Volume 95, Issue 6

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
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Our Lady striving hard for an American Peace

Lights! Camera! Action! We've got your movie guide

Writer knows and reveals all

Oh what a musical summer

Live shows

Does Busta know your name?

Your weekly horoscopes

Gryner does the boys and alt-metal lives on

Our Lady striving hard for an American Peace

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

It seems like every Canadian musician strives to be either Barenaked or a Lady. Breaking into the American market isn't necessarily a top priority for all Canuck bands, but the truth of the matter is, it pays the bills.

The Barenaked Ladies' career thus far seems taken straight from a Behind the Music script (minus the cocaine addictions and sex scandals). They've gained fame both in their homeland and abroad by working hard without a miraculous overnight success story.

Although not exactly the same, Our Lady Peace's growth in American popularity is quite similar to the Barenaked Ladies – a steady and continuous rise.

Talking to Jeremy Taggart, OLP's drummer, it's evident the band is happy with the response they've received south of the border.

"In the US, we've played for six months and almost all the shows of 1,500, 2,500 and 3,000 people a night were sold out," Taggart says. "[The audience] knows the songs, it's not an alien fanbase. The fact we can tour down there for six months and not play the same place and be able to build a foundation without asking the record company for gas money is great."

In Canada, OLP has had quite a year, although it has been relatively quiet in terms of touring. They've maintained their popularity with numerous popular singles from Spiritual Machines. Their album, released in February, has received the most nominations at this year's MuchMusic Video Awards, triumphantly beating out Vancouver's Nelly Furtado.

"We haven't done a lot in Canada [recently], but it's neat to see that there's still a demand for us," Taggart says graciously. "[Music awards are] still a reason to get together and pat each other on the back."

Last night's show at Western Fair was the last OLP performance for awhile. The band is busy planning their upcoming record. "We don't program touring and recording together. When we tour, we want it to be special," he says.

So instead of performing, the band spends most of their time in studio, sharing their creative juices and jamming like boys tend to do.

"We're doing a lot of writing, more writing and writing," Taggart jokes. But besides producing a new album of fresh material, OLP is also working hard preparing for a live record and a song with Chris Benoit for the World Wrestling Federation. "We basically get in a room and play; a little jamming and our songwriting goes from there."

Spiritual Machines is a concept album that comments on technology's influence on society, but OLP is often criticized for a lack of new musical developments between albums. Jeremy Taggart promises the upcoming album will have a refreshing, simpler sound.

"The stuff we've been writing is rawer," he begins. "[It's] a little more basic, not as thought out. Usually, we constantly question ourselves, but so far, we're trying to keep things simple. It's basically five guys in a room."

Although OLP are signed to a major label and are constantly busy writing, recording and playing live shows, they assure fans and critics this is the way they want it.

"We're doing what we want to do. We don't follow each flag to the tee. We're doing it the way we want to."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001