Interview by Melissa Payette
Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/ourladypeace
Canadian rockers Our Lady Peace certainly don’t need an introduction- they’ve been around for 20 years and have consistently released one amazing record after the next. Their latest album is entitled ‘Curve’, and it came out on April 3rd 2012. It’s their 8th studio album since first getting together in the early 90’s. It shows not only how OLP can consistently deliver their signature sound to long-time fans, but that even after so many years it’s still possible for these musicians to find something more of themselves to share with their listeners.
It’s always a pleasure when Raine, Jeremy, Duncan and Steve hit the stage here in Montreal. It was no different back in early April when they were here to promote ‘Curve’ at the Corona Theater. I had the chance to catch up with Jeremy where we discussed all the details about the new album and what they’ve been up to since we last spoke to him in 2009.
JEREMY: I’m doing gooood. How are you?!
CONFRONT: Great! How’s the tour been so far?
JEREMY: Good. Really well, actually!
CONFRONT: Are you guys excited to be back on the road promoting a new album?
JEREMY: Yes! It’s good to be doing this record live. It’s a performance-based record and it’s interesting because we’re about 3-4 shows in and people are digging the newer songs & they haven’t even heard the record yet. So that’s a good sign.
CONFRONT: Definitely! You guys have 8 albums now- is the anticipation for a new one any different all these years later?
JEREMY: I don’t think so! *laughs* I think I’m pumped to play as opposed to pumped for the new record to actually come out.
CONFRONT: What can fans expect on the new album?
JEREMY: I don’t know, I mean I don’t tell people what to expect other than we’re happy with it and we worked really hard on it. We got to a different level personally on our instruments so that’s all we can say, we can’t tell you what to think about it!
CONFRONT: Right, which is fine, I mean everyone has different tastes in music. But do you still have that distinct OLP sound in the new songs?
JEREMY: I think so! I mean, it’s just us, obviously, and the reason why we have a sound if we do at all is because of that; the individualism in the band. I think on this record we really focused to bring that individualism to the forefront as well.
JEREMY: I think the song ‘Heavyweight’ and the theme of the record, we kind of used old visuals of boxing and we came across just the idea of George Chuvalo and ended up contacting him and befriending/having a great relationship with him, where he ended up allowing us to use this really cool photograph of him from his youth. I think that his life and what he went through- all the terrible things he went through with loss and his life- the fact that he’s still such a sweet guy, it just parallels so well to our music and what life is about. Even though terrible things can happen to you, you have to keep it on the positive side otherwise you’ll just be an unhappy person.
CONFRONT: Definitely. What’s your favorite song to play live from the new record?
JEREMY: Well, we’re just starting to play the songs so it’s hard to say. We’re enjoying the ones that we ARE playing –we’re playing about 5- but it’s still too early to tell.
CONFRONT: Yeah, you’re still getting the hang of them so early in the tour!
JEREMY: They’re all feeling good though!
CONFRONT: How do you figure out a set list when you’re on tour with all the material you now have?
JEREMY: Well we mix it up every night, that’s the first thing. We’ve learned about 45 songs for this tour. We just mix it up every night and not do the same every night.
CONFRONT: Crazy. How long did you rehearse for this tour?
JEREMY: A good amount of time- a month to six weeks.
CONFRONT: Awesome. As for you personally, you were a judge, if I’m not mistaken, on the Independent Music Awards- what does that mean for you exactly?
JEREMY: Well, I’ve been doing it for the past 3 years now and all that is, is I basically get a really cool amount of music to judge! I remember hearing ‘fun.’ like 3 years ago. The ones that are REALLY good end up being the next thing, so it’s a good way to keep an ear to the ground to what’s happening, and a good way to give back. The people in the music business deserve to have their perspective and opinion as opposed to people who are in bands.
CONFRONT: Did you know, like for example when you heard ‘fun.’ that they would become the next big thing?
JEREMY: I just thought that either they were around longer than they seemed, or there was just some great pop-writing sensibility in there.
CONFRONT: I saw them perform a couple years ago and they were really good back then already!
JEREMY: Oh yeah? I think they’ve been at it for a little while!
CONFRONT: Yeah! You guys have been together for 20 years or so now, how does it feel seeing all the old fans and new fans coming out to shows?
JEREMY: I really just think about playing. I think it’s AMAZING if somebody has been a fan for a long time or memories from spending a lot of time with us- that’s awesome. You can’t expect it, but that’s what life is! Again, it’s hard to explain what people are feeling outside yourself but it’s really nice for sure.
CONFRONT: Do you guys still meet fans and that kind of thing after shows?
JEREMY: Oh, for sure! It’s not like there are crazy amounts of security around us or anything! We’re not… Super duper. *laughs*
JEREMY: I think just getting better at drumming, developing ideas with people, stuff like that.
CONFRONT: Definitely. Best advice you’ve ever gotten in the industry?
JEREMY: Just be aware of the best things around you. If you’re a musician, try and learn from the best. Doesn’t matter what walk of life or what job you want to do, the only way to get to the top of that is working on the craft itself. So that means hanging out with drummers for me and trying to find the best drummer in town. It just never ends, there are so many great musicians on earth that are always pushing the boundaries. Creativity is a great, endless thing. There’s no limit to it and I think as long as you’re alive and trying to work at your craft it’s only going to be good.
CONFRONT: Awesome. Last question- what’s your favorite thing about Montreal? You guys have been here a few times now… *laughs*
JEREMY: Probably more here than anywhere! Our first show ever was in Montreal in 1993, opening for Tea Part. We were so poor… I don’t even mean in money, I mean we sucked. We were so bad I think we stopped halfway through a song and just had to stop. First show and it was a real stinker. BUT Montreal is our second home for sure. There are so many great things about it- not just food and culture but the people too. We love it here.
CONFRONT: That’s really good to hear. Thanks so much!
JEREMY: Thank you!
To learn more about Our Lady Peace you can find them at the links below: