/ September 4, 2018/ Barenaked ABCs/ 0 comments

Interviewer: Steven, it is an absolute pleasure to be talking with you today, and that, to me, is a major understatement. Your music has entertained me during moments of joy and has helped me wallow in my sorrow and helped me with my stress during periods of darkness. Stunt came out during my Graduate program years and “Who Needs Sleep” was my theme song through my whole dissertation.

Steven: Right on (chuckle)

Interviewer: So to say it is a pleasure is really a major understatement.

Steven: Aw, that’s so nice to hear. Thank you.

Interviewer: (laugh) I would just like to say and start, as probably many have, with an honest “thank you”.

Steven: My pleasure.

Interviewer: I’m glad it is. I have some questions about some of your older stuff, if that’s alright,

Steven: Yeah. Of course.

Interviewer: and then transition into some of the newer material?

Steven: Yeah. Whatever you like.

Interviewer: Alright. I do a podcast, called Barenaked ABCs, and on it, we discuss all the Barenaked Ladies songs in alphabetical order. One of the patterns we have noticed is that your bridges often are the resolution or the revelation or the intention of the song, or the meaning, or at times, the aside to the audience, to use theater speak. We call it, Steven’s Bridge of Reveal. Is this technique that you do intentional, sort of your fingerprint in music?

Steven: Well… I mean, I love writing bridges, like I do think it’s a thing that, it’s an opportunity inside of a song to break out of the kind of the repetition of the verse and chorus, and it’s also an opportunity to walk into a different space. That’s how I always visualize it. It’s like a door has opened and who knows what’s on the other side. Like it could be a darkened room, it could be a rainbow, you know, it could be all kinds of different things. And for that brief moment, you can kind of paint another whole picture or another angle of the same picture. So it sometimes, yeah, I think quite often it is like that, it’s the aside to the audience. And I do like that, I like bouncing back and forth, where it sounds conversational, but it’s with myself. And then you have yet another section where it’s an aside, that says, “Here’s what I’m really saying or here what I want to say but can’t say out loud.”

Interviewer: I love that metaphor! That’s great. Moving to the next album, really quickly. In “Alternative Girlfriend”,

Steven: Uh huh

Interviewer: What does the line “I love you, now you cannot pretend, there’s nothing left that won’t cross over”, what does that line mean?

Steven: Oh, cause at least in that era, in the 90’s too, the concept in art but also in politics was about selling out, the fear of selling out or being seen as a sell out, and then crossing over, which is kind of the co-opting of, well, we saw as the progressive culture by the corporations. You know, I use that same kind of idea again in songs like “Queen of America” where it’s about the kind of progressive and artistic ideas get co-opted for Pepsi commercials or whatever else. And have crossed-over from the germ of an idea into something much more mainstream and then it and then are also potentially watered down so, using either the relationship in the song as a metaphor for that somebody, kind of a regular schlub who’s with somebody who is far more risk taking and edgy and interesting, perhaps, or so he sees, might be the ultimate sell out for her, for being with a schlub like him.

Interviewer: Very interesting! We didn’t have that take on it at all. That’s really great!

Steven: Well, what was your take?

Interviewer: Well, we were kind of looking at it as just kind of an exploration of the alternative girlfriend in both the sense of alternative as in like not with the current girlfriend or wife that I’m with but also the other form of alternative as in the alternative scene that was kind of going around at the time…

Steven: Right. Well, that’s all right. Like, that is what the song is dealing with, those two kind of definitions of alternative. And then, so, crossing over would be like crossing over would be like crossing over from alternative to the mainstream.

Interviewer: Right. Yeah! We didn’t have that political piece in there at all. That’s really interesting. Thank you.

Steven: Alright.

Interviewer: We have questions, like tons of them here, so hold on, I’m trying to get them in relative succinct order here… With “Be My Yoko Ono”…

Steven: Uh huh.

Interviewer: …you have that line in there “hand in hand and hand in hand in glove”, does this refer to the old term “hand in glove” that kind of means “in association with or collusion with” and were you referring to how dedicated they were to each other at the point in their efforts in their music and art.

