Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida and his wife, singer Chantal Kreviazuk, are cozy and playful during a Zoom call to talk about their new project, Moon vs. Sun. He rolls his eyes and laughs when she calls them “lovers.”
They then “argue” about the use of the word. Kreviazuk says it’s true. Maida contends it’s weird.
The fun banter pales in comparison to the couple’s problems in their forthcoming documentary, “I’m Going to Break Your Heart.” The album and documentary 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 says before Kreviazuk joins 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 says 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 says. “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 explains there wasn’t a time when he and Kreviazuk thought they should hide the 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,” adds Maida, who recently traveled to Arizona for their son’s basketball tournament. “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, piano 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 describes a rehearsal space as a “weird ancient hall.”
“Even though the hall was indoors, the character of the town and country come through,” she explains.
“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, has 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 says 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 adds. “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 says. The staff and the schedules would keep them accountable.
“We booked flights, we booked hotels and we couldn’t back out,” Maida adds. “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 upside of performing later 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 says. “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
Two advance screenings of the documentary film: 6 p.m. Friday, April 9, and noon Saturday, April 10, exclusively streaming on Veeps. Both screenings will be followed by an intimate Q&A with Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk after the film. Advance tickets are on sale now at https://moonvssun.veeps.com/stream/schedule. Additionally, Moon vs. Sun have announced a live performance via Veeps at 6 p.m. April 30, with more details to follow.