Our Lady Peace singer Raine Maida and his wife, accomplished singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, opted to work together they probably weren’t sure what the end result would be. However, fans of both will probably lap up the debut effort from Moon Vs Sun entitled I Am Going To Break Your Heart. It’s also the title of a documentary made during a brief period spent in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the small French isles off the coast of Newfoundland.
“I mean it was a long time coming, right?” Maida says with Kreviazuk also on the line in early March. “We wrote one song about five years ago called ‘I Love It When You Make Me Beg’ and it took five years to finish. It was this long drawn out thing and of course, we’re so happy to finally be here.”
That initial song served as a catalyst, leaving husband and wife with enough downtime between their own busy solo schedules to book hotel rooms and make the trek to the remote islands.
“We just felt like, ‘Okay over the next couple of months write a bunch more and we can have something that we can go tour and put out an album,’” Maida says. “We have to film this and we have to book people and be responsible for other people’s schedules. And book flights and hotels and then we’ll never back out of it. That kind of was it.”
The duo, who launch a Canadian tour in May which hits Toronto’s The Great Hall on May 7, had previously visited the remote locale. It was a place Kreviazuk said they were keen on revisiting.
“Well Raine and I had gone there before and we loved it,” she says. “It’s just so beautiful, we didn’t have a ton of time the first time we were there so we decided, ‘Yeah that would be a great place!’ We really wanted to get this process underway and we booked a time and it turned out it was in the winter when we booked it for. It was too cold for us and remote and it was a little bit intense, it was almost like a film within a film.”
The pair say the toughest song to complete was “I Love It When You Make Me Beg” which served as a cornerstone for the film.
“I think that song in itself and what you see in the film it becomes the struggle in terms of two artists fighting for different parts of the music and different philosophies on how a song should go,” Maida says. “Most of the other stuff came pretty easily but that one was a bit of a thorn in the album’s side. But it makes for an interesting film I think and at the end of the day it turned out to be a really great song.”
Maida added the creative and artistic push and pull between him and Kreviazuk resulted in stronger material.
“What I loved about the project was it seems everything comes very organically,” he says. “And because we’re both pretty strong-willed writers everything gets laid on the table. You get to look at some lyrics, some chords, some melodies and we just fight over everything and picked up on the things we agreed on.”
“Fight with each other and get a song,” Kreviazuk adds.
Another song the twosome garnered attention for was the upbeat “Lowlight,” a song Maida says ended the film on a “celebratory” note.
“It feels so hopeful when it comes in at the end of this film,” Kreviazuk says. “I think by the end of the film there’s been an arc of struggle and adversity. By the end it’s really, ‘Hey that was a snapshot’ and there are ups and downs to marriage. Here we end on this high note and it’s hopeful and the song kind of reflects that I think.”
The documentary was screen in select cities including Los Angeles at the famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre as well as in Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg. The couple says each one has been unique but the biggest thrill is the audience’s reaction to the documentary.
“You kind of laugh and cry throughout the film,” Maida says. “I think that’s what music does to people anyway so to have a film that accompanies it, does the same thing.”
As for touring both are eager to hit the road to perform, concentrating primarily on the Moon Vs Sun material but also able to reinvent solo material by Kreviazuk and Our Lady Peace songs.
“It’s really exciting to play these shows because it’s like being a new artist again, you’re playing a full album and it’s a new project. It’s so cool to get out there and you’re really pounding it at that stage in a project at the beginning like that. If you’re in that together it’s really neat in that process of discovery period together, it’s a really neat opportunity.’
Maida adds that while both are returning to their individual projects on the horizon, the foundation has been laid for future Moon Vs Sun projects.
“We’re going to keep going from there,” Kreviazuk says. “It’s really cool.”
“I think now the good thing is we have an album so it’s evidence,” Maida adds. “When we think about writing we know there’s a place for it to go and live. Whether we’re on a hike or driving in our car or in the studio, anything we wrote not it’s great to know and it’s inspiring that it has a place to live.”
That synergy seems to be at the core of the couple’s songwriting process. It’s something Maida sees as their biggest asset.
“I think it’s just the ability that you never get stuck, you know what I mean?” he says. “As partners and creative collaborators anytime that something may be going left and feels like in other situations it would slow down or you would lose focus on it the other people can pick up slack and you can finish it. That’s a pretty amazing thing to have in a relationship as partners and as artistic collaborators.”