Category: Misc

Some more cool show happenings…

Sorry for the lame title… i’m tired and that’s all I have!

Ok… So, I mentioned in a few posts lately on FB that we would think about some ways to get some of our long term friends/fans and supporters into a show. While most of you indeed got your tickets, some hardcore fans missed out! Whatever the cause, we think we have a cool way to appease everybody and keep on celebratin’!

If you got left out and didn’t manage to get your hands on tickets, I would like you to simply email redd@thephoenixconcerttheatre.com. Some of you have already received initial emails from her indicating that we are working on ‘something’, but if you haven’t and would like to get into one of our Phoenix shows, please email her! Just put “IME Phoenix Tickets” in the subject line.

I really can’t say too much more about it all right now, but want you to know we are trying to take care of as many of you as we possibly can, and that starts with those who are reading this blog!

Let’s get crackin’ and make sure that everybody gets a shot at sharing these amazing times with us!

Y’all rock by the way…

LYM

jT

Another show… another sandwich

PEOPLE!!!! WOW! The blog should actually end there….

So let’s see… a really interesting and surprising week in IMEnation don’t you think?

First we have the whole unexpected reconnection with Edwin, culminating in a new partnership to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the FISH, then we announce a show in Toronto that sells out in 2 minutes, forcing us to get organized and book another… not to mention trying to answer the crazy amount of emails, interview requests… I feel like I haven’t been off of my phone for 2 weeks. Hate it and love it at the same time.

We really didn’t know what to expect regarding the first announcement we made last week or how the show thing would pan out. I know I sound like a broken record here with the “we are so surprised..” and the “we didn’t know blah blah blah….” but it’s so fucking true! I wish you could be a fly on the wall to actually hear how we speak to each other about these things… confidence totally wrapped in a blanket of doubt and uncertainty. Still… we move forward.

We really just try to stay focused on the actual realities in front of us, get ready to put the time and effort in to make ‘stuff’ happen, and surround ourselves with positivity (which is actually tough given the nature of the business we are in, but so far so good!)

The first order of business in front of us is to respond to the overwhelming reaction to the show. The only option really is to add another isn’t it? Kind of obvious. So today is all about organizing that, and getting more tickets on sale for Thursday morning! 10am I believe. Again, we don’t know what to expect, but a ton of fans couldn’t get in, and we’re hoping that adding this second show gets everybody in the door! Exciting stuff!

We are also trying to react to people complaining about getting shut out by scalpers and missing out and we have some simple and cool ideas to help everybody. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow! This is nothing new, just a big never ending piss off and every band hates it. Some actually do care about it enough to try some things, some don’t. I think you know where we stand.

I received an amazing amount of really cool emails post announcement with support and some really well thought out questions. I promise to get to them as soon as I can but there are literally 100s in my inbox. Currently making my way through it all trying to condense my thoughts a little bit. This week everything seems to be governed by “the Shows” and slowing me down on that front. On it!

So while this blog is short and pseudo-sweet, I just wanted to thank you all personally for supporting this project and allowing us to continue to make music or y’all. It really is sumpin’! The reaction across the country has been nothing short of phenomenal and who knows where it all goes, but “interesting” for IME fans, even the fringe/casual ones, is most definitely an understatement.

So the sched today in the life of this “rock guy” is:

A) write blog and eat sandwich
B) go to dance recital for daughter, bring another sandwich
C) a ‘sit and strum’ rehearsal of Scenery and Fish with Edwin
D) championship hockey game with daughter
E) besitos
F) finish mixing this other band’s tunes
G) more besitos
H) sleep (maybe… depending on the aforementioned besitos…. or maybe just a sandwich)

 

Not a bad day at all!

That’s it for now… of course we will talk again soon, probably by the weekend after all of this shit settles down around our feet (knees?).

Love your Mothers… (and muchos besitos)

jT

WHAT?? IME w/EDWIN??

I know… completely crazy!!  So… where to begin with all of this stuff that’s been going on?  I’m just as shocked/excited/confused/pumped as all of you!  So let’s start at the beginning… which was basically 2 weeks ago. Or maybe we go back further (6 months) when the idea and plans to use the 20th anniversary of Scenery and Fish as a theme to finally get playing coast to coast, and do something awesome for our fans.

Our basic concept was to use the entire year to play about 25 shows across all of Canada, release S&F on vinyl, a new digital release of the remixed record, a making of documentary, new music, acoustic versions etc. basically the whole shebang!!! This was shaping up to be the busiest year since the re-onion!  We were really over-the-top-excited about the prospects.

However, behind the scenes, things were getting a bit more challenging schedule wise with all of it. We all have busy lives of course and with Brian now having a full time radio gig, travel schedules were really tight. That, plus his current efforts to chase a personal dream and join a different band,… the live prospects of this year actually becoming a reality became even more difficult. So what to do now?

I was resigned to just believing that there would be no live shows, no big celebration of this record, perhaps not even a goodbye to all of our fans who have invested years and years into this band. (this part was killing me personally the most!)  It was a really sad and pathetic revelation to have, just sitting there in my pajamas, scratching my balls, wondering if this was it for IME.  So I thought my days were best served by getting to work on all of the other things we had already been promising to fans and just try not to sweat it… maybe even get some sleep. Self pity doesn’t fit me very well, and within a couple of days this disappointment and confusion turned into something much more recognizable… motivation! (…to live just a question of where to get love..)

