Edit: Thanks everyone for your questions today. This was much more pleasant than I'd feared (not a backhanded compliment - I'm just used to the troll factor which DIDN'T SHOW UP! THANK YOU!). Reddit seems scarier than it is. Or maybe it's just you guys. Either way, let's do it again sometime soon, ok?

I am probably best known as a co-founder of Canadian pop group Barenaked Ladies. They’re triple platinum - are you?

I’ve released two solo albums (The Vanity Project in 2005 and Page One in 2010), a couple of singles, as well as albums with the Art of Time Ensemble (A Singer Must Die in 2010 and Sgt.Pepper, just released this month), and have scored four plays for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Most recently, I have been hosting a new TV series for Canada’s Travel + Escape Network, called The Illegal Eater. In it, I travel around North America discovering underground and illegal restaurants, foods and drinks. The producers, Farpoint Films, are currently negotiating international distribution for the show, and from what I’ve been told, there are several broadcasters in the running. I haven’t found any way to watch the show outside of Canada, but if you want a taste of it, here are a bunch of webisodes that didn’t make it to the series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuBKEk6DL9wU-rjzhXX-_sSkOfcwYc1_W

I composed a lot of the music for the series, and wrote and performed the theme song (with my kids helping me on drums and strings!!). The theme song, creatively titled “The Illegal Eater,” is available on iTunes around the world.

I’m happy to answer as many questions as I can while I’m here, and hopefully there will be more than just “are you rejoining BNL?” (answer: no) and “can I watch your show in the US?” (answer: hopefully soon), because I can answer most other questions with much better answers than those two.

Some links:

my site my twitter my fb The Illegal Eater Art of Time albums Sgt. Pepper

proof that I'm me

Comments: 276 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

electronicminds14 karma

Hey Steve, what's your favorite Space Jam? Sorry, movie. I meant what's your favorite movie?

Is it Space Jam?

heystevenpage41 karma

My favourite Space Jam is Space Jam. I like the part where Michael Jordan does that thing with Bugs Bunny and everyone does that thing together and they dance. And Jam. In space.

ErinLeddy0314 karma

My husband and I are huge fans of your solo work. Will you be doing a US tour anytime soon?

heystevenpage17 karma

Thank you! I'm compiling songs for a new album now, which I hope to finish in the next few months - once we have a release date set, I will most certainly be touring again.

aDuckLovesBread12 karma

Steven, who is your favourite member of NWA?

heystevenpage34 karma

You thought I forgot about Dre, didn't you?

Bficiur11 karma

Who was a better freestyle rapper, you or Ed?

heystevenpage26 karma

Definitely Ed. I think the best parts of my raps were when the ideas would get too complex and then the whole thing would just fall apart. We were always very good at digging each other out of holes. I've heard a few BNL improvs on shuffle lately, and I always marvel at how incredibly in tune with each other all 5 of us were. I understand now why many people thought we made them up in advance.

rats99ass9 karma

Are you naked right now? And BTW, thank you for years of great music and clever lyrics wrapped up in your unique, whimsical upbeat style.

heystevenpage16 karma

No way - too cold to be naked right now!

bear_sheriff8 karma

Hi Steven, I have been a fan of yours for more than half of my life, and you've gotten me through some incredibly tough times with your more honest songs about mental illness ("This Is Where It Ends," "War on Drugs," "Everything Old is New Again," "I Live With It Every Day"). I wanted to thank you for writing about such a tough subject so beautifully.

  • Does it help to write those songs during hard times? Or were they written afterward, as a sort of introspective/retrospective?
  • Are there any songs that you won't perform live? I saw you in Chicago this past summer and a woman close to the stage requested something and you told her that you don't say no to much, but you wouldn't sing whatever it was she'd asked for.
  • Was there ever a song you wanted to produce that a label/producer/collaborator turned down for its content? (I remember some blowback you got over the more political songs on Everything to Everyone as well)

Thanks :) We've been loving The Illegal Eater and I just got my Sgt. Pepper's download last week!

heystevenpage9 karma

I tend to write best with some distance and perspective on tough times. In the toughest of times, I'm usually too preoccupied with what's happening in my life to do much writing.