Steven: Yeah. Yes, exactly, as a young person, kind of starting my career in art, it was something that was really appealing to me. You know, it was exciting, the idea of something that was, you know, a relationship where you’d be so intertwined that it would kind of take over all parts of your life.

Interviewer: mmm (in agreement)

Steven: And that’s essentially what the song is saying is, like, people who don’t understand that, it’s easy to dismiss John and Yoko’s relationship but once you have a handle on the fact that, like, you want to be with somebody in everything you do, that makes perfect sense. Wouldn’t you give up everything else for that?

Interviewer: Yeah! That’s such a beautiful song. And especially with the meaning of it as well. Like, it’s a fun song to listen to but it has such a deep meaning too.

Steven: As a young person, and it’s one of the earliest songs that I wrote, it’s a great way to kind of figure out how to write songs, too.

Interviewer: Hmm. So, what did that song kind of teach you in its progression?

Steven: I think what it taught was, like, that was a perfect example of when you look back at the bridge, you know Ed sings that bridge and he wrote that bridge, and I had written everything else around it, and that was quite often how we, in the early days, used to write songs, but he was able to encapsulate what the song was kind of about in a brief period of time, where I could give more metaphoric use in the verses.

Interviewer: That’s interesting that you guys used to trade off like that with the songs and the bridges and adding things in like that.

Steven: Mmm hmm..

Interviewer: Sounds like it was a very collaborative process.

Steven: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s a very intimate process too.

Interviewer: Mmmm. Do you mind if I talk with you a little bit about the As You Like It CD/theater process?

Steven: Yeah, of course.

Interviewer: The whole album, by the way, was absolutely beautiful…

Steven: Thank you again.

Interviewer: We explored it as a whole just because it’s hard to break down the songs that didn’t have, you know, were just instrumental.

Steven: Right

Interviewer: So, can you tell me a little bit about the decision to use that song… we noticed that the album and the lyrics specifically came directly from Shakespeare, but can you tell me a little bit about the decision to use “If Music Is The Food Of Love” from “Twelfth Night”?

Steven: It was an idea that I had had. Well, I was working really closely with the director of the play, Antoni Cimolino, and he had said to me it was a party scene going to be happening. and he wanted some kind of, you know, hip band. This whole thing took place in, in our production of it, took place in the “Summer of Love” in 1967. And I thought, well, and really he wanted something that was dark and hip. So I thought, “Imagine if the Velvet Underground were playing this party?

Interviewer: Oooh.

Steven: And they’re playing one of their older hits. So that’s why I thought, like, “We’ll play one of Shakespeare’s older hits. ‘Cause there wasn’t actually texts to go with the song in that scene, so I thought, almost as a joke, “Let’s have the band in the background playing a hit from an older play.

Interviewer: Very intriguing! Wow. We also noticed that “Lover and His Lass”, like, even the Reprise, were moved around from their original spot in the play. Was that done only for the album? Was it done in the show as well?

Steven: I think it was probably just done for the album. We probably just re-sequenced the album to make it kind of flow the best way we thought.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Steven: But, actually, that’s my guess. I would think that if it’s…. we probably, although you know there’s cuts made to the play, I think as far as order of things go, that probably stayed the same.

Interviewer: You recorded the album and gave it out to the audience on opening night.

Steven: Yeah.

Interviewer: And there are copies on-line, but, of course, the album itself is extremely rare. Did you record it for “Coriolanus” and “Bartholomew’s Fair” as well, and then not… or did you do the same thing for those, or…?

Steven: Well, so…. As You Like It, so, in that situation, like, I wrote most of the songs and then Barenaked Ladies recorded all the music and then that became the music they had for the performances on stage for the cast to perform. And i think that season that CD was sold in the gift shop at the festival as well. In following years, I don’t think we’ve sold any of the other scores that I did. ‘Cause all the other ones were done just that I did myself and I haven’t released any of that stuff.

Interviewer: Oh. Well, that’s too bad because I… we.. on the podcast really loved the album and we saw that you did two more shows or that you wrote for two more shows and we were like “Oh! We’d love to hear those.” (chuckle)

Steven: I’ve actually done 4 more shows there. I also did “MacBeth” and “Hamlet” after that.

