Our Lady Peace got a little punchy on its new album, "Curve."
The cover of the Canadian band's just-released eighth studio album sports a vintage photo of Canadian boxer George Chuvalo as well as a first single, "Heavyweight," inspired by the fighter's hardscrabble life -- including a no-knockout 73-fight record, the death of two children, one from a drug overdose, the other by suicide, and his wife's suicide.
"The guy's just a testament to will and determination," says OLP frontman Raine Maida. "He had a real struggle outside of the ring as well as in, but if you sit down with the guy you'd almost never know it. He has a foundation for addiction and teaching kids about it and is just a really gracious, well-spoken, incredible man."
Maida says the group befriended Chuvalo "about halfway through the record. There are a lot of parallels for me between boxing and being in a band almost 20 years -- definitely a lot of ups and downs, just like a fighter. I'm just happy we were able to make that connection -- not to exploit it, but to help people understand."
OLP had its own ups and downs in making "Curve." The album started out in one direction -- "kind of baby steps," according to Maida. But the arrival of producer Jason Lader and his "unfiltered, brutal honesty" convinced the group to scrap much of what it had worked on and start over from scratch.
"We had four tracks...and when we played them for Jason he said, 'Man, you would never buy a record that sounds like this,' which is a pretty bold thing to say," Maida, 42, recalls. "But it was true. It needed to go in a different direction. It needed to evolve and mature -- and I think it did because we had somebody who was able to tell us what we needed to do. I don't want to say we were brave to do it, but it was amazing to challenge ourselves in that way, and I'm so glad we did."
Our Lady Peace and The Pack A.D. perform Saturday, April 7, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. Call (313) 961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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