Juno winner exorcises personal demons
chris atchison/metro toronto
The ghosts of past loves, lost relatives, friendships gone awry — these are all spectres that many people would prefer to bury in their past.
But as Chantal Kreviazuk sat at a piano in her kitchen writing and hammering out chords for songs on her latest album, the Winnipeg-born singer-songwriter decided to exorcise these very demons, bringing past experiences both painful and joyous to light on her fourth studio offering Ghost Stories.
As she delved deeper into her emotional archive, the two-time Juno Award-winner was buoyed by a collaboration with husband Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace, who produced and engineered the album.
While the two have penned tracks for fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne and Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson, as well as Kreviazuk herself, their professional partnership on Ghost Stories is by far their most intimate.
“I don’t know that (Raine) changed my music per se, but I think he probably brought out the best in me, I really do,” she says.
“Anytime you do something with your partner and it’s received well or it’s a success, it’s a really great feeling to do something together. We have such passion together and do so many wonderful things.”
Married since 1999, the couple have two children, two-year-old Rowan and one-year-old Lucca Jon.
Hearing Kreviazuk discuss her collaboration with Maida, it would seem that this latest project gave birth to a new mutual understanding between the artists about life, love and music.
“It’s really hard to consider not having Raine in my life, not being his wife, because we have taken on something far more important than our love or perpetuating our romance or the self-perpetuation that goes along with being an artist,” the 33-year-old says.
“We’ve organically come to this amazing understanding about what we think life is about. It’s like we’re on a mission together.”
That mission includes creating and building on momentum gained with the already healthy reception of Ghost Stories’ first single All I Can Do, which Kreviazuk made available on her website in June.
That naturally means doing numerous interviews to promote the album, a process which many of her musician colleagues might dread, but which Kreviazuk relishes as a forum to air and collect her thoughts on everything from the writing process to the many charitable causes which she and Maida support.
“We have something to say and to me it’s a phenomenal gift and opportunity to have a podium … not to make a total difference in a cause, but you mention something that affects someone’s life, maybe you make them feel better for a second.
“Then you have someone out in the world who feels better, who is more positive and can be a better member of society. That, to me, is a phenomenal influence on the world, just changing one heart.”
• Ghost Stories is in stores now.