Music power couple rise as Moon Vs Sun

Chantal Kreviazuk (left) and Raine Maida performed in July 2015 as part of the Beaumont Blues & Roots Festival in Alberta. It was their first time performing as Moon Vs Sun in the province. (Photo by Omar Mosleh)

Chantal Kreviazuk (left) and Raine Maida performed in July 2015 as part of the Beaumont Blues & Roots Festival in Alberta. It was their first time performing as Moon Vs Sun in the province. (Photo by Omar Mosleh)

For a band made up of two of Canada’s biggest stars, the duo behind Moon Vs Sun is surprisingly down to Earth.

Solo artist Chantal Kreviazuk and Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida will be performing as Moon Vs Sun at the Beaumont Blues & Roots Festival on Sunday night.
The Juno award-winning artists, who are married, have performed in Alberta separately, but this will be their debut as Moon Vs Sun.
“It’s going to be really interesting, especially in a festival type situation,” Maida said in a phone interview from the couple’s home in Los Angeles. “We’re really looking forward to it.”
The couple has been married for about 16 years but only recently started performing together as an official entity.
You can say it was a match made in the heavens.
Chantal Kreviazuk said performing alongside her husband has brought them closer together. (Photo by Omar Mosleh)

Chantal Kreviazuk said performing alongside her husband has brought them closer together. (Photo by Omar Mosleh)

Kreviazuk, taking breaks from the interview to warn her son to be gentle with her watercolour pencils, explains the couple first started supporting each other over the years at various charity events.

Gradually, that developed into them supporting each other on stage.
They started to collaborate on their solo albums and realized they clicked not only romantically, but also artistically and soon started writing songs together.
“To be honest with you, having material which we wrote together … has made getting on stage even easier,” Kreviazuk said. “I continue to love what I do as a solo artist, but there’s really nothing like this.”
She said the experience has been kind of “effortless and dreamy” and while she enjoys creating music independently, she’s also thrilled to have the opportunity to do so with her husband.
Maida says a song by spoken word artist Sage Francis inspired the band’s name. The moon and sun parts of it represent different sides of the same coin.
“The versus thing is very important in the sense that I think that’s what makes us work,” Maida said. “It’s not really the contradiction – it’s about trying to find balance. And it’s kind of a never-ending challenge, just like any relationship.”
The difference between your average relationship and Maida’s and Kreviazuk’s is that they climb onto a stage every night and share their life with their audience.
“We end up having to air our dirty laundry in public … but as soon as the music starts playing, everything bad goes away,” Kreviazuk said. “It’s quite the healer.”
Unexpectedly, the formation of Moon Vs Sun has played a significant role in their relationship.
They are often asked who’s the moon and who’s the sun – the answer is not so straight forward.
“Whose the sun and whose the moon really depends on the day,” Kreviazuk said.
“If one day I’m in a dark mood, Chantal can bring me out of it and that works vice versa,” Maida added.
The band’s harmony is reflected in their relationship as well. Maida said they had to reach a point where they were totally confident and comfortable before collaborating as an official entity.
“If this was five or 10 years ago, we wouldn’t have been brave or courageous enough to say this stuff,” he said. “The fact that we can go out and tell these stories, that’s what makes it special.”
In addition to being comfortable with their relationship, it’s evident their confidence as artists has contributed to their success in collaborating. The composing process has been relatively seamless.
“Sometimes she’s really inspired and I’ll just sit and watch and maybe throw in something,” Maida said. “Or sometimes it goes the other way around … It’s totally collaborative and I love that there’s a great balance there.”
For example, when the duo created ‘Under the Stars’, Maida had a distinct sound in his head but needed Kreviazuk’s piano background to meld it all together.
“That was all more his vision. It’s like he was the architect and I was the contractor,” Kreviazuk said.
Both artists are commercially successful in their own right and hence don’t feel pressured to create music that sells.
Maida said the most important thing for him is making sure nothing feels forced.
“I think that’s where we’re at in our careers as songwriters and artists; if it’s not happening, we either walk away or someone else takes over,” he said. “There’s no way we’re going to ever force a song with Moon Vs Sun … it has to be totally authentic and flow from at least one of us if not both of us.”
Kreviazuk describes their sound as “big and very moving” and said it will likely appeal to fans of either artist.
“I think there’s a piece of the show that for a lot of people will touch those nostalgic strings, while at the same time there’s something really refreshing and new and hopeful about what we’re doing,” she said.
So far the duo have mostly played in British Columbia and Ontario as Moon Vs Sun and are excited to bring the show to Alberta.
Kreviazuk, who hails from Winnipeg, said she particularly enjoys performing in the Edmonton region.
“Edmonton peeps remind me of Winnipeg peeps. They’re super authentic, not pretentious, total salt of the Earth.”
And while the couple is eager to expand their musical footprint, it’s evident from how Kreviazuk speaks that the most satisfying aspect of collaborating artistically is how it has helped them forge a much stronger marriage.
“The nice thing about going on stage together every night is I get to be re-introduced every day to this awesome, talented man — and fall in love all over again.”
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