THE MEETING

However, within 3-4 days of Brian’s announcement that he was now focusing more of his attention on another band, an extremely serendipitous and unexpected meeting between myself and Edwin came together through a mutual friend.  I was initially interested as far back as 8 months ago, to have a simple discussion to see if he had any interest in being a part of this ‘Making of the Fish’ doc that I have been thinking about… I just couldn’t get my head around actually hooking up to talk.  Call it laziness, cowardice, indifference… whatever you want. I always had ‘something else to do’ and would ‘get around to it’… and you all know what that means.

As Chris and myself were continually talking about S&F concepts for the past 6 months, we were really getting an understanding from people just how much this record meant to them at one point in their lives… it’s an interesting feeling, to be consistently reminded that we owe a great debt to this time, and this record!  There is no escaping it. We also really started to talk more frequently and easily about the possibilities of getting input from the people around us from that specific time.  It isn’t possible to think about that record without thinking of all the people who helped to make it. Simple. My only problem? I haven’t even crossed paths let alone talked to Edwin in 18 years… I had no idea how would it go… Who is this guy now? (and who am I now for that matter?!)

So, when the possibility presented itself through this ‘mysterious friend’, we both said yes and met the next day.  No time to think about it, chicken out, make excuses etc. The only way to go was to just give in and get it over with.  I have to say that I was nervous, but actually really excited to reconnect.  I’m confident that the man I am now is a million miles away from the man I was then, and really believed that if anything, it would be good for both of us to just reconnect and clear the air if needed and if that’s all that came out of it… it’s still a good thing!

However, when we saw each other, we hugged, relaxed a bit and talked about our lives.  We didn’t really have the need or energy to get into old garbage.  We actually had a really good laugh talking about the funny and insane ‘road stuff’ that happened continually to us and both admitted (contrary to what most people may think) that the good FAR outweighed the bad.  All I could say about the past was that I vaguely remember being mad at him 18 years ago, but really can’t remember the details! lol! I think we’re both kind of foggy on that time. It’s too easy to just live with old feelings, good or bad, than actively try to change it I guess.

So, getting to the meat of the conversation. Scenery and Fish!!  I gave my pitch about finding ways of working together on some of these concepts, how the fans would really love it, and how we felt that he deserved to have a voice in that.  He agreed that it could definitely be fun and was into it, and just left it at that. I thought we would talk for 30 min or so, but it turned into 2.5 hours!  So many things were talked about of course, but one thing kept coming back on the table: to play live again. Could we? Should we? Can we? This had been a non starter for so many years for the both of us, but the circumstances of the week put us in that room together in the right frame of mind, and at the exact moment it needed to be. The answer is yes to all.

Trust me, this is incredibly surreal for all of us in every way: coincidence, the universe conspiring , the dying stars we’ve known and loved aligning, or whatever other horseshit justification you care to apply, but it is definitely kind of weird! (just like reruns of the Mod Squad and cartoons!)

After deciding that playing live would freak everybody out and be really cool to do, we parted ways and I then gave Chris the Coles notes of our meeting.  We started throwing the idea of playing a show together around from every angle: do we really want to get into any craziness again with fans? how do we explain it? can we play the old stuff together, not just good, but GREAT?  do our personalities fit together enough to really get down to work?  It’s normal to toss these things around but we kept coming back to the same conclusions: We WILL do this, and it WILL be awesome.

There is a lot of work ahead of us naturally but I really believe it’s going to rock to hear these songs just like the record, with quite a few surprises thrown in.  Face it, you’re more than a little bit curious! I know we are.

It’s amazing how such lows can turn into highs in an instant if you focus on the opportunities, usually right in front of you.  I think we all deserve the right to chase opportunity and realize dreams to look after our families, I can’t argue with that concept at all!  IME now and always will be my greatest opportunity.  We have always been living the dream, and have been given a real gift to share with our families and all of you.

All of us, including you, are part of this crazy partnership and being able to give you guys something that nobody believed could happen, is an absolute honor and privilege for us.

 

QUESTIONS

So you probably have a million questions about all of this (judging from the emails I am already receiving!) so I’ve decided to just keep the lines open and try to formalize it a bit via another blog later in the week.  Ask the right questions, and you will get what you need. PM me on facebook and I will start to put it all together.

SO….

A strange and really exciting time.

Just love your fucking Mothers… and all wi’ be well.

jT

BLOSSOM (Lyrics)

BLOSSOM
lyrics by Christian Tanna

WHATEVER HEARTS WE BREAK
WHATEVER BEDS WE’VE MADE
OUR EVERY DOMINO WILL COME DOWN

WHATEVER LOVE WE GAVE
IT WAS ALIVE THEN STAYED TOO LATE
IN THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF SUNDOWN

THE EVER-RECKLESS WONDER
I LET US LUMBER DOWN THE SADDER ROAD TO SOMETIME
BUT WHEN OUR BEST HITS BOTTOM
SURRENDER HOLLERS LIKE A DYNAMO THAT’S ON FIRE

chorus

WHENEVER I FALL I MAKE IT SENSATIONAL
I MAKE IT NO LESS THAN AWESOME
ONE WRETCHED BLOSSOM COME MAY
I’LL NEVER UN-BREAK YOUR DAY
YOU’LL NEVER TALK ME HONEST COME HELL OR HARVEST…NO WAY