Interviewer: Really?!

Steven: Yeah

Interviewer: OH! Hopefully someday….

Steven: But, I’ve considered putting together a “Best of…” compilation of stuff from those other shows.

Interviewer: Well, if you do, you have at least one album already sold.

Steven: Actually, you know what, there’s actually three more because there’s “Cymbeline” too, is another one I did.

Interviewer: Oh! Interesting

Steven: Yep!

Interviewer: So you’ve been doing quite a few of those shows since then. Wow!

Steven: Yep. Yep. A lot.

Interviewer: Was there a reason that As You Like It was never released to the mass audience?

Steven: I think it might have been available on our website at one point. But that’s it. I don’t know beyond that, I think it was just one of those that kind of fell between the cracks. It wasn’t really on purpose. I think we just didn’t really regard it as a proper album and I think our management at the time didn’t really value it that much, so it wasn’t something that ever got pushed. Although I do love the record. I think it’s one of the greatest things we did.

Interviewer: Oh! It’s absolutely… like I said before, it’s beautiful and beautiful describes it perfectly and it fits in so well with that play.

Steven: Yeah. Yeah, it was a great production. They did a beautiful job.

Interviewer: Going into some of your rarer stuff again, going into the back catalog, we have we have “Back” and “She’s On Time”, along with a lot of other songs, like “McDonald’s Girl” and such. Can you give us a little insight into the thoughts and reasons that “Back” and “She’s On Time” were never made it onto an album or a rarities album.

Steven: Well, yeah, “Back”, I mean, was recorded for (Born On A) Pirate Ship, and as what happens quite often is you record more songs than you can use and you save some for B sides. And I think that we just think it was a… you know, we enjoyed it. It was lots of fun for us. But it was… it ended up just not making the cut. So it ended up being a B side. And then, “She’s On Time”, along with “Long Way Back Home” were the two bonus tracks on “Stunt”, although I was really… I mean, I think they’re both great songs, and i had thought that “She’s On Time” would have made for a great track on the album. You know you always have to negotiate with your bandmates as to what songs make it and what the order is and everything else. But when it came to doing the rarities record (Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One Before) and stuff, I wasn’t involved in that and I’m not sure what their decision process was. I’m kind of surprised that it wasn’t on there. I don’t think, like, “Ballad of Gordon” wasn’t on there either, was it? And I always thought that would be a good one.

Interviewer: It wasn’t. I was actually going to ask a little bit about “The Ballad of Gordon” and how that came about to be and then, kind of, were there any things that kind of restricted that from ever getting a proper release?

Steven: No, I don’t think there was because it was actually… it was something we got through Sire/Reprise, our record label at the time. But, yeah, it was, I guess, Fox Kids Saturday morning cartoon block was kind of looking for PSAs about diversity and equality and so on. So we wrote this song and got to bring the Martian from the Gordon album back and do this fun video. But it never became…. it never got released otherwise.

Interviewer: Yeah. So this actually, is a good opportunity then to switch to some of the newer stuff, if that is okay with you.

Steven: Of course

Interviewer: So Gordon was very experimental with a variety of sounds, tempos, rhythms. By choosing the songs that you did, the band appeared to be trying to show all the different aspects of themselves, which over time really became more pop focused, although with Barenaked Ladies are Me and Men, you guys again got very experimental.

Steven: Right

Interviewer: After you left, your first couple albums, which happened after a little time, again appeared to be very eclectic. You have Techno (Entourage, Queen of America), Tango (Entourage), Shakespearean again (All the Young Monogamists), the 80’s rock (If You Love Me), and of course folk rock and pop rock.

Steven: Yep

Interviewer: Then also on your second album, you had Big Band sound with “Leave Her Alone”, you had calypso with “Mama”, 70s (No Song Left To Save Me) and Country/Mexican kind of sounds, (Here’s What It Takes), and then you were also playing with notes, and chords, and harmonies, on things like “There Is A Melody” I and II.

Steven: Yeah.

Interviewer: Where does this come from?

