Tagged: dine alone records


First off, I had been planning to release a new post right after the St. Catharines show to share some quick thoughts, and tell you what was immediately ahead, but it just wasn’t meant to happen. Sounds simple, right? My intentions were definitely good, but I became completely sidetracked and lost on this overwhelming journey of personal and professional discovery. It is only now that I feel focused enough to string more than two words together for you. I make no guarantees that they will make any sense but nonetheless, here we go.

I start this not at the beginning, nor the end, but right in the middle… sitting in a fucking plane and breathing hard. A release of stress perhaps, or anticipation of what lies ahead. All I feel is this strange turbulence… it will more than likely be a tad worse when we leave the ground.

It is only a couple of days after the St. Catharines show and my mind and body are finally starting to adjust. The chaos leading up to any IME show now, and the anxiety of just wanting to be a good fucking band for our fans seems to take a toll. More now than ever. I am not delicate in most ways, but I admit that keeping my fingers crossed hoping that we have our collective shit in order keeps me up at night. Lack of sleep and lack of rehearsal makes Jag a dull boy. (I feel a need to apologize for that third person reference! Sorry.)

Looking back at the shows, I really can’t be anything but satisfied. We now know that the “I Is Us” concept can work. I would be lying if i said we were supremely confident at the moment of announcing these shows, but as they approached, we just knew it would be okay. The potential for strange things to happen during an event like this is always one comment or question away, and has scared many an artist away from allowing a direct connection to their own fans. We aren’t perfect and don’t care if you know, so we put ourselves on display, invited you all to “have at ‘er!” and basically keep our fingers crossed. I have to say that we were completely floored by all of you once again. The intelligent and meaningful questions posed and a willingness to listen intently to our sometimes rambling, nonsensical chatter shows music fans everywhere that we have a really unique and special relationship with our audience.

Moving forward with this, we have more ideas and will be opening the lines of communication a bit more with all of you to see how you would like us to shape this thing! A huge thanks really has to go out to all of the people who helped us accomplish this:

Chris and Zeke, thanks for putting the entire thing together which I know was a huge pain in the ass. You kept all of us informed enough to keep us excited, and sheltered us from all of the bullshit that goes with your thankless job. Huge thanks, but next time I need directions to the venue. Daniel, Fatty and Chuck for continually showing up to rehearsals even though you either live extremely far away or work way too much! Our awesome crew of Mike, Adrian and Joe for putting in the long hours and making the best of bad situations and making the good ones even better.

This brings us to: “Why the hell were you sitting on a plane and breathing really hard?” Good question. In one moment I have this answer perfectly clear, and in the next, I am asking myself the exact same question.

You see, I don’t travel well. It is strange to say out loud sometimes but the facts are as follows: I don’t like loud sounds, I am totally uncomfortable and anxious around large groups of people, I don’t feel good in strange places, and I hate to leave home! Man, I really picked a solid career path! Yet here I was, sitting on a plane, on my way to Spain. (I hope it doesn’t rain, that would be a pain). Spain!! How did this happen!? I will try to explain Spain, the plane, the rain and the pain… as clearly as possible but it deals more with a feeling than any solid reason I can offer.

I have never felt compelled to do anything in my life more than go to Spain. Notice I use the word “compelled”, and not “want”. I feel like I had no choice in this. My personal and professional life has been greatly affected, even compromised by this obsession. I had let so many things fall by the wayside in this attempt to address what I now know was very necessary, to go. Simply put, an old obsession with Flamenco came back and hit full force right in my core and has basically taken over my universe. At this very moment in my life, something has opened my soul wide open and permitted me to absorb and understand this extremely deep and meaningful information. I know now that I wasn’t prepared to handle this when I was younger, but now it won’t let me look away, or allow me to treat it as a passing fancy… it constantly calls out to me, and I don’t know why. In order for my life to move ahead, I seriously need to find answers and understanding, and I need this to happen now.

People more or less know that i have a very obsessive personality but those close to me know that this is somehow different; the feeling is relentless, and in turn has made me relentless. I feel like I am on a strange quest, but one that my mind isn’t allowed to participate in. My body is just going where it is compelled to go, and my mind is really only along for the ride, and to deal with potential consequences. So off to Spain I go. Not Barcelona or Madrid mind you… there is only Sevilla for me, and hopefully there lies my truth.

