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(2018 - Spring Issue)


Steven Page is redefining success on his own terms. For the co-founder and former lead singer until 2009 of the popular band the Barenaked Ladies, success isn’t just about number one records and sold-out arenas. “I realize success is about doing stuff on my own terms and being able to say, ‘Yes’ to just about anything I want to and working with amazingly talented and interesting people in the theatre or the classical music field, with a rock band or whatever else. I can work with any of them any time I like, and for me, that’s the greatest success.”

Success is certainly something Steven Page and the Barenaked Ladies achieved. Their first album, Gordon, sold over one million copies in Canada and their 1998 Stunt album sold over five million copies worldwide. The hit TV show, Big Bang Theory’s theme song was written and performed by the Barenaked Ladies. 2018 will mark the 30th anniversary of the band’s formation by Steven Page and Ed Robertson. When asked, Page won’t rule out a reunion and says, “I have no idea. We haven’t talked about it but the year isn’t over. Who knows?”

The father of three (from his first wife Carolyn Ricketts) originally hails from Scarborough, Ontario, and now lives in a small community outside Syracuse, New York, with his second wife Christine and relishes being an independent artist. Freedom has allowed Page to pursue a solo career and produce his own albums including Heal Thyself released in 2016, as well as write music for theatre productions for the Stratford Festival and other projects. He enjoys performing with other musicians and bands including the Highwaymen and in 2018 will be touring the U.S. with Toronto band Art of Time Ensemble. 

A musician’s life revolves around being on the road and Page can relate to the road well travelled. He would rather experience a destination like a local than tick off a list of must-see places. Just like his life, every road has some bumps and obstacles along the way but he’s determined to embrace life like he does his music—on his terms.

What’s one of your favourite places to perform?

I’ve had a 25-year love affair with Glasgow. It really is a magical place to play and make music. Great people, great vibe and great venues to play. 

What’s your favourite place to visit in Canada?

I do have a soft spot for Newfoundland. I love the Far North. I enjoy going to the Banff Centre (for Arts & Creativity) to work and make music, surrounded by the mountains and nature.

You hosted a TV series, The Illegal Eater. What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve eaten while travelling?

There’s this thing called balut which is a boiled duck egg with a fertilized embryo inside. I couldn’t get that one down. I tried but once I could feel the bone and feathers in my mouth I couldn’t do it. 

What musicians have you always wanted to play with?

I’d be very excited to make music with Paul McCartney. I’ve been lucky to meet most of my idols at some point though not necessarily play with them. I’m a fan first and foremost long before I’m a musician. Being in the room with someone like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen were some of the greatest moments in my life.

What do you love about Canada?

I think there is a general sense of responsibility to each other that stands out. The fact that our self-image is one of a caring society makes me proud. I love the fact that Canada has so much to offer when it comes to the natural world. And, on top of that, I have to say I like butter tarts a lot.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

My hobby is to make more music. I like to make music and record, so it’s my vocation and my hobby. Otherwise I like to cook. I could make something with eggs every day and be very happy, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or soup. Soup is my favourite treat.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

That I’m closer to six feet tall than they think I am. People often say, “I thought you were short!”

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