Exclusive interview with OUR LADY PEACE frontman Raine Maida- Raine talks new album “Somethingness,” touring with Matthew Good, what the band is now up to, and more

Our Lady Peace have have been very busy since last fall.  They first released the first single off of “Somethingness” which was “Drop Me In The Water.”  Soon after that, they released  the “Somethingness Volume 1 EP” which in addition to “Drop Me In The Water,” had songs “Hiding Place For Hearts,” “Falling Into Place,” and “Nice To Meet You.”  It was a good preview for the full album of “Somethingness” which was released in late February.  As Raine said in the interview, the album has key parts of past Our Lady Peace albums while incorporating something new too.

The band has been busy touring as well.   The band was touring the US last summer around the release of “Somethingness Volume 1” with Collective Soul and Tonic.  Soon after that they went on the “Clumsy” 20th anniversary tour in the US where they played a lot of songs from that famous album.  They just completed a big Canadian tour with Matthew Good this last March where they promoted their new album “Somethingness” and played around 3-4 new songs each night.  They also did a special encore a lot of the nights playing Matthew Good’s song “Hello Time Bomb” a lot with Matthew Good himself.

As well as talking about the new album and touring with Matthew Good, Raine also talks in this interview about the Canadian Rock music scene, what is next for the band including some sort of short documentary on the album, and more.

While “Curve” was a good album, for the most part it seemed to be different from most of your albums.  “Somethingness” although still different in its own way, seems to be kind of a return to form for you guys.  Do you agree and if so, what made you want to return to that sound?

Somethingness was able to harness some key parts of OLP last albums while still trying to experiment sonically .Curve experimented on both levels & rarely paid homage to older OLP  

“Ballad of a Poet” seems to be the standout track on the album for me.  I love the storytelling style the song has.  I read lyrically it is about seeing The Hip and is a tribute to Gord Downie.  How was the recording for that song though?  It seems to keep on building up until towards the end musically.  Was that hard?  Also, is there potential for this song to be a single in the future?  While it’s not a fast paced rocker like a lot of your recent singles, it seems to have a lot of appeal.

 We all are fond of Ballad Of a Poet. It came together very organically musically . We wanted the song to be a journey musically & I think we achieved that. The slow build allows the lyric to be absorbed and contemplated & that was key for this track in talking about a memory of Gord. I wanted each line to paint a picture of what I saw that night.

“Drop Me In The Water” seems like it was a good choice for the first single being a fast paced rocker and is similar to a lot of your other recent singles.  However, “Nice To Meet You” is a really catchy song.  Do you think it has the potential to do really good for you guys as a single and do you think you could possibly gain some new fans with this since it kind of has a crossover appeal?

 I’m not really sure what a “single” is these days.  Drop is a great representation of OLP today as is Ballad & Nice To Meet You. 

Before “Somethingness” was released as a full album, you released a 4 song EP as “Somethingness Volume 1.”  I read one reason you did that was because of your tour with Guns N Roses and you wanted to have new music out for the audience at that tour.  What were the other reasons behind that?  Do you think that relates to the state of the music industry with how people have short attention span for music these days?  Also, do you think it helped keep your fans more engaged with the band since they had more music to look forward to?

We released the EP ahead of our US tour last fall basically because we could. It’s a liberating time in the music biz.

Speaking of the Guns N Roses tour, that must have been an interesting tour for you guys to be apart of.  While the music is similar somewhat between you and Guns N Roses it is also different.  How was it trying to get their fans interested in your music? Also, do you think it increased your fanbase by gaining a decent amount of more fans in the end?

We had a blast and were surprised the crowds were so accepting of us.  It was probably a situation where a lot of those people knew our songs but had never seen us live. Seeing is believing !

You guys are currently on a Canadian tour with Matthew Good.  How are the fans reacting to the new songs being played live? Are there any songs in particular that going over really well?  I would imagine that the song “Drop Me in The Water” went over well with the Guns N Roses fans.