Matticus848 karma

Did the woman screaming "BIG BANG THEORY! BIG BANG THEORY!!" at the Hamilton Octoberfest show make you uncomfortable at all?

heystevenpage14 karma

only because she was refuting it with creationist claptrap.

Timmerbo8 karma

Hi Steven, a few questions regarding your voice:

Did you sing the climactic 'land ho' at the end of 'A New Shore' at the pitch it is on the record? (It's a D above the 'tenor high C', for anyone who might want to keep score)

Have you ever sung a note higher than that in performance, and if so... how?

Have you ever had any vocal training and/or vocal coaching? What do you do to maintain that kind of tropospheric belting?

heystevenpage13 karma

Funny thing is that on the record, we actually recorded that note a whole step down and then sped it up, as I couldn't get it convincingly. But live, maybe because of the adrenaline from performing, I do actually sing it. I'm sure I have sung a higher note than that live, although often for comedic value. One of my favourites was when we'd do "Silent Night" at the end of "$1000000" and I'd make my voice break at the climax just to make people uncomfortable. It worked. I have had vocal training in the past - I sang chorally all through high school and university and took vocal lessons in university as well - but not in a long time. I could probably use it, though. I know I tend to push too hard, and, as any Ships & Dipper can tell you, lose my voice after too much.

amybang3 karma

That's how we would keep the recordings from the cruise straight - "Oh, Steve sounds fresh - must be Sail Away". "Steve sounds worn out, must be last night".

heystevenpage9 karma

oh man, that's embarrassing. "where's steve? where's steve?"

bear_sheriff8 karma

This is kind of random, but I love the outfits you wear on Illegal Eater - do you get to pick your own wardrobe or do you have a stylist? I especially loved the pastel suit with the different colored limbs you wore in the second or third episode (I think?). I imagine it was custom made for you?

Also, is there any more "standard" food that you just will not eat? A hate of ketchup, or parsley, or something like that?

heystevenpage7 karma

My wife and I picked all my wardrobe for the show - glad you like it! The paneled suit is actually from Brooks Brothers Black Fleece. It's a few years old, actually. There was no wardrobe budget so all the clothes were my own. As for "standard" food - it comes up in the show a few times, but rhubarb makes me gag for some unknown reason.

mikesclone8 karma

Hi Steven! Loved you during your BNL days and love you now. My question, how in the world did you become involved in the Illegal Eater? Since I am from the US I can't watch the show (I know...I saw your words above....I wont ask). And for the sake of my son who is obsessed with "Another Postcard (he's 6)" how much of that song is based on a true story? Rock on Steven!! XOXOX

heystevenpage21 karma

Actually, the producers simply asked me to be a part of the show. They knew from other interviews that I had done that I was a huge fan of food and that I had a good handle on regional food cultures. We met and hit it off right away, so we filmed a demo of the show in San Francisco nearly two years ago. We finally got the green light this past spring and started filming almost right away.

As for "Another Postcard," my kids had once received a postcard from Amsterdam from our former neighbours and it had a photo of two chimps on the front. I was dumbfounded as to what chimps had to do with Holland, and Ed and I started joking that perhaps it was a way to terrorize people - that perhaps there were chimp postcards from every destination in the world and they were being sent anonymously by some evil genius. We started fooling around with the song idea as a goof, and Kevin said we should turn it into a real song. So it's Kevin's fault.

ahz7 karma

Hi Steven. So, no reason to ask about an (im)possible Barenaked Ladies reunion, but I have some other barenaked related questions: What is your personal relation to the other members of BNL? Do you still talk and hang out with them? What did you think about the BNL song "You run away" from their first album since you broke up? How do you like the new BNL-stuff in general? I'm from Europe, so I 've never been able to go to a solo show of yours. Do you still sing any of "your" BNL songs, like "Break Your Heart"?

heystevenpage19 karma

I do perform a lot of BNL songs in my solo shows - from "Brian Wilson" and "It's All Been Done" to "Break Your Heart" and "Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep At the Wheel." They're a big part of who I am and I still love singing those songs.
I don't have much communication with the other guys, but I do keep track of what they're up to and am glad they're still drawing crowds. Didn't love "You Run Away," but that's likely because I took it too personally. I have since read that it wasn't about me after all!

