist, writer, musician, songwriter, and singer currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Benvie has published two acclaimed novels, 2004’s Safety of War, and 2011’s Maintenance, both of which are available via Coach House Books. He is also well known for playing in bands like Thrush Hermit, The Dears, Camouflage Nights, and Tigre Benvie. His latest outfit is called Bankruptcy, which just released a new record called “For the Future” on 1.7 Publications. Bankruptcy play Adelaide Hall in Toronto on September 8, 2016 and here, Rob and I discuss Toronto’s blazing hot summer, Montreal, living for the city, caring about Toronto, a penchant for obnoxiousness, not pessimistic, funny or not, irony, prose writing and songwriting, wordiness and Bob Dylan, scrapping it all, Murray Lightburn, states of completion, barf, a meta section, where Bankruptcy came from, Wayne MacPherson, starting the band, democracy, anxiety, addiction, malaise; fortitude, togetherness, optimism, propulsive energy and fun, The Clash and “the only band that matters,” turning to synthesized sounds after Thrush Hermit, Sandinista!, late 90s home recording technology and the birth of Tigre Benvie, how Thrush Hermit worked together and why they broke up, Clayton Park, Rob’s singing, Joel Plaskett, the Steve Miller Band set at Edgefest ’95, Nazareth on MuchMusic, sincerity and detachment, restlessness, maturity, “Swim for the Light” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2, when Rob initiated the Thrush Hermit reunion tour in 2009, being an angry young man, the Hermit’s lasting legacy and the band’s future, a Clayton Park vinyl release, seeing the Hermit at the Volcano in Kitchener, Bankruptcy plans and a new novel, getting the word out, stuff glut, brown blushing, mature, sincere, and sexual, the song “Barfed-up Candelabra,” and then we headed for the future.
Related links: robbenvie.com bankruptcymusic.com vishkhanna.com