Volume 91, Issue 73

Friday, February 6, 1998



Leaping tall charts in a single bound

©Kevin Westenberg
"WE GOT STILTON, WE GOT COTSWOLD, WE GOT DACAPO... WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE?" Everyone's favourite Gershwin fans, Our Lady Peace, play a sold-out show at Thompson Arena on Monday night. Cha, Cha, Cha!

By Carey Weinberg

Gazette Staff

Saying Toronto's Our Lady Peace surpassed expectations is akin to saying the O.J. Simpson trial got a little too much coverage. Presently on their first cross-Canada arena tour and traversing the U.S. with Everclear certainly puts OLP on the megasuccess horizon.

Early on, drummer Jeremy Taggart explains, "we expected to sell around 20,000 records so we could record another one."

Success aside, selling out the Gardens registered in the hearts of the peacemakers. "We've all seen shows there, so it's a pretty big deal for all of us."

Still, they have no recipe for success in how they write. "We're still a relatively young band. We throw a million ideas into a pot and the best idea wins." Obviously, the best ideas are stewing in the minds of fans and fulfilling modern rock hunger, but not curbing OLP's appetite for progress.

"It just means more people are coming to see us live and we get to tour these exotic places." Taggart doesn't think the successs has any negative repercussions. "I think it would effect us if we took it personally. Neither of us are taking the impact of our success on an individual level. It's a lot easier that way, we don't get swollen heads. We stay grounded in that sense.

"The more experiences we go through as a band, the more everything changes and evolves so we don't know where we're going to be tomorrow, we just hope to continue creating honestly and prolifically."

As is the case with most artists, it is the intangibles which push them further. "I think if we knew what 'it' was then we wouldn't do it. There's so many reasons why we do it, but it's the unexplainable things that happen while you're playing together, while you're writing songs and the creative spirit which drives us."

In getting into the driver seat, Taggart claims a type of pre-embryonic driving lessons are essential to becoming a musician. "Musicians are just born. It's not something you just pick up and try to hone in on, it's something that's stuck in your brain before you come out. We'd be creative if we weren't a band, or if we weren't in the same room together.

"For some reason I always knew I would start playing drums, I didn't know when, or why. Whenever I stood around a drum set there was always a vibe, something going on between the instrument and myself. I think it's the same with music – whenever I would listen to music or see a concert there was always a feeling of this is what I'm into or this is what I'm about and I think we're all that way."

It's this type of honest approach to music which keeps OLP humble. Taggart had trouble recalling a time when the group came off stage patting each other's backs with "great show" falling off their lips. Typically, these guys are their own worst critics. "We try to find ways of getting to the next level. I think once we're comfortable we're screwed.

"I think that goes for anything. If you're a doctor or a musician, you always have to aim above the mark and try and reach the next level or else you just die."

When a song or a band gets played ad nauseam it's due to requests. "If you're in a car then it's a real pain in the ass, but hopefully over time you won't be sick of it, we hope. One of our main goals is to create music which will grow old gracefully."

This is one of the primary reasons why playing live is more enjoyable for Our Lady Peace as it remains in the moment. "It's really gratifying to be in this band at this point because there is that spark still. Those intense sparks happen about twice a week now." There's a good chance for sparks on Monday when the Hogtown boys of peace descend upon Thompson Arena at Western. Superman may very well be dead, but Our Lady Peace is alive and well.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998