Jagori Tanna – I Mother Earth Guitar Player

If you were paying attention to Canadian alternative music in the 1990’s, chances are you are familiar with the Juno award-winning hard rock band, I Mother Earth.

i mother earth

Indeed, you very well may have heard some of their awesome singles from back in the day, including “Levitate”, “Not Quite Sonic”, “One More Astronaut”, and “Another Sunday”, to name a few.

I Mother Earth was known for its unique blend of heavy rock / funk riffs, frenetic basslines, slamming beats, and added percussive elements, not to mention singer Edwin’s distinctive vocals and drummer Christian Tanna’s odd yet psychedelic stream-of-consciousness lyrics.

The band – a grassroots affair from Canada which ended up having global appeal – toured extensively during the early-to-mid 1990’s and was a staple of Canada’s version of MTV, called MuchMusic, where they had several music videos in rotation (MuchMusic still exists, but they don’t really play music anymore).

Mysterious rock stars that they were, and yet very approachable and low key, various members of I Mother Earth would appear here and there in interviews, where they would speak candidly about their love of playing live for their fans, and their desire to be authentic to their musical urges.

The band certainly wouldn’t have gotten far without its spikey-haired guitar wiz, Jagori Tanna, who is the subject of this article.

jag tanna i mother earth

Jagori Tanna

Born Andrew Koshowski in Hamilton, Ontario, I Mother Earth guitar player Jagori Tanna has been writing and producing for his band since 1991, when he and his brother Christian Tanna formed the group with singer Edwin, who they met at a shared rehearsal space at the time somewhere in Toronto.

Within a year of forming, I Mother Earth (Edwin, Jag, and Christian) was subject to a bidding war between music labels, eventually ending up on EMI Music Canada, a subsidiary of Capitol Records.

The band recorded its first album, 1993’s Dig, with Guns n’ Roses producer Mike Clink, which obviously had some bearing on the result – an epic rock record for the ages.

i mother earth dig

With their original bass player Franz Masini getting fired during these sessions (perhaps he was eating Frosted Mini Wheats too close to a rather expensive soundboard, who knows?), bass tracking duties fell to Jag, who played all of the bass on Dig (Bruce Gordon later signing on to tour Dig).

Even during the band’s early days, Jag had a flair for music production and was as responsible for the band’s vibe on record as Clink was, as Jag clearly had a specific sound in mind that he wanted for the guitar that record (presumably a combination of hard rock, funk, psychedelia, punk, and whatever special spice he had cooked up).

This producer role is something that Jag has always excelled at and he has produced albums well beyond I Mother Earth’s recorded output, which will be mentioned shortly.

In fact, it could be argued that the fantastic fidelity of that debut album, Dig, was largely responsible for the band’s ubiquity on alternative rock radio, and the reason I Mother Earth beat out, Rush, their childhood heroes, for a Juno Award in 1994 in the Best Hard Rock Album category.

The band was also a beloved live staple by this time, gigging tirelessly.

Jag’s Production Work

Fast forward a few more years, and I Mother Earth had a new singer – Brian Byrne, and Jag continued to create formidable tunes for his band, and produce them, as well.  This lead to fans not batting an eye as the band switched singers and continued to have radio appeal, even as Edwin departed the band.

It was in the late 90’s that Jag won a Juno Award in 2000 for Best Recording Engineer (with Paul Northfield) for the band’s singles “Summertime in the Void” and “When Did You Get Back From Mars “.

His production work continued to evolve over the years. Jag produced music for bands such as Clarknova and dodger at ‘The Mother’s Hip’ in Toronto, and he owns the record label UpperLeftSide Music, based out of Peterborough, Ontario.

Jag Tanna has also co-produced Sarah Slean’s album The Baroness and her more recent EP, The Baroness Redecorates.

His more recent projects are the production of his own IFC Canada show, The Rawside Of… and INXS singer J. D. Fortune’s solo album, The Death of a Motivational Speaker.

Beyond production work, Jag is involved in several other projects.  Not only is he the current guitarist / producer for I Mother Earth, but he is also the creative force behind Tanna Custom Guitars, as well as BigTimeGiving, and OpenMouth Music.

I Mother Earth has thus far released four albums: Dig (1993), Scenery and Fish (1996), Blue Green Orange (1`999), The Quicksilver Meat Dream (2003).  Will we see more?  Time will tell, but the band is back on tour as of 2022, so that is definitely a good sign.

The following picture can be found on I Mother Earth’s Facebook page.

i mother earth band

Links:

Trippin’ Down The Long Road (Interview with Jag Tanna, 1996)

Interview with Jag Tanna (The Sound, 2016)

Jag Tanna’s Twitter

Jag Tanna’s Facebook

Tanna Custom Guitars Instagram

Jag Tanna LinkedIn Profile

I Mother Earth Blog

Videos:

Have an I Mother Earth story or Jag Tanna anecdote to share?  Leave it below in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Best Canadian Punk Rock Albums of the 90’s

To many, the 1990’s were an idyllic time for alternative forms of music; punk rock being one of them.

