By Chris Illich
On August 27, 97.7 Hitz FM are hosting the Biggs & Barr-B-Q in Port Dalhousie and they brought in a whopping headliner: I Mother Earth, featuring Edwin performing Scenery & Fish in its entirety. I caught up with guitarist Jag Tanna to talk about what it’s like to revisit something 20 years old.
So how did the whole Scenery & Fish 20th anniversary come about?
I Mother Earth and Edwin haven’t performed together in 18 years now. Basically, it all came down to an opportunity that fell in front of us that we weren’t really thinking about at all. By chance, our paths crossed after 18 years and I found myself sitting with Edwin and we were just talking about so many good things as opposed to bad things. And one thing led to another. We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to play one more show?’ and we kind of left it at that, we didn’t make a plan beyond that. Then we hooked up to see if we could still play music together. Edwin showed up and we just started playing the songs from Scenery & Fish. We had a whole bunch of laughs and we did it again and it felt good. It was a perfect opportunity. This is a really important year for us, we could’ve hung out and done nothing all year, or we could do something really cool for the fans.
You’ve performed a handful of concerts now with Edwin, how did that feel being back on stage with him after so many years? How was it preparing for the shows as well?
Well most of those songs were in our set list over the years. We already knew how to play all of them. We just got together a few days ahead of time, and then Edwin showed up and we just started running through the songs and within two rehearsals we sounded pretty darn good. We knew it was going to work.
The first show was good, but the second show was magic, it was probably one of the best shows we’ve played in 20 years, or more.
How did it feel to be part of that big Canadian rock movement in the ‘90s? Scenery & Fish came out when both MuchMusic and radio were really impressionable, there was a big music scene happening here in Canada during that time.
To me, it felt more real than the music scene does now. When we were coming up and things were happening for us, you could single out the bands doing something cool or succeeding; now I don’t know who is successful or not, you just hope to hear a good song.
We were naïve to a point thinking that it’s never going to end. I think now when I look back at it, I think that it was a really great moment of a person’s life. I can look back, and as much as there are negative things to go alongside the positive things, they don’t bother me anymore. I look back and I think. ‘Wow we still did it, we went from nothing and turned it into something and tried to keep our integrity all along the way.’ I think that’s maintained with what we are doing now, and what that band is about for people. As long as we do that with that in mind, we fought against the system in so many ways, trying not to be a commercial band or do what we were always told. I think we’re still better at not doing what we’re told now.