Slothman757 karma

Pyjamas or not ?

heystevenpage10 karma

I love pyjamas. I am an old man at heart.

Cbewgolf7 karma

Steve I've recently lost 115 lbs through diet and exercise. How have you lost weight in the past? Did you have a tough time doing a show when you knew you would have to eat a lot and possibly put on a few lbs?

Any word on the album you keep teasing?

Please come to Boise soon. Or Portland at least. Always great seeing you.

Best regards sir.

heystevenpage13 karma

I am a human yo-yo when it comes to weight gain/loss (super healthy, I know). In the past, I had some success with WW, Atkins and other plans, but the best for me and for my wife was when we went to see a nutritionist. We both lost a ton of weight and kept it off for quite some time. To be monitored by someone who knows what they're doing, and being aware of every bit of food you put in your mouth (and writing it down!) really worked the best for us. On the tv show, I started off by thinking I could get away with just taking a few bites for the camera, but in the end, many of the events we went to were like dinner parties, and the food was also really good, that I couldn't get away with just little bites for show. Thus, you can see over the course of the series, the proud addition of an extra 20 lbs to my frame!

IggyNapster7 karma

Hi, Steven! :) I've been a fan of BNL for a while and have recently fallen in love with your solo work as of June of this year when my coworker played your newest album in the office. Since then, I've been delving into your solo stuff and more deeply in the BNL tunes, especially the ones you crafted. You're quite an inspiration for me!

My one selfish question that I really want to ask is if you have any plans to tour anytime soon. I know you're busy with your show, which is really great (and I can't wait until it becomes available in the US), and I think you mentioned working on new material, but I just wanted to ask. I live close to St. Louis, MO, and would LOVE to see you perform live someday, even if you go somewhere like Chicago.

Also, if I'm permitted to ask one more question, what is your favorite thing to grow in your garden? :)

Thank you for taking the time to look at this! Keep up the wonderful work! I'm proud to be your fan and am so glad I found your music! Lots of love from the Illinois cornfield! :)

heystevenpage8 karma

Thank you for the kind words. I think I answered the first part of your question elsewhere, but as for my favourite thing to grow, this was my first year growing potatoes, and for some reason, there has been nothing in the garden as rewarding as digging them up. Perhaps because there's very little way to tell how they're doing underground until you do. We canned them too, and putting up your own produce is pretty rewarding - especially when you use them in a meal while your garden lays under a bed of snow!

UFFeesh6 karma

Hi Steven. Is it time to take a break yet from answering questions so we can all bust into the "chorus" of Chorus Girl? La la la la la laaaaaa.

heystevenpage11 karma

Everybody now! Now let's do it in French! Hold the hand of the person next to you! Ok just you guys!

Frajer6 karma

What's your go to Tim Hortons order?

heystevenpage28 karma

Medium black coffee and regret.

BobDucca6 karma

Wish we could get The Illegal Eater where I'm at in the States (near Chicago). What was your favorite city to illegally eat in?

Also - I saw an old pay-per-view BNL show from the BOAPS tour (96 or 97) and in one of the between-songs interview bits you talked about how much you like trying weird foods and said specifically "If squirrel balls are on the menu, I'm gonna order them." So follow-up question, have you gotten to try squirrel balls yet?

heystevenpage10 karma

I haven't tried squirrel balls yet. Damn, people, WHERE ARE MY SQUIRREL BALLS? Also, we have been watching a lot of Werner Herzog documentaries lately, and now whenever I see the word "squirrel," I can only hear it in Herzog's voice.

JeskaD7 karma

Your wish, the Internet's command.

Caddy Mann in Jedburgh, near the Scotland Borders, has a delightful lunch menu offering that you may want to include on a future Illegal Eater episode: "Fricasseé of local Grey squirrel, cooked in a white wine sauce, on pan fried rumbledethumps with nut crusted crispy squirrel balls."

Source: http://www.caddymann.com/christmas-luncheon.php

heystevenpage9 karma

luncheon is one of the best words out there, hands down.

StagnantHummingbird6 karma

Do you like bacon?

heystevenpage6 karma

Love it.