Steven: I think it’s just kind of always been around in my brain and just whatever I hear and whatever I listen to… I just don’t… I’ve never liked being restricted by the boundaries of it. I love pop music and I love the form, but, and think about it, my favorite band always has been and always will be “The Beatles” and they were never afraid to try whatever styles they felt best suited the song. And, yeah, so making an album like Page One and then the Heal Thyself records are like, opportunities to try things, to experiment. That’s what music is for me. And I think that does, that goes all the way back to Gordon. And that was the joy of making Gordon back then was the fact that we didn’t feel any boundaries at all.

Interviewer: Yeah. And I think it definitely, as I said before, it sounds very eclectic like Gordon did.

Steven: That’s cool. I’m flattered by that.

Interviewer: Can we expect more of the same on the next album?

Steven: Yeah! I mean, the next record has a whole bunch of sounds as well. It’s got another big band song, it’s got some very ’60’s influenced stuff, some very ’80’s influenced stuff. It’s got a lot more kind of classic soul and R&B styles as well.

Interviewer: Hmmm

Steven: So, you know, that’s pretty fun for me to do.

Interviewer: Yeah. That sounds like really interesting types of music to kind of delve into that I haven’t heard you go into a lot in some of your other albums.

Steven: Right. I think, you know, I think there are common threads. I mean, some of the songs will draw a line back to songs, like whether it’s “Box Set” or “Break Your Heart” or “Wizard of Magicland” or whatever else. There are similarities. You know, they come from the same guy. But, you know, I’ve also grown as a musician and I have other musicians I get to play with now who bring new things to the table.

Interviewer: Yeah, I don’t want to get too much into the past and stuff with bands and stuff. But what’s it like with your new trio, well, the two other guys… well, is it three or two because I know you say trio?

Steven: Yeah, so it’s myself and two other guys. We’re the trio.

Interviewer: Ok, and is it (Kevin)Fox and (Craig) Northey?

Steven: Yeah, that’s right.

Interviewer: So, what’s that like touring with them? What’s the personality/family kind of feel there?

Steven: We have so much fun together. You know, we’ve all known each other for a long time. But we really…. it’s a very… like, the traveling together is so laid back and lots of laughs. Everybody’s got their own things going as well as the trio, but at the same time, you know, those guys really… they have a similar.. it’s amazing to me because they don’t have the same stakes that I do in the success or failure of it, but when we’re on stage or when we’re working together musically, you wouldn’t know that. I mean, we really are super focused and musically it just really gels now that we’ve been doing it for a couple of years together. You know, the vocal harmonies and the way that the cello and the guitar and piano and so on intertwine together. It feels like magic to us.

Interviewer: Can we expect to hear some of their harmonies and their music playing on the…

Steven: On the new record? Yeah… They both sing (audio interference from technology). Craig (Northey) as well as The Odd (Craig’s original band) play on a lot of the record and, yeah, Kevin and his cello are on it, as well as both those guys, both harmonies. So everything is finished. I love to sing harmonies, but one of the things I really enjoy the most in the studio is writing and recording my own harmony parts. So, although I do have those guys singing on it, there’s certain times that I feel like it’s important to have their voices in there, there’s lots of other times where, the fun for me is backing my own vocals.

Interviewer: Mmmm… so speaking of your next album, I personally love both versions of “There is a Melody” on Heal Thy Self and how they bookend the album. You named your second album and the upcoming third, (not counting Vanity Project), you named them Heal Thyself, which if you move the space, becomes “Healthy Self”. Do you feel that through that process of albums that they have helped you to heal to become a “healthy self”? Are there songs that have helped you along that process more than others?

Steven: You know, I don’t know. I think that in some ways the best way that I have achieved wellness has been in my personal life more than anything else, and my family life. But I think that I’ve been able to apply that back to music, which has made me A) more productive, and B) happier making it. And it has allowed me to survive on the road a lot better than I ever (did) before.

Interviewer: Hmm

Steven: I mean, music is therapeutic, but it’s also, it’s also intense. And I think you can let that intensity overwhelm you sometimes.

Interviewer: Mmm.. Discussing Heal Thyself real quick, the first one you named Instinct, the upcoming one’s named “Discipline”, is that correct?

Steven: That’s right.

