Our Lady Peace returns after a four year hiatus on July 21st, with the release of their brand new album Burn, Burn. While on the surface this may seem like just another album from this veteran rock band, it actually marks a complete revolution in Our Lady Peace’s sound and the way that they record and release albums in the future.
On Burn, Burn the band decided to self produce the album, and ultimately leave behind some of the polished and layered sounds that the band displayed on some of their more recent releases. Instead, the band returned to the gritty rock sound that helped them breakout in the mid-90s.
“We wanted to make these songs sound amazing with just the four of us, without adding anything else,” lead singer Raine Maida told Alternative Addiction in a recent interview. “There is a little piano and there are some overdubs, but the basis of this record is just a proper rock and roll record with drums, guitar, and bass.”
Why the return to the band’s earlier sound? Maida says over time the band’s sound has changed, due to influences from other bands over the years, but he’s always cherished the band’s major label debut Naveed for its raw, rock sound, which was due mostly to the band’s insistence on keeping the album completely rock oriented.
“I was really bullheaded on our first record Naveed,” admits Maida. “I remember saying, we are a rock band, I don’t want to hear a piano or a synthesizer or even a tambourine. We were really focused, and that kept it really simple in the studio, and I really love that record because of its simplicity. This [album] is a return to us being a little bullheaded [again].”
The return to the band’s original sound also seems like a natural progression for the band after taking a four year hiatus and parting ways with their longtime label home at Sony Music. Maida says the band’s hiatus was a necessary step in getting the band to a place where they were ready to record together again.
“On a personal level, I think it’s helped us,” said Maida of the hiatus. “We needed that break to let the daemons go.”
The daemons that Maida speaks of are what rose out of the band’s recording sessions for their last record, Healthy In Paranoid Times. The band worked with producer Bob Rock, and recorded over 40 tracks for the record in over four cities a very chaotic recording process.
“The last record that we made with Bob, it took so long and it was so tumultuous, we recorded way too many songs, and the band almost broke up,” explained Maida. “This was one of the first times in Our Lady Peace’s career where the record label was able to work its way into what Our Lady Peace was doing. We’ve never let that happen before [but] it happened on Healthy In Paranoid Times.”
Maida said that the recording process was an eye opening experience, one that made him appreciate what was really important about the band’s music. It wasn’t until the band started playing together in support of the album that they began to understand it was really for the fans.
“You start to realize that the business means nothing, the record labels and all that other bullshit, its really about the band’s integrity and how you connect with the fans and the music,” said Maida. “Once you realize that its about the fan base and the four of us, then everything is great again. It really took us getting outside ourselves and reconnecting with the fans to realize that.”
That’s part of the reason that the band is releasing Burn, Burn independently and has parted ways with Sony Music. Recording the album independently also gave the band a unique opportunity to take their time on the album, and only add songs to the album that they felt very strongly about.
“Anything that we recorded that sounded forced or trying, even if it sounded cool at the time, we didn’t put it on this record,” said Maida. “We were at a point where we could take our time and make sure that the record didn’t have any of those types of songs.”
The result is an album that Maida and his band mates are very proud of, one that the band feels represents the best of the band.
“There is a lot of integrity in this record, I think what ever Our Lady Peace is, we have taken the best of that and made a complete record.”
Fans can likely expect more music from the band more often in the future too, as Maida’s home studio will allow the band to release music more frequently without following a set schedule. It also gives the band a chance to be more fluid with their releases, according to Maida, with the ever changing music formats.
“We’ll see how it goes, maybe you don’t put out records a few years from now, maybe its just songs or EPs,” says Maida. “I’m just glad that we are at the point where we are totally empowered to make real records and whenever we want.”
As for touring, the band will be taking the indie route as well, opting out of co-headlining with other bands playing arena tours, to play a smaller headlining tour likely in more intimate settings.
“We’ve already been offered some tours and turned some stuff down, for where we are at right now we want to put on our own shows and really connect with our loyal fans.”
Burn Burn is due out in stores and online July 21st, the first single from the album entitled ‘All You Did Was Save My Life’ is available on iTunes now.
Watch the video for ‘All You Did Was Save My Life’
Listen To Alternative Addiction’s Interview with Our Lady Peace