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New album revives band Our Lady Peace

Photo courtesy of Dustin Raban

Multi-platinum recording artists Our Lady Peace have returned after a four-year lapse between album releases. The Canadian-based band has launched a tour in support of its seventh studio effort, “Burn, Burn.”

In 2005, the alternative rock group took a short hiatus following the release of “Healthy in Paranoid Times” and the subsequent decision to end their contract with Columbia Records.

After pursuing various solo projects during the break, the four band members reconvened in 2007 to work on new material, with lead vocalist Raine Maida as the album’s producer.

Without a major record label attachment, guitarist Steve Mazur said everything involved with the recording of “Burn, Burn” was completely different.

“I felt like I was 15 years old again, and there were times I can honestly say I’d forget about the business side of things,” Mazur said. “There was no outside producer, engineer or record company around.”

For two years Mazur said the band wrote and recorded at Maida’s professional studio-converted garage in Los Angeles.

“Me, Duncan Coutts [bass] and Jeremy Taggart [drums] would go to Toronto to hash out ideas and go back to Raine’s place and work together for about 10 days at a time,” he said. “It was just the four of us in there and the whole experience was amazing.”

If the load of song ideas became overwhelming, Mazur said they were free to escape.

“We could go the movies, go golfing or whatever it’d be, and not worry about paying for studio time,” Mazur said. “There was much less pressure without a big studio clock running all the time.”

Mazur said much of the new album was recorded impromptu style, similar to the band’s 1994 debut.

“A lot was done live off the floor in the room,” he said. “How it was recorded comes across really well, like on Naveed. It was made to be played live like that in a way.”

Our Lady Peace’s live show has been an integral part of their existence since forming 16 years ago, Mazur said.

“We base our entire being as a band on a live show,” Mazur said. “The new live shows feel incredible. We haven’t been to a lot of these cities in a long time. The crowds have been amazing, making us feel great and confident.”

Just two years after graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Mazur was chosen to replace Our Lady Peace founding member and guitarist Mike Turner in 2002.

“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I was a fan of the band before joining, and playing live on stage as part of the band is an amazing experience.”
The group plans to release another record quickly using the same approach as on “Burn, Burn,” but the current focus remains on the tour, Mazur said.

“I love Columbus and love playing at Newport. That’s one of the oldest and best venues around,” Mazur said. “We feel rejuvenated as a band and better than ever. Feels like there’s a new camaraderie and brotherhood now, and that was shaken up on the last album.”

Mazur said fans can expect to hear 17 or 18 songs which will include some hits, some non-hits and a mix of old with new.

Our Lady Peace will perform at Newport Music Hall tomorrow at 7 p.m. with opening bands Company of Thieves and afortiori. Tickets are $20 in advance and $23 the day of show.

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