Back to basics

Justin Brake
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Our Lady Peace gets in touch with its rock roots for new CD

After nearly a decade and a half of making music, Canadian alt-rock band Our Lady Peace (OLP) has finally come full circle.

These are the sentiments revealed by lead singer Raine Maida in a candid telephone interview with The Telegram just before the band's visit St. John's to perform at Mile One Centre as part of Memorial University's orientation week festivities.

Our Lady Peace plays Friday at Mile One Centre. -Submitted photo

After nearly a decade and a half of making music, Canadian alt-rock band Our Lady Peace (OLP) has finally come full circle.

These are the sentiments revealed by lead singer Raine Maida in a candid telephone interview with The Telegram just before the band's visit St. John's to perform at Mile One Centre as part of Memorial University's orientation week festivities.

For the past year the multiple Juno Award-winning band has been quietly working on a new, still untitled record.

After a turbulent era in the band's career, during which frustration with their label over creative control culminated in a near breakup in late 2005, Maida's disposition on the phone on this afternoon is fresh and radiates optimism and excitement when he talks about the progression of their new record.

A vacuum cleaner running somewhere nearby the phone stops when one of he and wife Chantal Kreviazuk's sons begins to cry. Maida delays our conversation for a moment and escapes into another room to fill me in on what he and the band have been up to during their seemingly perpetual disappearing act.

For starters, he released his debut solo album in Canada last November and just last week in the United States.

"The band's been really cool about it," he says. "The solo record really kind of set a precedent for me in terms of the way I enjoy making music these days."

After touring to support "Hunter's Lullaby," which included a stop in St. John's where he opened for Kreviazuk at Mile One in January 2007, Maida invited his bandmates to his in-home studio in Los Angeles to begin work on OLP's new project in the same fashion he recorded his solo album: alone.

"It was really freeing, just not being in a facility where I'm paying $1,000 a day or even having a producer," he says, explaining his ambition to self-produce "Hunter's Lullaby."

"I'm a big fan of collaboration, but I think at this point in my life, and definitely on my solo record, I really just wasn't interested in it. I wanted to trust my own instincts and not be influenced by anyone or any outside opinions.

Open minded

"With OLP ... the guys have been pretty open to the whole (idea) of coming down here, spending 10 days together, writing and recording stuff really quickly and not labouring over things, not having any baggage on the songs. We're not trying to make a perfect record," he continues. "We just want to really make a solid rock record. I think to do that you have to take the mentality, 'Here's a song. Let's go cut it. Let's record it and see what happens.' The energy and the honesty in the music we've made so far - I think it's the most special record we've made."

The attributes Maida points out as evident on the new record are those he says first earned the band a place in the Canadian indie music spotlight.

"What we've done is we've gone back to when we first did demos," he explains. "Even though we weren't as good in terms of being musicians, before we had a record deal there was an energy in the shittiest studio in Toronto, but it was the energy on those demos that ended up getting us signed. I think it's about capturing that energy again and that's what we've done. This is a very raw, honest, rock 'n' roll record."

No title yet for new CD

Though the band has not yet agreed on a title, Maida reveals the one that was scrapped the day before our interview: "Made in China."

He also divulges song titles which will appear on the album "White Flags," "Dope Fiend" and "The Right Stuff."

He eagerly points out the Friday Mile One crowd will be the first to hear some of the new songs, explaining record label executives haven't heard a thing yet.

The album will be the last in the band's contract with Sony BMG.

"Nothing bad to say about Sony and our relationship over the past 10 years," Maida says. "But just to have the fan base that we have, and be able to have the masters and make the record the way we wanted to ... is pretty important to us.

Control important

"No one's heard anything, so having that control again is pretty important to us. Now we have the ability to do anything we want with our fans. If we want to put out an EP at Christmas and just give it away to our fan base free, whatever we want to do, we have the power now. It's a new era for this band.

"We just feel this control issue now has given us so many options and you just feel much freer as artists. It's pretty inspiring," he adds.

"It's amazing to me that we're able to get to this place after being together and making music for 13 or 14 years now. I didn't expect it to work out as well as it did, but it's been amazing."

Tickets for Our Lady Peace and special guests Friday at Mile One Centre are $30 for MUN students and alumni and $40 for the public.

They are available at the Mile One box office, by calling (709) 576-7657, or online at www.admission.com.

Organizations: Our Lady Peace, The Right Stuff, Sony BMG

Geographic location: St. John's, Canada, United States Los Angeles Toronto China

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  • dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    does anyone know who else is opening for our lady peace

  • dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    does anyone know who else is opening for our lady peace