The Next Chapter

Canadian nostalgia and difficult conversations became a winning formula for Jonathan Torrens & Jeremy Taggart

The two podcasters-turned-authors discuss what kind of topics they discuss on air, how no topic is sacred and what exactly makes them "buds."
Jeremy Taggart and Jonathan Torrens have turned their podcast, Taggart and Torrens, into a book. (HarperCollins Canada)

This interview originally aired on Jan. 29, 2018.

Jeremy Taggart and Jonathan Torrens are the hosts of the Taggart and Torrens podcast. Taggart is the former drummer of Our Lady Peace and Torrens is known for playing J-Roc on Trailer Park Boys and is a regular on the show Mr. D.

They've turned their podcast, in which they discuss everything from Canadian nostalgia to dealing with the death of a parent, into a book: Canadianity: Tales from the True North Strong and Freezing.

In 2018, they stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about why they wrote the book.

'Canadianity' and 'bahdism'

Jonathan: "'Canadianity' was a word that we made up semi-facetiously. We started using the term as a way to refer to the nostalgic affection we have from the time we grew up in this country, back in the days of the Alberta commercial from Canadian Tire or the 'Bacon gotcha, eh?' Maple Leaf commercial. When we started talking about these references affectionately on our podcast, people started piling on with their own reminiscences of long ago forgotten pop culture references."

Canadianity' was a word that we made up semi-facetiously.

Jeremy: "'Bahdism' is what Jonathan and I grew up learning to be, how to portray ourselves and how to respect people. 'Bahdism' is the next version of being a hoser. We are hosers. Our book and our podcast are good examples of that. They're basically just conversations between Jonathan and I. We share stories and we share our perspectives of this country. It's happy, it's sad, it's funny, it's crazy and it's stupid."

An important life lesson

Jeremy: "My dad grew up in Maryhill in Glasgow, a tough part of the city. Then he moved to the Bronx when he was seven. When he was there, he joined this ridiculous Bowery Boys-style gang called The Junior Piccucis. They were all under 12 years old. My dad was the new guy, so he was always the guinea pig. They taught him this trick of how to chew glass where you put it in your mouth and you crunch it in your teeth. It makes it sound like it's breaking up but you're not cutting your mouth. 

"One time, years later, my dad was waiting at the bus stop in Toronto and these punks came with hockey sticks and beat him up badly. He came home and had to go to the hospital. A couple of days later, he was there again waiting for these kids to come back. He grabbed a bottle from the garbage, smashed it on the ground, swooped it up, threw it in his mouth and just started raging at these kids and they just booked off like crazy. I've never had to chew glass like him, but my dad did pass on the lesson that acting mad and crazy, as opposed to trying to fight somebody, works better."

No topic is off limits

Jonathan: "We were touring in St. John's when my mom passed away. She'd been living in Halifax in a hospice and I'd been having some guilt about leaving for work while she was so sick. The hospice worker there said, 'Maybe she's waiting for you not to be around, maybe she needs you to be here. Tell your mom how much you love her, tell her where you're going and when you'll be back. And if she needs you, she'll wait.' That information was so valuable to me and made so much sense, but it's not something we talk about a lot. 

We never shy away from topics like that on the podcast or in the book. Most of it is about struggles as parents, struggles with mechanics, the loss of our parents and issues that we have.

"We never shy away from topics like that on the podcast or in the book. Most of it is about struggles as parents, struggles with mechanics, the loss of our parents and issues that we have. I think that intimacy is why the podcast resonates with people.  That's why when we meet 'bahds,' it's a two-way exchange of information. They want to tell us tales that they have from their lives that pertain to stories from the book. It's very meaningful."

Jonathan Torrens and Jeremy Taggart's comments have been edited and condensed.

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