Tag Archives: MuchMusic

Ep. #296: Christopher Ward

Christopher Ward is a songwriter and author who currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Toronto. Renowned for writing the hit single “Black Velvet” by Allanah Myles, Ward bears the distinction of being one of the first ever Canadian on-air video jockeys (VJ) when MuchMusic launched on August 31, 1984. The network went on to alter the course of live broadcasting and music media for decades and Ward was an active participant in its early, heady, experimental, and chaotic days. He’s chronicled the experience in a compelling new oral history book called Is This Live? Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic The Nation’s Music Station, which features commentary from musicians, hosts, producers, crew members, and many other firsthand witnesses to the weirdness. Is This Live? was published this past fall by Random House Canada and Christopher and I recently met at his publisher’s office in downtown Toronto to discuss how MuchMusic got started, how and why it became beloved and influential, its rawness and prescience for interactive content and social media, his book, and more. Sponsored by the Bookshelf, Pizza Trokadero, and Planet Bean Coffee.

Related links: christopherward.ca much.com/is-this-live vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #87: Bry Webb

Bry Webb is one of Canada’s most distinctive singers, songwriters, and musicians. Based in Guelph, Webb emerged from London, Ontario’s post-hardcore punk scene, fronting an excellent band called Shoulder. In the late 1990s, he co-founded a Guelph-based band called Constantines who had a profound impact on rock music during their 10-year run. In 2011, Webb released Provider, his first solo album and did his best to tour the world behind it as a new father with a day job. On May 20, the Toronto label Idée Fixe will release Webb’s new album. It’s called Free Will, and he’ll be touring behind it a lot this spring and summer, including a hometown show, opening for Destroyer at Kazoo! Fest on Friday April 11. Here, Bry and I discuss what CFRU is all about, what the music community in London Ontario was like when Bry lived there, shy Bry and how punk and skating brought him out of his shell, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet’s Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham, the practicality of parents, how having kids can alter how one values their own life, what drew him to guitar, AC/DC and the Cure, when MuchMusic was awesome for kids, Skeletons of Society (S.O.S.), getting to play guitar at recess, the post-hardcore band Shoulder and their album Touch, my band Captain Co-Pilot and its connection to Shoulder and the early days of Constantines, 519 hardcore, Call the Office, and the Button Factory, Guelph’s music scene and The Goods CD compilation, Aaron Riches and a key Minnow show featuring Blake, Chili, and Shoulder that foreshadowed Three Gut Records, the Cons’ early reverence for legendary rock figures and how it might have pigeonholed them, that time Constantines broke up on the radio, the lead-up and motivation that brought Bry back to make Provider, how Free Will follows a thread from Provider but also explores more complex emotions, the naming of the record and its connection to the Cons’ Will Kidman, why Constantines are playing shows together again and details about the Shine a Light reissue and shows they’re playing this summer, some of Bry’s solo shows, the brand new song “Positive People” and then it’s over.

Related links: brywebb.com ideefixerecords.com kazookazoo.ca vishkhanna.com

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