|Origin||Thornhill, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Folk rock, comedy rock|
|Labels||Warner Music Canada, Bottom Line, Atlantic|
Moxy Früvous was a politically satirical folk-pop band from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. The band was founded in 1989, and was active until 2001. Common themes in Früvous songs include Canada and the "human experience".
The band formed in 1989 when Jian Ghomeshi (then going by Jean 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 to busk in Toronto. They drew 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 that year performed at the SOCAN Awards celebration. Their first major-label album, Bargainville, was released the next year. 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. A number of their songs also express the band's progressive political leanings ("The Greatest Man in America", for instance, mocks 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 a performance at an annual fan convention in 2001).
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 on July 8, 2008. The website was replaced by a default webserver page in mid-2009. The page eventually returned, and as of June 11, 2018 was still available.
Ghomeshi, Foster, and Ford performed on CBC Radio One on March 1, 2010, as a goodbye to Metro Morning host Andy Barrie.
In late 2014, Ghomeshi was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault, and one count of choking, in relation to three complainants. He was charged with three additional counts related to three more women on January 8, 2015.
"As former colleagues of Jian (our last show was in 2000), we are sickened and saddened by this week's news. We had no inkling that Jian engaged in this type of behaviour. We abhor the idea of a sexual relationship of any sort being entered into without full consent from both parties and condemn violence against women in any form. We wish only health and healing to everyone involved. We have no further comment on this matter at this time."
Ghomeshi was acquitted of five assault charges on March 24, 2016. On May 11, 2016, the Crown withdrew the last remaining charge after Ghomeshi signed a peace bond and apologized to the plaintiff.
The name "Moxy Früvous" is a nonsense 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 or consistent answer when defining the band's name.
In an interview with WBER radio in Rochester, New York, on November 23, 1999, Ghomeshi explained the band's name origin by saying that they were "trying to think of a name that wasn't easy to remember and didn't mean anything," satirically going against two conventions most bands might use in determining a band name. The name also includes an ironic heavy metal umlaut.