ALL SHOCK AND NO SHINE
NEVER HAVING MINDS IN MY DARKEST TIME TO TURN TO
AND WHEN THE WORDS ARE WANTING
I AM AFRAID I MIGHT STAY AND SOFTLY BREAK

chorus

WE MEASURE OUR TIME IN PLEASANT YET WOUNDED ORBITS
IN THE ONCE HUNGRY DAYS OF FAIRLY ORDINARY LIFE
IN THE WARM FIST REVELATION SOUL KISS
WIDE AWAKE AND MOSTLY DONE
THERE’S A LESSON OR TURNAROUND SO TELL ME…
ARE LEARNING?
ARE WE TURNING?
OR ARE WE BURNING TO THE GROUND?

chrous

WHENEVER I FALL I MAKE IT SENSATIONAL
DON’T BOTHER, DON’T TRY, DON’T CALL
‘CAUSE I’M GONE

BLOSSOM…. WTF!?!?

Hey Gang…

So Blossom? WTF?

Well as you already know, we have a new track called Blossom coming out and I thought I would start telling you about it now before it’s out of hand and we can still actually control our message…. and it’s a good one. (we are actually a little bit proud of this concept)

I was going to hold off giving any details about this song until early next week as the release is officially Nov 6th, but as the song was unexpectedly leaked against our wishes, our whole fucking plan was scrapped… (well, almost). Yay! So much for all of our usual sneaky shit!

I was about one second away from throwing the tune in the shitter actually and saying ‘fuck it’ out of frustration and just start in on a new one. It was just another example of outside forces fucking with our proverbial and infamous’shit’, and I think by now you all know how I feel about that! I just don’t have the stomach for it anymore. So instead, the more mature me (yes, me) started thinking that this can all be turned into a positive if we just work with you guys and tell you our new plan for this tune.

As I said before, the song was slated for Nov. 6, the leak happened, and radio folk want to start spinning it now. This is awesome news for sure, but as the song doesn’t officially come out on itunes and other platforms until Nov 13, we feel its way too early to help our plan as it was, and now have mixed things up a bit. Im guessing most people will have the song after this week anyhow, post it on youtube and well, thats the end of that song in some ways, (purely from a marketing/promo/trying to create cool new business perspective).

So… We have decided to just give the song to you. We have also decided to donate 100% of our proceeds of this song to helping other musicians going through hard times via The Unison Benevolent Fund, an organization that you all know we have supported in the past. The song will be available on all digital platforms by Nov 13th with pre-order option available Nov 6th. So obviously we are hoping you will still buy it for yourself, a friend, an enemy….. totally up to you. We can only appeal so much to the more gentle, non-piratey side of the general public and hope for the best. Please think about supporting us with this endeavor. Its kind of cool.

So here is the new plan for Blossom that i hope you guys can support us on:

-Fuck it, radio starts today…. please start requesting at your local fave stations.
-As of Nov. 6th, the song will be available as a free download through the radio stations website, please support those who support us, visit them and link through them… No shortcuts.
-The provided link will direct you to a page that does three things a) give you the song b) provide links for pre ordering/gifting the song if you feel like it and c) give you some cool information about Unison And the musicians we are trying to help.
-Listen carefully to the song without interruption and smile a bit, shake your ass, punch somebody…..
-Spread the word if you think what we are doing is worth spreading…. It all helps.

That’s really it. Oh, and how about we donate the proceeds from the last two songs as well? If you buy or gift We Got The Love or Devil’s Engine starting Nov 6th, we’ll donate that money too. I really don’t know how much a band like us can raise with this plan, but the intent is to give it a go, do what we can and hopefully inspire some other artists to think a little more outwardly, you know, beyond the tax write off, and actually help some folks out because you FEEL it…. Know what I’m sayin’?

So… This is kind of cool, and I really believe the IME Nation are a cut above a lot of other folks as you’ve proven time and time again. Help us help others and show folks what all of us are about.

More info coming as I get it! Flying by the seat of our pants a little bit here….

(Maybe I’ll post lyrics a little faster this time… The last efforts at translating were pretty entertaining! Lol!)

Thanks,
Ama a tu mamá

jT

THE DEVIL’S ENGINE LYRICS (your guess is as good as mine…)

THE DEVIL’s ENGINE

Here in the down and low
A mean tussle in New Mexico
Ain’t fightin’ for much I know
You rise, some rights…you roll

So long San Bernadino
You were no friend of mine
Here’s one for your tight young guns
And one north for the ride

I’m outta love, so tired and wearin’ out
I’m outta love, slow goin’ down, a fighter failing
For every dope I know
There’s a mother load of good intention
I’m outta love, I might head for home

Where highway 7 ends…man down
Man, I could have killed someone

Hello Ontario
From Blackwater out to Mountain Grove
A rumble in every town
The meat does shake the hounds
Your sweet Canadian women always blowin’ my mind
They hunt in the autumn time
Oh my my, they’ll eat your heart alive