So, while Green Day were being played once per hour in the mid-90s on MuchMusic, as punk had officially gone full mainstream, Canada had plenty of homegrown punk rock acts that were just as talented, but not nearly as promoted as Billie Joe and the boys.

chixdiggit

Listen; the stereotype that some people who are not from Canada may have of Canada being the “Great White North”, and just a bunch of logging trucks, hockey rinks, and maple syrup, is fairly misleading.

Most of the major cities in Canada actually have 4 distinct seasons, and that means that the punks aren’t wearing parkas, they’re literally skateboarding around town in the hot summer sun.

Anyway, the point of this article is to showcase all of the cool punk rock bands that Canada had going on in the 90’s.  Many of the punk bands you’ll find on this list obviously pre-date the 90’s, but, as we all know, the 90’s was where it’s at, and many of these bands had some of their finest releases during this time.

With that said, let’s dive in!

Reset – No Worries

Released in: 1997

Band is from: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Band members: Philippe Jolicoeur ( Guitar, Vocals ), Gilbert Vallerand ( Bass, Vocals ), Gopal Devanathan ( Drums )


The Real McKenzies – S/t

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Band members: Paul McKenzie – vocals (1992–present), Aspy Luison – bagpipes (2012–present), Jono Jak – guitar (2015–present), Troy Zak – bass (2012–present), Kirby J. Fisher (2022-present)


SNFU – Something Green and Leafy This Way Comes

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Band members: Too many to list…


Subb – The Ultimate Highstep To Hell

Released in: 1997

Band is from: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Band members: Jeff Quesnel, Mart Charron, Math Goyette, Stef Gauthier, JF Lague


The Weakerthans – Fallow

Released in: 1997

Band is from: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Band members: John K. Samson, Jason Tait, Stephen Carroll, Greg Smith


Flashlight Brown – Running Season

Released in: 1999

Band is from: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Band members: Fil Bucchino, Matt Hughes, Tim Thomson, Bart Doroz


D.O.A. – 13 Flavours of Doom

Released in: 1992

Band is from: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Band members: Joe Keithley, Mike Hodsall, Paddy Duddy


Propagandhi – How To Clean Everything

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

Band members: Jord Samolesky, Chris Hannah, Todd Kowalski, Sulynn Hago


Dayglo Abortions – Stupid World, Stupid Songs

Released in: 1998

Band is from: Victoria, BC, Canada

Band members: The Cretin, Mike Jak, Blind Marc, Matt Fiorito


Kittens – Tiger Comet

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Band members: Shawn “Pony” Fedorchuk, David “Bazooka” Kelly, Jahmeel Russel, Russ Desjardine, Steve Kellas


The Planet Smashers – Meet the Planet Smashers

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Band members: Matt Collyer (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Patrick Taylor (Trombone, Backing Vocals), Alexandre Fecteau (Tenor Saxophone, Backing vocals)
Scott Russell (Drums), Patrizio McLelland (Organ, Backing Vocals), Andy McAdam ( Bass guitar, Backing Vocals)


Belvedere – Because No One Stopped Us

Released in: 1998

Band is from: Alberta, Canada

Band members: Steve Rawles, Dan Wollach, Ryan Mumby, Casey Lewis


Gob – How Far Shallow Takes You

Released in: 1998

Band is from: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Band members: Tom Thacker, Theo Goutzinakis, Gabe Mantle, Steven Fairweather


NoMeansNo – 0 + 2 = 1

Released in: 1991

Band is from: Victoria, BC, Canada

Band members: Rob Wright, John Wright, Andy Kerr, Tom Holliston, Ken Kempster


Chixdiggit – Chixdiggit!

Released in: 1996

Band is from: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Band members: KJ Jansen, Mark O’Flaherty, Billy Dixon, Tyler Pickering, Rob Gruszecki


There you have it!  Did we miss anything?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Best Canadian Alt Rock Albums of the 90’s

Some of the best alternative rock of the 1990’s came out of Canada, of all places.

This is a fact you’d know if you are / were from Canada, but something that you easily could have missed if you were from anywhere else in the world, as many of these albums didn’t get much airplay outside of the Canada.

If you happened to have lived in Canada during the ’90’s, I’m sure you can remember many of the songs from these albums being played all the time on alt rock stations across the country.  Where I’m from, for example, we had 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, formerly CFNY-FM.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, these albums are all pretty much staples of any good alt rock music collection, and in my totally biased opinion, many of these albums offered a different slant or a special ingredient that a lot of other music elsewhere didn’t offer, much in the same way that a lot of great comedians come from Canada, so too do many great alt-rockers.

