Broken Social Scene + Stills Refugees Hit the 'Refresh Button' With Eight and a Half
While killing pints at a cozy pub in Toronto's funky Kensington Market, Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff reveals a bumper sticker slogan he thought up while touring with the storied indie rock collective.
"I wanted to get one that said, 'My other band is a trio,'" he jokes with Spinner's RPM.
At some point, it seemed like every Toronto-based musician claimed some connection to Broken Social Scene. At their most bloated, the supergroup boasted nearly 20 members so one can only imagine the bureaucracy that plagued that pirate nation.
Peroff was taking the piss. But now that Kevin Drew and crew have put Broken Social Scene on indefinite hiatus -- and Peroff has hooked up with keyboardist Liam O'Neil and singer-guitarist Dave Hamelin, from the now-defunct Montreal band the Stills, to form the electro-pop-influenced trio Eight and a Half -- the joke seems weirdly prophetic.
Peroff has provided the backbeat for Broken Social Scene since 2000. Unlike his bandmates, he didn't have a project outside the BSS banner, but in the summer of 2009 -- around the time that the outfit staged the concert captured for Bruce McDonald's film 'This Movie Is Broken' -- he was feeling the itch.
"I made a list of musicians that I wanted to work with, and Dave and Liam were on the list," he says.
As luck would have it, a few weeks later at a festival gig in New York, O'Neil and Hamelin mentioned to Peroff they were branching out from the Stills. Peroff jumped on board, and Eight and a Half was born. There was, however, a small issue.
"We were challenged geographically," says Peroff, who at the time had just moved to Los Angeles and was busy