It’s funny how music circles work. With a few phone calls to friends, Our Lady Peace pieced together one of the summer’s finest festivals in any country. The band worked hard putting the whole festival together, the whole time keeping one thing in mind: the fans. They pulled in some of the hugest household names, like The Foo Fighters, A Perfect Circle, and Eve 6, to play nine dates across Canada. On the Canadian side of the coin, bands like Treble Charger and Finger Eleven were added to keep the event loyal to Canadian music lovers. This festival also marks the closing days of The Smashing Pumpkins’ musical career as Montreal will be their last North American date ever. The Smashing Pumpkins changed alternative music and gave many bands voices, bands that probably would have never been heard. It’s fitting for them to end their career their way by playing a non-corporate festival.
The festival made a stop to where it all began back in ’98 for the first Summersault at the giant Molson Park facility in Barrie, Ontario. This venue is so huge that hiking around the joint takes more endurance than any mosh pit you’ll encounter. An hour before show time, hip online chatted with Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart to get the lowdown on Summersault and to see how the band is doing.
Well, it turned out to be an awesome day for a festival.
Yeah, thank God.
First of all, you guys picked a great lineup. How did you pick the lineup and organize Summersault?
We have been working on it since late last fall, getting bands together, making phone calls, organizing vendors and merchandizing, all that. It’s not that easy as much as it is awesome. In the meantime, we were trying to work on our record.
Who picked the bands?
Most of the bands we picked are the bands we liked or wanted to play with.
Reflecting back to ’98 when the band hosted the first Summersault, what are some of the differences you noticed?
’98 was cool because we just did eastern dates with Summersault. The lineup was a lot smaller and Garbage was the only international act on the bill. This year’s lineup is very solid, more rounded, and we are really proud of that.
How come this year no techno artists? In ’98, Crystal Method closed out the night.
We actually had some dj’s spinning in certain cities on the tour. Not here [in Barrie, Ontario] though.
Who have you had spin?
Just some local cats to spin when the bands were changing. We’re just giving them an opportunity for them to showcase their stuff.
That’s cool. Tonight the Smashing Pumpkins are closing out the bill. Any thoughts as they approach their last show? Are they done for sure?
Well, they are done. That’s cool if they don’t want to do it anymore, because they’ve been doing it for twelve years strong.
What bands have you enjoyed so far on the tour?
I have really enjoyed A Perfect Circle. Smashing Pumpkins have been great each night.
Any bands that got left off the lineup?
Papa Roach was almost going to do it but they had their own tour going. Flaming Lips was going to do it but they had some problems with playing during the day and not being able to use the lighting.
I like the fact that the cost of tickets was extremely fair considering the lineup and the fact that the event is put on by a Canadian band for Canadians.
It’s Canada and there are fields everywhere. (laughing) All we need is a PA and we are ready to rock. This festival would have never have been pulled off in the States. (Dave Grohl and Jeremy’s niece come over to say hello) Sorry, I lost my train of thought.
That’s okay. What was the band doing just prior to the festival?
Making a new record.
How’s that going?
It’s going great so far. We got about eight songs recorded and hope to have the record done by the new year. We are pretty happy with the results so far.
I noticed that on the last leg of the Happiness Tour, Raine (Maida, lead singer) was suffering from a nagging cold and some of the shows suffered. How frustrating was that for the band?
Yeah, when you’re on the road for a long period of time, something’s bound to go down. With the constant stress and playing a lot of shows, you get tired. He just needed a break from it.
Has he had to change his vocal style in any way because he sings so high and when the first record Naveed came out he was younger and now he’s more mature? Can he still sing that high?
He’s actually gotten a lot stronger. Like all singers, his voice definitely matured, and like most good singers, as they mature usually their voice gets better too.
Is the band working with Arnold Lanni (producer) again?
He’s like the fifth member. How did you meet up with him?
He was basically the cheapest studio in town (Toronto) and one of the nicest guys. We have had a nice relationship with him and a good rapport with him. He worked with many great bands and does good work.
Will we also see the infamous guy who appears on all the band’s cover art? What’s his name and where did he come from?
His name is Saul Fox. He’s from Toronto and he’s about sixty-seven years old now. He’s one of those wise men who’s been through many different things throughout his life. Many of the things this man preaches, our band believes in.
I was talking to this guy I met a few months back and he said you give lessons. Is that true and where do I sign up?
Naw, not anymore.
When did you first start playing the drums?
Back in ’89. I was fourteen.
Hey, I heard early today that Duncan (bassist) and some of the other bands performed a Kiss tribute set on the second stage. Did you catch any of that?
It was cool, and fun to do.
Did they put the makeup on?
Greg from Treble Charger, Duncan, Jamie our rhythm guitarist, and Rich from Finger Eleven played together and got dressed up. They played “Sloe Gin”, “Shout It Out Loud”, “Detroit Rock City”, and a bunch of other Kiss favorites.
Too bad I missed that. I know you guys are going on shortly, so thanks for your time and good luck with the new record.
Thanks. It was good talking with you.