Steven Page x Kevin Hearn x Jim Creeggan
Tyler Stewart x Ed Robertson x Andy Creeggan

Sometimes people also describe us as 'intelligent.' And 'you guys are really clever.' That kind of thing. Which means we don't sing, 'baby ooh baby,' or 'we got two turntables and a microphone.'
- Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ambition By Mark Jenkins, Washington Times, Jan 1997)

Both Steve Page and Ed Robertson partook in an advanced learning program at Churchill Heights in Scarborough, Ontario in the late 1980s. They knew each other mostly through association, but when they both went to Scarborough Board of Education's music camp, their friendship immediately grew. Ed was also familiar with Steve from tapes of Steve's band, Scary Movie Breakfast. Ed's band, The Rage, had just broken up and was scheduled to play a charity concert for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Panicking when promoters called to confirm the booking, Ed said he was in a new band called Barenaked Ladies. Ed called Steve and asked him if he wanted to play the show. They agreed to meet an hour before the show to figure out what they would do. They played at Nathan Phillips Square on October 1, 1988. This one-time gig eventually turned into a Canadian tour opening up for Corky and the Juice Pigs, among other gigs. Since they didn't have many songs, they would often take suggestions from the audience on what to sing and would make up songs on the spot. In 1989 Steve and Ed released their first demo tape, called Buck Naked.

For one performance in 1989, brothers Andy and Jim Creeggan joined Steve and Ed on stage. It was never meant to be permanent, but the four simply clicked. Another demo called Barenaked Lunch was made and released with the four members. That same year they were declared best band of 1990 at the YTV Youth Achievement Awards. Around that time, Andy left for eight months with the Canada World Youth exchange. In 1990, Tyler Stewart entered the picture: "I just met them on the street, at a busker's carnival. We were the most outgoing guys there, and we all just really hit it off in the sense-of-humor department.”1 Tyler had found a spot in the band, but he had to convince the others that he should be there. Andy soon returned and the band was now a complete five-piece ensemble. In July, the band then made its Yellow Tape, and followed that demo with touring as far south as Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Music Festival. All the hard work was rewarded when BNL received the "favorite overall group award" at the 1991 Canadian Artists Selected by You (CASBY) awards. Steve and Ed also won the "most promising songwriter award." The Yellow Tape became the first indie release to go gold in Canada.

BNL then recorded its first full-length album, Gordon. Released in July of 1992, Gordon was an instant success. The band was everywhere, from magazines to television, but Steve recalled that endless exposure didn't mean endless love. "During that Gordon tour, we'd go out there and play for people who were ten years younger than us. And they'd love it. Then we'd go out to a bar after the show, and people would throw things at me.”2 BNL was selling out stadiums across Canada, and the guys decided to try to conquer the US as well. The band’s success didn't cross the border, but the ladies did build small cult followings near the border and in cities scattered across the country. They also received small doses of radio play from college stations and other stations not caught up in the grunge craze.

Their second album, Maybe You Should Drive, did not receive the same outpouring of devotion as Gordon. Some Canadian fans saw the band as a fad, and tossed BNL alongside their acid-washed jeans. It was a tried-and-true case of overexposure. The band continued to tour the US, and garnered more of an underground following. At the end of the Maybe You Drive tours in 1995, Andy called it quits. Steve said it wasn't a total surprise: "We convinced him to stick around for the record and tour. After that he'd had enough.”3

The band’s third full-length album, Born on a Pirate Ship was recorded with just four members, but multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn was brought on for the tour. BNL continued to tour in the US, and Jason Priestly directed the video for The Old Apartment. VH1 picked up the video, and the ladies filmed a performance for Hard Rock Live. Finally, BNL was getting some major US exposure, and The Old Apartment entered Billboard’s top 40. The band then released a live album, Rock Spectacle. Brian Wilson jumped out as a single and also found itself on the Billboard charts. The ladies even appeared on Beverly Hills 90210.

