Our Lady Peace released their eighth record Curve earlier this year, loosely based on the life of boxer George Chuvalo. This week, the band is bringing their new material to Quebec’s Festival d’été and Ottawa’s Bluesfest.
We chatted with guitarist Steve Mazur, who joined the band in 2002 after Mike Turner left, about the new album and still being the new guy.
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since you’ve joined the band. Do they still treat you like the new guy?
In some ways it’s gone by in a flash. In other ways I can see that it’s been ten years. Oh yeah, I’ll forever be the new guy. Even forty years from now, I’ll still be the new guy and that’s okay.
You guys have had some hard times in the past, what keeps the band together?
Honestly, it’s hard to keep a band together. It’s hard enough to keep a marriage together, and a band is like a four-way marriage. I think there’s mutual respect between all of us. Also, I think this music bug bit us at an early age. You’re chasing that feeling your whole life whether you’re playing in front of 20 people or 2,000. That’s what keeps us going through good times and bad.
Was Curve easier to record than the previous two albums?
Yes, in a number of ways. We’ve talked about Healthy in Paranoid Times being a difficult album for us to make. We went through a lot of growing pains on that record and a lot of changes. Burn Burn was sort of a record that we had to make. We made it on our own and it was the record where, “Okay, can we still do this? Touring is one thing but can we actually go into the studio and do this again?”
Burn Burn was more about getting those channels in place and learning how to work with each other in a healthy way again. So Curve was great because those things were already there.
What is your favourite song from the new album?
There’s a song called “If This Is It” that I really love. It brings up an emotion in me every time. It’s a really special song for me. There’s a song called “Rabbits” that’s got a colour I really love. There’s a lot of depth to it.
Do you feel pressure from critics when writing music?
I don’t really take the time to look at what people are saying. I have read things where people say, “Oh, they’re trying to do this on this record or that.” Honestly, I get into my studio and I write whatever makes me excited. I never think, ”This needs to sound like Spiritual Machines.” I don’t go anywhere near thoughts like that when I’m writing stuff. Those kinds of thoughts to me are not inspiring or exciting.
What is your favourite place to eat in LA?
There’s a place called Pizzeria Mozzo. It’s Mario Batali’s place that is pretty, pretty amazing.
Favourite place to tour in Canada?
I really love Halifax, N.S. I really love the East Coast. All of Canada is amazing, I really love the Maritimes and Newfoundland. It’s a pretty special area out there.
Check out Our Lady Peace at Festival d’été on Thursday, July 12 at 8:05 pm and on the Bluesfest’s Claridge Homes Stage on Friday, July 13 at 8:15 pm.
What does Sam Roberts Band look for at Ottawa’s Bluesfest?
When two Ottawa radio stations began playing “Brother Down” 10 years ago, they launched the career of one of Canada’s best performers. The Sam Roberts Band is heading to Ottawa on July 12 to play the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, and the guys can’t wait.
“As a Canadian band, especially when you’ve been touring in the wintertime in some snowbound part of the country, running from your hotel room to a van to a venue, then you get to play outside at a festival in the summertime, it’s amazing,” says Roberts.
Alice Cooper at Ottawa’s Bluesfest
Alice Cooper is bringing his unique stage show to the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest in Ottawa. Currently on tour with Iron Maiden, he’ll be playing the main stage on Saturday, July 7.
Fans can expect the classics like “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Feed my Frankenstein,” “Poison” and “The Black Widow,” the latter from his 1975 concept album Welcome to my Nightmare.
You’d think performing (not to mention pretending to be hung or guillotined) in front of thousands of people would be part of the nightmare, but not for Cooper.
Festival d’été de Québec
Spread your blanket out on the historic Plains of Abraham and watch the (almost-equally) legendary Aerosmith rock. LMFAO, Beirut and the French Elvis Johnny Hallyday are just a few of the other acts rocking out on three main stages. And, because the festival is in the heart of Old Quebec, there are numerous restaurants, shops and (real!) restrooms nearby.
For more WestJet Fun 'n Festival Series information, check out westjetfestivals.com.