Wednesday Bloody Wednesday

Okay gang… some goings-on in IME land that we really need to gab about.

First off, the success of everything from the shows, to the song, the amount of new fans, and reconnecting with so many of our old ones has been nothing short of incredible. You all know by now that we had no real plan to continue past the Sound Academy shows but kind of lucked into the incredibly fortunate position of being able to…. thank you for all of this.

Within the band, the conversation then became more about how to make it all work now that we live in different cities/countries, have other professional interests and more importantly, various family commitments. We all knew what we wanted to do, it was just a question of how.

There were so many logistical problems getting the past shows together where it felt like they were always an inch away from not happening! A scary thought for us… in basically 18 years of touring I can only recall 2 shows where we cancelled. It’s just not something we do.

The past run of shows taught us some very valuable lessons about how we need to do this moving forward to make it all work. The main issue we face for every show is whether Bruce is able to fly in and do them. We are forced to commit to every show many months in advance without really knowing if Bruce can even make it. (look at Van. show… tickets are on sale and it’s in November!). Bruce can never give a solid answer to us until much closer to the actual show date, so it’s always fingers crossed until we get the call. Much to Bruce’s credit, he has found a way to make it to every single one, sacrificing his work with the Blue Man Group, and taking time away from his new baby just days before the Nickelback tour!

This has led us down the path of at least discussing options regarding all of our shows. The repercussions of backing out of shows at the last minute would basically devastate us in many ways… the legal ramifications being the absolute worst, and giving our agent a heart attack a close second! We all looked at the way The Blue Man Group handles things when Bruce leaves to join us for shows and it presented us a very tempting albeit somewhat unorthodox option: the Understudy. Somebody on constant standby who can step in on a moments notice if Bruce can’t make it due to work, family or simply having a flight cancelled the morning of!

The idea of using an Understudy is nothing new in theatre productions but in a rock band? Never! The way we look at it, every other facet of IME’s existence has been operating outside of conventional processes successfully enough so why not go against the grain once again? It’s either make the attempt or never book another show.

So with open minds we started our search for somebody who could a) play the parts, b) understand and respect the concept, c) bruce enjoys working with and d) isn’t a douche. We were thinking about taking the remainder of this year to find the right guy and work with him to develop our show over a good chunk of time but that plan has been thrown out the window. The time is now… yes, holy crap!

ENTER THE CHUCK

We had always thought that Chuck D from The Salads could be a candidate for stepping in as he fits all of the aforementioned criteria perfectly and we’ve known him for ages. He had stepped in for Bruce on some rehearsals before the last couple of shows and really helped us get ready. Yes it was strange and at times we sounded like we were falling down stairs but we knew it could work over time. After all, one does not simply “fill in” for Bruce. He has crazy robot hands and scissor kicks for crying out loud! Not to mention being a fixture on stage left with us for almost 2 decades!

We got the call last week from Bruce that the inevitable has indeed happened and we will have to do the next round of shows without him. It was admittedly a huge holy shit moment as I wasn’t really prepared to deal with this just yet, but Rock waits for no man and we all jumped on figuring out solutions. My first idea was of course, “Fuck it… I’m going fishing!” (apparently I can get sued for going fishing. Who knew?). Once the shock of the situation subsided we put our heads together and implemented plan B. Chuck had no idea.

The time between hearing the news and the actual shows was pretty tight (w/Slash in Belleville and London) so we went into this crazy ‘crammin’ for the exam’ mode. Well, actually Chuck did. I started sending him audio tracks and notes and meeting with him, and Bruce started communicating with him and sending him iphone videos of some of the parts that might cause some trouble. (quick aside: Bruce cut the videos in his full Blue Man make-up as it was in between shows! Just sayin’!)

So I guess you get a pretty clear picture of the chaos of the last couple of days. Of course, we did a quick rehearsal to see where were at and were really shocked at the amount of work that Chuck has put in. Rehearsal was more or less flawless (outside of my brother’s clams) and I think we left feeling really relieved and confident that we won’t let anybody down. We’re nervous, Bruce is nervous and Chuck is probably shitting bricks. Daniel still refers to him as Not-Bruce. Chileans are very loyal, he’ll come ’round.