Interviewer: And I noticed that on the song “There Is A Melody II”, that you actually use that phrase “instinct and discipline”

Steven: Yep.

Interviewer: Having ingested your music for 25 years, I believe you to be a very deliberate man.

Steven: Sure

Interviewer: What is the importance of these choices for the names of the albums?

Steven: Well, once I realized that I was going to be kind of putting this out as a two-parter, I felt like those two traits and those two skill sets are the things that help me most do the work, the music work, but also, I think that those are in a certain way the keys to health sometimes. Like that sense of like, “Trust your gut, trust your self. Don’t always second guess yourself.” But you also need to have the discipline of sitting down to do the work. Don’t expect that it’s just going to come to you.

Interviewer: Oh! Very interesting. I want to switch for a minute to your experience. What has your experience with the fans been like since the Juno awards? Have you received a lot of people asking you about getting back with the band and is that uncomfortable for you?

Steven: Oh, it’s not uncomfortable for me. But it’s persistent and, I mean, that’s… There was a time…. because it’s never gone away. I’ve always had people asking me to get back together with the band or if that’s going to happen or when is it going to happen, or whatever else. And, you know, I was really pleased and moved with how well people responded to my reunion with the guys at the Junos. And I’ve learned over the years how much the band and the songs have meant to people who are fans and what it represents to them, like in their own histories, their childhoods, their college years, their marriages, whatever it is. And happy to be, well, you know, honored to be a purveyor of that. So I’m not uncomfortable with people asking me. I just also don’t want to get people’s hopes up about… they feel like that’s a thing they can aim for. I really don’t know if there’s ever going to be any other kind of reunion beyond what we just saw. But I really enjoy what we did and was happy that it happened.

Interviewer: Well thank you for being so clear about that. I appreciate that.

Steven: Yep.

Interviewer: You did requests for your European tour that’s coming up. You’ve been taking requests for songs.

Steven: Sure

Interviewer: Will you be doing that for the U.S. tour as well?

Steven: I’m interested in hearing what people want to hear. The last time I went to the U.K., I had done that and I was really surprised at the number of requests that I got for “Tonight Is The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel”. And I’ve done it live before, but I hadn’t considered it as something that a lot of people would want to hear. And it became a big part of the show.

Interviewer: Wow! Can I throw one in early?

Steven: Yeah, of course.

Interviewer: So, I’m very happy to hear that you’re going to be coming back to Portland, ME. As a person who lives in Maine, it’s always fun to not have to leave the state to come and see you.

Steven: My pleasure.

Interviewer: And so it’s great that you’re coming back and doing such a nice intimate area. And if you can, I would love to hear either “Break Your Heart” or “New Shore”. Those are amazing songs.

Steven: Awesome. I can pretty well guarantee you’ll hear “New Shore”. And “Break Your Heart”, as long as I’m in good voice, tends to make the set quite often too.

Interviewer: (laugh) well, I’ll be happy.

Steven: It’s one of those ones where if I feel like my voice is not going to hang on for the next three shows… I’m never one to do anything by half. It’s like, I’ve either gotta give it 100% or find a different song to sing.

Interviewer: Right. And that’s a really tough song, I’m sure.

Steven: Well, you know, the yelling doesn’t do my throat any favors but it’s a big part of the song.

Interviewer: Mmmm.. I’m going to switch back to some of my earlier questions, if that’s okay, just because I wasn’t sure how much time we would have left.

Steven: Yeah

Interviewer: Can I talk to you a little bit about “A”?

Steven: Sure.

Interviewer: What was the “applesauce” and “algebra” line…. There was a lot of them we understood, like the relational kind of discussion that was going on there. But the “A is for applesauce” and “algebra”, those were interesting lines that were like, “I’m not sure what he’s trying to get to with that.” Can you explain a little bit about those?

Steven: Sure… “A is for Applesauce, my favorite meal”, what’s the algebra one?

Interviewer: “A is for algebra”… oh…. I can’t think of it off the top of my head now.

