The Beat Goes On

Wait! False alarm. Rogers Wireless did revoke its sponsorship of Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart’s podcast/radio show but the corporation is back on board. It seems that business executives can take a joke after all.
The drummer beat on the craze surrounding the Toronto International Film Festival creating unexpected noise and controversy. Taggart’s humoristic comment was oddly interpreted as offensive. The infamous rant can be heard at

Jeremy, Jeremy, you’ve been a bad boy!

(Laughs) Oh, I don’t think so. It turns out that I’m not so bad after all. Rogers came back onboard.

Did you think your rant would cause so much hype?

I didn’t find it to be offensive unless you’re a cokehead! (Laughs) All I did was basically talk about the mania surrounding the Toronto Film Festival. I also can’t stand people whose jobs are to track who’s in town, what they’re wearing and what they did.
How can you have pride? You don’t even talk to them. Don’t they know this is Canada? The cool thing about Canada is we don’t give a s— about celebrities.

Is it surprising that people pay that close attention to the things you say?

I hope people pay attention in terms of listening. But reading into it? There is just a lot of humour attached to it. I’m just trying to do a podcast/radio show that’s different. There are a lot of elements. I’m not just speaking to celebrities, athletes and politicians. I want to create something that people can laugh with.

Can you clear up the chain of events?

I did the piece, put it out and I believe an executive from Rogers heard it and found it to be offensive. They had a meeting and completely revoked their sponsorship. A couple days later I spoke with someone at Rogers who actually thought it was funny and helped shed some light on the issue. At the end of the day I think they understood me more and the situation. So they took me back. It happened very fast.

Tell us about being a jack of all trades. How do you find the time?

It works out fine. I’m married, I have a son and another son coming in a few weeks. Nothing has really changed in terms of schedules and time. It’s nice that I can be doing something with my spare time. We’re not touring 12 months a year like we did 10 years ago.

Looking back 14 years ago, wasn’t there an issue when you first joined Our Lady Peace in 1993?

I was 17 and I couldn’t get into the bars that we played! (Laughs) I was actually just talking about it with the guys yesterday. Half of my life has been in this band. I was 17 when I joined and it’s coming up on 14-15 years. It’s pretty interesting to grow up not just in a band, but on the road and flying around. It was like my university.

Can you tell us about the rumours of a new album?

I’m in LA working with the band right now. We’re almost half way through the record. We’re making an honest sounding album. We’re not trying to over think and over produce anything. I’m really enjoying it because it’s very cohesive and the bass, the drums and the guitars all have an organic sound.

Do you find yourself reinventing your sound or trying to keep up as time and trends change?

We’re not in a race to stay valid; we’re just trying to make music that we enjoy. At this point it’s easier because we’re trying to enjoy ourselves and push our own bar up as opposed to trying to sound like other bands on the radio.

Looking at your radio show, who were some memorable guests?

Jack Layton. Politicians tend to be long winded. I don’t know if your average modern rock radio kid can handle that so I tried to keep people listening by adding sound effects around the interview. Like bowling alley sounds and pretending that we were in a strip bar. Sam Sullivan, the mayor of Vancouver was a very inspiring interview. I like it when I talk to someone and I learn something. Ben from Billy Talent and Wade from Alexis on Fire were also great interviews. They’re in bands that I respect.

Is it odd being on the other end of the mic interviewing your peers?

Actually it makes sense. When you’ve been doing interviews for 14 years you know what people want to hear and what they don’t. I want to push people, make them feel that they have to watch their back a little bit and have them feel slightly uncomfortable. I’m not afraid to have somebody hate me by the end of the interview.

Who have you duked it out with?

I interviewed Matthew Good and that was great! We were both in an element of nervousness. We didn’t want to piss each other off but at the same time we said whatever we wanted to. There was a nice feel to it. But Matt Good isn’t stupid and he knew what he was doing when he said that stuff.

What was this feud between Matthew Good and Our Lady Peace?

The press started a feud. We talked about how ridiculous that was in the interview.
We laughed and talked about what he said. He wasn’t a big Frozen Ghost fan and he didn’t like Arnold Lanni our producer. We laughed it off now, but at the time both of us were pretty hot about it.

What do you think about the Avril Lavigne vs. Chantal Kreviazuk feud that heated up?

I don’t know how it started. Something about previous songs and opinions. It’s the same as every other one. Someone says something to somebody else and it totally gets twisted. To be honest, I couldn’t give a s—! (Laughs)

What’s Taggart’s take on the young women of Hollywood?

It’s typical. From the beginning of time that person, that role of the paparazzi victim hasn’t really changed from Marilyn Monroe to Britney Spears. Now we have Britney Spears being an absolute loser. Give someone that much money, take pictures of them and you’re going to see that they’re a loser under a microscope. What do you expect? Britney will not instantly do a Pulitzer Prize winning book. Give me break! She grew up in the freaking Mickey Mouse Club! And Lindsay Lohan? These girls are smoking heroine and going on three day benders. Paris Hilton doing rails all over the place! Are they all going to get together and O.D.? It’s out of control in terms of their obsession with escape. I don’t understand how they have so much but they want to get away from everything.

Who have you not had the chance to have on the show?

I wanted to get David Suzuki but he’s a douche and said no! (Laughs) I was a big fan of his work and watched the Nature of Things growing up. I contacted his people last June and they said, ‘We’re sorry but he won’t be able to do any interviews until a year from September.’ For a five minute interview? Rudy Giuliani would be easier than that! Who says they’re gone for a year? And starting in September? What the hell is he doing? I don’t know anybody who can be that busy! I lost a lot of respect for him.

What do you hope listeners will take from your takes?

At the end of the day I don’t want to piss anyone off. I want to try to inspire people, make them laugh, or even turn them onto a band that they haven’t heard. I don’t think I do typical interviews, they are more like conversations. If it’s a good conversation then it’s a good interview. The line I walk can go from serious to absurd. Sometimes I push left field and I take it as far as I can. I like having a forum and understanding that it could be taken away from me at any second.


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