Some bands refuse to play some of their songs live. Radiohead immediately comes to mind, because for the most part, they rarely perform their mega-hit "Creep" on tour. The reasoning varies from band to band, but in the case of Thom Yorke and company I'm pretty sure they nixed that song from any set because they despise all it stood for when it came out in the grunge rock era. I could be wrong, but it really doesn't matter. In the case of Canadian rockers Our Lady Peace, they've chosen to take one of their popular songs off any set list for an entirely different reason. In a nutshell, the track comes with way too much baggage.
"Whatever" was the entrance song for fellow Canadian star and former WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) superstar Chris Benoit, whose wrestling career and life ended in a murder-suicide in 2007. In an interview just prior to their show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on April 5, the band's frontman Raine Maida and guitarist Steve Mazur discussed how they've had to retire the song altogether because of the incomprehensible tragedy that took place (Benoit allegedly killed his wife and young son before taking his own life). It's such a shame, because the song is so damn kick ass but "whatever." During an "A-Sides" session, the three of us discussed that and the weight of it all, but also kept the mood light in typical "A-Sides" fashion -- discussing the band's new album Curve, current tour, and weighing in on a Eugene Levy vs. Rick Moranis debate. Thankfully, mindless Chattman chatter wasn't all that the pair took part in. They performed flawless, stripped down renditions of the band's 1997 hit "Clumsy" as well as a new song "Allowance" off Curve, which drops April 17, in the Bowery green room.
Watch. Listen. Love.
Interview with Raine and Steve
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.