Gerard van Herk, originally from the Montreal suburb of Chambly, was the singer and guitarist for the Montreal band Deja Voodoo in the 1980s. In 1983 he co-founded Og Music with Tony Dewald, a record label also based out of Montreal that was notable for providing early exposure to groups that would later go on to mainstream success, such as Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and Cowboy Junkies. The label and the band's many cross-nation tours helped to promote Canadian independent bands. Van Herk folded the label and the band in 1990, wanting to pursue other opportunities.
In his post-music career, he has become an academic in the field of linguistics. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa and at York University, and is currently working at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests lie mainly in variationist sociolinguistics and second language acquisition. He did his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Shana Poplack.