Tagged: Pigtronix

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:

Merchandise
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!

Photographers
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.

Media
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.

jT

Songs, Shows and the current “STATE OF THE ONION”

Okay folks, it’s time to give a little update on where we are at with all things IME. Sorry it’s been awhile but hey… I was fishing (and golfing, and ATVing…. and napping).

Obviously a lot has happened since we played the Toronto shows and especially after releasing the song. So you’re not exactly alone in wondering what the next steps will be as we were wondering the same… methinks a plan has been hatched.

THE SONGS

“We Got The Love”… who knew? After being firmly entrenched in the top 10 across the country for weeks (and still climbing!) the obvious next step is to release another song. We absolutely didn’t see this coming and figured that as we aren’t really in the game in the traditional sense, this song didn’t even have a chance! Automatically, this is a deviation from the original plan as it forces us to acknowledge this very fortunate situation and actually do something about it! Do we walk away from it or continue? Hmmmm… I did swear that I would never do anything in music again if I ever felt that I was being forced to do something, but I think I have dug my heels in long enough, fought some of those old useless competitive urges, and can honestly say i’m really dying to get more music out… integrity still intact. (whew! that was close!)

That being said, I would like to note that the downloads on our site have been incredibly steady since the song came out. This again proves that if you give any music fan something to believe in, and keep the relationship simple and honest, they will always do the right thing and find a way to support it in one way or another. Your overwhelming support for us with this song through all of the downloads and radio requests compels us to do more for you. I mean seriously, how can we not? Trust me, we’re on it!

I would love to take a second to thank the radio stations across the country as well for really going for it, listening to your audience (requests have been a huge influence in getting us played) and for just being a part of what we are trying to do. It rekindles a little belief again in the system from us, and from music fans across the country. Hope you like the next one. Warning: it might be 26 minutes long, but i’ll edit the middle section out and get it down to around 4:12. Also note that the constant badgering from our fans will not stop! IMEnation, please make sure you take a sec and send some props along as well to the DJs and Program/Music Directors that you know are supporting us (and you). There are some really good music folk out there and they deserve a pat!

THE SHOWS

After the success of the Toronto shows, and the song all of a sudden being everywhere, it got us thinking of more ways to reach out sooner rather than later. Our initial plan was to try and put on some shows around Sept/Oct but some unexpected opportunities came up that allowed us to get out and play again. Here’s a little run down of the shows and how they came to be:

Owen Sound (June 30): We honestly weren’t sure about doing this one as our personal schedules were getting in the way. With Bruce living/working in Florida, it’s tough to just do a one off show like we would have in the past, not impossible mind you, just a little tricky. The other thing being that we are only playing for 45min which is around 5 songs for us! Lol! How could we make it work? Things really started taking shape when some other shows started to be added around this date, and being as the day consists of some really great bands and friends of ours, we decided to go for it! Really looking forward to it and can’t wait to rock! Of course the next day is……

Newfoundland (July 1): The idea of once again playing Newfoundland has been on our minds since this whole thing started up again. The offer to play in NL has been an on again/off again affair and it was actually the last piece of the July plans to come together. One minute we had a show, the next we didn’t… this went on for awhile, and we were beginning to think it wouldn’t happen this year. Thanks to all who are getting us back to the Rock! The shows are about as good as they can be for us out there and for Brian to return home, you can only imagine how pumped we are to make it back! Coolest thing about it is that we are headlining and can give our fans the 2.5 hours of music they deserve! Not to mention it’s Canada Day and it will be an absolutely insane crowd that’s ready to rock. They have always treated us like gold there and you have no idea how excited we are.

Moncton/Ottawa/Toronto w/Nickelback (July 7/9/11): Now these shows really came out of nowhere! When you get to shows of this magnitude, you can only imagine the politics involved in just trying to be a part of it, and being as we have none surrounding us, what chance would we have, right? Believe it or not, it was a surprisingly simple process of just asking. Really refreshing. The only thing we have to lose is a bit of pride if we were refused, so why not give it a shot! We actually share the same agent (Ralph James at The Agency Group) and figured it wouldn’t hurt just to float it out there just to gauge interest! Much to our surprise they said yes and to top it off, gave us an awesome slot as direct support in front of around 35k people a night (except Moncton of course which has our friends Three Days Grace between us). Many thanks to them for giving a band with no management, no label and no traditional industry backing a chance to do their thing in front of such a huge audience. This speaks volumes, to us, and to our fans. Thanks to all who made it happen.

It’s funny (and slightly ironic), but we had tried to play with them as far back as 2002 if I remember correctly, but with so much of the industry between us, I doubt the request even made it to them. With the industry not involved in our current existence, now we’re playing together… go figure! Lol! Love it! We always thought that although our styles may be different, we are both still rooted in basically the same thing: big rock, big shows and giving audiences something to remember… oh, and zero shoe gazing! Nothing better than an evening full of that, and I absolutely believe that their fans will be able to draw this same conclusion.

It’s a given that we will do our best for their fans on these shows to make the nights rock and we really hope to make quite a few new ones of our own along the way to join us on this new phase of our career. This is what it’s all about people! Reaching out! We are really amped to be involved and look forward to meeting the fellas and having a great time.

London, Belleville w/Slash (July 25, 26): These two shows were on the table even before we played the Toronto shows! It was really hard for us to commit to anything as we had to make it through these first shows and see if we still felt it. Obviously, we did! The London show is really special for us as the first radio station to jump on We Got The Love was FM96! Their support for us has been incredible and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play there. We don’t forget this kind of thing… bigger plans for London to follow. I don’t even know how long of a set we get to play, but we are just happy to be there! (to top it off we’re playing with Slash! I mean, c’mon!!)

Belleville will rock as well. I don’t think we have ever played there and it’s going to be great to finally do so… and again, with Slash! Really looking forward to it!

That’s all to report for now but there are many more things to add. No details just yet but things are taking shape.

MOVING FORWARD

Who the hell knows? Lol! Once we are done with the July shows, there are a few concepts we are working on. One that I am really excited about is myself and Brian getting out there and doing some intimate/interactive shows where we deconstruct our tunes and present them in really different ways and get you involved in different aspects of it … get your creative minds and voices ready.

I am also about to do a follow up post that expands on this concept, as I want to get as many creative people involved as possible. Yes, this means all of you! Watch for it…..

Ok…. I’m spent and I now have to ice my iPad elbow.

Jt

MY BIG FAT AND EVER GROWING THANK YOU LIST

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!

jT