Mother may they

MIKE BELL

, Last Updated: 9:10 PM ET

Could all employees of Universal Music please leave the room.

We'll wait ... take your time.

Are they gone? Good.

They probably wouldn't have liked what they read about the new I Mother Earth record -- or rather the record that the Canadian rock band scrapped in order to deliver their new disc, The Quicksilver Meat Dream, a hard, heavy relatively non-mainstream prog rock record.

"At the point we threw out our whole record ... if we had continued, the record that we would have released probably would have sold more," admits IME's guitarist Jagori Tanna, over a cup of coffee in the Fairmont Palliser Hotel after a listening party for fans the night before at The Palace. "It would have made us more money, it would have been on the radio more -- but forget it."

That's not something shareholders or those counting on that Christmas bonus really care to hear -- but the members of the quartet could, quite frankly, care less.

After an up-and-down career, one that featured the dumping of their popular lead singer Edwin after their initial success, the band made a decision to go back to the beginnings -- not necessarily the musical beginnings, but rather the naive beginnings of why four guys pick up their instruments and form a band in the first place.

Tanna admits halfway through the recording of Quicksilver, at the band's own Toronto studio, The Mother's Hip, they came to the realization they weren't having any fun -- something they chose to rectify by starting over.

"The decision was made to go at it how we did in the first place," he says. "Whatever that ended up being, the spirit of it is definitely how it was, how it used to be ... We're just thinking 'This is what we do, this is what makes the four of us in the room happy.'

"And hopefully somebody else will get it."

"It sounds a little hokey," agrees IME's new vocalist Brian Byrne, "but if you're really true to yourself -- we thought we all were being, and I know we were -- that honesty comes across.

"Maybe the record company doesn't get it right away but when it gets out there, people dig honesty."

Quicksilver has been termed a concept record -- what that concept is, the band's not telling -- and features hardly a whiff of a hit single, favouring instead murky, six-plus-minute aural rock jams that owe a great deal to Pink Floyd and those that have followed.

"It was becoming something that I didn't want to be a part of and nobody in the band wanted to be a part of," Tanna says of the pre-Byrne era.

"We decided no matter what happens we're going to be happy as a band."


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