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Baker's Dozen

Northern Uproar: Tanya Tagaq's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , November 30th, 2016 10:06

With the release of her phenomenal new album, Retribution, the Inuit throat singer talks to John Freeman about the albums that make her laugh and cry. And laugh some more.


Misfits - Collection I
I went to university after attending residential school, having been born and raised in Nunavut. It was then that I started understanding what happens to minorities during the colonial process. Suddenly, a stark reality hit me – Inuit and indigenous people had been seriously mistreated by the government in order to take land and resources. I went down to university and no-one knew anybody who had committed suicide, whereas back home everyone was touched by suicide. The people at college were thriving and didn't have the same socio-economic difficulties and the majority of them were white. And, I became fucking pissed off. I didn't know quite why, as I was pretty young. I was so angry at the situation. I would listen to this album a lot. While I was listening to it I once trashed a car. I took a shit on the hood of a car. I was a dick – a little rowdy punk. For the first time, I was able to express part of myself. I almost don't want to talk about the album as it reminds me of a time of my life when I didn't have control of my anger. I was getting in a lot of fist fights. I am strong believer in justice and was always sticking up for underdogs. I remember trying to fight a guy was hadn't been making his child support payments! I was angry at everyone – I remember kicking over someone's tarot cards, because I hated hippies! I was just being a little shit. The cadence of this Misfits album just sparked something in me. The Motörhead and AC/DC albums make me feel powerful, but Misfits' album just made me feel really stabby at that time in my life. Thankfully that was a long, long time ago. That's not in any way indicative of who I am today. I am bit ashamed. I now listen to this album when I am on the treadmill and it makes me sprint. It's good for exercise now, whereas before it was good for lancing the boil of my anger.