By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
Touring with a rock band as a 40-something husband and father is far different than a recent university grad in his early 20s. Just ask Duncan Coutts, the bass player for one of the largest Canadian bands in the past 20 years: Our Lady Peace.
“We haven’t really done a proper tour in a long time. Trying to get everyone’s schedule to line up when you have a young family and all that stuff. I think the beauty of it now is that you don’t take it for granted, and it is really an honour and a privledge to be able to tour like this,” Coutts told The Oshawa Express ahead of the band’s show in Edmonton.
“Oddly enough, I think the shows are better than they’ve ever been. I don’t know, maybe it’s just being more comfortable in your own skin, playing more, practising more, being challenged by different types of music, being challenged by life and bringing that to what you do on stage.”
Our Lady Peace is currently on the road alongside I Mother Earth, another Canadian rock band that made a name for itself in the 1990s, across Canada, includng a stop at Oshawa’s General Motors Centre on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Aside from singer Raine Maida, Coutts is the longest serving member of the group, joining a year after the 1994 release of Our Lady Peace’s debut album Naveed, although he had been friends with band members before then, even playing an extra in the music video for Starseed, the first song by the band to hit the charts.
And now, seven studio albums and the departure of the original guitarist and drummer, Mike Turner and Jeremy Taggart respectively, Our Lady Peace continues to tour and produce music. Coutts says this is brought on by band members constantly raising the bar for one another in an effort to stay current and have a sound that isn’t dated.
“We expect a lot of each other and demand a lot of each other and we don’t settle. We’ve always had the mindset that once we start to repeat ourselves, and it doesn’t sound authentic and it doesn’t sound fresh, then it’s time to stop,” he says.
“So far, we’ve been able to keep each other challenged and pushed and into new sonic territory. Maybe not breaking ground or anything, but it’s certainly new and challenging and different for us.”