Front man reflects on band’s success, personal growth

courtesy sony bmg MUSIC (canada) INC.


Our Lady Peace have released their 10-year retrospective album, A Decade. The Toronto rock group has sold more than five million album worldwide.

Raine Maida sits in a car and remarks that he’s had to reschedule his entire day for a 20-minute, noon-hour exchange with Metro. He then chides a woman parked in a car beside him for tapping the vehicle he’s sitting in when she opens her door.

It may be a bad start to the afternoon for the Our Lady Peace front man but that doesn’t mean Maida is averse to speaking his mind.

One would suspect that it’s that unapologetic attitude that’s helped the band carve out its place in Canadian music over the last 14 years; selling more than five million albums worldwide (the newest being Decade, a greatest hits compilation out now) and winning four Junos, among other achievements.

Of course, when you’ve done it all, Maida says, it’s time to move to the next level in your career. In this case, a Leonard Cohen and Saul Williams-inspired spoken-word album, Love Hope Hero, available only at live gigs and on his MySpace site for $5.

“I’m over making records. It’s just 10 songs every three years.” Maida says. “Right now, I’m on an artistic path like Vincent Van Gogh.

“It’s incredibly liberating to do something lik­e this. It’s a palette where I’m not constricted by format.”

As much as this is his project, Maida doesn’t promote it alone. He’ll be using the new spoken word material to open up shows for his wife and fellow Canadian music aristocrat, Manitoba-born songstress Chantal Kreviazuk, on an upcoming tour.

(Their Toronto date is set for Feb. 24 at Massey Hall).

The pair also worked together on Lebo’s River — A Tribute, a song featured on a recent compilation for War Child Canada Help-A Day In The Life. Maida’s work with the group dedicated to helping children in war-stricken areas of the globe is particularly focused on Sudan’s turbulent Darfur region.

“Everyone talks about Americans in Iraq, but no one does anything about the situation in Darfur. It’s fucking despicable,” Maida says.

“Canada to me is about a tradition that we help those in need. If we don’t do anything about Darfur, or even the Congo for that matter, those two regions will become a black mark that will erase Canada’s good name.

“We used to be a progressive country, but under (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper, we’ve taken two steps back. It’s so disappointing.”

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