I’m outta love, so tired and wearin’ out
I’m outta love, slow goin’ down, a fighter failing
I’m every broken hope
I’m another dope, the devil’s engine
I’m outta love, I might head for home

Where highway 7 ends…man down
Man, I could have killed someone
For all that I’ve done, for all that I’ve said
Lord knows I was a travelling man
I could have killed someone

With my mind at rest
Yeah, my dream is dead
To fade, to wholly hear the head bell
To break and know that it’s the right time
To wave and go

My light is kinda low, all heartbreak and bones
And now I chat with shadows in this ghost of a town
I ain’t got the fight, it’s alright
Smoked all my herb and drank all my wine, had a lay, a good time
I’m alright…

Where Highway 7 ends…man down
Man I could have killed someone
For all that I’ve done and all that I’ve said
Lord knows I was a travelling man
I could have killed someone

The Devil’s Engine (recording notes and info)

THE DEVIL’S ENGINE

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Jag Tanna

Vocals – Brian Byrne
Guitars, Bass, Organ and Backing Vocals – Jag Tanna
Drums – Christian Tanna
Percussion – Daniel “the Thrilla” Mansilla
Toms, Claps – Jag Tanna, Daniel Mansilla, Junior Vargas, Guillermo Relea d’Anconia

Recorded and Mixed at The Mother’s Hip, Peterborough
Mastered at The Lacquer Channel by Phil Demetro

Music – Jag Tanna
Lyrics – Christian Tanna

Unreasonable Expectations – Zeke Myers

Ok, so a little bit about the recording of The Devil’s Engine:

So overall, not too much of a departure in how we usually record… well, ever since Scenery it goes like this: A) pick a weird location B) make the best of it C) cut the drums then more or less leave me alone until it’s your turn!

This one felt a little more solitary than the others as I’m just sitting out here in an old farmhouse, trying to get something done. I actually like it better when the guys are a little closer, even just to hang and have coffee, and pull me out of my bubble once in awhile. Maybe it’s even just to have some simple feedback that i’m on the right track. A lot of benefits to how we are recording for sure, but also some little things I miss, and feeling like a band is one of them! We are geographically challenged!

We cut the drums in the garage in a couple hours one day, afterwhich I was just here alone. I only had some fast guide tracks on it but good enough to cut the drums and get the percussion happening!

Usually the drums are cut to rough tracks with just left and right gtr, one pass through each. I try not to think too much at this point about the actual gtr parts and keep a lot of detail out of them until i actually cut. I dont want to get accustomed to what I’m playing on the demo version as im bound to feel totally different on the day i record, so why even try? As long as I’m locked and in tune! Anyhow, the drums came out really clean and pure without being overly fussy and I think Chris was really relaxed. I had a usable sound within about 45 min and we started cutting immediately. This is the process that just kills a drummer… waiting around while people are trying to get sounds. By the time they cut, they are totally drained and pissy! There’s nothing worse than a pissy red head that you need to work with for the rest of the day!

Chris really didnt have any time to sit, listen and learn the song so we just sat together in the garage bashing through each section to learn it and talk about what was needed, then i walked into the studio and we started cutting. If he got stuck, more bashing. It’s a little bit piecemeal as we are writing and recording on the fly, adjusting tempos for each section and wrestling with the fucking snare drum! His toms stayed rock solid but he beats the hell out of that snare and it just gets kind of tired fast. He ended up using his orangey brown mapex kit and it was a real treat to record.

The one really strange thing i did on this entire song was use one mic for everything, or at least the same brand and model on EVERYTHING! I used 16-18 shure 57s on the kit, and singles on the perc, guitars and vocal. It started out as a “its all i have” thing to an “its all i want to use” little game. It was kind of a self-handcuffing experiment to see what I could come up with and test myself a bit. That sounds better than admitting to you that i’m just lazy! Although I do get bored quickly if i’m doing things the same way and I was totally surprised with the result… will definitely do it again!! Just like with recording WGTL I didn’t use any eq tracking the guitars, bass or vocals… just mic placement, guitar and amp settings etc. and kept things simple and clean. Plenty of good signal to fuck with later.

I spent a little bit of extra time picking parts for the drums in the edit, as my approach on guitar was starting to take shape in my mind, and I had enough drums recorded so I wouldn’t have to call Chris back in. Once it was settled in and feeling great, i was ready to get tracking! Or maybe not…

While I had the set up in the garage going for cutting drums, it was the best time for percussion as well. Daniel came up and we had fun just creating patterns and collecting data to be put in after the fact. The song wasn’t written yet but the rhythms dictated all the possibilities percussion wise. We had it wrapped up in a couple of hours with a ton of options to use. Easy peasy!

I was going to start the bass first as thats kind of the normal thing to do before starting guitars, but i thought i would go a different way… to Spain! A minor setback, but an awesome one…

Basically, the last time i played bass was on Dig and I remember tearing the shit out of my fingers so badly, then having to play guitar. My guitar playing suffered a lot on that record because of having to do that… lesson learned. My other issue is that i always hear really odd high order harmonics on bass notes that are never truly in pitch with the main note that you normally pitch to, and it makes me absolutely crazy! When tracking with some basses, and they are kind of naked, it makes me mental…my ear cant take it and i start going in circles wanting to tune every note! My teeth actually start hurting! A horrible experience. My fix now? I track bass with the volume of the bass track off or extremely low and just play without focusing on the wrong things. Crazy but it works!