 New songs fit seamlessly into our set. Crowds are diggin them and  that’s a relief. Doesn’t always work out that way.

Matthew Good seems like a good tour partner for you guys because you guys probably have some of the same fans.  Is your music going well with some of the Matthew Good fans though that aren’t too familiar with Our Lady Peace?  Do you think you are gaining a decent amount of new fans on this tour too?

We have similiar world, political, social & musical views so I think the fans probably do as well. It made it an easy tour in terms of everyone pushing to put on the best shows each night. No egos, just love.

Besides the facts that you have a some of the same fans to Matthew Good and that you both have albums that were recently released, why did you go on tour with Matthew Good?  Is there something specific that makes his music and Our Lady Peace’s so compatible besides that is just a combination of good music?

We’ve never toured together. Considering we came up at the same time it’s amazng to be able to do something fresh and new like this tour.

While the band was formed in Canada, your music made it big over in the US as well.  Your music seems to fit right in with the post grunge bands in the US and get grouped in categories sometimes with bands like Collective Soul and LIVE.  What do you think it is about your music that got you a good following in the States as well being that you started out as a Canadian band?  Did you happen to have a good promotion or booking team when you started out too to help make that happen?

 We toured incessantly across America for the first 10 years of our career. We had some success at radio and MTV but putting in the time building our fan base live is what has sustained us in the USA.

While you guys have a good following in the States, you are really big in Canada.  Obviously one of the reasons you guys are bigger there is because you started there playing more shows there.  What else do you think though makes your music more appealing in Canada.  Do you think there is something that sets you apart in Canada from your US contemporaries?

Obviously being Canadian helps develop a deeper bond  but I would  say that the fans are much different.

I don’t know if you heard about this Canadian Rock Music Documentary that is being produced called “Rave and Drool.”  They already have a teaser available where they interviewed some Canadian rock bands like Barenaked Ladies and Finger Eleven, but they are not close to being done I think.  Would you guys want to be featured in the documentary?  What would you want this documentary to show about Canadian music and do you think it can help get Canadian Rock music bigger around the world?

The 90’s in Canada produced an incredible amount of talent. That era deserves a film

 I don’t consider Our Lady Peace to be a nostalgia band but you seem to tour with a lot of bands from the 90s.  Besides having similar audiences, what is it that makes you tour with a lot of these bands.  I read somewhere that you said the 90s was just a really good era of music and that I why it is starting to get popular again.  What do you think its is of the 90s rock music scene that makes it so good? 

MuchMusic was instrumental ! I would credit and thank Denise Donlon.

Though there has been this resurgence of 90s rock music, the popular music from younger con bands have shifted towards a different sound.  Do you think this resurgence will bring this rock sound from the 90s back into younger bands?  

I think music is healthy right now. I don’t hear the same amount of guitars in new music as we did in the 90’s but Rock n Roll is definitely not dead as some have said. Rock n Roll is a spirit of defiance & that exists all over the place . Usually not on radio but the kids know what’s up. 

 I wanted to bring up the song “Boy.”  It’s one of my favorite songs from you guys and I think it I very underrated.  Can you tell the story behind that and what it was like recording that song if you remember.  Also, is there a chance it might make it back to the setlists?

Boy is def a special song. Haven’t played it for a minute. It was written soon after I had my first kid. Hard not to think about giving your young son advice knowing how hard this world can be. 

Well, you guys have been busy touring relentlessly and you just put a new album out.  Is there anything else coming up that we could expect from you guys?  Are you going to tour the album more in the States?  I know you were here for the “Clumsy” tour and last summer, but is there going to be more for this album cycle, perhaps this summer?  

We are looking at more US dates to support the full SOMETHINGNESS album & we’re finishing a short film on the Concept of SOMETHINGNESS and the meaning behind it. 

To check out our exclusive review of Our Lady Peace’s new album “Somethingness” go HERE.

Our Lady Peace also performed a cool set at Paste Studios acoustically last year.  To check that out, go to our VIDEOS section.

 

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