So sitting on a plane and breathing hard seems pretty tame compared to what might happen when I get there… I really had no idea.

Sevilla, in the end, was all of the things I imagined it would be, yet my path to discovering this was absolutely different than I had imagined. I went into this feeling awkward and unsure as I have never done anything like this before, because it is totally outside of my comfort zone. Almost immediately though upon landing in Madrid and hopping on the train to Sevilla, (and completely stuffing my face full of Conguitos at the same time… fucking evil things!) I had an extremely strange sense of calm. Excited like a child yes, but surprisingly free of any of my usual anxieties. This is abnormal for me as I’m anxious just shopping for groceries at the local supermarket! It seemed to be the start of something good and an overall theme to the trip. I started feeling, well… normal!

My time there was probably the most interesting and enlightening time of my life. I had all of these plans to do this and to do that like a typical tourist, but soon realized that Spain had other plans for me. I lived very simply, controlled nothing and knew that other forces would now dictate my movements. Once I gave up this control and let things happen as they may, I felt relaxed and at ease with just about everything. I am learning that control isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be… as long as you have confidence and trust in the people around you (a foreign concept to me as of late, but hey, maybe in Spain! Go Team!!!). So a more authentic experience was offered and given to me via some truly awesome people, and I thank them all for this, even the ones I hated! (It meant more to me than you can imagine… en serio!) I had said many times on this trip that “I feel like I have been here before”. Never in my life have I experienced this sensation in all of my travels and even now I can’t explain it, but it had me by the balls and I couldn’t shake it. And even though I tried very hard NOT to be a tourist, unfortunately i’m cursed with the face of one! Thank god there were fucking Germans everywhere to distract the locals from my obvious whiteness!! I would have traded my baby blues in for browns in a heartbeat!

The search for Flamenco was of course, always in my mind throughout my trip, but I think I discovered fairly quickly that I was missing the point entirely. I needed to stop looking and just let Flamenco find it’s way to me. I don’t think it is a “thing” as much as it is a “feeling” floating in the air alongside you with every step. I believe that something inside of you must be willing to let Flamenco find it’s place alongside your deepest thoughts, and reach beyond the superficial of sight and sound. Now, the obvious thing to do is to just open your ears and hear it in every store, every passing car, see it in every image, etc., but I found the most meaning by just living alongside the people. Flamenco mimics the dynamic of their society: it resembles their conversation, their anger and frustration, the way they love, the easy way they treat each other, and in the way they move. (ok, and maybe in the way I screamed “Jodér!!!” every single time I ate fucking Salmorejo and Tostadas at Cinco Jotas!!)

Flamenco is the heartbeat of the Andalusian people, and it definitely reaches way beyond any single piece of music I could ever discover or performance I could witness. This is music with lineage, and one that gives great respect and admiration to past and present Masters. They are rockstars not for being “popular”, but for being the brilliantly gifted musicians that they are. There is a definite line drawn, and you are either a Master, or you are not. Mediocrity is not celebrated, it is scorned. Even the younger generation that was force fed the music of their parents and now only listen to other forms of music, still respect the music of their people. The same guy that worships Metallica would still stop and tip his hat to Paco De Lucia or Manolo Sanlúcar. Not because they are popular, but because they represent perfection. I truly love this. Even if this style of music isn’t a part of their lives, they are still humble and aware enough to recognize that it is in their blood, part of their identities, and there is no escaping it. Now, knowing this, how can I ever truly connect with this music unless I understand where it comes from? This music is so rich in history, and forged with the deepest of emotions that I truly believe it must be ‘experienced’ vs. ‘listened to’. You either get it, or you don’t. But be prepared if you do… trust me.

Okay, first off, let me clarify that this is by no means a declaration of my intent to take a huge left turn and go “Flamenco”! The last thing the world needs is another white guy trying to learn Flamenco, striving for mediocrity… there is nothing worse than bad emotionless flamenco, or bad Blues for that matter. These are styles best left to the masters unless you are blessed and have tapped into something special. The Blues is another pure form of emotion that people trivialized by attempting to play it having not lived it. These forms of music are sacred so just… well… don-do-dat!!!! However, that being said there is always something to be gained in absorbing the spirit of music from around the world vs. the notes. Inspiration never has to be so literal. If the Masters of Flamenco give me hope, faith and pride in being a musician, then so be it, i’m going with it! It is inspiration in it’s purest form. Joy.

