WAY back in 1992, bout 9 years ago from right now, Our Lady Peace from came together. Raine Maida, the lead vocalist, was a crimonology student at the University of Toronto when he saw an ad for a musician, placed by punk guitarist Mike Turner. Eventually, the duo met up with producer/songwriter Arnold Lanni and they made a demo tape, which had the song "Starseed" on it. The demo tape was recorded at Arnyard Studios, and immediatly sparked interest in several record labels, both in Canada and the U.S.
Representitives from many different labels were sent to audition for the final two spots in Our Lady Peace. Drummer Jeremy Taggert was chosen while he was still in high school (he was 17), and so was Duncan Coutts, the bassist, who had been a friend of Raine's.
Shortly after that, Jeremy left to further his education and new drummer Chris Eacrett was brought in.
Being a shockingly demanding band for a new band, Our Lady Peace told all labels intrested in them to come to a recording of theirs if they were serious. Only one label came, Sony Canadian, and even brought President Rick Camereli with them. Sony loved what they heard, and offered Our Lady Peace a deal. In another demanding move, Our Lady Peace told them they would only sign if they had full creative control over the music, album art, and marketing. Also, they wanted to develop at their own pace, since they were still a new band. Sony agreed to these terms, and Our Lady Peace had their first record deal, still in tact today. A small American label, Relativity, also signed Our Lady Peace on the same terms. All this happened way back in '93.
The band waited for Jeremy to finish high school, and rented a place in Mississauga, Ontario to record into a cheap cassette player. When they were satisfied, they went back to Arnyard Studios and recorded their first alubm, Naveed, which I'm listening to right now. In May of 1994, Naveed was released and sold over half a million copies world wide, to date. Because of the success of the album, Our Lady Peace started opening for such bands and artists like: Page/Plant, Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, I Mother Earth, The Ramones, Sponge, Letters To Cleo, Alanis Morissette, Bush, Elastica, and Better Then Ezra. Through all of this, they played about 400 gigs, about 6 of week, while before the recording of Naveed, they had only played 7.
Sadly though, because of a "spiritual and philosophical difference" was growing between bassist Chris Eacrett and the band, Eacrett decided to leave the band and Duncan Coutts was welcomed back with opened arms.
With the whole group now jointally working together again, Our Lady Peace started on the making of their new album in May of 1996, titled Clumsy. Which, by the way, is my favourite album. To be more focused on just writing, the band rented a cottage up in northern Toronto for six weeks. This let them just wake up beside a guitar and paper and start writing. When they're heads were sick of all that writing at the end of the day, they went out and played a hockey game (they are Canadian, eh). After the six weeks, they went back to Arnold Lanni and Arnyard Studios to cheaply put together the album. There, they experimented with different sounds, and since Duncan Coutts could sing and play keyboard, they were given more options. Heck, they even had some cello involved in the process, but it "didn't seem to fit". Because of all this tinkering, Clumsy took much longer to release then expected. Originally, it was slated for a September of '96 release, but wasn't released til January of '97. This didn't bother the band or Sony though, because remember Sony let them have full creative control, and Our Lady Peace was happy with every song.
Just recently, Clumsy received a Diamond label for selling 1 million albums in Canada. Only two bands EVER in Canada has done this, the other being The Barenaked Ladies.
In the summer of 1997, Our Lady Peace was asked to headline the Canadian festival, Edgefest. Of course, they accepted, who wouldn't??
On Thursday, September 18th, 1997, the Much Music Video awards took place in Toronto. Our Lady Peace won 2 out of the 4 awards that they were nominated for, one being the People's Choice for best group. Though awards don't mean much to the band, the ones voted on by the fans are higher up there, because "that's what it's all about". They also performed 'Superman's Dead' later that night.
The summer of 1998 was definitely a highlight in Our Lady Peace's careers, as they finally were able to put on their own festival. 'Summersault' had been talked about for a while, and was put on in a few eastern Canadian cities. It showcased a wide variety of talent, including the Crystal Method, Sloan, Moist, Garbage, I Mother Earth, and numerous up and coming bands. All of these bands were connected to OLP in some way, whom they were either friends with or fans of.
On September 21, 1999, Happiness...Is Not a Fish You Can Catch was released in Canada. The CD was Our Lady Peace's 3rd album, but seemed to stray away from everything in Clumsy and Naveed. It contained more a well rounded sound, almost popish though. Although being told they sold out, their next album proved they had not. One good thing did come out of this album though, the two songs "Is Anybody home" and "Thief". Both we're nominated for various awards, and currently "Thief" is nominated for best video at the Juno awards.
December 12, 2000 marked the released date for Our Lady Peace's 4th album, Spirtual Machines. The CD goes back to Our Lady PEace's roots, says Raine Maida, and has more of Naveed's sound. Personally, I think it's Naveed and Happiness...mix, which kind of upset me, because Clumsy is my favourite album. The big single from this album, in Canada at least, was "In Repair", but for Americans, the first single released was "Life". Little side note for this album; Jeremy Taggert was mugged and beat out by some "punk kids" inside Toronto, and was unable to preform two songs on the album. So guess who Our Lady Peace brought in?? Mark Cameron, of Pearl Jam fame, who recorded the songs "In Repair" and "Are You Sad" with the band.
Spiritual Machines was influenced by the book 'The Age of Spiritual Machines When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence' by Ray Kurzweil. The book was first discovered by Mike Turner, who got Raine hooked on the book. The book is basically about how robots convince humans in the future that they are human. Might seem weird, but in the book, it sounds pretty convincing. On the album, Ray Kurzweil is featured on tracks 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, and hidden at the end of track 15. On the album pages, I'll write down, and hopefully have sound clips, off what he says.
From the words of Raine Maida: "Lyrically, this album is about finding the spirituality within ourselves"..."The lyrics for the track In Repair focus upon how people tend to treat each other as machines in our day to day life. We really need to take stock and focus our energy towards those in our lives that matter. Sometimes it seems as if we need an oil change"
Currently, In Repair and Life are eating up the charts in Canada, but still doing nothing in the U.S., which is greatly disappointing.