‘Peace’ of Mind Our Lady Peace sharing opinionated new material on U.S. tour

Our Lady Peace – from left, guitarist Steve Mazur, drummer Jason Pierce, bassist Duncan Coutts and vocalist Raine Maida – open for Bush and Live at Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater. (Photo courtesy Our Lady Peace)

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Raine Maida is proud to hail from Toronto. He brags about his hometown in interviews and from the stage with his band Our Lady Peace.

He’s also a big fan of the World Champion Toronto Raptors.

“It would have been nice to be in Toronto when they won,” Maida says. “I got to watch the game, though. I used to go to the games when no one was there. Nobody cared. I was literally able to move up to almost courtside seats. It’s amazing the journey they’ve had.”

Our Lady Peace’s journey is one to be proud of as well. Guitarist Mike Turner and Maida founded the band in late 1991, after meeting through a Toronto newspaper. The two met songwriter and producer Arnold Lanni at a music seminar and he became the band’s cornerstone.

Named after a Mark Van Doren poem, Our Lady Peace released its debut, “Naveed,” in March 1994 and subsequently became a hit in Canada. “Starseed” hit the U.S. charts, especially after a remix of it appeared on the “Armageddon” film soundtrack.

Our Lady Peace has released scores of successful singles like “Superman’s Dead,” “Somewhere Out There,” “One Man Army” and “Innocent.”

Our Lady Peace — which now includes bassist Duncan Coutts, guitarist Steve Mazur and drummer Jason Pierce — is sharing those songs while opening for Live and Bush, a jaunt that comes to the AVA Amphitheater at Casino del Sol on Sunday, August 11.

“The fans are digging it,” Maida says of Our Lady Peace’s sets. “They’re coming out early for us, which I’m very impressed by. It’s been amazing.”

The setlist also includes a telling new song, “Stop Making Stupid People Famous,” which has appeared on YouTube videos of shows.

“It’s funny,” Maida says. “I’ve been introducing it by title and the response is amazing. I’ve had the lyrics to this song — two pages of it — for two years. When we did the ‘Clumsy’ tour across the U.S., I made up shirts with that on it. I just had it kicking around. I just didn’t have the right music to put the lyrics in. We finally do. I recorded it and I’m psyched.”

“Stop Making Stupid People Famous” is a seed in the creation of a new album. Maida says fans can expect “Spiritual Machines 2,” essentially. Released in 2000, Our Lady Peace’s “Spiritual Machines” was a conceptual interpretation of Raymond Kurzweil’s 1999 book “The Age of Spiritual Machines.” The author’s voice is interspersed among the songs, and his keyboard was used in the studio.

The book shared his thoughts for how technology will progress during the 21st century, making it the perfect time for a follow-up album to “Spiritual Machines.”

“I think it makes sense to go back and almost evaluate where we’ve come in that 20 years,” Maida says. “We didn’t come as far as he predicted. It’s interesting, in terms of technology and machines and artificial intelligence and learning and all that stuff. The rights of robots and AI is a big deal. To the point, Elon Musk is talking about it pretty seriously. We need to do that.”