Our Lady Peace Say New Album 'Feels Very Live'
Happily and purposefully independent after years signed directly to Sony Music, Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace had full control of its newest album, 'Burn Burn.'
Produced by frontman Raine Maida along with the band, the double disc – including bonus studio footage and two music videos – is a return to the "proper rock" sound of their debut album, 1994's 'Naveed,' they say.
"I think it's in the attitude and the way it was recorded," explains Maida. "It feels very live, whereas some of the other records we just labored over too much maybe. We were just experimenting out of control and this one was very simple. Everything was supposed to be pulling in everyone's parts. They were never supposed to be glossed over with a bunch of other parts. In our heads, it's very simple.
"When you talk about the way The Who or [Led Zeppelin] or any of those bands made records, there's that live energy because they played it live," he continues. "It doesn't fall into the more modern way of recording and we really tried to capture that spirit on the record. And that energy, I think it is tangible. I think you can feel it."
Scheduling the writing and recording sessions – since Maida and guitarist Steve Mazur are based in Los Angeles, Calif. and bassist Duncan Coutts and drummer Jeremy Taggart both live in Toronto – the band worked out of Maida's home studio, a vintage set-up with an old Neve console and tube gear from the '60s.
No one was given access to the works-in-progress when it was time to return to their respective homes, a conscious decision by Maida, who also didn't send files of the new songs to his bandmates over the Internet.
"The first session, everyone wanted to take stuff home," says Maida, "and I was like, 'You know what, we're going to get together in a couple of months. If you guys take it home and listen to it in your car, by the time we get together again, no one's gonna have any perspective,' because we didn't have an outside producer. We had to do it ourselves. Everyone was cool just to leave it."
Maida has produced other artists from Avril Lavigne to his wife, Chantal Kreviazuk, as well as his 2007 solo album, 'The Hunters Lullaby' and shared production credit on a couple of OLP albums. Getting that live feel is not an easy task and something most producers strive towards.
"You're only as good as the band that you're working with," says Maida. "If you have to cut up drums and labor over every guitar part, it's never gonna sound that way. If everyone can just get in a room and play together and press record, and that's the take, then the job's done. It's basically as simple as that. You either have a band that can go do it or you're trying to alter perception and you're trying to fool people. On this record, it's basically what you hear is what you get. There were some overdubs, but the body of all the tracks is live."
'Burn Burn' was well on its way to being completed back in December, but a few more sessions were warranted after a clearer picture emerged of how they wanted the album to sound. In fact, as late as June, the band recorded another song 'The End Is Where We Begin' and added it to the main track listing, removing "The Right Stuff" and making it a bonus track. An enhanced double disc – including bonus studio footage and two music videos – is titled 'Burn Burn Burn.'
"It just felt a little bit outside of the color of the record," says Maida. "It's not like we don't like the song but just as a record – not that anyone ever really listens to records anymore, but I if you were to sit down and listen to the whole thing, it would stand outside of everything."