StagnantHummingbird3 karma


heystevenpage26 karma

Yes. I also respect bacon.

barenakedlad6 karma

Did you ever find it difficult to decide whether to bring a song to the band or keep it as a solo song? I'm thinking specifically of The Vanity Project era when you were still a part of BnL. How would you decide which songs were "BnL" songs and which were Vanity Project/Steven page songs? Were there ever any that started as one and ended up as the other?

heystevenpage14 karma

Not really. Many of the songs on The Vanity Project were originally intended for BNL, and two songs from that era, "Baby Seat" and "Powder Blue" were both recorded by BNL. However, we decided at that point that we were going to focus on songs that weren't co-written with people outside of the band (all of those songs were written with Stephen Duffy), so I had an album's worth of songs that BNL weren't going to record, and that became The Vanity Project. Several of the songs on Page One were written originally for BNL but then the split happened, and they became part of my solo album instead.

landmule6 karma

Hi Steven - Thanks for doing this AMA.I have some questions for you. - What kind of car do you drive? - What music do you enjoy listening to while you drive? - Why is the Canadian version of fruit leather so far superior to that made other places? - What is your favorite food? - Who is your hero?

heystevenpage14 karma

  1. I drive a Kia Sedona - holds all 7 people in my family and/or my music gear.
  2. On long drives I listen to a lot of podcasts - WTF, This American Life, Q, Fresh Air, Wiretap, 99% Invisible, and my iPod on shuffle which can be anything from George Michael to Michael Nyman to Michael Nesmith
  3. Never noticed. I don't really like fruit leather. Why would I when there's beef jerky?
  4. beef jerky?
  5. beef jerky boys?

Ballacaust30006 karma

I think you guys once did a song for Fox Kids or something, about not hating on people if they're black, or white, or purple, or green, or blue, or red, with yellow polka dots on your head. That really stuck with me, because I was like "Yeah, let's all be excellent to each other, and leave aliens the fuck alone." And I think one of y'all was dressed up like an alien. Do you remember that? Or was I mad high when I was 11?

JeskaD7 karma

You're thinking about "The Ballad of Gordon" which remains one of the best things about the early 90s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtXoKOwTo2M

heystevenpage16 karma

Ah, Ballad of Gordon... written in a hotel room whilst promoting Gordon. It was a fun one.

oneder5 karma

Will you officiate our wedding??- we live really close to Canada...right across the Windsor tunnel! Love the new stuff!

heystevenpage8 karma

Don't I need some sort of license for that? And Michigan is pretty far from me. But I can wish you mazel gov, can't I?

MrLon5 karma

Hows Uncle Elwyn?

heystevenpage18 karma

Well, actually, he's Ed's uncle. But in my memory he's small. And tall. And plays a mean basketball.

adamsak5 karma

Hey Mr. Page! I'm a huge fan of your songwriting. I love how you balance wit and word-play with serious issues.

Do you find that people take you too seriously, or not seriously enough?

Also: What's a song that you're very proud of that never seems to be a crowd favorite but you love anyway?

heystevenpage15 karma

Ha! Sometimes it feels like people take the stuff that's not meant to be taken seriously TOO seriously, and the stuff that I'd like to be taken seriously gets dismissed. Your second question is awesome. There is nothing like the feeling of losing an audience during a song - and the fun challenge of winning them back with something familiar afterward. Although it does go over well live, I do wish more people had heard my song "Manchild." It's on iTunes if you haven't heard it. Just putting that out there.

adamsak1 karma

Glad you enjoy. I love to write fun songs and perform, and relate all too well. Good to know those problems never go away. lol

And, oh yeah... The Different Sort of Solitude and Manchild kinda flew under the radar. Too bad. I really love them both.

It's on iTunes if you haven't heard it. Just putting that out there.

Feh! How dare you talk about the stuff you actually make on an AMA? Shill your wares elsewhere, sir! Good day! I SAID GOOD DAY!

heystevenpage10 karma

i'm sorry.

buthol5 karma

o-Day ou-yay eak-spay ig-Pay atin-Lay?

heystevenpage10 karma

un petit peu.

Theodore_E_Moran5 karma

Hi Steven, How come you guys chose call and answer for your final live song with the band? It's my favourite song and I'm just wondering why that one as your send off?

heystevenpage14 karma

I'll admit that I had no idea at the time that it would be my final song with the band. It was always just a great show closer.

