OLP has seen a year full of triumph and change since the release of 'Spiritual Machines' in March of 2001. The group spent much of the year touring North America, writing and recording tracks for 'Gravity' - their fifth record - and experienced a quantum evolution in their sound by adopting both a new production team and guitarist. During the past year, Our Lady Peace earned numerous honors, topping the nominations at both the Juno Awards and the MuchMusic Video Awards.
After the success of 'Spiritual Machines' OLP decided to take a new approach to recording by enlisting the services of producer Bob Rock (Metallica) and mixer Randy Staub (POD/Nickelback) to bring a more simple, aggressive sound to 'Gravity.' To avoid distraction, the band took off for the sunny, secluded beaches of Maui and began recording at Rock's Plantation Studios - located on a hill over an ancient native burial ground. (Jeremy Taggart - the group's resident "spiritual advisor" - will confirm a ghostly otherworldly presence on the hill.)
"Leaving Toronto and holing up in a beach house in Maui was a very important step for us," explains Duncan. "We lived, ate, and breathed music together away from all distractions." Echoing that sentiment, Jeremy observed that "Bob has a gifted set of ears and he was able to take the best things about each of us and pull everything together." The band members would wake up in the morning to surf the incredible Maui beaches and use the afternoon, evening and nighttime hours to work on 'Gravity.'
Recorded over the course of ten weeks (the quickest of any OLP album), using the same guitars and amps Rock used to record Metallica and the Cult, Gravity captures the power, energy and spirit of OLP's live shows. For those into rock trivia - OLP also utilized some of the other vintage gear in Rock's studio including an amp used by Pete Townsend and the guitar Billy Duffy played in the Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" video.
OLP vocalist Raine Maida shared his bandmate's feeling of creative rejuvenation. "Bob has a great passion for music that is infectious," he says. "Between his constant pushing and the addition of Steve Mazur, our new guitarist, the band experienced a rebirth."
In the midst of the Christmas holiday 2001, longtime OLP guitarist Mike Turner and the band amicably separated. With the recording of 'Gravity' temporarily on hold, the band met with fellow musicians and friends and screened thousands of video taped submissions in order to find a replacement guitarist. "We were overwhelmed with the response to our search," says Duncan. "We received tapes, videos, DVDs and CDs from as far away as Australia and Japan. "It was inspiring to see how many incredible musicians were out there," Raine adds.
In the end, Our Lady Peace decided upon guitarist Steve Mazur - a Detroit, MI, native - and invited him to Maui to help them finish the album. After a blistering first audition with Bob Rock, the members of Our Lady Peace knew Steve was the perfect choice. "Steve is the guitar player that fit like a glove," says Raine. "He has a solid understanding of our music and shares our appreciation for the new directions the OLP sound is heading." In early April 2002, Our Lady Peace formally announced the addition of the band's new member. "I am really excited and I have always been a fan of the band," Steve exclaims. "This opportunity is a dream-come-true."
The magical atmosphere created by Our Lady Peace and Bob Rock in Hawaii can be felt in each of the songs on Gravity. ""Innocent" is one of my favorite tracks on the record," Raine confesses. "I wrote this song over a year ago and I was originally hesitant to play it for the band, but once we got into the studio and began working with Bob we were able to make it an Our Lady Peace song.
"Bob was so amazing at turning ideas that we might never have thought would work into powerful songs," Raine continues. "He was also reluctant to give up on certain tracks. "Made of Steel" was cut three separate times during the sessions. It wasn't until the third attempt that we all realized that we had captured something special. The song "Do You Like It" was actually cut after we had mixed most of the record in Vancouver, BC with Randy Staub. We had gone back to Maui to finish some small details on the last two songs to be mixed and - lo and behold! - a new song was born and recorded."