Raine Maida is back with his sophomore solo release, We All Get Lighter, slated for release on March 26th and recently chatted with Popblerd via phone about what fans can expect from the upcoming record.
Seeing that We All Get Lighter is significantly different in tone than Pachamama’s I & II, how are the two EP’s and album all tied together if at all?
The EP’s are just kind of fun. It was just stuff that I was doing whenever and kind of finishing a song in a day and then releasing it rather than We All Get Lighter where I really took my time. Everything’s live (On WAGL). Pachamama is definitely just me. If there’s strings, they’re fake. Anything like that it was just me and my computer. I think We All Get Lighter is a proper record.
I spoke with you last year and you mentioned a series of EP’s and then a full length comprised of that material with some bonus material tacked on which you had originally intended to come out by the end of 2012. What changed?
You know when I really started putting We All Get Lighter together it felt like the Pachamama EP’s need to be separate first of all and then it was just getting stuff done. It’s a big project when you’re doing most of it on you’re own (The mixing and everything…). It just took a little bit longer. I think it was worth the effort and time and I’m glad they’re separate things.
Your wife (Chantal Kreviazuk) makes an appearance on We All Get Lighter. What’s it like to work with her professionally?
Easy. I think with artists in general there’s a bit of…I would say respect but it’s more, like, we’re also insecure so you don’t wanna say how you feel. I definitely get an honest, solid opinion (from Chantal). That’s kind of how it went on this record where I’d get the songs done and then call Chantal to either play a part or sing some background harmony and at the same time get that really kind of visceral first opinion on it which is kinda rare these days. I love that she would come in and say “Wow!” and get inspired to do something on it. It’s kind of the purest you can be as an artist.
Are there plans for a solo tour behind the new record?
Yeah, definitely. I’m not exactly sure when but we’re talking about May and then the end of the summer. I want it to be proper so I don’t wanna rush it.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) is right around the corner. What do you have planned for that event?
I’m actually co-hosting the Global News Morning Show next week for the nice folks there but I get to bring in guests that I wanted to bring in which is kind of cool. It’ll be an eclectic mix of politics, music, and food. Probably some people that they never expected to have on that kind of show.
Speaking of CMW, how did a song like “Montreal” come about and what does it mean to you to have it played during Hockey Night in February?
It’s a weird thing. If I look back at my background and remember when my Dad would like Elvis movies and westerns. I could dig the Elvis movies for whatever reason, for good or for bad, but I was never big western (fan) but I loved a lot of the soundtracks. The music was cool and a lot of that stuff was Ennio Morricone who was an Italian composer who has done a lot more than westerns obviously. He always had this thing, this way with his music where…I don’t know how to describe it other than it provided this landscape through your mind, you know?
The song (“Montreal”) existed for about four years and the only thing it didn’t have for me, that it was lacking, is that opening kind of landscape thing. The chords were there and the humming kind of part was there…..but once I put the horns on, it really gave me that Ennio sound and it reminded me a lot of that stuff and I just fell in love with it and it ended up being on the record because of that.
Regardless of the same voice/songwriter, your Our Lady Peace records and solo albums are completely separate from each other. How do you approach each album as a songwriter? Are there songs you’ve worked on for OLP that have morphed into solo songs and vice versa?
They haven’t really overlapped at all. For whatever reason the solo stuff has a strong enough vibe on its’ own that I always know. A lot of this stuff starts rhythmically for me more where as OLP stuff starts with more traditional songwriting or with Steve (Mazur) and some of the demos, guitar riffs, and grooves that he’s doing. Even though I played some real drums and rhythmic elements on this, my solo stuff usually starts programmed for me so as soon as I have that I know. There’s a certain vocal thing that I do on my solo stuff that comes from a more Leonard Cohen/Lou Reed influence that’s never gotten into OLP music really.
When last we spoke, you had been working with Done With Dolls. What’s the status on their album?
Done With Dolls is now The Beaches. They’ve grown up! We’re just about to put out an EP probably in late spring. They have a song out now called “Loner”. It’s amazing when I met these girls they were 14 and now they’re like 16, 17 and they’ve just transformed. They’ve been able to develop the way young artists should develop and find their own voice and now they have a firm grasp and work their influences in. It’s pretty amazing to watch and be a part of.
Shifting gears slightly, Our Lady Peace released Curve last year followed by a massive tour. What’s in the pipeline for the band?
I don’t know right now. I think I’m just kind of focused on the solo record and working on The Beaches. They’re young kids so they look at music differently. They don’t really think about albums. They’re talking about recording another EP already so I’m definitely gonna work on that as well and see what happens from there.