I decided that as I didn’t have a feeling at this time for the bass parts, and in theory, the song hadn’t been fully realized on gtr yet, I could focus on the vocals and refining the melody.

So enough about da bass!! If i had my choice I would have cut vocals last but being as we all live in different cities, I could only get Brian in when he was here for rehearsals! I think it was before the Sarnia show but i know we only had one solid morning to cut the body of the song, with the next day for fixes/changes and final bits of yelling. We still didn’t have the lyrics yet as Chris kind of left it to the last minute. He showed up with a whole bunch of paper with his crazy handwriting on it and gave us the tune. For the most part the lyrics are around 80% on point, and work well with the melody I gave him, but there are always a few crazy lines that need some explanation and finesse. We always ask for options on lines in case they are impossible to sing the way I really need for the melody to make sense. Chris gave us some real zingers but in the end, everything sat pretty smooth. We only had one shot at getting it right as Brian was only here for a set amount of time and in some ways, I would have killed for more time. When a vocal is cut I need to absorb it a little bit away from people to see if i’m getting the right feeling from it, and with this one, I had little areas that kept tugging at me saying something was wrong. I decided to wait until I had the rest of the song finished and then make the final call on what we had… best just to move on than obsess. Not to mention, Brian had already left! So yes we missed a couple of ‘ands’, ‘thes’ and the like, and for sure the song has now lost all meaning lyrically to Chris… but overall, it sounds pretty cool!

So, at this time we now have drums, percussion and a usable vocal happening and its time for guitars… finally! It took me a while to get started but I always feel like once I actually start, i can get 90% of it finished during one sitting. its the last 10% that i fight with!! Not really looking for anything special, just my usual lack of focus! The guitar parts are usually written in the moment and I don’t have a master plan, so all I really need to have is energy and a fairly good mood on the day. I have to believe that the parts will come to me when I need them, as it has always done in the past. This, and the acceptance that I will definitely have an energetic 7 year old girl jumping on my back, telling me to turn it down, and that she’s hungry all the damn time, then all is normal and good. Moving on…

I can’t really explain my ‘process’ for tracking guitars except that I don’t really have one! I usually just sit down and hope something happens that I like, this let’s me continue. If I don’t feel it in the moment, or find that I’m not tracking in complete takes, I just quit. Yes, the joys of home recording! The one thing i’m happy about is that I’m not fussing over tones at all… I just grab my black #1 gtr, plug into my Naylor and hit record. Once my tone is solid, then I hit the pedal box and dig up some inspiration. The fuzz sound you hear in the beginning of the song is the same fuzz I have used on everything since Scenery I believe. Every tone on the song is basically the same settings on the amp, same guitar, same day. The last thing i did was the solo which I didn’t actually put in until the song was almost mixed. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and Chris just kept saying “shred or go home”, “don’t be a pussy”, “don’t suck” etc…. Being as I was already home, his first statement held no water. I ended up passing through the solo and just played whatever, pretending I had my shirt off and an armadillo in my pants. Im not really a shredder or very fast at all and I get uncomfortable letting other players hear me doing that… It’s not my strength at all. Everybody can play fast so it’s never truly impressive, so I rely more on unexpected turns in weird places in the middle of phrases. I was way faster when I was 16 than I am now and that depresses me! I actually have no idea what i’m playing, I only know it’s in tune… and never to be played the same way again. I can’t!

Ok, guitars are finally in place and now getting a good feeling for what is wrong with the vocal. Will address later…..

Moving on to actually tracking bass. I went with my trusty demo bass which is a 5-string Music Man Stingray. Nothing special about it other than it plays nice. The song has a nice swampy vibe so I wanted the bass to sit slightly behind the drums, and with a lot of space. There’s a ton of ghost notes within the verses and the chorus that propel the drums along that you feel more than hear… It’s tricky as shit and will be fun to put together for live. With Dig, I was way more deliberate tracking and everything was locked ridiculously tight, cool at the time but hardly as cool now. There are some neat moments of weirdness and speed in there, but overall, I kept it more about the groove. The song feels better with that focus. So of course when I started tracking, the tuning was making me crazy, especially in the pre-choruses when it’s up against a wall of guitars. I fought with it for a bit and then just turned the volume of the bass track off and kept tracking, then investigated what I had when I was finished. Worked out amazingly well and the tuning of everything magically united in a perfect way. Whew! A couple of hours later and done! What’s next….

Mixing. Not much to say here. I took the same approach as I did with WGTL… Keep fucking with it until it sounds good! I should say I used an older computer to get a warmer sound or something smart like that but really it was just straight up with no bells or whistles added. Everything was done ‘in the box’ with no outboard gear used… Just comes down to choices, ears and guts and hope that it translates outside of my bubble. It’s funny, but I have been happier with the sound of the last two songs more than the last 4 albums and I don’t really know why. These are tracked and mixed in basements and garages, and the others cost a fortune in some of the best studios in the country! I love this outcome. Valuable lessons learned here. Never again.

I had the song basically mixed, added the solo, fixed two or three lines lyrically when Brian was back in town, and boom…. There it is.

If you have any questions regarding the process, of course just ask and i’ll do my best to answer.

