OLP charts experimental course 0
Rock and roll and boxing have a lot in common according to Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida.
As in, you get knocked down a lot, but keep getting back up.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that a vintage black and white picture of Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo's young mug graces the cover of the band's new album, Curve, which drops Tuesday.
The disc's first single is also called Heavyweight and you can hear Chuvalo speaking throughout the album's last song, Mettle.
"I've always loved boxing," says Maida, 42, on the eve of a cross-Canada theatre tour.
"So those metaphors are always in my head. Looking from objectivity now I'm just honored to have him on the cover. It's amazing. It's kind of a coup."
OLP - rounded out by drummer Jeremy Taggart, bassist Duncan Coutts, and guitarist Steve Mazur - have certainly gone a few rounds, so to speak, from the top of the Canadian charts to losing band members to near breakups to ultimately leaving their label, Sony.
"The struggle of the last 10 years in this band has been about big Columbia records in New York and where we wanted to be artistically," Maida says. "Working with someone like (Canadian rock producer) Bob (Rock), who we love and adore, but essentially didn't want to end up just making that kind of a record. So it's been a bit of a fight from almost breaking up a couple of times to having some disagreements with Bob and him quitting or us firing him. It's felt like we've been in a 15-round brawl and so a lot of the material, especially Heavyweight, were tied into those parallels."
All this after a false start.
It took Curve co-producer and Rick Rubin associate Jason Lader (Jay-Z, Julian Casablancas, Elvis Costello) to hear four earlier songs that were ditched to set OLP, working in Maida's home studio in L.A., on a new more experimental course which Maida likens to the sound on the band's similarly adventurous 2000 release Spiritual Machines.
"I love (Jason) but he's one of those people, he just doesn't have a filter," says Maida, who divides his time between L.A. and Toronto with wife Chantal Kreviazuk and their three young sons, aged 8 to 3.
"(He) said, 'Man, out of all the music we exchange and try to turn each other on to and the stuff we work on, you never listen to this type of music. Why are you making this? Make a record that you want to listen to.'"
"I wish someone would have been that honest with me earlier on. The fact that we have this now, the next 10 years look so much brighter for us."
Maida's UFC indulgence
Crazy Bob's House of Death? Ever heard of it?
Turns out Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, a huge Bruce Lee fan and martial artist himself, spent a lot of time training at the Toronto martial arts space between 1998 and 2003.
"I love UFC. It¹s the one vice I'll talk about," Maida told QMI Agency.
"They're like some of the best athletes in the world, especially like (UFC Canadian star) GSP (George St-Pierre) is what (Canadian heavyweight boxer George) Chuvalo was. I was into the UFC when it like a little bit more barbaric. There was this guy I met in Toronto; he started this thing called Crazy Bob¹s House of Death. And that's where I ended up a lot of the time.
It was the advent of mixed martial arts. He kept moving. It was always in his basement. He's a really talented guy who was like on the cusp of what happened over the last ten years."
And Crazy Bob?
"I haven't talked to him for a couple of years," said Maida, after falling out of touch since moving to Los Angeles with wife and fellow musician Chantal Kreviazuk.
"So I don't know if it's still under that name. 'Cause that name may detract from how many number of students you're going to get. If I was a parent of (a martial arts student), I don't know if I'd be sending my son to Crazy Bob's House of Death!"