BNL Showing Few Signs Of Age On 'Disc One'
"More than the coming and going of boy bands, my knees are the sign of my age," Barenaked Ladies singer/guitarist Steven Page reflects to Billboard.com about the band's recent decade milestone, which"More than the coming and going of boy bands, my knees are the sign of my age," Barenaked Ladies singer/guitarist Steven Page reflects to Billboard.com about the band's recent decade milestone, which is celebrated on their best-of compilation, "Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001)" (Reprise). The set hit North American retail outlets Nov. 13.
Coinciding with the 10-year celebration, the Canadian outfit is mounting a "greatest hits" tour, which plays tonight (Nov. 20) in Bridgeport, Conn., and wraps New Year's Eve just outside of Chicago. Along the way, the Ladies will play a previously announced pay-per-view benefit on Nov. 30 in New York, with proceeds earmarked for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Not coincidentally, BNL keyboardist/guitarist Kevin Hearn was stricken by leukemia a few years back. He has since recovered.
Known for their improvisation-heavy and comedy-laden live shows, the Ladies are living up to their end of the tour by offering fans a career-spanning set that includes a few nuggets. "We'll pull out some older stuff, things like 'Box Set' from our first album," says Page. "It's a song about an artist who is kind of milking every last drop out of an old hit and part of the lyrics are about this box set that he puts out -- 'Disc one, it's where we begun/All my greatest hits.' That's why we called our greatest hits album 'Disc One.' A little bit of self-parody."
The irony is that despite it being the Ladies' 10th anniversary, their success is misleading. "In some ways it feels like nothing, because so much of the high-profile stuff has only been in the last three years," Page admits. "So, it's nice for us to be able to say, 'Okay, in some ways the grunt work is behind us,' but at the same time, it's like we spent a lot of time working on that."
Regarding the retrospective, Page says the tongue-in-cheek band had some fun with the project. Aside from its many hits, including "Old Apartment" and "One Week," the group recorded the obligatory new tracks "It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)" and "Thanks That Was Fun." The placement of the latter track as the last song on this disc has become Internet fodder for speculation about a BNL breakup.
Rest easy, though: Page insists the band is not calling it quits. In fact, he says the quintet plans on taking some time off in the new year, regrouping in the spring and recording a new album in the summer or fall for a late 2002/early 2003 release.
Here are Barenaked Ladies' tour dates:
Nov. 20: Bridgeport, Conn. (Arena at Harbor Yard)
Nov. 21: Reading, Pa. (Sovereign Center)
Nov. 23: Erie, Pa. (Erie Civic Center)
Nov. 24: Cleveland (CSU Convocation Center)
Nov. 26: Newark, Del. (Carpenter Center)
Nov. 27: Salisbury, Md. (Wicomico Civic Center)
Nov. 28: Syracuse, N.Y. (OnCenter)
Nov. 30: New York (Roseland)
Dec. 2: Trenton, N.J. (Sovereign Bank Arena)
Dec. 3: Boston (FleetCenter)
Dec. 7: San Diego (Cox Arena)
Dec. 9: Fairfax, Va. (Patriot Center)
Dec. 10: Providence, R.I. (Dunkin Donuts Civic Center)
Dec. 12: Kansas City, Kan. (Memorial Hall)
Dec. 13: Indianapolis (Pepsi Coliseum)
Dec. 15: Norfolk, Va. (Scope Exhibition Hall)
Dec. 17: Seattle (Stadium Exhibition Center)
Dec. 18: Portland, Ore. (Earle Chiles Center)
Dec. 20: Denver (Pepsi Coliseum)
Dec. 28: Grand Rapids, Mich. (Van Andel Arena)
Dec. 29: Auburn Hills, Mich. (Palace of Auburn Hills)
Dec. 30: Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena)
Dec. 31: Rosemont, Ill. (Allstate Arena)