Sorry the process wasn’t more interesting!

jT

The Freaking Song and Plan A

First off, thanks so much for helping us create an awesome event for the psuedo release of The Devil’s Engine at the Phoenix. Totally surpassed all expectations and left the industry scratching their collective heads. The vibe in the room was amazing, and we really felt inspired from all of the well wishes online. Even if you were in Halifax or Vancouver, we felt you guys in the room. Overall, a perfect night.

Secondly, we have laid out the basic concept to all of you with timelines and we feel somewhat relieved that it’s finally out of our hands and into yours. That being said, we hope iTunes allows this sucker to be available with the timelines we have stated. They just don’t make any promises to have your music available when you request, and I sometimes feel there’s slightly (a lot) less priority on independent artists, so we’ll see how it all plays out. I feel fairly confident that we’ll be okay but you never know. There was already a problem with the pre-release at the wrong price, and I have been corresponding through ‘support’ to make sure it’s as requested. We shall soon see… If it’s fucked up, blame them. Easy enough. At the very least, I just hope it shows up today.

So, let’s talk about the ‘pre-release’. There is no real outrageous benefit to do this for a single as what can we really do? Make it available for a penny less? The main reason we are doing this, is to give the song an early presence, get people talking, and make radio folks start noticing this tune in advance of the song being sent to them. It’s a little bit of a game at this stage and we need your help.

As an independent in the truest sense (not the kind of ‘independent’ label that sees hundreds of thousands of $$ in government grants, shady FACTOR funds, major label backing etc.), we need to exercise as many ideas for self promotion as possible, and getting this song into the industry conciousness as soon as possible. It really is the best plan. I mean, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at access to any of the above, less the shady part, but it’s tough.

If we make a splash early in the game, even before we are out of the official gate, it can only help. If we are to get to every corner of Canada this year, we need to utilize every resource we have to do it. A silly thing like a pre-sale may seem pointless to you, but it helps us a lot.

We are definitely out to prove a point with this song. Once again, it’s long, with many moving parts and yes, even a guitar solo, so what are the realistic possibilities for it? We want to prove that a band can create what it wants and have measurable success on their own terms. We all did it with We Got The Love and I know we can do it again. It’s never about money, as it’s next to impossible to make money directly from sales unless you’re huge, but it does help to show that we belong beside any major act, and deserve the same privelege to succeed as they do. The difference being that we will hustle our asses off for it. We really enjoy the chance to inspire other bands in a similar situation to hustle alongside us and hopefully pave a path for others. That’s what it’s all about.

We will be posting links and numbers for every fucking station that you listen to so stay tuned for that. WGTL was one of the most requested songs across Canada believe it or not (including US artists) and we got so many emails from friends at stations saying ‘holy shit, how did this happen?’. It’s no secret. Good music and good fans, both with purpose, are a wonderfully dangerous and effective thing. They talk about our fans just as much as they talk about us. It’s amazing.

This week is really playing on my nerves, as it once again offers so much promise while at the same time exposes us to potential craziness. Time will tell I know, but I can only punch the cat in the face and kick the bunnies in the yard for so long before i start feeling bad. Going crazy ovah heah!

iTunes is calling the shots currently and I hate it. They owe me a new cat.

Hang tight and let’s see what the day brings. (I’ve been harassing everybody all morning!)

Ama a tu Mamá….

jT

JESUS CHRIST!!! Finally…….

Well, better late than never! Here’s the deal…

The Event:

We’ve been sitting on this tune for quite awhile waiting for certain things to happen, forming some new partnerships, and basically just deciding when to bring the rock! We came up with this idea that before we “release” this song into the abyss, we wanted to find a way to reconnect with all of you guys first, as you deserve to hear it before anybody! SOOOOOOO……

A private listening party came up! Basically, it’s free (but please offer up some dough at the door as it’s a pay what you can deal, with all of the proceeds going to The Unison Fund) and we will have little private listening stations set up so you can tune everybody out, and dig into this new tune properly! All you have to do is email redd@thephoenixconcerttheatre.com and boom, you’re in. We will also be reaching out to certain die hards to come down early to have a listen when it’s nice and quiet. Check your emails!

We will be milling around gabbing with everybody about the tune and then pop up onstage and play a whack of acoustic songs for you. Then obviously…. more milling around. Yes, i’ve been practicing my “mill”.

So overall, its a big thank you to you guys for always being so patient while we get our shit together and make our plans for an awesome 2015!

The Song:

First off, we love it…. and believe you guys will too! It’s not a typical IME song off the hop but of course eventually dives deep into familiar territory. We’ve had it finished for quite awhile but have been coming up with some cool concepts as to how to use this tune to get us across Canada so we can play for you! It’s been a really fucked up year for just about all of us on the personal side, and continually interfered with a lot of progress. We apologize for that but as you all know, that’s just life keeping you humble. Everything seems to be in such a good place now and it’s time to roll!

So, It’s a pretty tough song and we’re not sure who will play it at radio or what impact it will have. Of course, it’s long, it’s complicated, it’s heavy… We’re trying not to think too much about it and really focus more on how you guys feel about it. That being said, the response from the aforementioned industry folk has been incredibly (and surprisingly!) positive all around. It goes to show that individual mandates aside, good is good and there is a place for us!

