Groove – Episode #68: Gord Sinclair

Gord Sinclair

Photo by Aven Hoffarth

When I catch myself humming a song, it’s often a riff or lyric from The Tragically Hip. In you live in Canada, this may not be surprising. If you live outside of Canada, you’ve probably heard rumblings about this band for a while (the band formed in 1984 and had a breakthrough with their self-titled EP debut in 1987 that was quickly followed by the massive Up To Here album in 1989).

To call them rock royalty would be an understatement. In the pantheon of great Canadian rock, they sit up there with Rush, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, and Bryan Adams.

While much of the success of the band is often spoken of in relation to the lyrics and singing of frontman Gord Downie (who tragically died from brain cancer in 2017), there is no denying that the driving force behind their blend of rock, blues, folk, and alternative is driven by the contagious bass lines of Gord Sinclair.

Over the band’s incredible 30+ year career (with close to 15 albums) that saw them grow from college campuses and dive bars to the biggest arenas and stadiums, it’s no surprise that nine of their albums hit number one on the Canadian charts.

Sinclair recently released his first solo effort, Taxi Dancers, which is the first release from a member of The Hip since the passing of Gord Downie. The album is deeply personal and finds Sinclair not just playing bass, but being – as he describes it – a “reluctant solo artist.” One of Canada’s great bass players is back. A moment to celebrate.

Enjoy the conversation…

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  1. Matt Travaline

    Very stoked to hear this interview! Thanks for making it happen, Mitch. I’ve been putting the bug out there for a long time hahah. Gord’s one of my favorites all time on the low end and I put his work up against anyone as far as influences on my groove and style.