Steven: I think I just… I think I used algebra as an example of something difficult. or at least difficult for me. Applesauce was kind of an in-joke between me and Ed. It was like a fake band that we talked about at one point, called Applesauce. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Applesauce!” Something that Ed had said once and I died laughing, so. Sometimes songs just have those little in-jokes to make the other guy laugh. But, you know, the challenge of the song was to try to just (garbled) songs and spare words that start with the letter “A” as a way to describe a person and tell a story at the same time. So there’s a sense of kind of…. there’s a glibness to the character, I guess, that I think allows him to, by being glib or silly or dismissive, allows him to avoid discussing the real parts of his life.

Interviewer: Right, which you almost kind of get to with the bridge in that song, if I’m correct.

Steven: Yeah. Sure.

Interviewer: That was a very interesting concept and way you approached such a difficult subject.

Steven: Yeah, and I guess it was something that I wrote a lot about at that time, you know. And it wasn’t always me trying to talk about myself. I mean, I certainly played a role in those things but, you know, I watched a lot of people. I think when a lot of people go through these things, they just don’t say them out loud, but if feel like they want to make change in their life. You know, for instance, a song like “Upside Down” is something that I think a lot of people can relate to. I was not leading nearly as stagnant a life as any of those characters lead. You know, I was leading a relatively exciting and fulfilling life but at the same time, there’s part of your psyche that says, “I need to change myself. I need to change my environment. I need to change everything about me if I wasn’t so afraid.” And that’s kind of what “A” does. Or, you know, “A” suggests perhaps it’s harder to change than one might let on.

Interviewer: Which is a similar thing that you come back to with your song “Indecision”, If I’m correct. “Alcohol”: Are you talking to Alcohol, apologizing for blaming it for the relationship problems as well as to the woman for having the problems with alcohol?

Steven: Yes. Yes it is. I like the song because it doesn’t make a declaration that alcohol is bad. It also doesn’t make a declaration that alcohol is good. Alcohol is responsible for mistakes and bad behavior and stupidity, but it’s also something that can be convivial and fun. So it kind of, like, allows for both of those realities, but, yeah, I think we get the sense that this guy, you know, he says, “I love you more than I did the week before I discovered alcohol”. So, it’s “now that I’ve discovered booze, now I really love you.” But now the real question is: how sincere is that now that it is influenced by substance

Interviewer: Right. (chuckle) With “Angry People”, is this a song that’s about people who kind of lambasting you and criticizing you online after Everything To Everyone for the causes and the political statements that you’d been making with that album?

Steven: Umm… I don’t think it’s that specific. i think it’s more our response to things like the beginnings of, like, the Tea Party in the United States and things like that. The anger can sometimes stop you from hearing other people and that anger can be constructive. And that really is like a reflection, saying that “I’m angry, too, but I’m angry about… I’m angry at myself. You know, you might hate the government or immigrants or whatever else you might hate. But I’m too busy hating myself.” is really what that song says. That’s where “We just drag them down until they’re just like us” is like, it’s really about angry people and sometimes, you know, that’s what I think we see now online, in the world of Twitter trolls and whatever else, is like, people are angry for the sense of being angry, sometimes. And there is something else that their angry at and they’re directing it all over the place. Like, spraying their bile. But at the end of the day, it’s just about trying to make people hurt on the inside as much as they do.

Interviewer: Right

Steven: Anger can be productive and we talk about that in lots of other songs. But in that song it’s talking about how it can also be counterproductive.

Interviewer: Right. So it’s kind of shining a mirror on society as well as shining a mirror on ourselves.

Steven: Yeah.

Interviewer: “Baby Seat” sounds like it’s a song about growing up, and was that kind of inspired by the kind of the Corinthians verse kind of focus of when I was a child I did childish things and when I grew up, I put childish things away? That kind of focus?

Steven: Ummm… I think it’s more about… it’s asking whether being an artist is adult thing to do. Can you be a responsible person and also live a life of… that’s kind of counter to traditional ways of living. If you’re off searching for a guru, can you also be a responsible adult at times?

Interviewer: Hmm.. ok… so i only have one or two more questions. Going back really quickly to Gordon. On “The Flag” one of the most serious and somber songs of the album, which I interpret to be about an abusive relationship…

Steven: Yep.