We will of course need a huge push from you guys at radio as the tune might struggle to find it’s place amongst so much shit cluttering up the airwaves… but hey, let’s give it a go. It’s always been our style to kind of challenge the norm anyhow.

We promise to have a name for it by the event and will of course let everybody know on the day, and then the following week we are hoping to hit radio! This is where you guys come in….

Once it starts out there it will be available through usual means and then that’s that. Whatever happens, happens.

So fucking exciting!

Let’s get through today, and then I will outline the cool things we are working on. So much more.

Talk soon.

Ama a tu Mamá

jT

I MOTHER EARTH #1 most added at rock radio!!!

Well, there you go gang!! We just received word that WE GOT THE LOVE is the #1 most added song at rock radio this week! Meaning: more stations added the tune to their playlists than any other song!

See what happens when a lot of determined people get involved!!?

Thanks to all… we share this little victory with you!! Let’s keep at it, whatever everybody is doing, it’s working!!

Jt

WE GOT THE LOVE……. Credits

We Got the Love … credits and such.

So, if you haven’t heard, we have this tune out there and I just want you to know all of the people involved in making it happen. First off, the fast credits.

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by: Jag
Recorded at: DNA Recording (drums) and Wallis Heights (rest of song)
Mixed at: Wallis Heights
Drums engineered by Steve Chahley
Mastered by: Phil Demetro

So the big thank you goes to the gang at DNA. I feel like i’ve been recording here for ages and the Tedesco brothers, Chris and Dave have never let me down. They have accommodated me and all of my craziness for years and years whether recording known or unknown artists , or just me plain ‘ol fucking around. They have maintained the admirable directive of finding ways of helping new artists out, and bend over backwards for their other clients. If you are looking at doing anything, put these guys on your short list… you’ll see what i’m talking about.

Now for Steve Chahley. Steve is the house engineer there and I feel like i’ve known and worked him forever. Steve has the unenviable job of sitting with me on my DNA sessions and always has the nicest ways of pointing out the holes in my engineering game. I have always credited the engineers I worked with on the IME stuff as the ones who have “taught me everything I know” about engineering, actually, i’ve learned a ton if not more just working with Steve through the years. Incredibly good engineer, and an even better person. Can’t go wrong with this combo. With regards to We Got The Love, thanks for helping me out yet again… (wish we could have returned to finish it up!)

We mastered the song on incredibly short notice with an old friend at the Lacquer Channel Phil Demetro. I send everybody I can to see Phil with their projects because he has that unbeatable combination of really knowing his job, and being a great guy. Thanks for being there for us, and always going that extra step for all of my projects.

IME is pretty damn lucky to know all of you guys and owes many thanks for the help in getting our music back out there for our fans.

Jt

WE GOT THE LOVE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Okay kiddies…. It’s time. www.imotherearth.ca/store. We are finally making the tune available for download after much pestering… Pretty excited about it actually… maybe even a little bit nervous. We have given you a choice of hi res Mp3, and hi res .wav. (hey, if you’re spreading it around we want you to have the best sounding files to copy from!) Up to you which one… For now you can buy it via paypal or credit card. (no paypal account required)

While I know we have given approximately 5000 downloads away and everybody probably has the song already, we thought we would put it out for sale just to see what happens. I have some theories I want to share with you before doing so if that’s okay.

We in the band have come to a basic understanding that we will probably never make any money from writing and recording music again… We have absolutely zero expectations of that ever happening. (I honestly don’t ever recall any fat payouts in the past for going platinum many times over so the bar has been set really low!). You would think it natural for us to be bitter and angry about that fact, but surprisingly, we aren’t.

Releasing this song has given us an opportunity to share some new concepts with regards to the relationship between band and fan, and given us some new things to believe in.

The idea that is constantly put forth in the media and in the industry is that music fans everywhere are all thieves out to destroy all that is good and sacred with the music business. People who do hunt out good music and promote artists simply through word of mouth are lumped in and labelled alongside massive pirating sites and we think this is absolutely unfair. Our very public relationship with you now has an opportunity to show others that when fans have something to believe in and when they feel informed and involved, good things can happen.

So we are releasing this new track with a few simple ideas that I think you will all understand.

1) if you can afford the song, please buy it… If you honestly can’t, steal it from somewhere but take on the noble mission of recruiting new people to join us all in this new adventure.

2) if you do have to steal it, let’s call it something nicer like “borrowing”, and hopefully you’ll be in a better spot financially or otherwise to buy the next, or perhaps buy a ticket to a show, or call the local radio station to play it. Support=currency to us in a way, and we will gladly trade you straight up!

3) As we no longer look at really trying to make a living from this, all that we ask is to be acknowledged for the work we put into it and hopefully make enough to get the next one made. No more, no less. We aren’t looking to get wealthy from releasing songs or even care all that much about that kind of stuff, we’re definitely over it! We just really want to prove to a lot of people that being honest with fans can work, and that a band like us can continue to make music and be relevant given the right circumstances. The commerce side of things for us just has to be based in honesty and a belief that our music actually matters enough to a handful of people, allowing us to make more for all. The $$ becomes secondary and actually insignificant. For us, it’s all about integrity and principle, period.