MichCal5 karma

Actually, I have a question. Are your kids into music? I remember seeing the two oldest on stage on New Year's Eve in 1999! I imagine they look a little different these days...curious if any of them are following in your footsteps.

heystevenpage12 karma

Yes, all of my kids are musical! My eldest son is a violist and aspiring composer, and has played live with my band a few times now which totally makes my heart swell. He also played viola and violin on the Illegal Eater theme. My second is really into musical theatre (and he plays drums on the Illegal Eater theme), and plays piano as well. My youngest is a really lovely singer and is also into musical theatre. My stepdaughter plays clarinet, and my stepson, who is 8, doesn't play an instrument yet, but he has a really good ear for music and has lots of questions for me about it.

SurprisingWoman5 karma

I know you are into being local and sustainable. Have you ever thought of becoming a beekeeper?

heystevenpage6 karma

Yes, we've thought about it - I also know that local honey is supposed to be very good for combatting allergies. However, the kids are terrified of bees, and we just got chickens this past year, so we'll take it one step at a time. For now, my wife has planted a lot of pollinator-friendly wildflowers around our garden.

eagle144105 karma

Hey Steve!

Can you tell me a little about the transition of your song writing from the "goofy" stuff from the early BNL days to the more "serious" and "political" writings of the late BNL and your solo pieces?

heystevenpage12 karma

I don't think we ever truly believed there was a huge change - a lot of it was in our imaging. We still had songs like "Another Postcard" on later albums, although we also realized that songs like that were often stopping people who might have liked our music from even giving it a listen. However, there were songs on Gordon like "The Flag" that were as serious as any of our later music.
In fact, after the black-and-white album art for Maybe You Should Drive was completed, we joked that the album should be called "Hi, We're Really Serious Now."

wesleymead5 karma

Over Joy is one of my very, very favourite songs of all time. No questions, I just want to tell you that. Thank you.

heystevenpage5 karma

thank you.

reblyn8115 karma

If you weren't a successful musician/actor and had to have a "regular" job, what do you think you'd be?

heystevenpage11 karma

The Pope?

JeskaD4 karma

What do you consider the best three live concerts you've ever attended? (as a fan, not a performer)

Related, what has been the three favorite live events you've ever performed at?

heystevenpage11 karma

Well, the shows I saw as a teenager that made me want to be a musician were Violent Femmes, and Billy Bragg. Violent Femmes because it was three guys who could make a lot of noise, largely with acoustic instruments (and GREAT songs), and Billy Bragg because of his politics and his ability to connect with each and every audience he plays in front of.
Since then, I do remember amazing shows by Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Neil Young, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Conor Oberst and The Mountain Goats.

As for special shows I've performed at, I will never forget singing with Leonard Cohen in Toronto (I think there's a clip of it on YouTube), as well as with Brian Wilson. Playing the Mainstage at Glastonbury was a career highlight for me, as was Neil Young's Bridge School Concert.

detectivemonk4 karma

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

heystevenpage14 karma

Well it's certainly not "Love Actually." We tried watching it on Netflix last night and had to turn it off halfway because it was so awful. I think I might lean more toward "Bad Santa."

jordashebasics4 karma

Two specific questions-

  1. Was there a particular song you wrote where you felt like you had turned a corner, songwriting-wise? Like you had done something that you had been struggling to do, or you had pulled off a difficult rhyming scheme or something like that?

  2. Are there any songs of yours that you feel like you short-changed when recording them? Either the music wasn't quite as great as you wanted it to be, or the lyrics made you cringe a little.

I admire your body of work, and look forward to your next release.

heystevenpage7 karma

  1. I think one of the first ones like that was probably "The Great Provider," which was one of the first songs that Ed and I ever wrote together. We just looked at each other and said "wow - we can write REAL songs too!"
  2. Not anyone's fault, but I don't think "Rule The World With Love" came off as well as I'd hoped it would. In my mind, I had heard it sounding more like one of the more recent Sam Phillips records than it ended up.

mryum19704 karma

Is it harder to be a solo artist in terms of the output necessary to finish a full album (vs collaborating with certain other people as a full band member)...? Speaking of which, are you writing for a future album now? Anything w/St. Duffy?

heystevenpage9 karma

In the midst of working on a new one now. I'm sure Stephen would love being called St. Duffy, although we're not working together on this record, we are still close friends.

