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From the archives: Gord Downie on how to be a songwriter

Caroline Szwed

Since the Tragically Hip formed in 1984, nine of its albums have reached No. 1 on the Canadian charts, winning a total of 16 Juno Awards — and making a long-lasting impact on every fan.

The band lost Gord Downie on Oct. 17, 2017, when the frontman succumbed to brain cancer.

In an interview with CBC in 1989, the late songwriter spoke about the nature of writing, and the evolution of the Tragically Hip's songwriting.

"[Writing] is something that requires practise, and with practise you write about things you experience," he said, the same year that the Hip released its debut album, Up to Here.

There's no denying that Downie's songs reflected what he was seeing in his own backyard, and the experiences he lived through.

Watch the full interview with Downie from CBC Archives below.

More to explore:

Gord Downie dies at 53

26 Gord Downie quotes that will inspire you

Canada mourns the loss of Gord Downie