Formed after Propagandhi member John K. Samson got the itch to perform and record again after taking a sabbatical to write and start a publishing company, the Winnipeg-based Weakerthans took Samson's music in a completely different direction.
Propagandhi had been known for powerful, speedy punk and overtly political lyrics, but the Weakerthans went down a more melodic and introspective path. Consisting of Red Fisher drummer Jason Tait and bassist John Sutton, the Weakerthans took their name from a line from the film adaptation of Marguerite Duras' The Lover: "Go ahead, I'm weaker than you can possibly imagine." The band prided itself on its high standards, both as political beings (shying away from large label or distribution contracts because of their connection to exploitation) and in their personal lives (promoting vegetarianism) and received critical praise for their debut album, Fallow, which was issued in 1998 on a co-operative label, G7& Welcoming Records. With the added presence of guitarist Steve Carroll, the group's second full-length, Left and Leaving, was issued in early 2000 and the Watermark EP followed a year later. By 2003, the band found a deal with Epitaph and issued Reconstruction Site, their breakthrough album. Soon after, however, Sutton left the Weakerthans, only to be replaced with bassist/keyboardist Greg Smith, and in 2007 the band released the fourth album in their ten-year tenure, Reunion Tour. ~ Stacia Proefrock