I think that perhaps I have been extremely affected by rejoining the ranks as a “professional musician” in some of the best ways imaginable, but in some of the most horrific ways as well. Quizás, quizás, quizás! Not horrific in the classic sense, and I certainly apologize for potentially trivializing true ‘horrific-ness’, but to a musician, it does indeed ring true. This simple thought haunts me every day …Why do we do what we do? I should clarify, as this isn’t a commentary about all musicians (I already know this answer in a lot of instances), but more specifically, why do I do what I do? I always seem to be on this crazy search for this 14 year old kid-in-the-basement version of myself that played music just for the sake of music. Yes, he was an asshole too but looking back, it’s probably the happiest I think I have ever been as a musician. Think about it: I had no idea what success was, no concept of creative rights or wrongs, and could really give two shits about what people thought. It was nothing but dedication, inspiration, self innovation… and lots and lots of boners! Nothing has really changed actually, except the circumstances. I like to believe that I have had a career that was still based in these innocent concepts in many ways, but I am not sure I have entirely convinced myself yet. There is much more to learn, and so much more to do in order to make me a believer.

Please don’t think this is some “whoa is me”, or an “I’m such a fucking tortured artist” kind of story, it really isn’t. As humorous as I find some of those stories, like I said before; I’m not that delicate. (maybe a bit of a princess but hey, who isn’t!?) I can either drive a tractor, work in a factory or play music and still be a believer that life does indeed have meaning. I just wanted to share some things with you that I deal with everyday when I get out of bed in the morning, and hopefully you can relate in some way. My only real problem is the aforementioned “relentlessness” of my mind and how I need to cope sometimes. Maybe sometimes you feel the same.

Since the Re-Onion, I can honestly say it’s been fantastic playing guitar again. It has taken me 8 years of not touching a guitar to understand how big a part of me it is, and to fall in love once more. Internal and external horseshit aside, I’m feeling extremely connected to my guitar. It has become religious once again, and very similar to when I was a kid discovering new things everyday. Every single time I “step up to the plate” now when we play live, I feel I might finally be able to say something poignant and meaningful to you, or maybe even speak on your behalf. Maybe I am trying to convey an emotion you are having or perhaps one we share, or just massaging your musical souls… yes, happy ending included. Even if I fail, I’m always grateful for the opportunity to speak!

So where does this leave me? I have no idea. The future is of course yet to be written. I started to believe that this trip was a life changing event, but really it isn’t. It is only becomes life changing at the moment I decide to do something with the information and the inspiration obtained. Time will tell. For now, let’s just call it a game changer. Definitely a musical and personal game changer. Yep, that feels right! (is that a Judas Priest song? How come everytime I type it I sing it like Rob Halford?)

So for now, I leave for home packed to the gills with new ideas, new friends, and a new perspective… sitting on another plane and breathing hard, headed for home. This time, zero turbulence.

Andalucía, we will meet again… maybe… probably… later… soon.

love to all


Creative Minds United! IME pays it forward…

Alrighty gang… time to run some new ideas past you to see what y’all think, and try and get you more involved creatively in all things IME.

I have always believed that there are way more creative people out there that you haven’t heard of vs. the ones that you have (or maybe I should say the ones that you are allowed to hear about?). Throughout my own career I have been consistently surprised and wowed by the creativity that many people possess, while at the same time deeply bothered at the chances that anybody will ever know them. To me, this is an unacceptable and unfair situation that really needs some solutions.

I really believe it’s all about opportunity, and that anyone can shine given the right set of circumstances. The same rule applies across all artistic mediums: put the right talent in front of the right audience at the right time. There isn’t a successful artist out there where this rule hasn’t applied. Ever wonder how some obviously god awful band, singer or actor became successful? Yes, the proverbial casting couch still exists, but really all it took was catching the right audience (who has something to offer) at the right time, and relating to them in some way. Seems kind of simple no? At this point in my own career I really think that IME and my company SegmentX, have enough resources to get more creative people noticed… why shouldn’t this happen to you?

