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Barenaked In America

Press Release,

Media Contacts:
Ilana Lipson Shooting Gallery 212.905.2000
Susan Norget Susan Norget Marketing & PR 212.477.3194
Peggy Villines The Villines Company 310.656.5939

Ed Robertson
Steven Page
Jim Creeggan
Kevin Hearn
Tyler Stewart

Director: Jason Priestley
Executive Producer: Pierre Tremblay
Producers: Cheryl Teetzel
Susanne Tabata
Cinematographer: Danny Nowak, C.S.C
Editor: Al Flett
Sound: Bill Sheppard
Music: Barenaked Ladies


BARENAKED IN AMERICA, a rockumentary, follows Canadian pop group Barenaked Ladies and its eclectic blend of rock, jazz, folk and humor over two weeks of their US tour. Directed by Jason Priestly, the film provides a behind the scenes look at life on the road with band-mates Ed Robertson, Steven Page, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn and Tyler Stewart as they achieve their first #1 hit single for the song "One Week" from their 1998 album Stunt.

While this humor-laced documentary will please new and long-time fans, it also offers a compelling history of one musical group's long road to fame, with details of their formation and initial success in Canada and the States. BARENAKED IN AMERICA provides in-depth interviews with each member of the band, rare footage from the early parts of their career, as well as the excitement surrounding their biggest-ever U.S. tour.

From band member to fan, from celebrity to non-fan interviews, the viewer witnesses the unexpected challenges of the growing success of Barenaked Ladies.

Barenaked Ladies new album Maroon will be in stores September 2000.

In addition to great live concert footage, such as Prince's "Sign O The Times" or The Band's "The Last Waltz," the film takes a candid look at an atypical group of pop stars. Stories and music from the band's ten-year career, combined with amusing backstage antics, stories of late-night tour bus dancing and fan nudity, express the inherent personality of Barenaked Ladies.

A bevy of celebrities also appear in the film. Jeff Goldblum, Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien, among others offer their perspectives on Barenaked Ladies and how they were first introduced to the band.

BARENAKED IN AMERICA also manages to delve into some of the more serious challenges of what this Canadian band went through to find an audience in the U.S. and have their music taken seriously, while retaining a sense of humor and perspective. These guys are not addicted to drugs or self destructive, but still have to deal with new-found success and an ever-growing international fan base. Barenaked Ladies are unique in the world of Rock and Roll, and BARENAKED IN AMERICA shows you why.

The Filmmakers:

Recognized for his work as an actor, director and producer, Jason Priestley (director), recently starred in the London production of Warren Leight's Tony-winning play "Side Man," directed by Michael Mayer, alongside the original Broadway cast.

He made an indelible career mark with his starring role as Brandon Walsh on Fox Television's hit series "Beverly Hills 90210" for eight seasons, for which he earned two Golden Globe nominations. He made his directorial debut on the show in 1993 and produced several episodes.

"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye," Fox Television's thriller directed by Priestley, in which he also has a supporting acing role, aired this summer.

He recently completed directing an episode of the television series "The Beat" the new UPN midseason cop drama produced by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. "The Beat" revolves around the personal and professional lives of two young beat cops who patrol the streets of New York.

Film credits include Eye of the Beholder, Calendar Girl, Standing on Fishes, Love and Death on Long Island and Dill Scallion, Cold-Blooded, Nowhere To Run, Tombstone and the upcoming The Highwayman.

Additional directing credits include an episode of Showtime's "The Outer Limits" and Barenaked Ladies' "The Old Apartment" music video, for which he garnered a Canadian Music Video Best Director nomination.

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Priestley appeared in Canadian television commercials and starred in his first telefilm by the age of eight. Priestley is an avid hockey player and works closely with a number of charitable organizations, including the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Priestly is currently in production in London on the independent feature The Fourth Angel, directed by John Irvin and co-starring Jeremy Irons, Forest Whitaker and Elizabeth McGovern.

The Cast:

Barenaked Ladies' members include Ed Robertson (acoustic and electric guitars, singing), Steven Page (singing, acoustic and electric guitars), Jim Creeggan (double bass, bass guitar, singing), Kevin Hearn (keyboards, accordion, singing, electric guitar) and Tyler Stewart (drums, singing).

Never before has an unknown band been so popular, nor a successful band so invisible.

With its newest album, Maroon, the band takes a deeper, darker mood compared to its past work. Since the release of Gordon, the band's now classic 1992 debut, it has been on a steady creative and commercial rise that culminated in early 1998 when it earned its first U.S. gold record with Rock Spectacle, recorded live-in-concert in Montreal and Chicago.

Barenaked Ladies began modestly in 1988, when the band formed as part of Toronto's burgeoning alternative music scene. Blending alt-pop-rock with hints of folk and country, the group toured extensively throughout Canada and England.

The 1991 release of its independent EP signaled Barenaked Ladies' popular potential as the hit single "Be My Yoko Ono" helped the collection become the first independent release in Canadian music history to go gold.

Barenaked Ladies signed a major label deal with Sire/Reprise Records one year later, and released Gordon, which was No. 1 in Canada for eight weeks and earned them Group of the Year honors at the Juno Awards. But American success was still just a dream.

The 1994 album Maybe You Should Drive and the enhanced 1996 Shoe Box EP (featuring the title track and the otherwise unavailable "Trust Me") followed Gordon. They met with similar success and accolades at home in Canada, but were noticed in the U.S. only by Barenaked Ladies' growing but still modest, underground core of fans.

That disparity finally began to disappear with the release of Born On A Pirate Ship, later in 1996, which contained what would become the band's first legit Yankee hit, "The Old Apartment." The song ultimately cracked the top 40 one full year after it was first released.

The band finally hit success in 1997. Distinguished appearances on national television from CNN to "Beverly Hills 90210," from VH1's "Hard Rock Live" to the "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" New Year's Eve show, put the band in front of a huge new audience that obviously liked what it saw and heard. An appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" in early 1998, as well as a subsequent booking in the summer, only confirmed the band's mainstream charm.

Barenaked Ladies has enjoyed many highs and many lows both in the U.S. and Canada, which, according to Robertson, leaves the band members prepared for whatever lies ahead.