Falling with talent
By Lukas Hudecek
Musicians are often inclined to use the exciting new medium known as the Internet for promotion or simple discussion with fans and friends. A couple of weeks ago one of Canada's fastest-growing acts turned on some computers for a rare discussion at a secretive press conference, with passwords and a special address used to allow only a privileged few into this special event.
Our Lady Peace, one of the most exciting bands in Canada, chose such a forum to offer campus press the first opportunity to learn about the band's latest effort, Clumsy. After the success of the band's debut album Naveed over 500,000 copies sold worldwide it is not surprising that many people were inclined to talk to them.
When asked if the band felt any pressure in recording its second album, lead singer Raine Maida replied (in the only response that was specific to one member), "Not really, because the first was kind of like an indie record for us. This is like our first real record."
Our Lady Peace fans can expect the second CD and tour to represent an improvement for two reasons. First, the band has now travelled the world and performed over 500 shows. Secondly, the band parted ways with former bassist Chris Eacrett due to "personality conflicts" during the Van Halen tour (OLP opened for the once-cool, happily-married metal foursome in 1995). Eacrett was replaced by Duncan Coutts, who was originally intended for the band but chose to go back to school instead of tour.
"We have played so much that we have changed as a band," reflected one of the band members. "The addition of Duncan, who plays some keyboard, cello, as well as singing like a bird, has broadened our available palette of sounds. Given these new parameters, we couldn't help but change."
While promoting Naveed, the band had the opportunity to open for other major league acts Alanis Morissette, Bush, Elastica and Plant and Page. The band felt touring with so many big acts helped tighten the group as a unit, even if the audience was not always there to see OLP.
"Initially we turned Van Halen down," said the band. "But looking back on the tour, we couldn't help but learn from a band of their stature, even if we didn't see eye-to-eye musically."
Anyone who saw OLP perform in the summer may be surprised to see that the very well-received song tentatively titled "Trapeze" has been left off the new CD. "‘Trapeze' was recorded but it didn't seem to fit with the rest of the record," the band stated.
"Trapeze," as well as songs from Clumsy, like "Superman's Dead," "4am" and the title track will find audiences feeling the same intensity that songs like "Naveed" and "The Birdman" evoked.
Although it does not seem like it, Naveed was released over four years ago. Our Lady Peace, through its touring and image, has put itself on the musical map as a band to watch.
Perhaps, Our Lady Peace is more deserving of the attention it is receiving than other Canadian bands, because OLP is not paying attention to trends and is concentrating on creating its own musical force field.
"We don't really think about whether we should change based on current trends," the band explains. "We are what we are and hopefully, we're similar to enough people that we can continue and change at our own pace, who knows what we'll change into."
It is fitting that Our Lady Peace chose the Internet as its means of communication. Like the Internet, Our Lady Peace should only continue to grow and expand with a creation that will excite the masses.
Gazette file photo
FISH HEADS, FISH HEADS, ROLL-Y POLL-Y FISH HE. . . Our Lady Peace gets some last-minute dinner before coming to London for its show at The Wave tonight.