The 90’s was the heyday of the alt rock musician in Canada, so enjoy these albums if you haven’t heard them, and if you have, then you know how good they all are.

I Mother Earth – Dig

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Jagori Tanna, Christian Tanna, Edwin, Bruce Gordon, Chuck Dailey, Jesse Karwat


Moist – Silver

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Band members (past, present): David Usher, Mark Makoway, Kevin Young, Jeff Pearce, Francis Fillion, Jonathan Gallivan, Jamie Kaufmann, Paul Wilcox, Louis Lalancette, Chris Taylor-Munro


Our Lady Peace – Naveed

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Raine Maida, Duncan Coutts, Steve Mazur, Jason Pierce, Mike Turner, Jeremy Taggart, Jamie Edwards, Robin Hatch, Chris Eacrett, Jim Newell, Paul Martin


Teenage Head – Head Disorder

Released in: 1996

Band is from: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Steve Park, Frankie Venom (Kerr), Nick Stipanitz, Blair Richard Martin, Mark Lockerbie, Jack Pedlar, Pete MacAulay, David Bendeth


Rainbow Butt Monkeys – Letters To Chutney

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Scott Anderson, James Black, Rick Jackett, Sean Anderson, Steve Molella, Rob Gommerman, Rich Beddoe


The Killjoys – Starry

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Mike Trebilcock, Gene Champagne, Shelley Woods


54-40 – Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Tsawwassen, BC, Canada

Band members (past, present): Neil Osborne, Matt Johnson, Brad Merritt, Dave Genn, David Osborne, Phil Comparelli, Darryl Neudorf, Ian Franey


The Gandharvas – A Soap Bubble and Inertia

Released in: 1994

Band is from: London, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Paul Jago, Jud Ruhl, Brian Ward, Beau Cook, Tim McDonald, Rob Blanchette, Eric Howden


The Pursuit of Happiness – The Downward Road

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Moe Berg, Dave Gilby, Kris Abbott, Brad Barker, Renee Suchy


Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

Released in: 1995

Band (in this case, artist) is from: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Alanis Morissette, Chris Chaney, Taylor Hawkins, Nick Lashley, Jesse Tobias


hHead – Jerk

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Noah Mintz, Brendan Canning, Jason Ray, Mark Bartkiw, Roland Rainer, Zak Hanna


Gob – Too Late…No Friends

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Langley, BC, Canada

Band members (past, present): Tom Thacker, Theo Goutzinakis, Gabe Mantle, Steven Fairweather, Tyson Maiko, Craig Wood, Patrick “Wolfman Pat” Paszana, Jamie Fawkes, Kelly Macauley, Happy Kreter


Big Sugar – Hemi-vision

Released in: 1996

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Gordie Johnson, Alex Johnson, Ben Richardson, Rey Arteaga, Richard Brown


The Tragically Hip – Fully Completely

Released in: 1992

Band is from: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Rob Baker, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair, Davis Manning


The Doughboys – Crush

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Band members (past, present): John Kastner, Jonathan Cummins, Scott McCullough, Jon Bond Head, Brock Pytel, Paul Newman, Peter Arsenault, Wiz


Sloan – Twice Removed

Released in: 1994

Band is from: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Band members (past, present): Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson, Andrew Scott


Eric’s Trip – Love Tara

Released in: 1993

Band is from: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Band members (past, present): Rick White, Julie Doiron, Chris Thompson, Mark Gaudet, Ed Vaughan


Barenaked Ladies – Gordon

Released in: 1992

Band is from: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart, Kevin Hearn, Steven Page, Andy Creeggan


Matthew Good Band – Beautiful Midnight

Released in: 1999

Band is from: Coquitlam, BC, Canada

Band members (past, present): Matthew Good, Dave Genn, Ian Browne, Rich Priske, Geoff Lloyd


The Tea Party – The Edges of Twilight

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Jeff Martin, Stuart Chatwood, Jeff Burrows


Rusty – Fluke

Released in: 1995

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): John Lalley, Mitch Perkins, Ken MacNeil, Scott McCullough, Bob Vespaziani, John Sutton, Jim Moore


Kittens – Bazooka & The Hustler

Released in: 1997

Band is from: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Band members (past, present): Shawn “Pony” Fedorchuk, David “Bazooka” Kelly, Jahmeel Russel, Russ Desjardine, Steve Kellas


Thrush Hermit – Clayton Park

Released in: 1999

Band is from: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Band members (past, present): Joel Plaskett, Rob Benvie, Ian McGettigan, Michael Catano, Cliff Gibb, Benn Ross


The Sadies – Pure Diamond Gold

Released in: 1999

Band is from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Band members (past, present): Dallas Good, Travis Good, Sean Dean, Mike Belitsky