In early 1998, the band went into the studio to record Stunt. At the time, Steve accurately predicted the success of the now-ubiquitous One Week. "One Week should be an amazing summer single. It's short and bright. I sing the chorus, and Ed raps the verses. It makes me smile every time I hear it.”4 Steve must have been smiling a lot during the summer of 1998. The single exploded on Billboard (it reached number 1), and Stunt followed by debuting at number 3. After years of touring, BNL was finally a common name in the US market. The band was now filling hockey arenas, and no longer just scraping by. According to Steve, "We're actually making money now. We've never been in a position where we were not surviving, but after Gordon everything was just a matter of breaking even, all along the way. Don't have the million dollars yet so we can continue to keep singing the song.”5 [Author's note: Is that all it will take to make them stop? Because I vote we take up a collection.]

However, a dark cloud hung over the band’s success. In March of 1998 Kevin was diagnosed with Leukemia, and had to take a leave of absence from the band. Chris Brown of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, longtime friend of the ladies, filled in for Kevin. Kevin returned for part of the Barenaked Summer's Night Tour, but had to go home. At that point, Greg Kurstin (of Geggy Tah fame) played shows until the end of the tour.

As 2000 began, focus shifted to another album. In anticipation of the new album, the band released its first single, Pinch Me, on Napster. A faux infomercial was made for the new album. Maroon, released in September of 2000, started another Barenaked era. Kevin was back full-time and showed no signs of slowing down. The band continued to tour the US and Europe, and for the first time in many years, the ladies returned to Canada for a full stadium tour. In 2001, the ladies won three Juno awards for their work on Maroon (Best Pop Album, Best Group, and Best Album).

During a touring hiatus/baby break in the spring of 2001, for the first time, the band recorded songs in between albums for their greatest hits album that came out in November of that year. The band's extended hiatus ended in 2003 with the recording of Everything to Everyone, which was released on October 21, 2003. The band embarked on its “Peep Show” tour of small venues around the country that fall (on which it ambitiously attempted to play every song in the BNL catalog), and followed up with the “Play Everywhere for Everyone” arena tour in the winter/early spring of 2004. That summer, the ladies took to the road with Alanis Morissette on the cross-country “Au Naturale” tour.

The guys got their holiday spirit on in October 2004, with the release of Barenaked for the Holidays. The album consisted of 20 Christmas- and Hanukkah-related tracks (some traditional, some not so much) that were recorded at Steve’s studio in the spring of 2004. The album was also the band’s first studio release on Desperation Records, its new independent label.

The ladies tackled some pretty nontraditional projects over the course of 2005. The band composed all of the music for the Stratford Festival’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which was set in 1969. According to Steve, the band’s writing style was a good fit for the play because “what's being said and what's meant are often different and that kind of irony is kind of our stock in trade.”6 In a less successful foray into other media that year, the ladies recorded a pilot episode of a reality show for the Fox television network. (The pilot was not picked up and has yet to surface anywhere else.) The band also released a flash drive preloaded with content, including Barenaked for the Holidays, some live improvs, and photos, at the end of the year.

What’s next for the ladies? It seems that 2006 may be the year of “internet” music, with the band releasing an iTunes Originals recording and Ed sending out podcasts live from the studio. Look for a new album sometime this year, and read about the band’s studio antics and Steve’s political leanings in the BNL blog.

1"Sorry, We're Clothed" by Dan Amrich, 14850 Online Magazine.
2"A Barenaked backlash" By Paul Cantin-- Ottawa Sun May 2, 1996
3"Barenaked Ladies Spontaneity and Surprise" by Jennie Punter, Impact
4"Reprise's Barenaked Ladies Plan US Takeoff" by Doug Reese, Billboard 4/25/98
5"Barenaked success hits the Ladies Sunday" by Jane Stevenson -- Toronto Sun July 26, 1998
6“Undaunted by ‘Hey Nonny Noes,’ Barenaked Ladies Compose Music for Stratford” by Helen Branswell, Canadian Press, April 7, 2005.

Steven Jay Page

I'm not Mandy Moore, but we have the same hips.
-August 10, 2001, Dawnvay, CO

Call him: Steve

sings, plays guitars, writes songs, plays the flute, "raps"

Born: June 22nd, 1970

Steve was the co-founding member of the band and was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. He skipped grade early on and participated in the same advanced learning program as Ed (just a grade above). He took voice, piano, and flute lessons. When he was a teenager, he was in a band called Scary Movie Breakfast. Steve was also a huge fan of Stephen Duffy and wrote him fan letters. Stephen wrote him back, and it didn't stop with letters: "Steve Page came to Cambridge for a university course and while he was here the Lilac Time were recording - I think their first record - so Duffy invited him to the studio and they sparked up a friendship then and kept in touch through the years.1" This was a huge influence on Steve and his song writing. Steve and Stephen have written songs together ever since Maybe You Should Drive.

