Gord Downie is a genuine hero of mine who has redefined rock ‘n’ roll music in Canada. Over the past 30 years, he’s led Kingston, Ontario’s the Tragically Hip, who write and perform songs that are uncommonly challenging and great, improbably becoming one of Canada’s most popular and influential bands as a result. The band kicks off their Man Machine Poem tour on July 22 in Victoria, which may well be the last time they cross the country together. Away from the Hip, Downie has written poetry, acted in films, collaborated with people like the Sadies, and formed another band called the Country of Miracles whose notable membership includes Julie Doiron, Dave Clark, Dale Morningstar, Josh Finlayson, and John Press. During an interview conducted on May 20, 2010, Gord and I discuss The Grand Bounce liner notes, foxiness and beans, pie makers and connectivity, revelations, desertion, Evan S. Connell and Son of the Morning Star and “the grand bounce,” things and people we desert and fight or flight, the sound of the Country of Miracles, relationships with music, his dedicated bandmates, his role as a player and musician, the shift in production from Coke Machine Glow to Battle of the Nudes to The Grand Bounce, using words up, “The Drowning Machine” collaboration with Buck 65, the water and God, Rich can’t swim, getting the Country of Miracles back together from time to time, a David Bowie ringtone, working with Chris Walla, missing the band, summer lovin’, a collaboration with the Sadies, Hip plans, calling on the songs, the song “The Dance and its Disappearance,” Crystal Pite and Kid Pivot, and then we danced.
Related links: thehip.com vishkhanna.com