Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson Has "All the Answers" at the Beggin' Pet Parade

Categories: Interviews

Jon Gitchoff
Ed Robertson's fans are a bunch of animals.

As RFT Music approached the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson backstage during the Beggin' Pet Parade on Sunday, a Purina media agent informed him that we had a few questions. "Oh, I've got all the answers," Robertson asserted.

Unprompted, Robertson launched into a litany of tips for dog owners. "Positive reinforcement is the thing. Choke collars aren't big anymore. You certainly don't want electrical collars," Robertson advised. "Do you want to talk about dog training?"

See also: "Slideshow: Beggin' Pet Parade, with Andy Cohen and Barenaked Ladies"

Not exactly, Ed. We were hoping, instead, to use our five-minute chat window to ask as many goofy questions suggested by our Facebook and Twitter followers as possible. Still giddy from his band's soundcheck and meet-and-greet with local fans, the guitarist and songwriter gamely played along, dishing on puppy power, Dawson's Creek and a certain "misstep" in the Barenaked Ladies' career.

RFT Music: So do you actually have a dog? Where's all this knowledge coming from?

Ed Robertson: I do have a dog. I've had dogs for twenty years. I actually have a Canadian breed called the ganaraskan. It's a mix of schnauzer, bichon, poodle and spaniel, and it's about a 30-year-old breed. They're bred for therapy... and they're delicious.

Do you sing or play music for your dog?
Just to bug him. I don't serenade him; I sing when I'm trying to freak him out. He doesn't seem to hate anything. He's mostly oblivious to music, actually. He likes the sound of his little treat tin, but music doesn't concern him.

Which breeds would represent each member of the band? Or who resembles which dogs?
Well, Jim [Creeggan, bass] would be the Whippet or the Greyhound because he's a runner. Jim's 4x800 team actually won the nationals, so he's a real runner, so I've got to go with greyhound for Jim. For Tyler [Stewart, drums], I've got to go with St. Bernard, just because Tyler actually played the dog in the Beethoven movies. They put Tyler in a motion-capture suit and they replaced him with a digital dog. Tyler was Andy Serkis before Andy Serkis came along. [For the record, RFT Music can find nothing to back this claim.] For Kev [Hearn, keyboards], I've got to go with an Australian Shepherd because it's got interesting eyes and a beautiful coat. And for me, I'm going to go with the Rhodesian Ridgeback, just because I have a strip of hair that goes the wrong way on my back.

Oh, TMI.
Never TMI! [Laughs] No, I had Ridgebacks for, like, twenty years, and I loved them. They're beautiful dogs and strong and lots of fun.

By the way, congratulations on the hockey medal [Canada bested the United States and Sweden to take gold at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.].
Oh, thank you. Well, you know, we are winter; they [Sweden] are Ikea. They never had a chance. It would have taken more than an Allen key to put that one together.

T.J. Oshie [of the St. Louis Blues] had a good time in the shoot-out against Russia, though.
Yep, absolutely.

Did you know that at Saint Louis University, there's an a cappella group called the Bare Naked Statues?
I did not know that!

I'm not sure if they've done any of your music yet.
Well they'd better get on it!

See also: "St. Louis Native/Bravo Exec Andy Cohen's Twitter Chat Goes to the Dogs"

Hey, it's been one week since... what?
Well, let me think. It's been one week since I was in Florida doing another gig at Universal Studios.

About twenty years ago, a lot of the Barenaked Ladies' music was featured on Dawson's Creek. A LOT.
Ha ha, yes!

Now that we're a couple of decades out, are there any music tie-ins you guys are feeling a little embarrassed about?
Honestly, not really. But there's one that I wish we had done. I turned down the first Shrek movie. [Pauses to let that sink in] That "All-Star" placement [by Smash Mouth] was supposed to be "One Week." I said, "This script looks horrible," and, you know, DreamWorks hadn't really done any great animated features then. They'd all kind of been kind of crappy up to that point. And I just thought "It's a big song for us right now, and I don't want it to be in a crappy movie." And Shrek ended up being one of the biggest children's animated films ever. So, yeah, that was a misstep. But I said yes to [doing the theme song for] The Big Bang Theory, so that was cool. That canceled out Shrek.


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