| Raine Maida - vocalist
Duncan Coutts - bass
Jeremy Taggart - drums
Steve Mazur - guitar
years in the making, the creation of Healthy In Paranoid Times
- Our Lady Peace’s sixth studio album - was at once invigorating
and at other moments nearly tore the band apart. The 13 songs
OLP eventually assembled for the album are some of their strongest,
most infectious and most poignant to date.
"When you're a brand new band, there's
a tingly sort of feeling you get when you play a song that you
just wrote," explains frontman Raine Maida. "With this
album, we kept working until we got that feeling from every song."
Unlike their methodology on previous albums,
the process consisted of multiple lengthy writing sessions and
time off in between to reflect on the new material. The band pieced
together and recorded a full 45 songs before they had the right
tracks for the final cut. The paring down process was incredibly
frustrating, testing the band's faith, confidence and resolve.
There were many heated debates and nearly everyone threatened
"I remember Raine once stormed out and
walked up a hill and I thought that was it for him," says
bassist Duncan Coutts. "We were having an impromptu discussion
about our future on the side of a canyon in Malibu overlooking
a cliff. It was kind of metaphoric. Is the band going to fall
over the cliff? Is the band going to keep going?"
"I fired [producer] Bob Rock at one point
and I think he quit at another," Maida says. "It was
a very emotional process because we were fighting to not compromise
our artistic vision and bring as much artistry as possible back
into our music."
Ultimately, the group’s patience pays
off. "Walking in Circles" evolves from a simple, stabbing
beat and an encircling pattern of guitar lines to an urgent and
explosive climax. Then there’s "Boy" which combines
trickling guitars and buoyant bass with earthy vocals, and peaks
with the kind of a mighty galvanic riff that unites nations. And
the opening track "Will the Future Blame Us”—with
lyrics inspired by the state of the world and its wars--starts
with a driving, ringing rhythm that drops down for the verse before
blossoming into an exultant chorus.
For Maida, the intensity of making Healthy
in Paranoid Times was equaled by his activities during downtime
from recording. As an active member of the charity War Child,
Maida has traveled to Iraq, Darfur and Sudan over the past three
years to help film documentaries about the poverty, suffering
and pride of these third world regions. "Those trips have
defined my life even more so than my music," he said. "And
you can't help but let that stuff seep into the lyrics and even
the sensibilities you're trying to get out of the songwriting
and the emotion we're trying to get out of the music."
The first single, "Where Are You,"
addresses the search for spirituality in a sea of corruption.
"After spending some time in the Middle East and Africa,
I came back and saw just how powerful the religious right wing
of North America is," Maida says. "I thought it was
a culture shock going over to these places, but the real culture
shock was coming back home."
Now a decade into their recorded career, Our
Lady Peace have reached a new creative and conceptual peak with
Healthy in Paranoid Times: from challenging themselves
with new writing/recording techniques and redefining the goals
of the band, to addressing global issues of consumerism and capitalism
"This record is a perfect representation
of our personalities and our perspectives on things at the current
moment," says drummer Jeremy Taggart.
Add Maida: “This is the real Our Lady
Peace. It's the four of us making music together and an honest
reflection of the seed of everything we planted 10 years ago."