Earlier this month Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk released their first album as a duo and this spring they’ll be taking that record across the country, starting with a show at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.
The married musicians both rose to prominence in the ’90s, Maida with his band Our Lady Peace and Kreviazuk as a solo performer, collecting multiple awards and honours for their musical and humanitarian work, from Junos to the Order of Canada. They’ve collaborated on songs for other people, but had never written something for themselves.
That changed five years ago late one night in their home studio, when Maida and Kreviazuk wrote a song called I Love it When You Make Me Beg, the first of 11 that make up the pair’s new album, I’m Going to Break Your Heart.
“[We] thought, ‘Wow that was incredible, we’ll just keep doing this and in a few months we’ll have an album and we should probably tour,’ and then it never happened,” Maida said.
Family and work commitments were keeping the couple from finishing their album, so they decided to relocate to St-Pierre-Miquelon, two French islands off the coast of Newfoundland they fell in love with on a previous trip, so they could work free from distractions. Maida describes the territories as “as far away as we could get without actually leaving Canada, even though it’s not Canada.”
“We needed to be sequestered,” Kreviazuk said.
The couple even hired a film crew to document the album’s creation, a first for both of them, as another measure to ensure they wouldn’t cancel their plans at the last minute.
Kreviazuk and Maida recorded the album under the name Moon vs. Sun. Maida said the “constant fluidity” of the relationship between those celestial bodies is similar to what people experience on Earth.
“They’re trading off and existing at the same time in a lot of instances and it’s really just that dynamic where, assuming you’re talking about a relationship, you have to have that self-awareness,” he said. “And I don’t think that comes naturally, it’s something you have to learn.”
Maida said most songs on the album explore the constant struggle of navigating a partnership like the one he has with Kreviazuk, spanning the personal and the professional, as well as the “beauty and darkness” that a relationship consists of when a couple is that connected.
“We wanted to be honest and intimate with it and vulnerable. And Raine always says, ‘Try to say something that hasn’t been said, because otherwise do we really need to do this?’” Kreviazuk said.
“But I think we had that,” said Maida. “That’s what gave us the ability to go try this, because we’ve been together long enough and are strong enough in our relationship.”
Aside from the album and accompanying documentary, Maida said Moon vs. Sun will also include a book and a podcast.
“It’s a very all-encompassing lifetime project, really, that we’re just starting now and it’s new and fresh, which is pretty cool,” he said.
The Moon vs. Sun tour begins at the Port Theatre on April 7. Maida said there’s a lot of nervous tension in the first show of a tour.
“It’s really exciting, probably as exciting for us as it gets on the tour as an artist because you have all that anxiety of the first show and wanting it to be great and everything kind of levels off after that,” he said.
While the duo have been playing some of the Moon vs. Sun repertoire over the last few years, this tour is the first time they’ll be drawing from I’m Going to Break Your Heart in its entirety.
“We’re going to be playing probably the full album to be honest and I can’t remember that last time I could say we did that. It’s kind of nice to be a new artist again, to be able to just play a whole album,” Maida said.
WHAT’S ON … Moon vs. Sun at the Port Theatre on April 7 at 7:30 p.m. All seats $53.