Craig Northey of Odds is working with me on this album - he and I have written a bunch together in the past, and have toured as a duo and we love each other a lot.

houseofmayors4 karma

Did you record the second Songbook you did with the Art of Time Ensemble? I love A Singer Must Die. Thanks!

heystevenpage8 karma

We didn't do a studio version of it like we did with the first one, but I'd love to one day - there were some great songs and arrangements in that show. Glad you liked A Singer Must Die.

AtlanticMaritimer4 karma

Have literally bought EVERYTHING you've put out in your solo career including the Vanity Project! I love your work so, my question is when do we see a new album from you (or give us an update)? Are you going to continue on with the Page (insert number) thing? or are you going to switch it up a bit? Also, what are your favorite cities/places to play in? Was that little documentary of you on tour a joke (I found myself wondering multiple times if this was a joke or not)? Hope to see you in Atlantic Canada sometime soon!

heystevenpage8 karma

Yes, that doc was a joke. It was made as an in-joke by our violinist, Karen Graves, and we shared it on youtube.

ouldsie4 karma

Hey Steve, Chad from..Jane St.Clair. Just wanted to say that Entourage sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of a large movie...any thoughts?

heystevenpage10 karma

Please submit it to anyone you may know who is making a large movie. Originally it appeared on a Lilac time album, and the original demo sounded pretty similar to that version. Also, my live band does an acoustic, tango version. But in the studio, I had the freedom to experiment with whatever sounds and styles I wanted to, and drew on a lot of the sounds I grew up with in the 80s. There's kind of a Frankie Goes To Hollywood thing going on there.

KillerTuxedo4 karma

Steven! I'm an aspiring songwriter, and my biggest influences consist basically of you and Paul McCartney. I'd like to know how you became so good with lyrics? Your writing is always so eloquent and tells such a vivid story. I love the clever little tongue-and-cheek turns of phrase you throw in, too. I can write chord progressions all day long, but when it comes time to tell the story, I often choke. It may take me weeks to finish one song because of my lyrical hang-ups. How can I become as good as you one day?? Thanks!

heystevenpage10 karma

you flatter me. and i love it. Don't worry - I choke all the time. Some of my favourite songs that I've written (Brian Wilson, War on Drugs, Clifton Springs) came very quickly though. Those are the songs that I always wish for: The ones that just spill out all at once.

muckbullard4 karma

steven, who would you objectively say is more famous - you or anthony bourdain?

heystevenpage9 karma

Bourdain. totally.

unmined4 karma

Hi Mr. Page! I love your BNL and solo work. There were a few tunes on Page One that felt informed by the music of Brian Wilson (the person, not your great song). Do you have an affinity for his work, or am I imagining things?

Anxiously awaiting a new solo album, and I hope illegal eater shows up in the US. Best wishes!

heystevenpage9 karma

I love Brian Wilson's music. The lushness of the harmonies, the song craft, and, later, the lyrics of Van Dyke Parks have always been an inspiration to me.

justinyt3 karma

Hey Steven! I signed up for Reddit to ask these questions:

  1. Did you freak out like I did when you heard that Brian Wilson had covered "Brian Wilson"?


  1. A while ago you sold me your old cassette deck on eBay. Recently it occurred to me; is it the same one you used to tape the last 3 sides of "Sandanista!" for your car?

Finally - US tour please!!!

heystevenpage8 karma

  1. Yes we totally freaked out. The way we found out about it was by Brian Wilson himself coming to the studio where we were recording Maroon to play it for us!
  2. I don't think it was the same deck - it was too new. That was one I had used in my studio.

drewmg4 karma

Steve, thanks for doing this AMA.

What's your favorite question on this AMA so far?

heystevenpage11 karma

my favourite question is "What's your favorite question on this AMA so far? Please rephrase the question in your answer."

proggR4 karma

Hey Steven, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Fellow Canadian, and so first of all I'd like to thank you for everything you've brought to Canadian music.