So. There you have it. Big changes for all of us but maybe a blessing at the same time. It has to be this way or we basically disappear again, and we just aren’t ready to stop. When Bruce does get that opportunity to join us for shows, he of course will, and without the burden of his home/professional life weighing heavy. It’s the way we have to proceed to be successful and keep having fun, and having everybody in our organization on the same page with this is paramount to success. Yes it’s fucking strange but since when have we ever played by the rules? When we do we fail. Never again.

So today we have a big crazy rock show to do. Here’s what I expect from the IMEnation:

1) disappointment. It’s like the tidal bore…It’s okay, I feel the same.
2) understanding of what we are trying to do
3) support for Bruce who is understandably devastated at the situation
4) support for Chuck who has dropped everything to help Bruce and IME out and allow us to continue playing
5) I don’t know… Maybe a pie or something

Bruce will be making a little statement as well so give him some love, and I will be available to handle some questions. I’ll get Chuck to put down some thoughts too as his perspective is entirely different and probably kind of funny.

So, with all of this being revealed, don’t get into any high school bullshit comments or I will probably just tell you off… I’m too old for that old style horseshit, I have enough stress right now. Understand first what we are trying to accomplish here, breathe a little, THEN type. Remember: We want this to work for everybody.

Wish us luck today and tomorrow. We will fucking rock both cities first and then regroup for the next adventure. Never a dull moment.

As always,
Love your Mothers

Jt

64 comments

  1. Brad D

    Hey guys,

    Anybody on here going to the Oakville show in Feb? I’m from TO, but I heard the arena there’s just got 500 seats. If that’s true, I’m going.

    Also, any1 on here in TO wanna ride there? I’ve got a car and we could split on gas.

  2. Will

    Hey Jag,

    I was wondering if you could give some info on the Dean Blundell’ ChristmasFest show that you and Brian are doing. Is it just the 2 of you with an acoustic? any idea for the length of your show?

  3. Jason B

    Saw the show at the Commodore last night (Nov. 3). What a Fantastic performance. IME are back and better then ever! Please tell me there is a new album in the works!!!

  4. Jason

    Saw the show at the Commodore
    last night. Fantastic! IME are back better than ever. I hope there is a new album in the works!

  5. DAN FROM TORONTO

    Jag
    What’s Going on is all good with you and IME
    You haven’t posted anything in over a month
    Hope all is ok with you and IME keep rocking
    Dude

  6. justin

    Don’t think I can make the show in Vancouver. *frown* I am poor and can’t afford it. Bummed but am glad you guys are rocking again! Wore out my cassette tape of DIG in one summer lol. PLEASE Please please record more songs. I got the love.

  7. Will

    Id love to get my hands on tickets for the Ottawa Bunker show in December. What a cool show that will be. I live an hour outside of Ottawa too, but you can only win tickets on the streets of Ottawa, and I dont go into the city that much. Darn it!!!

  8. Mike from Brantford

    Hey you guys, Im not a regular here, and I couldnt find the suggestion box anywhere… But could us IME fans get a new record please? Im sure yous are busy and stuff and I dont want to rush yous… Perhaps a re-release of that ‘Earth Sky And Whatever In Between’, only this time actually have ‘everything in between’ on it… come on, dont tell us you dont have double record of stuff youre sitting on right now! …Maybe, at least, some reissues of the earlier records? I dont know about anyone else but I cant see my face on the back side of my DIG cd anymore… the record stores here dont have that shit anymore. Give us some love IME, damnit!

  9. Joy

    Jag – How funny the cosmos are. I was listening to my ipod tonight and IME came on – made me wonder how you all were doing and look at you! Love that you all are together and seem to be enjoying playing. I’m not sure if you remember me, back when you all were recording in LA? My friends and I were all at the same hotel – had the pool party – with the jungle juice?? We were generally at your shows in CA. Anyway – love to hear that you have kids – so great. Am hoping to make it up for one of the shows, most likely Vancouver, can’t pass up the chance to see/hear you all live again. Take care kiddo! Joy

  10. Keith

    Amazing, I caught you guys at Bluesfest previously thinking that I would spend the rest of my days listening to CD’s of a band that doesn’t exist anymore! Way not to disappoint!
    Looking forward to you guys laying down a fresh set of tracks for a new album…

