Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Our Lady Peace

For Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart, music comes down to one thing and one thing only: Performance.

“I think that’s what music is supposed to be. All my favorite records were a band capturing a performance together,” Taggart says.

925pp

 

For Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart, music comes down to one thing and one thing only: Performance.

“I think that’s what music is supposed to be. All my favorite records were a band capturing a performance together,” Taggart says.

925pp

Our Lady Peace (Photo: Dustin Rabin)

 

See? Simple. And that’s the way the Canadian rockers kept it when they entered the studio to record new release Burn, Burn, the seventh studio LP of the band’s 17-year career. With longtime-record company Columbia stepping away, the band had free reign to craft the new album and seized the opportunity for independence. Instead of slaving away for over 1,000 days of production — the time it reportedly took to polish off 2005 release Healthy in Paranoid Times — Our Lady Peace played to their strong suit, ensnaring the sounds of their vivacious live performances.

“Music is trying to communicate an idea as best you can through performance and I think that got lost a little bit [in the music world] in the recorded album in the last 30 years,” Taggart says. “It’s people playing in a room together or live on stage and people reacting to that feeling. It’s not about tracking songs and layering stuff to make this special thing. That to me is, like, making movies.”

That’s an apt description since a previous process of that kind certainly didn’t lack for drama. After the interminable Paranoid Times Rolling Stone sessions, founding member and longtime frontman Raine Maida confided to he was ready to quit the band. Constant second-guessing and an evolving style grated on everyone and nearly tore the group asunder. This time? Smoother sailing. The group relied on gut feeling rather than sweet sonic perfection, in the process capturing that rough-and-ready feeling that endeared the group to its fans with debut album Naveed those many moves ago.

The going was easier too because, unlike before, the band had its own hands on the wheel.

“When you’ve been together as long as we have and you’re in a room together, it’s just less stress and heartache,” Taggart says.

Most of all, the band is pleased by the final result, a straight-ahead, rock-and-roll album that does justice to their contagious in-concert passion. From the bounce-up-and-down bravado of “White Flags” to the piano-ballad of “Dreamland,” OLP has crafted a tidy package, sure to please fans that have already gobbled up more than 5 million albums from the band.

And the reason those fans keep clamoring for tunes from Taggart, Raida, bassist Duncan Coutts and guitarist Steve Mazur? According to Taggart it’s the one thing that has never changed during a slight stylistic evolution in the band’s catalog: Performances like the one the band gifted Washington, D.C. with at 9:30 Club Monday night.

“I think people generally like a band if they like the way they perform together, whether it’s the way Steve can play guitar or my drumming, or they like the way Raine acts as a frontman,” Taggart says.  “All my favorite bands growing up always had a lot of musical excitement. I think people like to see us stretch a bit. That hasn’t really changed, and we’re only getting better, so people are coming back. In our mind, we want to be better than the last time we were there and that’s been the case. 100 percent.”

• For more on Our Lady Peace, visit ourladypeace.net.