Interviewer: Correct me if I’m wrong.

Steven: No, that’s right.

Interviewer: Did the woman, or even the man, in the song die at the end, and can you tell us more about the symbolism, so you have forest, bluebird, steeple, (partridge, GO Train, angel, cop car, eagle, raven, and ribbons), etc.?

Steven: She’s escaping. She’s gotten on the train and she’s leaving. So, you know, whatever the flags, the white flag of surrender to this guy, or the checkered flag, they all get shredded because It’s gone. She’s leaving that behind. So to me, it was always, I imagined it to be, sort of, that she’s leaving with her future unknown but hopeful.

Interviewer: Mmmm. That’s a much more hopeful take than the other take that people had said on-line.

Steven: That’s how I imagined it to be. But it is definitely impressionistic. It’s not definitive. And that’s the kind of thing where sometimes I worry about giving away my intent because I like it when people get something else out of it and that’s how they hear it. I want that to be my gift to them, not my gospel truth, you know.

Interviewer: Well, would you like me to cut that last question out then?

Steven: Oh no. It’s fine. I don’t mind if you know. I’m just telling you that it’s a hard thing to decide whether or not to answer those kind of things.

Interviewer: Oh yeah. Definitely. Really briefly, I want to kind of put out there that, and I know that you probably don’t remember it, you’ve met a million people over the years. But my first show I went to with my wife, we met you before the show and my wife had a slice of pizza in her hand and she was eating it, and you asked if you could actually have my wife’s pizza. It was one of those moments that it made you so real to me and it was hilarious.

Steven: I’m glad it was hilarious because I’m mortified hearing that. Obviously I had to have been in a good mood and could sense that you guys were people I could joke with.

Interviewer: Oh yeah. because she said, “yeah” and you said, “oh no. I’m just kidding.”

Steven: Good! (laughing) because otherwise I would have been like god!… if that was my kids doing that I’d be yelling at them.

(both laughing)

Interviewer: But it just showed us you are such an honest person with who you are and you do joke around as much as you seem to be in the songs.

Steven: Sure

Interviewer: So your songs are very much like… in the way that you portray yourself in your songs are very honest to you as well, so.

Steven: Sure. And I’m self-aware and I… but I have a sense of humor about myself. But sometimes I think that people don’t recognize that I have a sense of humor about myself but I definitely do. I’m aware sometimes of how I come across on the negative side and also on the positive side and I like that model best.

Interviewer: When can we expect the new album to come out?

Steven: September 14

Interviewer: September 14. Wow.

Steven: Yeah. Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s excellent

Steven: I’m excited

Interviewer: I bet you are. So is most of the work mostly done and you are just doing the editing at this point?

Steven: It’s all edited, it’s all mastered, it’s being pressed now.

Interviewer: Nice. So, as I mentioned before, my friends and I have a podcast, Barenaked ABCs. We are currently on the Bs heading into the Cs by the time this interview is released. I’ve incorporated as many of the questions as I could here, but with each song, we find more questions as we go through. We’re like “Hey I wish I could ask him that!” In the future, if you are willing and have time, we would love to invite on the show, to discuss the questions

Steven: Yeah… that could be fun.

Interviewer: Yeah… any time that you want to come on. Michelle and I are really deep fans and have loved getting into deeper catalogue. So, open invitation, just let… talk to the managers or talk to Rey and just let us know whenever you want to come on, it is open for you anytime.

Steven: That’s great.

Interviewer: And I’ll just keep collecting the questions as we go through.

Steven: Alright.

Interviewer: It’s been an amazing pleasure. Thank you so much for spending your time with me.

Steven: My pleasure

Interviewer: This has been a long time goal of mine and you’ve definitely exploded far beyond the expectations that I ever set up. They say never meet your idols, but I’m glad that I have. Thank you so much. You are a deep poetic soul, as much as your songs have kind of implied over the years. And thank you so much.

Steven: My pleasure. well, I hope you enjoy the new stuff as well.

Interviewer: Oh, I think I will.

Steven: Alright, great to talk to you.

Interviewer: Have a great day and enjoy the European tour.

Steven: Thank you very much. Take care. 

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