So, it all seems kind of simple, right? I dont really know what to expect. Just know that as we promised with playing shows, you supported us, and we immediately added another show, and we are treating songs no differently.. if you support us, we write and record more for you. That’s it. We are putting 100% of anything we make from We Got The Love directly into getting the next song made, and so on and so on. If we have a surplus from one song, we’ll find ways to make more music available cheaper if not free. Contrary to popular belief, it wouldn’t take much at all to do this, surprisingly enough… If we all can grasp this simple concept, and get involved, there is no reason to stop creating for you at all.

A lot of people are watching us right now… and yes, this includes you! Together we have the chance to prove to any and all that this is a concept that can work for a band like us, or any other artists for that matter. I SO want to be right…

Let’s have at it then…… Song #2 is waiting.

Jt

YES, WE FELT THE LOVE…

(… and yes, I just said that… Gimme a break, i’m tired.)

Ok… ive been quiet long enough. Ive had a few days to calm down, the throbbing in my aching thighs has subsided, and I think I can look back on the days (weeks, months) with a bit of clarity.

Bravo to you all. I know you all understand how we felt going into this; a little unsettled and uncertain and not really knowing what the hell was going to happen. Maybe you even felt the same? Are they going to come out and well…. be “old”? I have never been more nervous in my life as we announced the show (yet never more calm walking out on stage) and then released We Got The Love… shit, even the title scared me!. Once again though, all of you guys have proven to us that our relationship with you trumps all and proves everything to an industry that consistently beat us down through the years and drove us away in the first place. Can’t thank you enough.

I had stated before that all of us have accomplished something with some very real and forward thinking results. When we announced the shows, we had heard many voices in the industry say incredibly stupid things like, “It’ll never work” or “They are setting themselves up to fail” etc. We actually know who some of these little tits are… and they are of course still the same ones who shouldn’t have jobs. They walk around spreading their consistently negative and misinformed opinions and actually do damage to the reps of the good people in the industry simply by being dumbasses. I repeat, i’m not talking about the entire music industry which has some truly amazing people in it… just some of the folks who should go away and make some room for the good ones to rise you know? All I can say to them is GAME, SET, MATCH IMEnation…. and to not so kindly “go fuck yourselves” …. You are not welcome here. (although I can’t wait to see you again!)

Some highlights of the night: 1) some of the good industry folk actually buying tickets and having a blast… Some never having experienced IME and our fans, and admitting to us afterwards, “I had no idea!”. A very warm thank you for being open minded and for just having fun. 2) old fans bringing a ton of IME newbies to the show. This is the only way we can continue and expand the concept… We need to reach out and convince people one by one if we have to, that with and not against IME or other bands like us is definitely the place to be. From all reports from fans, we convinced all to join our cause. 3) everybody in the audience singing. I mean, to get a couple thousand people singing “while the tree of importance waits” is no small feat… Trust me. The biggest thrill, (and shock to the industry folk btw) was everybody singing We Got The Love after only 2 days as a non downloadable tune online. No mass radio campaign, no iTunes sales or promotion… nothing. Just our fans patiently waiting for new music.. and pouncing on it! Lol! Incredible amount of thanks for that. 4) that all of this was accomplished through non standard means. We have no label, no management, no permanent road crew, barely any equipment and no media push (we had something like 75 media requests for the shows to be reviewed and written about… and we said no to all of them. We felt that if you are coming to the shows just to find fault to write about, then buy a ticket and stand inline with everybody else. We are done with the ass kissing that we were expected to be a part of in the past. One popular writer even threatened us and said we “had to”… laughable. 2 sold out shows and we “have to”? Our response to anybody with that attitude is of course another “GFU”! Lol! 5) most importantly, looking around onstage and being surrounded by the best guys and musicians I could ever hope to be in a band with. Extremely emotional as I write that… You have no idea what it means to a musician to have this.

I’ll be writing more blogs now that we’ve finished up and have more time to do so. I need to hunker down and say thanks some very specific people who helped us with the shows and with the song. Stay tuned as I have a ton of new ideas to share as well and need your thoughts.

So i’ll close out with saying how special these nights were to us, clams and all, and you need to know how appreciative we are to be allowed to do them. After 8 years passing and with only 5 rehearsals we made it through relatively unscathed (with the exception of my aforementioned burning thighs) for almost three hours each night playing for roughly 4500-5000 fans… Not bad for a bunch of old guys huh?

As Brian stated during the sets…. The awesome reception of our return leads us to believe that this may be only the beginning.

Thank you.

Jt

WE GOT THE LOVE….. that loves you more !

Well… Here we go. The first IME song in about 10 years. The song is called “WE GOT THE LOVE” and well, it rocks! We’ll be posting it around 8pm so stay tuned.

Releasing this song to you guys is an absolute honour and I cant really explain what it means to us for you to finally hear it, especially at this point in our lives. We really never thought any of this would ever happen again. This song doesn’t represent us “getting back in the game” by any means and whatever happens with it, or whoever plays or doesn’t play it, is of no consequence.

It’s a simple thank you to our fans for sticking with us throughout our whole career as well as our absence.

As ive mentioned before, “WE GOT THE LOVE” is appropriately and unapologetically “us”. (I think when you hear the words you’ll understand where we are coming from) Hope you enjoy it!

Ps. Learn the damn words for the gigs! lol!