I've been working on a music project called sourced.fm for a couple years and we're getting close to having it launch ready. The idea is to combine crowdfunding like Kickstarter or Indiegogo with an active music community that makes it easy to share and discuss things going on around them. If you remember Stillepost, it was very much an inspiration during development. Its heavily focussed on housing local discussions and using the support from an artist's local community to vouch for them and promote them out to other markets. We're able to chart artists and find rising artists to promote based entirely on the support from their fans and community.

My question for you is what do you see as the future of music and the music industry now that the internet has changed what musicians are capable of? And how do you think having the internet available then would have changed how the Barenaked Ladies rose to fame?

I look forward to reading your responses and learning whatever I can from you. Thanks again for taking the time to do this :)

heystevenpage10 karma

It's really hard to predict what the future of music will be. In the early days of BNL, our rise was largely due to word-of-mouth, which resulted in us getting bigger and bigger audiences at every show. I do compare the online music world to those days of word-of-mouth, however our popularity was also bolstered by terrestrial radio and cable television. Neither of these have the same power to break new music as they once did.
Many artists complain that it is more difficult to break through the "noise" than it once was, as the playing field of availability has been leveled. I think this is a great advance for music, although I admit it is harder to reach an audience and connect with the core unless one is in constant contact with them. I'm not great at this, whereas someone like Amanda Palmer is very good at it.

bear_sheriff3 karma

I saw you recorded a song called "Linda Ronstadt in the 70s" for a contest another band held - I was so hoping it would make it onto an album. Is the YouTube version the only one that exists?

heystevenpage6 karma

I wrote it for a contest that Colin Meloy of The Decemberists held on twitter. I won. Kind of. The youtube version is the only one out there for now, but I have recorded a demo version, and might well redo it for the new album, although it has taken on an even more bittersweet note since the news of Linda Ronstadt's diagnosis with Parkinson's.
I have performed it live a fair bit - it's a favourite of my cellist, Kevin Fox.

sckeeper3 karma

Hey Steven, I am a huge fan and I saw you perform Sgt. Peppers with Art of Time Ensemble just a few weeks ago and as a massive Beatles fan I have to say it was absolutely amazing. My friends and I were in awe at the performance put on by all of you.

From one Beatles fan to another, if you had to pick your top 3 albums what would they be? Do you have a favourite Beatle?

heystevenpage6 karma

Thanks for coming the show - it's always an honour to play with those other musicians.
Hard to say the order of my favourites, but maybe something like: 1. White Album 2. Magical Mystery Tour (US version) 3. Revolver

but I will always have room for The Beatles Again/Hey Jude, even though it's not a real album. It's a huge part of my musical makeup. As a kid, I had no idea that the songs on that record were from different eras. And, now as an adult, I'm blown away that they were all recorded within 5 years.

Daveydje3 karma

Saw (and met) the rest of the BNL guys on their UK tour last week, which was awesome. Seen them 6 times now (first time was in 1994 on your 'Tiny Little Tour'), but this was the first time without you. I love your solo albums, and I'd love to see you live again too. Any plans for a UK tour? :)

heystevenpage7 karma

No plans right now, and I know I've been saying for years that I'd love to come back to the UK, and I really would love to. Hopefully on the next album release I will finally do it.

tobjai4 karma

What is it that kept you / BNL from touring other places in Europe other than once or twice in the late 90s? I'd love to see BNL or even just you perform in Germany again.

heystevenpage11 karma

BNL played in the UK nearly every year from 92 onward, and still do, I believe. The continent, however, was another story. We did some promo for Gordon in a few European countries, and then didn't really get back there until Stunt became a hit. After that, we did a fair amount of touring in Germany and Scandinavia, the only regions where we really had much an audience, for quite a few years. For me, since going solo, there hasn't been enough of a perceived demand for any label or promoter to really want to stick their necks out and help me put on a tour. I'd love it if that were not the case.

Stunod73 karma

Hi Steven. I saw you in Chicago a few years ago and loved the show. Any plans to come back through?

heystevenpage5 karma

I was just there this past summer - we shot a couple of Illegal Eater episodes in Chicago, and one of them included footage of my band and me playing at the Lincoln Park Arts Festival. Hope to come back there soon.

blueishlime2 karma

DO you have any more memorabilia to sell on ebay?

heystevenpage5 karma

dude I have tons!