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Well, at least half of the name is true

By ERNEST A. JASMIN, Tacoma Tribune, October 16th 2000.

Ladies, no. Barenaked, yes.

As keyboard player Kevin Hearn explains, only half of the chart-topping group Barenaked Ladies' moniker is false advertising.

"We often welcome people onto the (tour) bus with a round of nudity," he said in a call from a recent Houston tour stop. "First we're nude and, if they decide to stay, they're often nude, too."

Hmmm. Sassy!

It's actually innocent stuff compared to the kind of rock debauchery you'd expect from, say, Trent Reznor. Still, nakedness is, apparently, a staple of life on the road with the Ladies... er... gents.

"We don't do it every day, but we're not uncomfortable doing that," Hearn said of the naked rap sessions. "The five of us are together every day; we share changing rooms."

But these Canadian rockers bare their booties in more settings than the tour bus and the dressing room. Like British rugby players or, say, Madonna, the Barenaked Ladies aren't afraid to display their wares in other seemingly inappropriate places.

Take, for example, the Barenaked tradition of recording at least one track on each album in the buff. For "Maroon" — which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard top 200 — the all-naked sing-along took place during, appropriately enough, "The Humour of the Situation."

"Just to boost our energy we'll do something silly like that," Hearn said. Lead singer Steven Page and drummer Tyler Stewart were the first to bare it all, and peer pressure did the rest, he said. "Eventually you just feel uncomfortable being the only one wearing clothes in a room full of naked men. So eventually everyone is naked."

That's not to say everyone in the Barenaked camp is enthusiastic about being so free. Take, for example, the time "Maroon" producer Don Was walked into a clothes-optional playback session for "Humour." Hearn is very understated in summing up Was' reaction:

"I don't think he was too impressed."