Moon vs. Sun battles relationship rollercoaster to make new music
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida and his wife, singer Chantal Kreviazuk, were cozy during a recent Zoom call to talk about their new project, Moon vs. Sun. He rolled his eyes and laughed when she called them “lovers.”
They then playfully “argued” about the use of the word. Kreviazuk said it was true. Maida contended it was weird.
The playful bickering paled in comparison to the couple’s problems in their forthcoming documentary, “I’m Going to Break Your Heart.” The album and documentary, which debuted in Canada in 2019, are set to be released April 23.
The film examines the couple’s relationship as they create a record together for the first time after 22 years of marriage. It marked their first trip away from their three sons and a turning point in a 25-year relationship. They sequestered themselves on the French island of St. Pierre et Miquelon in a tiny apartment during the dead of winter.
“That’s our life,” Maida said before Kreviazuk joined him. “That was a moment in time like that. It got rough on that island more so than it does here when we’re working in our studio at home. The island was really freaking cold. We got off the plane and everyone else was getting on to leave. It was a little French fishing village and, in the winter, everyone leaves to go to back to France. There wasn’t a lot to do there, which was fine for the creative part of it.”
Kreviazuk said there’s a silver lining with the documentary, which will open in select theaters and on streaming services.
“There’s a big message that comes from the music we’re creating,” she said. “When you see the movie, you’ll see us being a regular couple annoying each other. When we make music together, this beautiful thing happens. If we can conduct ourselves as harmoniously as we’re able to when we’re writing, there’s hope. In the beginning of a relationship, love is a feeling, but it becomes an active practice. It’s a grind, but it’s worth it. To connect through conflict isn’t the end of us; it’s an opportunity. The music was the result of that connection.”
Maida explained there wasn’t a time when he and Kreviazuk thought they should hide conflicts. The documentary shows their kids struggling a bit with their parents’ absence.
“It was literally three plane rides to get back to our kids,” Maida said. “Basically, it’s a week in the life or a few weeks in the life of us trying to make a record together. I will say that’s the only way we would have been able to do it because we tried to do it, literally, a bunch of times here but there are too many distractions. There are the freaking dogs and phone calls and kids.”
The first single was “St. Josephine,” which sews a patchwork of acoustic guitar, pian and violin. The bilingual track — Kreviazuk sings in English and French — was released in honor of the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Patron Saint of Slavery and Forgiveness. The Sudanese woman was canonized in 2000.
The island of St. Pierre et Miquelon is an essentially another character in the documentary. For example, Kreviazuk, said one particular “weird ancient hall” in which they rehearse was beautiful.
“Even though the hall was indoors, the character of the town and country come through,” she explained. “I just love it. It has a vintage texture to it. It added a lot to the music, for sure.”
Appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014, Maida and Kreviazuk have left their mark on popular culture. Maida’s rock band, Our Lady Peace, won four Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys. The act is known for hits “Innocent,” “Superman’s Dead” and “Starseed.”
Kreviazuk, who won a Grammy and two Junos, has worked with Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Together, the couple penned songs from a variety of artists, including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
The project came about when the couple wrote “I Love It When You Make Me Beg.” Maida said it’s one of his favorite songs he’s ever been involved with and “top three songs in my life.”
“It was like, ‘How do we do this?’” he added. “We tried to keep doing this, like come in late at night when everyone’s asleep. Two years later, nothing.”
A friend suggested Kreviazuk and Maida film the journey because it was going to be “special,” she said. The staff and the schedules would keep them accountable.
“We booked flights, we booked hotels and we couldn’t back out,” Maida added. “Those added to the responsibilities of producing the film. We hired all these people because, otherwise, we would have backed out.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on promotional work to support the album and the documentary. Maida, who like Kreviazuk, contracted and recovered from COVID-19, is hoping to play live sooner rather than later. The positive is fans can sit with the album, learn the music and further appreciate any live performance.
“As a couple, there are just so many metaphors,” she said. “When I think of music it’s like nature, which is where poetry comes from. I’m not saying that environment solves problems, or can set you on a path of continual healthy patterns or cycles, but it’s romantic in some settings.”
Moon vs. Sun have announced a live performance via Veeps at 6 p.m. April 30 with more details at facebook.com/moonvssunofficial
Moon vs. Sun facebook.com/moonvssunofficial