• By: Tori McNeely

Steven Page to perform his politically-charged pop album, Discipline, at the NAC

(Photo credit: David Bergman)

On the heels of 35 U.S. headlining dates and 2 U.K tours, Canadian rock legend Steven Page is kicking off his first cross-Canada tour in none other than our nation's capital! On Wednesday, May 1, Steven will perform his latest album Discipline: Heal Thyself Part 2 at the National Arts Centre alongside Craig Northey on guitar and Kevin Fox on cello. 

Steven has been touring in support of the new album which was released fall of last year. His stop in Ottawa will be followed by stops in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary and then British Columbia. The tour comes to an end in Vancouver on May 31.

Despite the former Barenaked Ladies frontman reuniting with his bandmates for their induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Steven's career as a solo artist is taking him to new heights. Discipline is Steven's fifth solo album and the spiritual follow-up to his 2016 album, Heal Thyself, Pt. I: Instinct. The new album channels both personal honesty and political sentiment while sticking to his punk and pop roots.

We had the chance to speak with Steven before his highly anticipated return. 

Ottawa Life Magazine: You've been building a very successful solo career for the past 10 years. What about being a solo artist has been most rewarding?

Steven Page: I think initially it was figuring out that I actually could do it by myself. I had always been in a band so I never had much experience outside of that. I think for me it’s simply the fact that I get to go out and make music with a whole range of different kinds of people . When I come to Ottawa next week I’ll be playing with Craig Northey and Kevin Fox. It’s a great gift to be able to collaborate with other musicians.

How has becoming a solo musician influenced your sound?

I’ve definitely grown as a musician, which would have happened whether I was a solo artist or part of a band. My core voice still runs through the work that I do, but the more people I work with the more flexible I become. I learned a lot about vintage rhythm and blues working with Craig Northey from Odds .

What motivates you to open up both personally and politically in your music?

I think about when I was a teenager growing up and the musicians that inspired me. Whether it was Steven Duffy, Clash, James Brown or Marvin Gay, I learned about politics, literature, philosophy and about who the artists were as people. That really inspired me and pushed me to educate myself more, so I think it’s something I am trying to continue.

You’ve dedicated part of your solo career to musicals as well. I understand you worked on the musical Here’s What It Takes with Canadian playwright Daniel Maclvor. Have you had to adapt your approach to writing music for theatre?

I think I’ve always had a theatrical bantam but at the same time it’s a totally different process.

Besides your performance, is there anything else you’re going to get up to while you’re in Ottawa?

We don’t have a ton of time but I spend a lot of time in Ottawa. It’s the closest Canadian airport to where I live so I fly out of Ottawa all the time. It’s also my closest IKEA!

We are very excited to have you kick off your Canadian tour in the nation’s capital!

I’m looking forward to coming back!

For more information and to purchase your tickets visit nac-cna.ca.