    ~K

  11. DAN FROM TORONTO

    So Jag you had two shows with Chuck how
    Did it go I hope all is well with IME you have
    A bit of a break now before the next show
    Hope that means there’s a new song as well
    You think you my have another show in
    Toronto this year I miss the last one and I am
    Sorry about that but as Bruce said family first
    Anyways hope we hear from you soon dude
    And all is well you know the fans love IME and
    Don’t want you guys to leave the music world
    Any time soon

    • Brad D

      Dan,

      You mean the sound academy show? Yeah I couldn’t make it either. I think im gonna go to the Feb show in oakville – let me kno if youre going cuz id be up for splitting gas/parking if you wanna ride.

  12. Corey

    Whatever keeps the forward momentum going… is what I’m happy to read about.

    Looking back, I’m sure some were unsure when the last major personnel change was made – but I don’t think there’s any question that QSMD is your most accomplished disc.

    Given that track record, we have faith.

    /resumes rubbing greasy hands together in anticipation of Vancouver show.

  13. Daniel

    “one does not simply ‘fill in’ for Bruce”

    LMAO. Instantly thought of Sean Bean’s infamous “one does not simply walk into Mordor” comment.

    Both are fairly equivilent. I’m sure Chuck will do fine though, especially if you guys have all rehersed together a few times already.

  14. Burton M

    Like a few others, I like the hologram idea too. But instead of a Bruce hologram like the Tupac one, it’d be awesome if you were to get the actual Tupac hologram. ;)

  15. Clint

    You know what? We’ve all done some growing up a bit over the years. Responsibilities can be a mother fucker, but you learn to juggle when necessary. You guys will kill it, I’m sure. Get out there and kick some ass. We all wish the best for you.

  16. Scott

    That sucks, I never got to see IME when you came to Vancouver as I always had other commitments. So I decided to fly out to London to catch the show today, bought tix previous to the Commodore announcement, to which I’m also going to. However, you guys are the best fucking Canadian band ever and I’m sure you don’t have some slouch filling in. Secondly, Brian’s on vocals and not that other douch bag so all in all… can’t wait to finally see you guys live. I’ll be up front and centre lovin every minute of it! Best of luck to chuck and all the rest of you!

  17. Burton M

    I can’t make it to the shows, but I support you guys on this one. I’m sure that “Not Bruce” will perform amazingly. Let Chuck know that he has the support of the fans. :)

    Cheers!

    P.S. – On a side note, I didn’t know that Chuck D was involved with any projects outside of Public Enemy… ;)

  18. Andrew Forbell

    Well played.

    I’ve been a fan of The Salads for a long while now, and have no doubt Chuck will do smashingly.

    Break a leg, Mother Chucker!!

  19. Matt

    I was wondering when something like this would happen….but I must say I am pleased with the solution. “Not Bruce” has my support, any friend of IME is a friend of mine! I hope to see Real Bruce at the Vancouver show, if not, I get to experience what Chuck brings to the party…win win the way I see it.

  20. DAN FROM TORONTO

    Jag Good luck tonight and tomorrow night
    As a big fan I understand and support what
    You guys have to do it will work out bruce
    Will be miss but chuck welcome to the best
    Fuckin band IME

  21. travis Pick

    Just want to say good luck. I can’t make the shows, but I hope it all goes well. Sometimes you have to do what must be done to keep us rowdy fans happy.

    I like the hologram idea

  22. Ryan

    As much as I’m disappointed that Bruce can’t always be part of things 100% moving forward, I completely understand. During the “hiatus” IME aren’t the only ones who went off and multiplied. I’ve got two kids of my own now, so I know how that alone could make something like this a challenge. Add in a new baby, living in another country, plus a career… wow. I’ve got to give Bruce props for stepping up and being able to be part of everything so far. The same goes for all you guys. We all know you each have similar variations of Bruce’s challenges (thankfully to a lesser degree) and appreciate that you and your families are willing to put the time and effort into bringing IME back to life.
    In the ideal world of course I would love to see Bruce up there with you guys all the time. But if having Chuck jump in when needed means things the snowball rolling down the hill, getting bigger and bigger, instead of melting, then there will be no complaints over here.

