Of the all the acts on the shortlist for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize, Toronto hardcore band Fucked Up seemed the least likely to take the $20,000 award. But that’s exactly what happened as a jury of 10 Canadian music journalists, bloggers and broadcasters awarded the band the prize, previously won by Caribou and Patrick Watson.
The six-piece band’s latest album, “The Chemistry of Common Life” (Matador), was given the award, much to the surprise of its frontman.
“We got here today and got frisked on the way in,” said burly, bearded Damian Abraham. “And I thought this is going to suck getting frisked and not coming away with anything, but at least we’ll get a free iPod [given to nominees]. Well, we won the Polaris. It’s a lot better than an iPod.”
During its performance at the Sept. 21 ceremony, Fucked Up were joined on stage by Owen Pallett, the string player known as Final Fantasy who won the first Polaris Prize in 2006. By the end of the song, Abraham was wearing nothing more than his underwear.
Ten acts played sets during the awards show program, which lasted more than three hours. Other acts nominated for the award included Newfoundland’s Hey Rosetta!, Toronto’s Metric, and Canadian/Somalian rapper K’Naan.
A one-hour Polaris show will air on Sept. 26 on MuchMusic at 9pm ET.
Fucked Up have played in Toronto since 2001. “The Chemistry of Common Life” is the band’s second album.