Hot Music For Hot People: I Mother Earth

Hot Music For Hot People
I Mother Earth

By Aaron Binder

By the time The Tea Party was blowing up internationally, Our Lady Peace wasn’t far behind.  Other Canadians were cracking the charts as well, Alanis, Bush, The Barenaked Ladies – Canadian artists hadn’t been in such high demand since the 70’s.  If BNL and Bush defined the pop-rock portion of the Canadian contingent, The Tea Party and OLP defined the edgier side of Canadian rock, and music fans know well that there is always something lurking just below the surface.

Enter – I Mother Earth.

Pushing their sound in a direction that included elements of heavy metal, rock and even some Latin inspired beats, if their music didn’t speak for them, the personalities certainly did.  The band refused to be defined within a genre and that is part of what made their early success so massive.  After beating out Rush for a Juno in 1994, the band was on the map as a heavyweight contender.  The question became not would they become a sophomoric success but rather if they could turn that success southward.

Two years later and a double-platinum album in Canada rarely means very much in America and this instance was truly no different.  The biggest problem almost any Canadian band faces trying to break into the States is that they will always and forever be known as such.  Canada just doesn’t sell as well as the good ol’ US of A down there.  With potential fortunes waning, the band released one more album with vocalist Edwin and hired on Bryan Byrne.  While musically they were progressing and exploring new, better territory, their labels weren’t having it.

Canadian bands tend to go through 3 stages, Acceptance, Obscurity, Revival.

I Mother Earth has long passed their Acceptance stage, the days of Dig to Blue, Green, Orange are long over, the times are just different now.  After their last album, Quiksilver Meat Dream (arguably their best), they dove into an obscure cave with members breaking off into different projects, a pall descended upon their career as a band.  For most bands this is the graceful exit, day jobs at music management firms and dalliances at night playing local bar gigs.

Here’s the crazy part, they made it out.

The road to revival isn’t easy as Platinum Blonde can tell you.  After years off from playing with some of your best friends and creative collaborators, picking up your mojo isn’t as easy as opening a jar of mayonnaise – it’s more akin to slapping a ketchup bottle for 5 minutes but once that syrupy red liquid starts flowing it’s an explosion of flavour.

After a new song and a couple of sold-out reunion shows in March 2012 the band reluctantly decided to take further steps and that is where the story ends for now.  With a handful of shows lined up through the end of 2012, the band is treading water and trying to figure out what comes next.  This is a band that will never go platinum again but you owe it to yourself to give their new song a listen, it has a mainstream feel and manages to maintain the distinctly hard edge that IME has come to be known for over all these years.  How many years are left is anyone’s guess but one thing is certain – they’re here now so get your peepers off the computer and go check them out live, they put on one of the best rock shows our country has seen.

-Aaron

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