  23. Sean

    Having been in an independent rock band myself for years now we’ve had to deal with similar situations. Sometimes life gets in the way and we have gone with the understudy route. Though it’s not been ideal our bacon has been saved a few times now and it’s probably made us stronger as a group all together. The fans who know us have always been hugely supportive. Can’t wait to see you guys in Vancouver!

  24. alf

    Again I give you guys alot of credit and mucho respect. The fact that Bruce and you guys can deal with this type of situation and come to a compromise is awesome. I’m sure your understudy will do a fantastic job. As long as IME are around I’m happy, rock on boys!

  25. Krystina

    Been a fan of the Salads for as long as I can remember. Been a fan of IME for even longer … Honestly, this is great news! Way to go Chuck! I know you’ll show everyone what you’re made of! Bruce will be missed, but since we get to see him again anyway, it’s not really a loss. Not a permanent one, anyway. Have your cake, and eat it too.

  26. Johnny

    You guys are a lot of fun to follow.

    SO I am part of the “IME Next Generation” fan base, sorry but I am only 21 and I Mother Earth was my older brother’s thing, so I had to rebel.

    But I was at the Sound Academy in March, I peurchased the NEW SONG I even found copies of Quicksilver and BGO. I’m a fan.
    One of the reasons I got so hooked so fast is reading these blogs, An open window to your entire process, very fresh. (BTW first time Blog poster, Long time reader)

    So today you tell me the guy who has rapidly become one of my favourite bass players (Amatuer bassist myself) can’t do some shows and the new guy is from a band I never got into. Here’s where I took your advice and started to breathe a bit. It actually seems like a great fit. Like there tunes or not one thing I will say about the salads is they can sure as hell play. and they always have a ton of energy live. OK… this can work. then I read Bruce is going to play when he can. OK.. That’s amazing.

    Now what I am really amazed by is that I, as a fan, feel like I know the whole story. not bits and pieces or anything swept under the carpet, no animosity, no BS. Just “Hey guys this is how it has to be and we hope you’re with us” – that’s how real friendships work. SO I am with you. I am proud to be a fan of a great band and happy to give you my respect. After all it feels like you respect me.

    I hope I didn’t come off as arrogant or something this is my first post ever and I just wanted to say how I feel.
    J

  27. Jon B

    Bruce will be missed by those in attendance, Chuck Dwill be given a huge welcoming round of applause by those in attendance, and all will be well with IME nation!!! Truly proves you’ve got the love that loves us more by allowing the shows to go on! Oh… Get a hologram Bruce on stage like that Tupac one ;)

  28. Stephen

    Much love for the commitment all around to do what is right.

    Question though, is Vancouver in that next round of shows you’re talking about or are we kinda of in purgatory until we get the OK from Bruce and BMG? As in, do we know if Bruce is playing the Vancouver show yet?

  29. Tomato Fettuccini

    In the words of the immortal Freddie Mercury:

    “The Show Must Go On!”

    Glad to see you guys have come around to reconnect with your rabid fans! You were one of my favourite bands for the past 20 years and I was a bit disappointed with how everything sort of fizzled out after QSMD.

  30. Mark Ryan

    I would have been devastated if you guys called it quits but you didn’t call it quits so I am not devastated that you didn’t call it quits.

  31. Loren

    You gotta do what you gotta do. Only you guys can make the decisions on what it takes to keep moving forward… if anything, we should all be thrilled that you’re all willing to make these kinds of sacrifices to keep going and to keep people/us happy. I’d just like to wish Chuck the best of luck – he’s got some mighty big shoes to fill, though I’m sure you wouldn’t bring him into the fold if you didn’t already know he was capable!

  32. DT

    SWEET SHEET!!
    Being a HUGE fan of The Mothers… AS WELL as an HUGE fan of The Salads….. this is fantastic news!! Congrats to one of the hardest working bass players who has paid his “dues” 100 times over! Jag’s certainly right in saying that Bruce is far from an easy dude to fill in for (if at all possible)… but I mainly look forward to seeing Chuck do a scissor kick!
    Super excited for the new gen of IME!

  33. Jordan

    No matter who you are, your family is your family.

    Only a heartless bastard would hold it against Bruce for wanting to be with his.

    Can’t wait to see you in November!

