Mettle

Songfacts®:

  • Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace close their eighth studio album, Curve, with this track, which features spoken word pieces from Canadian heavyweight boxer George Chuvalo, who also appears on the album's cover. To record Chuvalo's spoken word parts, OLP lead singer Raine Maida, drummer Jeremy Taggart, and bassist Duncan Coutts traveled to the boxer's house just outside of Toronto (guitarist Steve Mazur was stuck at his home in Los Angeles, so he wasn't able to make the trip). The three members of the band that did make it sat down with Chuvalo for an hour and listened as he described his life, both inside the ring and out. Maida recorded the whole conversation on his iPhone and later cut excerpts he liked into the bed of the song. (Here's our full Our Lady Peace interview.)
  • Our Lady Peace lead singer Raine Maida wrote a piece for AOL Music, explaining why he was drawn to the story of Chuvalo. Here is an excerpt from it: "George was a heavyweight boxer most famous for never being knocked down in 93 professional fights. He took Muhammad Ali the distance in both their fights and had a storied career during what many consider heavyweight boxing's heyday. George has been kind enough to befriend the band and share some of his life experiences both inside and outside the ring with us. His story is one of tirelessness and human spirit."
  • Maida says this song features some of Chuvalo's "profound moments" and "wisdom." The band has great respect for the retired boxer and Maida told us in 2012 that Chuvalo is a "really loving guy." Maida also loves Chuvalo's quote on "Mettle" that ends the record: "Without love, I wouldn't be here." Says Maida, "it was such a special, magical moment for him to say that."
  • Our Lady Peace wanted to get George Chuvalo's voice on Curve because they didn't think putting his image on the cover of the disc was enough to let fans know just how much Chuvalo influenced them during the songwriting process. OLP frontman Raine Maida says, "Getting him to speak on the record was a way to share some of the interactions we'd had and the experiences we had with him."

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