Our Lady Peace has been around since the early 90s and since their formation they stayed true to what their fans want to hear. OLP has been commonly referred to as Can-Rock when in fact the band has delved into the United States a handful of time with many singles, carving out quite the career between mainstream and underground rock music. The band is gearing up for what seems to be an exciting time with the release of Curve, their eighth album to date. As many 90s bands are trying hard to stay relevant these days, OLP are plowing ahead despite break up rumors that are lingering from the recording of their last album.
Our Lady Peace's spirit has not burned and may be one of Canada's true and tried rock acts that are still standing since the early 90s. That alone deserves major recognition. On Curve, the band finds itself working with close producer and close friend Jason Lader to bring back creative freedoms that may have lacked with the direction of their previous efforts.
Examiner.com sat down with lead singer Raine Maida to discuss all this, the new album, his new solo material and much, much more.
Q: What makes you walk the fine line of Canada and the States after several records into your career? Are you satisfied with where the band is in its career today?
A: We're on a great path at present. The Arc of this band is still pointing upwards which is something to be said on your 8th record. Our Mini tour sold it in minutes so there's some great momentum on this new record. Even though none of our fans have heard anything except "heavyweight", all the in-studio mini videos we posted and our talking surrounding Curve has them understanding that this record is big triumph for us artistically, & creatively.
Q: It seems like your fans and critics want to compare Curve to Gravity, but the band is very much older now and in a different place. Would you agree or disagree?
A: Those 2 records are so far apart its silly. This record has more in line with Spiritual Machines than anything. We really tried to be brave on this recording . Gravity was a very stripped down rock record. Nothing challenging about it. Curve is full of interesting sounds and textures. We really tried to experiment with different voicings, chord progressions and rhythms. Much more experimental than Gravity.
Q: Do you ever get tired of playing or hearing your old material? Do you think it sounds dated in anyway or labeled/pigeonholed as 90s music?
A: We have a whack of songs that we still feel as passionate about today as when they were written. We also feel very fortunate to feel that way.
We made 4 records in the 90's and 4 in the 21st century. Curve is definitely a 21st Century record. I do hear ,with a lot of bands from the 90's, the struggle to maintain any relevancy musically. It's sometimes difficult to not fall in the trappings of repeating yourself. This record does not have any of those restraints of any trouble feeling fresh. Bringing Jason Lader in to work with us was a key element to this record maintaining a creative edge and freedom.
Q: Do you feel that 90s rock bands have lost their creative spark now that rock music isn’t a huge force in the mainstream pop culture anymore? Do you think it’s hard to be a rock band in the year 2012?
A: I think its an important time for Rock music. it is very difficult for new rock bands to breakthrough and develop careers. We are in an amazing position where we have a serious fan base and its important for us to expand on that with Curve. As far as mainstream music goes....nothing with much substance or worthwhile has been in the mainstream for years now. The interesting music is easily found just not in the obvious places.
Q: It seems that OLP is comfortable producing and engineering its own albums. Do you find it difficult working with outside producers?
A: We loved working with Jason. There was no filter and were not 18 yr old kids who need coddling in the studio or our ego's stroked. We wanted to be challenged and that takes brutal honesty sometimes and hard work. There's was no settling on this record.
Q: Where did the band get the inspiration behind the album artwork? Is it more difficult to come up with album artwork, title, and concepts now than when the band first started?
A: The struggle of making a record like this, being in a band for 18 years and trying to reinvent yourself parallels that of a boxer for me. It's about getting knocked down and getting back up. We've always seen our career as a 15 rd fight. Never about a hit song or one record. George Chuvalo is one of those fighters who has faced adversity in and out the ring. He's a friend, a Canadian icon and a great inspiration. We're honored to have him on the cover.
Q: Any other solo albums from Raine Maida anytime soon? And looking back on Hunter’s Lullaby did you find that to be a good cathartic release at that time in your career?
A: Dropping a handful of songs on rainemaida.net next week! I am loving the direction and sound my solo work has evolved into. Plan is to keep putting up mixtapes or EP's every few months than have a proper release out before Xmas...and some solo shows scattered amongst the OLP touring in 2012.
Q: Finally, what keeps OLP ticking after all these years? Despite a possible break up during the Healthy in Paranoid Times sessions, you guys made it through and kept head above water.
A: It was probably the inability to make this type of record. we've been trying to make Curve for the last 10 years. now that we've gotten close the floodgates are open. we feel like we've set ourselves up for an interesting next 10 years!
Curve is set to be released on April 3.