  34. Kevin

    Hey Chuck, if the guys from IME believe in you, then I believe in you. Talent can see talent. Go tear it up and good luck. Love you guys!!

  35. Christopher

    Rock on, plain and simple. We will raise a glass to Bruce for every show he misses, and another to welcome Chuck. You really should have opened this post with “More excuses to drink!”…

  36. Dennis

    The only issue I see here is that I am not playing bass….. WTF? LOL! In all seriousness though, it’s gonna sound and feel awesome. You guys know what you are doing and will be incredible. However, I AM available. lol!

  37. Andrew

    Glad to hear you guys are making it work! You should post some of the videos of Bruce doing the bass parts in the Blue Man gear!

  38. Julien

    Honestly, I did think something like this would eventually have to happen, and I’m glad you guys are handling it like this. If this is what it takes to keep the train rolling, so be it. I’m thrilled that I got to see you guys with Bruce, but I’ll still be there if it’s Chuck. I just hope Bruce will still handle recording duties.

  39. Rob

    If only I had known you were looking for a sub….!

    Part of why we’ve always loved this band is that there’s a level of trust in what you do. You make a call to do something like this, we have faith in your choice, and know that it’s going to rock.

  40. Nancy

    I love what Joel said. Having IME back is the important thing. Everyone has a lot of responsibilities that they have to balance. As much as Bruce will be missed when he can’t be there, it will be that much more appreciated when he can be. All the best to everybody and welcome to Chuck.

  41. Eric

    If this has the band’s blessing — which I see that it does — then it’s all cool by me. Thanks for keeping us in the loop and avoiding any stupid rumours from starting up.

    I was happy/lucky to see you guys recently in Toronto; you’ve still got it. Keep going, Mothers. The Nation has your back.

  42. Jenni-Lynn

    I say kudos to you guys for working so hard to find a solution for what could have been a disaster! I’m so happy you’re stickin’ together and following through with scheduled shows! I’m super grateful for Chuck steppin’ up and I’m stoked for the outcome of his performance when I come to the Wolfstock show on Aug. 25!! I SOO hope there will be another TO show in the future with you guys as headliners, cuz the show in March at the Sound Acadamy ROCKED!!!!
    I love you guys and will always have support for my fav band!! xo

  43. Mike F

    This is a very professional, mature (I’m sure you guys hate that word!) way to handle the situation. I hope that people dont litter you with stupid comments, you are ultimately doing this for not only yourself, but for your loyal fans. It should not be viewed negatively. Bruce will always be a Mother, but he is also a father, and deserves respect for this, as well as his dedication to prior commitments. Bravo to you guys, and ps, get down here to the states!

  44. Melanie

    Like you said.. Love your Mothers.. Good luck and happiness in all the decisions IME have made, and are about to make in the future. I know the circumstances are different from when we all accepted Brian into the IME family, but the majority of us did it with open arms. And as we did Brian, we will also accept Chuck. Rock hard IME, and much love as always. Cheers!

  45. IMEgurl01

    I think this is the best possible solution… and I’m super proud of you guys! My former 16 year old self will be sad not to see dear Bruce, but my adult self with responsibilities (Mortgage, running a business, bla bla bla) completely respects and gets it! Way to go guys… way to think outside the box and thanks for keeping up with the trend of never letting us down!
    Much love!
    Melanie Iles aka IMEgurl01 from way back in the day!

  46. Chris Foley

    Hey Guys,

    I think what you are doing is in everybody’s best interest. Bruce can’t make it for understandable reasons, so, you grab a guy put him on the spot, he works his ass off to learn all the tunes so the fans get what they want, It’s Win-Win if you ask me! And anyone that doesn’t agree has no respect for Bruce, IME and mainly Chuck!!

    Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World!!

    p.s. Any chances of playing a show in Corner Brook, NL any time soon??

  47. Carparelli

    It’s all going to work out F’n Amazing!!!!! all the best tonight guys! Jag, I just heard about tonights show yesturday….I want to come to one of your shows this summer, I’ll keep looking at your schedule! all the best tonight in Belleville!!!!

    • Janice

      Well said Joel! Love IMEs breaking the rules way of doing things….part of what makes them great…and unique. I’m not so much a pie baker Jag, but can bring more brownies again!! <3 back at The Mothers….

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