Barenaked Ladies Talk New Album
July 24, 2000
By Gary Graff
With a bill that also includes the leaden likes of Metallica, Kid Rock, and Stone Temple Pilots, the Hard Rock Cafe-sponsored Rockfest in Chicago Saturday promises to be a heavy gig for the Barenaked Ladies' first live performance since finishing their next album, Maroon. But bassist Jim Creeggan says BNL is ready to mesh with the moshers and headbangers.
"I'll just bring my black leather wallet and it will sort of all integrate better that way," he says. "We often get intimidated, because those other guys rock really hard. But in a lot of ways, sometimes in that situation, it inspires us to work harder, especially to bridge the gap. Besides, I was raised on Iron Maiden; I used to watch Steve Harris play these great, galloping bass lines on TV. So bring it on."
The Rockfest crowd, headbangers and others alike, will be the first to hear some of the material for Maroon, which is set for a September 12 release, with one song, "Pinch Me," appearing on the soundtrack to the VH1 movie At Any Cost, due out August 8. Produced by Don Was, Creeggan says BNL's new music has "more of a live feel to it. We freestyle rapped over the top of some grooves, and we split them into songs we'd already done, which gave it the live energy that we have in our shows. So that quality that I know people have always really liked about the band is there."
Creeggan says that, in addition to the usual allotment of Stephen Page-Ed Robertson compositions, a bonus track for Maroon was written by keyboardist Kevin Hearn. And the bassist says that any pressure the band felt in following up 1998's multiplatinum "Stunt" was mitigated by BNL's quick return to the studio following their touring cycle for that last album.
"In a lot of ways, we sort of kept an even pace going," he explains. "We haven't had a lot of downtime to second guess ourselves. We kind of went into this record pretty full-on, not too far away from touring the last album. So there wasn't a lot of time to be second guessing, which I think was good for us. I think it's the most fully realized Barenaked Ladies album we've done."