Break Up: Steven Page & Barenaked Ladies Split

Thankfully, it seems like this breakup is a mutual decision. Unlike, say the JD Fortune/INXS break-up which appears to be some kind of a nasty divorce that may involve some abandonment thingie.

From CBC:



Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page has left the group he helped form in Toronto to pursue his own solo projects. 

In a statement posted on the band’s website early Wednesday, the band said Page will be “parting company with the remaining members of the Barenaked Ladies” under a “mutual agreement.”

Page, 38, said he will be pursuing solo projects, including theatrical opportunities.

“These guys are my brothers. We’ve grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future,” Page, who was the band’s lead singer, said in the release.

The other band members — Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson and Tyler Stewart — return to the studio in April and will go back on the road in the fall.

The album and tour had been meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the band, whose hits include, If I Had $1000000, Brian Wilson and Pinch Me.

Robertson said Page’s departure marks “a new chapter for all of us.”

The news comes months after drug charges against Page were dropped in the U.S.

Page, his girlfriend Christine Benedicto, 27, and her roommate, Stephanie Ford, 25, were charged in July after police allegedly found the trio with cocaine and marijuana in a Fayetteville apartment.[CBC News]

Why Did Steven Page Break Up w/ the Barenaked Ladies?
28 February 2009

Wondering why Steven Page quit his band, the Barenaked Ladies? The Toronto Star’s Richard Ouzounian has the answer for you. The long and short of it: Steven wants to spend time “composing for the stage” which he cannot do if he’s out touring with the band. Anyways, we wish Steven luck in his new endeavors.

Anyways, here’s a video of the band during a guesting at the David Letterman Show.

From the Star: The news that appeared on the Barenaked Ladies’ website on Tuesday night, revealing that lead singer Steven Page had left the group, told only part of the story.

But last night, Page spoke to the Star from his home in Toronto and laid his cards on the table.

“When you’re in a group like this, you’ve got five personalities who’ve been collaborating for 20 years and everybody’s needs aren’t always the same,” he said, calm and collected.



Earlier in the day, fellow band member Ed Robertson had talked around the issue, saying, “I wish there was a succinct answer, because it would be really great to say, `Oh, it was creative differences.’ In some ways, it’s so much more complicated than that and in other ways, it’s so much simpler than all that.”




Page, on the other hand, spoke his mind clearly.

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve had to re-examine what I really want to do. How do I take myself to the place where I really want to be?”

For Page, this has increasingly proved to be his work composing for the stage, in particular for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where his scores for As You Like It and Coriolanus were wildly successful.

“When you’re with a band, the band always takes precedence. You have to juggle what your priorities are. I was feeling like I had to shuffle things constantly and everything I really wanted to do was being pushed to the side.”

All of this came to a head for Page with the tumultuous events of 2008 – the band’s 20th anniversary, the release of a now-Juno-nominated children’s album, Robertson surviving a plane crash and Page’s arrest in New York State on cocaine possession charges that were later dismissed.

“As each major event in your life happens,” said Page of that event, “you have to take a good look at yourself and ask `Is this the me I really want to be?’ On so many levels, the answer I found was `No.’ As you grow, you either get complacent or you pay attention to what is going on.”

Page has struggled with depression in the past and he admits he’s been through some rough patches in the past few years.

“I’ve struggled with my own sense of self-confidence and it manifested itself in a bunch of different ways. That’s certainly something I’ve been working hard on. But I’m now at a place where I feel really good about the path I’m on and the kind of person I am.”

But Page also wants to make it clear that while he felt the need to strike out on his own, he has nothing but good feelings toward the band.

“I wasn’t unhappy with the group. Right down to our last show, the magic, the chemistry never went away. We were and we are brothers and we can never really lose that relationship.

“Yes, I feel wistful about my time with the band. I gave them 20 years of my life and I don’t regret a single one of them.”

For the future, besides his immediate project composing the score for Antoni Cimolino’s production of Bartholomew Fair at Stratford this season, he has some surprising other ambitions.

“I’ve been working on writing a musical, which has always been a dream of mine. There have also been opportunities to perform in musical theatre and I’ve never had the time to commit to them. Now I do.”

When asked what he thinks The Barenaked Ladies will be like without him, Page is positive. “It’s not going to be the same band, but it’s going to be a great band. They’re all such fine musicians.”

The reconstituted quartet, which marks its first show without Page at Universal Studios in Orlando on March 7, is set to hit the recording studio in April with no plans to replace Page’s signature vocals.

And what about Page, walking the tightrope on his own for the first time?

“A band is a great safety net,” he admits, “but you finally have to do without it. Sure, part of me is totally terrified. If this was two years ago, I would be freaking out. But thanks to positive change. I can finally do all those things that I kept myself from doing.

“I’m ready to stand up now and just be Steven Page.”