We had the opportunity to sit down with the five members of The Barenaked Ladies (Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn, Jim Creegan, and Tyler Stewart) before the start of their 'Barenaked for the Holidays' tour and found out that they were as funny and down to earth in person as they seem to be on television or videos.
Orcasound: Are you guys sick of Christmas questions yet?
Ed: No, we just started the tour, so we are just getting starting with that line of questioning.
Orcasound: You worked on Dennis Leary's Christmas special this year. How was that?
Tyler: (joking) He as an 'Asshole' (name of a Dennis Leary song)!!
Ed: We flew into New York for one day to film our song and it was a cool experience.
Orcasound: I noticed that William Shatner was also on the show. What was he like?
Steven: Unfortunately we didn't meet him because he was not there on the day we taped our segment.
Ed: I don't know if it was a coincidence or what but we did meet George Takei (Sulu) and then he came out shortly after. Coincidence? I think not.
Orcasound: Where will we be able to watch this Christmas special?
Steven: It is being shown by Comedy Central in the U.S., but I don't think that any Canadian station has picked it up as of yet.
Orcasound: You all seem to be very different people, so you must have different music tastes or influences. Who would you say are your musical influences?
Tyler: My musical influences are whichever band member I am sleeping with at the time (runs his hands through Kevin's hair).
Ed: (in a very serious tone) It's weird because I am influenced by Kevin and he is influenced by Steven who is influenced by Jim who is influenced by me.
Orcasound: I noticed that you have recorded a track for the 'Chicken Little' soundtrack. Will we be seeing any 'Chicken Little' dance moves in the show tonight?
Ed: Normally we would, but our regular choreographer Tyler has been sick lately (Tyler coughs).
Steven: I normally don't diss other performers, but I have to say that Chicken Little is not as nice as he appears on screen. On the set, he had a little bit of an attitude and he spent most of his time in his trailer.
Orcasound: Did you notice any hens coming or going from that trailer?
Steven: I don't involve myself in other people's private lives. What he does is his business and I gave him his privacy.
Ed: I did notice that he drove a nice car, though.
Orcasound: What was your involvement with the Stratford Festival like?
Steven: I wrote the music, basically scored it, for one of the plays taking place during the festival. It was a lot of fun.
Orcasound: Is scoring something you see yourself doing more of?
Steven: Yes, in the future.
Orcasound: After your Hanukkah EP will your next studio album have a klezmer sound or influence to it?
Kevin: No, I don't think so. We have been in the studio and have recorded about 28 new songs for the next album.
Orcasound: Maybe you guys should think about it because you have won Junos in almost every other musical category and if you record a klezmer album maybe the Juno people will create a new category.
Ed: We haven't won in all categories. For instance, we have won in the modern jazz category, but not in traditional jazz recording (said jokingly).
Orcasound: Are any of you Jewish?
Steven: I am.
Tyler: I thought I saw you guys sharing a secret Jewish hand signal!
Orcasound: What was it like singing the national anthem before the Toronto Maple Leafs home opener?
Ed: It was fun. We have done it several times before.
Tyler: We did it 3 times during the last playoffs. We did it in the first round before game 7 and the Leafs won. We it in the second round before game 7 and the Leafs won. We also did it before game 6 in the third round, but we were joined by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea that time and the Leafs lost! We think it is Alan's fault!
Steven: I spoke with Gord Downie of Tragically Hip and told him about the Alan Doyle incident and he said, "I guess you won't do that again!"
Orcasound: Are you guys willing to admit in Montreal that you are all Leafs fans?
Steven: (in a sarcastic tone) Well, we figured that since we have won so many Stanley Cups that you guys would understand.
Orcasound: Have you ever been invited to play in Jim Cuddy's (Blue Rodeo) Juno Cup (a charity hockey game played just before the Junos)?
Tyler: I played in it two years ago, but last year in Winnipeg we were not available.
Orcasound: I think it would be an interesting match up if you guys played the guys from Great Big Sea.
Steven: We have played street hockey against them.
Orcasound: Is Alan Doyle really a good goalie?
Jim: Yes, he's pretty good.
Orcasound: How did you guys hook up with Reverb (an environmental group started by Bonnie Raitt that encourages musicians to make their tours more bio-friendly)?
Ed: They are not with us on the Canadian leg of this tour.
Steven: Yeah, Oxfam will be with us.
Jim: It is important for artists to be ecologically conscious.
Orcasound: Will you guys be using bio-diesel on this tour?
Jim: Not yet, but we hope to in the near future.
Orcasound: What is next for The Barenaked Ladies?
Ed: We will tour until Christmas and then go back into the studio in January to finish up the next album.
Orcasound: When do you hope to have that out?
Ed: Summer of 2006 and then tour again.