BARENAKED IN AMERICA Press ConferenceSeptember 10th, 1999.
Quite possibly the funniest press conference in history. Someone cast these guys in a sitcom, quick. The Ladies broke into an impromptu song of a Toronto easy listening station ID, and Priestley was wiping tears of laughter away from his eyes, just in time to hear the next quip by either Robertson or Stewart which would send him into peals of laughter again. Making the rockumentary (if you will ahem!) must have been an absolute blast. Who knew Jason Priestley was funny?
Q: "Where did the idea for the project come from"?
Ed Robertson: We've known Jason for a long time, and he's a pal of ours, so every time we'd hang out, Jason would ask, "Why isn't anybody rolling film?"
Priestley: "After asking that question over and over, I just figured nobody's listening, so I'll do it myself".
Q: Do things get pretty wild when you are touring on the road?
Tyler Stewart: We're not that wild. We're not Aerosmith or anything, although we do have a Stephen and a Tyler in the band hmmm!" But when "the priest" as we affectionately call him was out with us, things definitely get a bit more fun, I mean he is Jason Priestley after all. There are definitely more chicks".
There was extensive planning that took place before the film began. NOT!
Ed Robertson: "The day before we were gonna leave on tour, I heard that Jason was coming, and that he had his own bus. And I thought, gee, that's kind of excessive, why the hell is he getting his own bus? Then we learned that he was bringing a film crew too."
Priestley: That's what they know. For me, there were months and months of arduous planning".
Priestley and the band agree that there was really no time when the cameras became intrusive, and that in the end the hardest thing was paring down the massive amounts of filmed material.
Tyler Stewart: "You'll have to wait for the Director's cut to see the acid trip orgy footage or the recreation of the French Colonial Banquet."
The budget for the film ran around $US 560,000.
Priestley yells (with a Russian accent) "Cheap like borscht!" "Rattle and Hum cost 25 million bucks, y'know!"
On Weird Al
When asked about the recent Weird Al Yankovic cover of their #1 hit song "One Week", and what they were paid, Ed Robinson says "Nothing. My first memory of him was Weird Al doing "Eat It" instead of "Beat It". I was so astounded that it was going to be one of my songs, he just called up and asked, and we said do it".
Canuks vs. Yanks
On the difference between American and Canadian audiences, Stewart and Robertson agree that Canadians are a little more reserved, "I think it is the free health care," quips Stewart. "Yeah, I guess they feel that if they get hurt at one of the concerts, they'll be OK," adds Robertson. But they do say that Canadian audiences can be a little more critical and they sometimes feel that hey have to work a little bit harder.
Why do the film?
"I wanted to follow this very hard working blue collar band as they try to break the US market. Little did I know when I originally pitched the idea that they would go and record Stunt and it would be such a huge success," said Priestley. "It is an interesting time to capture in a band's evolution. If nothing else it is a wonderful time capsule and a bit of Canadiana."
Priestley says he will continue acting, and directing, and would love to do more documentary films if the occasion arises.
For the band, they will be starting to work on a new album soon, but are still savoring their success thus far.
On following in the footsteps of other films in the 'rockumentary' genre, Priestley says, "I didn't really take that much time to think about it. It is kinda like skydiving when you don't stand there and look out of the plane, you just jump, so I did.