Steve married his wife Carolyn on December 28th, 1993. He is also the most "productive" member of the band with three boys. Isaac was born November 19th, 1996; Benjamin was born December 1998; Jonah was born April 16th 2001. It seems that the Pages also enjoy themes.

Yes, Steve is Jewish. "Steven and I are Jewish. Our parents are both Jewish as well. Our father converted to Judaism about 2 years before our parents got married. We celebrate Channukah and go to our non-jewish cousins place for Christmas dinner. Steven's wife is not Jewish, but they are raising their children as Jews. In some sects of Judaism, they would not consider Steven's sons Jewish, but in ours (Reform), they are.2"

1Ed, "Better Be Good - The UK Q & A Session"
2Matthew Page as posted to chatter on December 3rd, 1999

Kevin Neal Hearn

I don't think you can ever be as sexy as Geddy Lee! But, I think we're right up there. There are five of us and only one of him, so you get more bargain for your buck.
-"Kevin Hearn comes Clean" by Erik Cavagnuolo, Playboy

Call him: Kevin

Pianist, accordionist, guitarist, vocalist

Born: July 3rd, 1969

Kevin grew up in a Toronto suburb and started playing music at a young age. He started learning the piano at five. He immersed himself in music throughout his school years by going to the St. Michael's Choir School and the Toronto Conservatory.

He has been a professional musician long before he joined the band. He played keyboards in the band The Look People. The Look People recorded four albums and even played Lollapalooza. With them, he discovered his love for "jamming." He has also played with Corky and the Juice Pigs and Rheostatics. In 1995, before the Born on A Pirate Ship tour, Kevin was asked to join BNL. He was given two weeks to learn the songs, which is stressful none the less, but Kevin didn't even own any BNL albums.

Kevin released his first solo album in 1997, Mothball Mint. In 2001, he released H-Wing with his band, Thinbuckle. Kevin tours a little when BNL takes a break, but you'll have to catch him in Canada or a border town. He has also played guitar on The Brothers Creeggan album Trunks.

In March of 1998, Kevin was diagnosed with Leukemia. Kevin took two separate hiatuses during 1998 and 1999. He has been back to the band full time since in 2000, and he has "kicked the ass of cancer."

James Raymond Creeggan

Often, you hear, 'Oh, yeah, the five fat guys from Canada.' I mean I'm 6' 2 3/4" and 147 pounds so I can't really say that I'm fat. Actually, I wish I was a little more chubby.
-"One Week with Barenaked Ladies" by Jay S. Jacobs,

Call him: Jim

bassist (double, electric, and double electric), vocalist

Born: February 12, 1970

Jim was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario in a very musical household. His parents sang in choirs, and his mother was piano teacher. He gained experience participating in school bands, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Scarborough Schools Youth Choir, and other bands he and his younger brother Andy created. He was also in a capella quartet called The Synthetics with Andy (they beat 13 year old Alanis Morissette in a talent show to win the National Rising Star talent contest at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1987). Jim is not only a talented musician, but he also set athletic records on the 4x 800 with the university track team. He joined BNL in 1989 along with his brother Andy.

Jim also is involved in another band with Andy called The Brothers Creeggan. They have released four albums and tour whenever BNL goes on hiatus. He has also appeared on Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing and on Kevin's Mothball Mint. Like any true musician, Jim protects his instruments no matter the cost, and you'll notice that he'll put himself in danger to make sure his bass is safe when the noodles and cheese fly during "If I had a Million Dollars." He has even names his basses: his double bass is called "Grammah," and his double electric is called "Ned."

Sorry gals, Jim got married in the summer of 2003. Congrats!

Tyler Joseph Stewart

'You got something above your eye.' Yeah, that's my eyebrow muthafucka.
-7/23/00 Anaheim-CA

Call him: Tyler / Ty

drumma, vocalist

Born: September 21, 1967

Tyler was born in Toronto and grew up in Newmarket, Ontario. He got his first snare drum when he was 8, and his first drum kit when he was 13. The drumming continued to high school where he participated in concert bands and other groups. He was in a band called New World and played cover songs at high school dances. After high school, he studied and graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic University. He also played in the bands called Pogo Rodeo and Three Day Bender. He was even in a comedy troupe. In 1990, he met the ladies at a busker's festival in Waterloo, Ontario where he was playing with Would Be Goods.

