Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida on working with his son, releasing his band's NFT album

·3 min read

TORONTO — Raine Maida swears he’s not trying to be an "overprotective dad," yet when it comes to his son's music career he finds himself especially precious.

The Our Lady Peace frontman says he's on the home stretch of working on the debut album by Rowan, his 17-year-old son with wife and singer Chantal Kreviazuk, and hopes to have it finished around Christmas.

But he's encouraging the young singer not to rush into releasing his work, which he describes as sounding like "(Frank) Sinatra meets Frank Ocean."

"You can't get in the business too young," Maida said in a recent interview.

"You kind of get one shot at that purity and the further you can ride that, the better off you are down the line. If it gets disrupted or infected early, it’s hard to come back from it."

Maida started in the band that became Our Lady Peace when he was a student at the University of Toronto. They went on to become one of Canada's most successful alt-rock acts of the 1990s and 2000s, with hits that included "Innocent," "Is Anybody Home?" and "Superman's Dead."

Since those days, the ways listeners consume music have evolved dramatically, with physical sales of albums plummeting and music streaming services paying a fraction of a cent per play.

"It's really volatile right now," Maida said of the music industry.

"I just want him to be an artist for as long as he can, because it turns into something completely different as soon as you put yourself out there, especially for young kids with TikTok and socials."

Maida is hardly a Luddite when it comes to the newest advancements in technology.

His band is making "Spiritual Machines II," their first album in nearly four years, available first as a non-fungible token or NFT more than a month ahead of its more traditional release.

The concept of NFTs builds on the idea of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, giving creators an opportunity to sell "one-of-a-kind" digital art or individually-numbered digital collectibles.

Maida, who serves as a consultant for blockchain music company Sing, said the album will debut on the company's digital marketplace the week of Dec. 13.

The NFT version will come bundled with demos, remixes and personalized video messages, as well as a key to unlock other goodies over time.

"Owning this record is like a token," he said.

"Over the next two years, while we're in this campaign and touring this, we’re just going to drop a song that wasn't on the album in your wallet."

Owners of the NFT album can later choose to resell the digital album and its various assets on the blockchain market.

"Someone thinks, 'Hey, I can go sell this on the secondary market.' Awesome, we get a royalty from that built into the 'smart contract,'" he added.

"This is the new wave of art."

"Spiritual Machines II," which includes the dance-rock single "Stop Making Stupid People Famous" featuring Pussy Riot, debuts in other formats on Jan. 28.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2021.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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