Going solo with Steven Page
Former Barenaked Ladies front man Steven Page is showing no sign of slowing down with his solo career.
The Weal got the chance to talk with Page before his upcoming show at the Gateway about music production for theatre and writing new material.
Weal: Your latest release, A Different Sort of Solitude has only two songs. It’s not a record or an EP, so what is it?
SP: I didn’t even know what to call it because an EP to me is four songs. So I called it a single because it’s two songs. For me growing up in the old days a single was two songs.
A single always implied one of those things to push to get it up on the charts, but that wasn’t really the case for me. I had this song that I had done for a movie called French Immersion. I was really happy with it but not a lot of people heard it and not a lot of people saw the movie. I kept thinking that holding onto a song for an album is kind of outdated. I think fans just want music available to them when it’s there. I had this other song, ‘Manchild’, which I had written with Craig Northey of the band The Odds who will be playing with me at the Gateway and I just decided to put it up online.
Weal: How did you get involved with getting your music into French Immersion?
SP: They actually came to me, wanted me to write the opening title song They sent me the opening sequence and I gave them the basic outline of the song without any lyrics because I thought it doesn’t really need any because it’s setting up the feel of the movie. They said “no no no, we asked you because we love your lyrics. We want your wit and your work plan and we want your voice.
Sometimes it takes so much work and sometimes it just pours out of you. In my experience, the ones that come out quickly are often the ones I am most proud of. Those are songs like Brian Wilson for example.
Weal: It has been three years since you left Barenaked Ladies, how has life changed for you?
SP: Significantly. There are so many different things that I am doing now and have time to do. Between writing all kinds of different material, getting out and doing solo shows or shows with my full band which is a six piece group, and just a lot of different kinds of variety in what I am doing.
It’s certainly a challenge but I think it’s a challenge for everybody right now in the music business. I am enjoying the challenge.
Weal: What can an audience expect from one of your live shows as a solo artist?
SP: I am going to be playing acoustic and I’ve got Craig Northey [The Odds] playing with me as well. We will do a couple of hit songs and the rest will be a mix of old stuff, new stuff, stories and hopefully just a good time. It will be a mix of stuff from Page One, The Vanity Project as well as Barenaked Ladies stuff people will recognize.
Steven Page plays the Gateway Mar. 7.