Here is what I’m thinking:

We are looking for creative people to get involved with us on many different levels (including live visuals, merchandise, videos, photography etc.) and allow us to help you strut your stuff. We want to gather as many of you together for this project and use our own resources to get your work and ideas in front of as many people as we can, and perhaps help you advance your career, maybe find you some additional opportunities, and hopefully find ways to make you some money along the way! This isn’t about ownership of you or your work in any way, but we now have the opportunity to take our own good fortune and pay it forward to the people who helped make us what we are today.

IME has always been about working together with our fans to accomplish our goals, so why not make it more official? We want to take the idea of “fan participation” to a pretty serious level and allow you all to add your own creativity to what we do. I would actually love all other creative aspects of what we do outside of music, created by our fans (or somebody that our fans know). Can you imagine gaining some notoriety or even making money back from all of the bands that you are into? I may be dreaming but I really think there are some possibilities here, and we are currently working on some scenarios in which you just might!

We do not care about where you come from, what experience you may or may not have, who you know, or what your cat does in its spare time… Just be incredibly creative and be seriously involved in the concept! (it kind of goes without saying, don’t be an asshole! Natch!)

Current IME needs:

We will take as many designs as possible: shirts/stickers/posters, etc. We have upcoming shows and need a ton of ideas. Can be as simple or complicated as you like. Would like to pick 5 asap for upcoming touring throughout the summer so hurry. We also know many other bands looking for ideas and will gladly connect you with those opportunities.

Additionally, we will need designs for things like single artwork, web images etc. as do a ton of other bands. Even if what you design doesn’t fit our own immediate needs, your style may fit better with somebody else we know.

Visual Artists and Filmmakers
As IME moves forward, we want to include a lot of video within our live show and are looking for short films, graphic compilations and all kinds of other cinematic weirdness/awesomeness to play along with our tunes. Absolutely no rules here outside of making something fit within the timeframe of a tune. Brian and I are also going to start this new deconstructed idea/tour and want to include a ton of visuals within the set.

We Got The Love… and the next batch of tunes are begging for videos, not in the traditional sense mind you, just visual interpretations of our songs. We may even make ourselves available to be filmed for the right concept if it helps. You totally have our permission to go nuts and make something groovy with our tunes. We will promote the ones we like where and whenever we can. Hopefully getting you some attention from other artists needing visuals!

We would love to find some really creative photographers across the country that we can work with to grab things like live shots, promo shots, candids, etc. When we get to your neck of the woods, we will grant you whatever access you need to help you get what you need.

Even though we are currently “screaming” up the charts, (lol!) we still have yet to approach mainstream media to further capitalize on this momentum. I have a feeling that we probably won’t, actually. Here is our media plan: if you know of anybody with an independent blog, if you know of a writer you respect and trust not to be a douche, if you know of any business blogs that want to talk indie music strategy, or any other media person who ‘gets it’, just reach out to us and I/we will make time available to contribute. Mainstream could be cool too, but only with the right people interviewing, of course. Let good people know where to find us.

Web Designers
I have had a lot of talented people reach out to me regarding this but sadly have lost the contact information, so reach out again, please! If anybody has a handle on this, or any other good ideas that you would like to see, let’s work together and build something cool and unique for all of us. This is another area where bands always have a need, so let’s connect and see what’s out there for you.

Okay. I think that you get where we are coming from. We actually want to make IME the conduit for as many creative minds as we can find, and show the industry that the path least travelled has way more creativity on offer IF you put some effort into finding it. In my own experience, the label of “professional” is overused and meaningless, but to some it’s still important. Just remember: all it takes is one job to join that club.

We want to show people that good is good, no matter where it comes from. Time to shine a light on people who we feel deserve it. Time is of the essence so let’s get at it.

Send EVERYTHING you think we should have to ideas@imotherearth.ca and let’s see what happens… then you and your cat can come sit on my couch and tell me all about it.


Hay-soos-kreest! Last but not leest!

Holy crap! I forgot a few very obvious people to thank!

So they get their own page…..

