Barenaked Ladies Plan Album, Call Split With Singer 'Positive'

Calling Barenaked Ladies' split with Steven Page "a really positive thing for all of us," co-founder Ed Robertson says the group is energized and looking forward to its "new era."

"We're really excited about the future," Robertson told Billboard.com on Wednesday (Feb. 25), after Page's departure was announced. "Certainly it's the end of an era, but things change and the creative process is always changing. We're really excited about getting into the studio and exploring that."

Page's departure, he noted, had been brewing for some time and "was not a shock to everyone involved. It was a decision none of us took lightly or flippantly, but it was something that had to happen for the future of the band." Robertson said that Page, who he's known since grade school, has talked about pursuing theatrical interests. Page is currently on probation from a drug possession arrest last July in upstate New York.

"Steve still has our support, and always will have it," Robertson said. "We're still intrinsically tied together both logistically and emotionally. I think you're going to see great things from Steve."

Robertson said he, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn, bassist Jim Creeggan and drummer Tyler Stewart plan to hit the studio in April with an eye towards a fall release, most likely with "a very fancy producer" he can't yet name. "The new songs we're writing are great," Robertson reports. "There are still four writers and singers and four multi-instrumentalists in Barenaked Ladies, so there's a lot to draw on going forward."

Robertson added that he wasn't planning to make any public comments regarding the split with Page. But reading fan postings on message boards after the announcement "was really difficult, because they're so freaked out," and he urged them "just to try not to draw any conclusions yet. We're going to go in and make a great album, and we're going to go out and do a bunch of great shows. That's what we plan to do."

Plans for a Barenaked Ladies 20th anniversary box set, also due out this year, are also proceeding, according to Robertson.