Efrim Manuel Menuck
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About Efrim Manuel Menuck
Canadian musician Effrim Manuel Menuck is probably best known as one of the founding members, and guitarist, for the post-rock group Godspeed You! Black Emperor. He subsequently also formed Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and released solo work. Menuck's father was a doctor and his mother a nurse, and he was born in Montreal but grew up in Toronto, where he attended Hebrew day school from grades one to nine. While in 11th grade he dropped out of high school and returned to Montreal, but at 20 years old, without a home or a job, he suffered a nervous breakdown.
After Menuck met Mauro Pezzente and Mike Moya, the trio formed Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 1994. The band self-released its debut record, All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling, that year, and the release was limited to just 33 copies on tape cassette. But it was their debut proper, F A (Infinity), that really brought them to the attention of a wider audience. The band released records and toured regularly between 1998 and 2002, becoming increasingly influential within the post-rock scene.
Alongside his work with Godspeed, Menuck also founded Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra in 1999 with Godspeed members Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar. In contrast to instrumental music he made with his first band, Mt. Zion featured vocals from Menuck and other members of the group. Their debut album, He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms..., appeared in 2000, and they continued to record regularly when Godspeed went on what appeared to be an indefinite hiatus in 2003. In the early days of Godspeed he also became involved in what would evolve from a venue to a recording studio. Menuck eventually co-owned and operated the 24-track recording studio Hotel2Tango with Amar, Howard Bilerman, and Radwan Moumneh, which has hosted recording sessions with artists like Arcade Fire, Colin Stetson, and Owen Pallett.
Menuck continued to record with Mt. Zion, and the band contributed to two works by singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt, appearing on both 2007's North Star Deserter and 2009's At the Cut. Then in 2010 it was reported that Godspeed would reunite for an appearance at an All Tomorrows Parties event, and in 2011 the band embarked on a full North American and European tour. That same year Menuck released his debut solo project via Constellation. Plays "High Gospel" was made following the birth of his son and the death of his friend and collaborator Chesnutt.
In 2012 Godspeed sustained the comeback with their first record in a decade, 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! Despite his old band's renewed activity, Menuck continued to make records with Mt. Zion, and in 2014 they released their seventh album, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything. The following year Godspeed put out their fifth record, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. Two years later Menuck returned with Godspeed for Luciferian Towers, and 2018 saw the release of his sophomore solo effort; Pissing Stars was inspired by the relationship between American TV presenter Mary Heart and Mohammed Khashoggi, the son of a Saudi arms dealer. ~ Bekki Bemrose
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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