Ok… One person who has been with us longer than we can even remember and who you all know is our beloved friend and percussionist Daniel Mansilla! How could I forget to thank him! (i’m such a tool!). Do you know how hard it is to find a percussionist that loves to rock? Virtually impossible! Daniel is more rock than we are actually … known for his late night shenanigans on tour blasting Humble Pie and Hendrix down hotel hallways, helping bus drivers stay awake throughout the night on long drives, and of course making kick ass sandwiches and soup for everybody if they “look hungry”… Thanks for sticking with us all these years and not changing one bit. It’s always been 5 brothers after all … (if we owned the rights to the fucking song, yes we’d change it!) Glad you’re with us, and so are the fans!

You might have also noticed a strange floating head behind my cabs during the shows. That was a friend playing keys by the name of Fatty Collins. Yes he’s so cool he’s even rocking the ‘F’ instead of the ‘Ph’. Matty D from Dodger hooked me up with Fatty and I thought it was a sign and totally weird that he actually lives just up the street from me! Who knew!? Funny, you might remember him from Canadian Idol as he made it quite far… Only to be told he actually needed to be ‘Ph’ instead of ‘F’. He actually said “I’m Fatty Collins… go phuck yourselves!” and kicked Zach Werner in the shins. God bless him. Thanks for digging in on these tunes and being there for all of the rehearsals. Sorry your keys were blowing up on you the second night but you still made it through in style, head still bobbin’ and weavin’ … I’m also sorry for glaring at you all week, it’s just my thing. Evil Jiggs is sorry too. Let’s do it again soon shall we?

There you have it folks. Keep these boys in mind as we move along. They are an important part of pushing and polishing this big musical uh…. thing, out to you live. (Yes, I almost said turd, but thought better of it…. Wow, I really HAVE grown!)



Okay gang… This is my official BIG FAT THANK YOU list for the past events… These are people who understood the concept and actually “get it”. Please read, and if you ever bump into these people, you should give them a little shout out personally because without them, IME would still just be thinking about “doing some stuff”.

The Shows

First and foremost, a massive thanks and dirty man hug goes to Zeke Myers and the entire Sound Academy gang. Zeke has been after us for 8 years to play again and well… we just gave in so he would leave us alone. He has been an instrumental partner in shaping our re-onion, and planning and executing two sort of flawless nights of fun. His sensitivity to our concept was consistently accepted with a common sense approach that made sure he wasn’t the one “that ruined I Mother Earth” with these shows. He made it so that it was 100% our fault if the legacy became tarnished. Just how we like it. So thanks for that and here’s to looking ahead together.

Also manly yet very professional hugs to the great people around Zeke. Riley MacDonald, Mark Fortuna, Tony Grossi, Catherine Fowler and even “rest of staff”… (I don’t know you all but feel a little closer to you for some reason). The Sound Academy was gracious enough to let us use the facilities to “work our shit out” and didn’t make fun of us trying to relearn Meat Dreams. You deserve big fat raises along with the thanks…(well, not Tony and Catherine for obvious reasons) Just email Zeke, i’m sure he’ll take care of it.

There are a whack of Live Nation peeps who deserve a huge thank you. (I’m not sure if a bunch of promoters together is called a “whack”… maybe a pod, herd or den? Pretty sure they are called a skein when in a migrating formation though) Jacob Smid, Riley O’Connor, Brian Kehoe, Candace Valin and of course the wonderfully intimidating and divine Vanessa Arscott, a great big thank you to you and all of your staff for believing this pig could fly, and for asking people to pony up the dough to witness it. Hope we did you proud and we hope to work together again real soon like…. How’s your July looking?

The Edge 102.1 needs a thank you for getting involved and presenting the shows, and for years and years of support. Special thanks to Dave Bookman, Josie Dye, Dean Blundell and Ross Winters for helping us come back in this manner and basically showing the country what IME has always been about.

An intense full frontal full eye contact thank you to Jason Wells for keeping you all informed via website, facebook and twitter. He has worked together with my company Segment X for a long time and be assured, he knows more about you than your parents do … dirty birdies.

We also wouldn’t have been able to do this without Jacob Hamayda. Jacob has graciously allowed us to “work our shit out” at his studio and hasn’t complained once about the stuff we blew up or perhaps stole from him. (sorry you had to find out this way)

Our Crew

A massive thanks to our patchwork crew who came off nothing short of amazing throughout the week. These are the folks behind the scenes:

Sound: Chris Kaplinski. Chris and IME go waaaaay back and it was awesome to finally work together in this capacity. Thanks for a full week of hard work and two great nights. (and for not fucking with my tone!)

