“The new record is a huge departure for the band and by far the most original and inspiring music to date,” exclaims Raine Maida. Raine, the lead singer, guitar player and co-founder of a band that’s proven the test of time, oozes enthusiasm about his creation as if it were his first week on the job.
Our Lady Peace, who despite a recent guitar player change (welcome Steve Mazur!) and endless days of touring, are still kickin’ strong after eleven years. The band, which started like most fledglings do, have defied odds and taken the world by storm. In fact, Our Lady Peace has the distinction of being one of the only Canadian bands to sell more records in the U.S. than in Canada. Quite a feat in the ever-competitive U.S. market!
Over the past eleven years the guys in O.L.P have topped the Billboard charts with 3 out of 5 of their records. They even hit the number seven spot on Billboard’s “Top 200” with their last album, Gravity. They have earned two gold records in the U.S. and continual touring, a “no-rest-for-the-weary” technique, has earned the guys a die-hard fan club.
Their recent San Francisco performance was typical. The venue housed a noticeable amount of out-of-staters that made the trek to the show specifically to see O.L.P. Fans even knew the words to un-released songs! It’s obvious that Raine is proud of his fan-base, “We have really focused on the live aspect of shows. That’s how we define ourselves. And, it’s great to have sold-out shows. Fans come and sing all the songs, not just the ones on the radio.”
Raine Maida was introduced to his VOX Valvetronix setup by producer Bob Rock. Raine tells us, “Bob introduced us to VOX when we were in the studio recording. I liked it so much that over our last summer tour I used it live. Before I discovered the Valvetronix amps, I would just play acoustic even though there were parts in the songs that needed electric. I was kind of stuck with the acoustic. Now I can switch between both, which is really cool. For example, the songs ‘Superman’s Dead’ and ‘Clumsy’ both have acoustic verses, but the choruses are really dirty. Now, playing those songs live isn’t even a second thought.”
Raine’s rig consists of a Valvetronix AD120VTH head and AD412 cabinet. He continues, “I basically write on guitar. I write mostly on acoustic, but since we are in the studio, I’ve put the acoustic away for a while. The Valvetronix is such just a good tool because you don’t have to wait. It has so many great tones inside of the head, that switching between amp models is instant. It’s great for demoing too and for recording. It is a pretty versatile amp.”
Commenting on O.L.P’s work with Bob Rock, Raine confides, “I think everyone has watched the special with Metallica and the making of The Black Album. When you see Bob laying into Kirk (Hammett) and all those guys, even James (Hetfield), you gain massive respect for a guy who can stand up for his ideas. That is the way Bob is, very honest and forthright. We wanted to be challenged like that musically. Bob is still very excited about music, he’s a music lover, and it’s infectious when you are in a room with him. He really gets you going.”
And have them going he does! Since the summer tour Raine and the rest of Our Lady Peace have feverishly been between pre-production in Los Angeles and recording in Hawaii where Bob’s studio is located. “Bob’s place has an aura of its own,” Raine confides. “And you know you are away from the record company and management. You don’t watch TV and listen to radio, so you are just kind of there, isolated, making music. You think subconsciously that no one will ever hear the music, that it will never make it off the island. You are on your own out there, and that is a great environment to make music in.”
A new, raw, approach will be evident on their forthcoming album, yet to be named. The guys have decided go all out and record the album completely live with the help of Bob Rock. This fresh take is just another reason why Our Lady Peace will continue to be successful. They’re not afraid of change! Be sure to stop by www.ourladypeace.com for the most up-to-the-minute information on Our Lady Peace.
By Jennifer Plonski
Photo by Jay Blakesberg