After a jam-packed year, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
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Fans & Music

It’s been a very busy year for you! Our Lady Peace released a new album Spiritual Machines II and went on tour. Tell me about how it feels to get back on the road post COVID.

To be back playing in arenas and theaters with fans has been incredible and is almost like feeling reborn. We just finished a handful of Canadian shows with The Smashing Pumpkins in Quebec City a few weeks ago, so it’s been amazing. You don't realize how much you miss it until it's been taken away for a few years. Everyone has been on a big energy high coming off all these live shows.

Tell me a bit about the process of making Spiritual Machines II which was released earlier this year.

The silver lining of COVID and the pandemic was that for the first time we had an extended amount of time to make a record. So I think it's potentially the best body of work we've ever made because we made it slowly, then had time to get objective about it and fine tune it with no real deadlines.

You're not slowing down - you have another tour in December with your wife Chantal Kreviazuk. What can you tell me about this upcoming tour?

We filmed a documentary in 2019 about the making of our first album together. Chantal has written for artists such as Drake, Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears to name a few. We’ve produced together but never really wrote songs together for us. So finally, a few years ago right before COVID, we decided we needed to do that and filmed the process on a small island off the coast of Canada called St. Pierre and Miquelon.

The documentary, which is called I’m Going To Break Your Heart, shines a light on music collaboration but also touches on relationships.

Anytime two people as intimate as Chantal and I get into a room to write songs, other personal things are going to come up. So it's a fascinating exploration of partnership, collaboration and music. Due to COVID we didn’t have the chance to tour the music from the documentary and we're actually back in the studio making a new album. So at the Forgive Me Tour, fans will be able to hear songs from the documentary, some of the new songs we're working on, as well as various renditions of our own songs, like Clumsy or Feels Like Home. It’s going to be a lot of fun and you know, we fight on stage, laugh and all that stuff too. It's not a typical show, but is the perfect date night.

You have been pretty involved in the Web3 space with your platform Drrops. What can you tell me about Drrops?

My fascination and hope for Web3 is centered around ownership and portability. I really believe the technology of Web3 and NFTs being implemented on the blockchain will take over most industries, making them more productive, secure, and transparent - whether it's a house deed, ticketing royalties or music files. My touch point for the last few years with Web3 and music has been abouta rtists finally getting the chance to own their audience because what we've done as musicians is build communities on secondary platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. But we don't own our audience and by using these platforms they make billions of dollars off of our fan data which is not portable. Portability comes with Web3 and so for artists, the future is owning those audiences directly, and being able to gift, reward and sell directly to their own community.

So Drrops is really about giving artists the opportunity to really own that community for the first time.

How did you originally get involved with Web3 and what gave you the idea to start Drrops?

You know, I stood on stages for 25 years playing to thousands of fans over the years but 98% of those fans are still mostly anonymous to me. I can try to connect with them on social media platforms but find it’s not super efficient. Fortunately, 25 years in, there is finally new technology now with Web3 where I can connect directly to those fans, take ownership and have the data be portable. So that's really the idea behind Drrops; to give artists the power to really supercharge their audience with their own database and provide a direct connection to fans. Drrops ensures that all emails are verified with custom push notifications and we're not trying to take the place of any other channels, we want to just create more traffic and expand the user’s audience.

To me, anyone that buys a ticket to an Our Lady Peace show would be considered a super fan. So I want to treat them like one and Drrops allows you to treat the everyday fan like a super fan.

What advice would you give to the artists of today who would like to get their music heard?

Almost every artist these days is to some extent an independent artist, which is amazing. It’s important to find the tools available such as Drrops where you can connect directly to your fans and build your community. Social media is important as well; I’m not sure how an artist's music is getting heard these days unless they have a social presence. We have to get through this paradigm shift but on the back end of it, owning your fanbase and connecting with them is key. The audience is what is going to save artists’ careers and actually allow them to prosper more than when they were signed to labels.

You’ve celebrated a milestone with Our Lady Peace this year: 25 years of your second studio album Clumsy and the release of your 10th studio album Spiritual Machines II. Would you have ever thought that you would get to this stage?

I think in my heart, yes. It’s not always guaranteed that a band will stay together. The fact that we have 10 studio albums is pretty amazing and I’m so incredibly proud of Spiritual Machines II. I think it’s our best body of work yet.

Catch Raine Maida on the Forgive Me Tour in a city near you starting December 1st and download Drrops directly on the App store. Want more? Stream Spiritual Machines II now on Spotify!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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