Lights: Jeff Sneyd. “Klinger” has been blinding us for a ton of years and we are thankful for it. Strobe seizures aside, it was great having you back in the fold. Thanks again for working with us throughout a long week of rehearsals and for the flawless shows.

Guitarland: Aron Gillman. Aron worked tirelessly building my rig from scratch throughout our 3 days of rehearsal as well as Bruce’s makeshift set up. We had a clean slate, boxes of pedals and switchers and miles of cable and through a ton of trial and error, got something up and running flawlessly for the shows. If you noticed, on the second night I even played my old beat up guitar with the writing all over it that I have had since I was 12-13…. Aron worked on that thing all week to make it playable and finished it right before hitting the stage on friday. Meant a lot to strap that one on. Thanks Aron for a great week, and just remember, theMothers is in E. See you in July. Shalom.

Drums: well, actually we didn’t even have a drum tech on these shows but at the last minute, our old drum tech Adrian “theTorso” Gorizzan just kind of popped out of nowhere. One minute there was nobody there, then I turn around and see the Friulano Phenom eating sandwiches and saying politically incorrect shit behind Bruce’s cabs. Thanks for just showing up and helping… loved having you there. Question: how did you get past security? Must have been the dress pants.

Film and Sound: huge thank you to Paul Taylor for organizing the documentation of all of the events for Segment X. Brandon Cooper from Dazmo for the awesome gear and for helping us accomplish what we needed to…So many cameras, so many people… All good. Michael Hurcomb Photography for getting involved and for the billions and billions of photos that rival even the best cell phone shots on facebook (yikes and egad!!) Saved By Technology for helping with our little software issues and sending in Steve Andrews for the recording on such short notice.

Other notable folks include Mark Fortuna, who bent over backwards for us throughout the week and handled every crisis in his abnormally calm and collective way. It’s disturbing I tells ya… makes me wonder what you have in your freezer. Also Ed Collins for keeping us up and running with the monitors even though we are old picky bastards… you responded admirable to our endless requests of “more”. Mike Kerwin, Dan Preston and Stuart Evans from Frontier Sound and Light: you guys are like family to us, ’nuff said. (you even know what we look like naked…. musically speaking.) p.s. Sorry about the milk crates.

On the Gear front: I just wanted to personally thank a few people who helped out in the gear department and in effect, got us up and running. Joey Osisek at Randall Amps for the absolutely kick ass awesome cabs I was using. They felt fantastic to stand in front of… can’t wait for the customs! (thanks to my old friend Steve Borisenko for introducing me… give some love to Nuno for me!) Mike McAndrew and David Koltai at Pigtronix: Stellar guys building stellar stomp boxes that help me sound way better than I do… like my sonic glue and ego boost…so much more to hear from these guys! Jessica Luther at Voodoo Labs. Ive been using their products for years and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon… simple and incredibly useful tools which every guitarist can’t do without. Joe Barlow at Long and McQuade Oshawa. Joe always knows what you need before you finish explaining and it’s why every guitarist gets told to “just go see Joe”. Stand up guys like Joe (who is also a kick ass player) should be the highest paid guy on the floor…. make it so L&M, it’s why we all shop there. Thanks for not making him wear a tie.

A very special kind of love goes out to the gang at Carparelli Guitars. What can I say? Mike Carparelli is a rare gem. Kudos for your tireless work getting high quality guitars into peoples hands, your constant effort raising money for various charities with your company, and most of all just being an incredibly decent human being. Of course Im happy playing your guitars, but most of all really just happy to know you… as more people should. Extra thanks to your right hand man Al Farrugia Ballach… Who actually has to put up with me on a more regular basis and hasn’t even tried to kill me yet, as well as Matt Antonacci from the custom shop for the beautiful neck! Support good Canadian companies like this people… We need more just like them!

On the personal front, just want to say thanks to Joel Carriere, Alan Cross and Nancy King for the kind words and good vibes you’ve put out there. Really appreciative to know people like you.

So thats it for now! As I keep remembering people I will add them in of course so forgive me if I have overlooked anyone…. It’s not on purpose! More thanks to come with regards to the recording of “We Got The Love”… Just give me a sec, I some other shit to do first!