Murray Douglas Foster (born June 29, 1967) is a Canadian musician, vocalist, songwriter, director, playwright, screenwriter, and environmentalist. He is best known for his work as electric and upright bassist in the Canadian bands Moxy Früvous and Great Big Sea.
Foster was born in Thornhill, Ontario. At age 12, he and Jian Ghomeshi went to their first gig: a Peter Frampton concert. He attended Thornlea Secondary School, and graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto.
Tall New Buildings
In the late 1980s, Foster played bass in the new wave band Tall New Buildings, alongside vocalist Jian Ghomeshi, guitarist Tracy Jones, Reno Manfredi on keyboards and drummer John Ruttle.
Foster started Moxy Früvous in 1990 with Jian Ghomeshi, Mike Ford and Dave Matheson. The band developed a cult following and toured extensively for ten years. They released eight albums and were featured on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in October 1999.
Great Big Sea
In 2003, Foster began touring with Great Big Sea after founding bass player Darrell Power left the band. Over the course of 10 years with the band, Foster's role has evolved. In 2012, he co-wrote the a capella ballad "Safe Upon the Shore" with Séan McCann.
The Cocksure Lads
In 2010, Foster and Mike Ford recorded a CD under the name The Cocksure Lads. Called The Greatest Hits of The Cocksure Lads (1963-1968), its 12 tracks were written over the previous decade A new CD: Mad! Lad! Plan! was released on January 24, 2014. The live band is a separate project from The Cocksure Lads Movie.
The Cocksure Lads Movie
After writing several short plays, Foster was approached by Emily Andrews of Filmcoop Toronto to write scripts for short films. His short film, "The Picture," premiered at the Hamilton Film Festival in 2012. Foster has also written the screenplay for a full length feature film titled The Cocksure Lads Movie which he will also direct. Avi Federgreen has accepted the role of Executive Producer of the film. Filming will begin in April 2014.
Foster and Ford performed a number of pop-up performances at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to promote the upcoming film.
In 2012, a successful Kickstarter campaign raised $28,000 to begin work on The Cocksure Lads Movie. Foster is currently doing a second round of fundraising through a self-run crowdfunding campaign that offers backer rewards like postcards from the road, a chance to record a song with the band and an evening of board games.
In 2009, Foster performed a well-received lead role in the theatrical production of the play “Toronto Noir” in the Summerworks Theatre Festival.
In 2010, he and John Deere Credit Canada business analyst Brenda Morrow founded Platypus, the world's first green energy gift company. Patrons may purchase gifts of 100% renewable energy or donate to green energy projects worldwide on behalf of friends, family, clients or employees.
In January 2012, he wrote and recorded 30 songs in 30 days as part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation's DARE Campaign. The songs, made available to the public, raised almost $6,000 to fight AIDS in Africa.
Also in 2012, Foster was hired as the songwriting instructor by the Trebas Institute of Music in Toronto .
Foster supports various environmental causes, including the drive to expand safe cycling in Toronto. On September 8, 2013, he served as emcee of the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival.
On December 16, 2013, Toronto City Council endorsed the creation of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council to guide its efforts to support the economic and cultural development of the city's music industry. Foster was appointed to the board for his work as an independent artist.
In January 2014, Foster launched the Toronto Songwriting School, Canada's first institute devoted exclusively to songwriting, was a featured speaker at Nerd Nite Toronto, and released The Cocksure Lads' sophomore album.
- 3 May 1987. "Jian Ghomeshi and Murray Foster make Tall New Buildings." Switchback, CBC.
- Wilton, Lisa (28 October 2010). "Great Big Sea a great big treat". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Lewis, Catherine P (20 August 2010). "Album review: Great Big Sea's 'Safe Upon the Shore'" The Washington Post
- Rundle, Lisa Bryn (Summer 2012) "60 Seconds with Murray Foster" UofT Magazine.
- 22 January, 2014. Stephanie MacLellan. The Toronto Star. The Cocksure Lads the biggest ‘60s Britpop band that never existed
- Warne, Sarah (7 September 2013). "Cocksure Lads Make A Surprise Appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival." The Scene Magazine
- 9 September 2013. "Ride and Roll with the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival" Examiner.Com.
- Alper, Eric (20 December 2013). "City Council endorses new Toronto music industry advisory council" That Eric Alper.
- TRANZAC (9 January 2014). “The Art and Science of Songwriting”.
- Foster, Murray. July 14–21, 2005. "Live 8 reprise". NOW Magazine.
- Toronto Songwriting School
- Fruhead-Moxy Früvous fan site
- Great Big Sea's official website
- The Cocksure Lads official website