TORONTO — Matthew Good and Our Lady Peace are joining forces for a cross-country concert tour, but don’t suggest they’re trying to recapture their past glory days.
While both acts reigned supreme on Canada’s rock scene for a significant chunk of the 1990s, Good and OLP frontman Raine Maida insist they’re short on sentimental feelings for the era — especially when planning their upcoming double-bill tour.
“If there’s the one thing both me and Raine didn’t want to do it’s (get) caught in the nostalgia vortex,” Good said in a recent interview.
“It’s a pretty easy thing to do.”
Yet both artists realize their fans expect to hear favourites from the heyday of MuchMusic and Canadian rock radio when they rose to popularity.
Our Lady Peace delivered a string of memorable hits during the period, including “Clumsy,” “Superman’s Dead” and “One Man Army,” while Good’s namesake band knocked out rousing anthems “Hello Time Bomb” and “Load Me Up.”
Since then, they’ve both released numerous albums of material — Our Lady Peace releases the EP “Somethingness Vol. 2” on Friday — that they plan to incorporate into the joint tour.
Each night, both acts will play separate sets before coming together for an encore. The run of 20 shows begins Thursday in St. John’s, N.L., and wraps up in Abbotsford, B.C., on March 31.
Good and Maida shared reflections on the past with The Canadian Press and talked about their upcoming shows:
CP: You guys both insist you’re avoiding the “nostalgia vortex” on this tour, but with the ’90s so popular right now, is playing into the era really a bad thing?
Maida: I think there’s such a stamp on the ’90s because there was so much great music. It’s probably about that time now when people start feeling nostalgic. But we’re still making new music. I mean this (new album) is the best stuff that OLP has ever done, and I’ve heard a bunch of Matt’s record and I can say the same for him…. I want people to feel like this is just as relevant as “Clumsy” or anything else we’ve done. I think as a band we feel it is … but you still have to prove it. You don’t rest on your laurels.
CP: Many tour stops land in smaller Canadian cities. You’re both well versed with the road, so what’s it like hitting up lesser-travelled areas?
Good: I’ve been back and forth across (this country) maybe 64 or 65 times. Back in the old days (we toured) by van, out of Vancouver to Toronto — 16 shows in a row sleeping at night with somebody driving, eating at gas stations. Nuts.
CP: Do you long for those days?
Good: No, no. Not at all. (Once I was in Quebec City) and found myself sitting there literally about to have a nervous breakdown. And as I was losing it, I literally wrote on a napkin the entire first half of (the song) “Everything Is Automatic.” So at least I got something out of it.
Maida: There’s a mentality to that time in an artist’s life. I was talking to Win (Butler) from Arcade Fire about this … and he said, “When you go on stage it’s like a battle.” We used to have that as OLP in the early days, especially when people didn’t know us … but we have to get on stage, and it’s like you’re going to war. That mentality gets you through the insecurity.
CP: A lot has changed in the music industry since you guys came onto the scene. Whether it’s streaming music or social media, how are you navigating this new world of technology in the business?
Good: My outlook on what I do hasn’t changed at all. It doesn’t matter the delivery system or what social-whatever is out there. In a way, I miss people not knowing anything about you, but in another way as someone who already experienced that era, and gets to live through the transition of it all, it’s kind of interesting. It’s like one day you’re walking down the street and the next you get to go on the Enterprise.
Maida: We’re both old school in the sense you care about the craft first, whereas if you’re starting now, you definitely have your Snapchat and your Instagram happening before you become an artist. They reverse engineer where it’s like: “We need to become popular, we need to have 100,000 subscribers and then I’ll become an artist.” We came at it the old way, so we still keep the focus on the music, probably to the detriment. I don’t try to grow my Instagram or Twitter following. That’s not who I am, for better or worse.
Good: There’s people who model jeans with massively more followers than we have.
Maida: There’s a 14-year-old kid on my son’s basketball team who has 150,000 Instagram followers. He’s a great basketball player, but it’s just like, what the (expletive)? That’s so beyond.
— This interview has been edited and condensed.
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