Tyler married his wife Jill on September 19, 1998, and they have two daughters. Mili was born April 2, 1999, and Hazel was born April 16, 2001.

In 1995, Tyler released a side project titled Don't Talk, Dance with Chris Brown and Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar. Ed also made an appearance. The album features funky covers of everything from Funkadelic to the theme from Sanford and Son.

Tyler started playing hockey when he was six, and played forward in community hockey leagues when he was 19. He still plays in celebrity hockey games every once in a while. He is so dedicated to the game that sprained a ligament in his knee while playing after a ladies show in the summer of 2001.

Tyler also did work on the "The Super Dave Show" as Super Dave Osborne's personal assistant.

Lloyd Edward Elwyn Robertson

I think doing anything creative for somebody else is a special gift. I'm sure Keith Flint's special someone was overjoyed upon hearing "Smack My Bitch Up." Love is a beautiful thing.
- "One to One: Barenaked Ladies"

Call him: Ed

plays guitars, sings, writes songs, raps, drums (sort-of)

Born: October 25, 1970

This founding member of the band was raised in Scarborough, Ontario as the youngest of five children. He participated in an accelerated learning program (the same one as Steve) starting in 4th grade. His parents listened to country music, and Ed picked up the guitar in the 5th grade to play along to their singing: "I started playing guitar so I could play [Kenny Rogers'] "The Gambler" and "Coward Of The County," and really old country stuff that I don't even know who did it-I've never heard versions other than my mom and dad's.1" He is only completely self-taught musician in the band. In high school, Ed was in a band called The Rage (originally called Rude Awakening). When The Rage broke up, they were scheduled to play a charity concert, and Ed's new band, Barenaked Ladies, took the spot instead.

In June of 1994, Ed was married to his high school sweetheart Natalie. They have two children together; Hannah was born on November 17,1995, and Lyle was born September 29, 1999. Ed at one point had three cats (may they rest in peace if they are no longer with us); they are/were Owen, Hester [both names taken from one of Ed's quasi-obsessions, A Prayer for Owen Meany] and Finley [named after Craig Finley, tour manager extraordinaire].

Ed has four tattoos that you might be able to get a glance at. He has a fish and a Mercator Projection on his upper left arm. Also on his upper right arm, he has a Canadian flag and a ring of leaves and acorns. In 2003, thematic frames were done on each upper arm to connect the seperate tattoos.

In the summer of 2003, Ed replaced his full head of hair with a fauxhawk and jokingly called the style "the last of the mohawkians." This caused much controversy among some fans which Ed responded to:

I'm having a mid-life crisis, so I thought instead of having sex with a stranger, I'd just get a new haircut. It's good clean fun without all the messy emotional baggage. It's just a haircut folks! It's not like I had an eye removed, or a leg added on! Live a little... it'll grow back!!
1"Sorry, We're Clothed" By Dan Amrich 14850 Online Magizine

Andrew Burnett Creeggan

All around me are people who are musicians that are constantly classifying... It really hurts me. It kinda kills it a little bit when you put it in a box, ya know I try to keep it open and no border is sacred. That's what I try to remember or I try to keep that idea anyway.
-random phone interview from January 29, 1999 found on "internet"

Call him: Andy

Ladie from 1989 to February of 1995

piano, congas, vocalist, songwriter, and anything else he finds

Born: July 4, 1971

No, Creeggan is not like "Smith" of Canada. Jim and Andy are brothers. They have played in a plethora of different groups together throughout their lives. One night the brothers joined BNL on stage as a one time gig, and the rest is history. However in 1995, Andy said goodbye to the band and said hello to composition study at McGill University in Montreal.

In a sense, the Brothers Creeggan has always existed, but Jim and Andy put out their first album together in 1993. In 1997, Andy put out his first solo album entitled Andiwork. It's an instrumental album consisting of his own opuses. Andiwork II is to be released in the near future. Andy has also written compositions from his studies at McGill.

Andy married Natacha Hébert on July 3, 1999. The two met on the Canada World Youth Exchange in 1990.