Monday December 05, 2016

The Jerry Cans challenge mainstream music norms by sticking to their roots

Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans performing live in the q studio in Toronto, Ont.

Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans performing live in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

Listen 24:45

Steve Rigby once tried to create an entire drum set using jerry cans. 

While project didn't quite work out — "It didn't sound very good," Nancy Mike recalls — the name stuck. This is how Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans' name was born. 

The band, which combines rock, reggae and alt-country sounds with traditional Indigenous elements such as Mike's throat singing, is just one of many Indigenous bands finding success in Canada right now. For the band, it's important to maintain their native identity in their music which includes performing in Inuktitut. 

"We want to encourage other musicians in the North to continue on even though there might be struggles along the way," Mike explains. "There's always a way to get it done.

"Seeing mainstream music being sung mostly in English is something that needs to change and I think we're doing something that we want to see change in the future." 

The Jerry Cans

Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans performing live in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

The Jerry Cans

Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans performing live in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

The Jerry Cans

Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans performing live in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)