Stewart on stage, 2005.
|Birth name||Tyler Joseph Stewart|
September 21, 1967 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Associated acts||Barenaked Ladies|
|SONOR drum kits
Vic Firth drumsticks
Role in Barenaked Ladies
Stewart met Steven Page, Ed Robertson and Jim Creeggan at the Waterloo Busker Carnival in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in the summer of 1990 and soon filled their desire for a real kit drummer. When Andy Creeggan (who played congas) returned from a trip to South America to find Stewart on drums, he felt a little displaced (and eventually moved over to playing mostly keyboards). Stewart has been with the band ever since. He also adds numerous percussion elements besides the drum kit in the studio, and occasionally adds melodic elements (including some piano on the Born On A Pirate Ship album). For live shows, he usually has an electronic sampler pad which he can activate with his drumsticks. During acoustic or smaller shows (or sets within shows), he sometimes plays other percussive elements live, including shakers, bongo drums, and even drumming on unusual objects, such as an instrument case.
He is the only member (past or present) of the band who has not actively written songs for the group's albums; nor does he write for a side-project. He has received a writing credit on only three songs in the band's catalogue: "Grade 9" from Gordon (written by all five then-members), "Why Say Anything Nice?" from Barenaked Ladies Are Men (co-written with Page and Robertson), and "Allergies" from Snacktime! (lyrics co-written with Kevin Hearn, music written by all five then-members). Up until the time Page left the band, Stewart had sung lead on only two recorded songs, while having one or two lines of lead in only a handful of others. Stewart sings lead on "Allergies" and a cover of "Holly Jolly Christmas" which was cut from Barenaked for the Holidays. Stewart also sings lead on a version of "Feliz Navidad" which the band has performed live for holiday shows since 2004. For the song, the other four band members rotate to play one of instruments they don't normally play. The song has also been played on other occasions with the word "navidad" replaced by lyrics relevant to the event (such as "Feliz Ships and Dip", and "Feliz Halloween", among others). Upon Page's departure in 2009, Stewart began taking on some of his vocals, including singing lead on at least one song ("Alcohol"). Stewart also sings the chorus on the song "Four Seconds" from All in Good Time.
Stewart was born in Toronto, but was raised in Newmarket, Ontario. He is the son of Sandra Stewart and stepson of Robert Stewart. Stewart's biological father, Leonard Hawkins, is black, a fact which Stewart learned when he was about 12 years old. His stepfather sang in a Scarborough rock band named "The Wizards of Id", formed at Woburn Collegiate Institute where both Steven Page and Ed Robertson would later attend. He notes his parents relative youth (only 19 years his senior) to exposing him to interesting music which was frequently played around the house when he was young. He has claimed that his unique eyebrows are the result of his shaving them off when he was eight years old.
Stewart is a graduate of Huron Heights Secondary School. He received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in 1989, making him the only member of Barenaked Ladies to have earned a degree.
Stewart was a member of The Ambassadors Drum and Bugle Corps, playing bongos and pit percussion from 1979–1980, and tri-drums from 1980 to 1982. He was the drummer for cowpunk/rockabilly band Pogo Rodeo and later 3 Day Bender in the late 1980s. When he met the Barenaked Ladies, at a buskers' festival, he was drumming for the Would Be Goods, a Guelph acoustic duo featuring stage actor Christine Brubaker, and singer Chris Reynolds.
Stewart's wife, Jill (née Spratt), is a former high school French teacher, and the two were married on September 19, 1998; they have three daughters, Mili, born April 2, 1999, Hazel, born April 16, 2001 and Carmen, born January 28, 2011. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking. He is a huge hockey fan and actively promotes Women's Hockey in Canada, serving on the board of The Ladies First Hockey Foundation and coaching his daughters' teams, one being The George Bell Titans. Stewart also went to high school with former Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph where the two became friends. Stewart also enjoys playing hockey, and is a member of the Jokers Hockey Club in the Canadian Exclaim! Hockey Summit of the Arts. Stewart is also an occasional panelist/contributor on the post-game show for Hockey Night In Canada, and an on-air contributor to the morning show on The Fan 590. Tyler took part in Super Skate, a celebrity hockey game fundraiser at Madison Square Garden for the Christopher Reeve Foundation in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Participants included Denis Leary, Kim Alexis, Rick Moranis, Chris Jericho, Gary Dell'Abate, Chad Smith, Darren Pang and Jason Priestly, among others.
Stewart currently plays Sonor drums and Sabian cymbals. He uses Vic Firth drumsticks (mainly 55A and RUTE606). Previously, He had his own signature sticks made by Regal Tip from 2004-2015 which he designed with his drum tech, Rob "Tiny" Menegoni. The sticks were called Ty-phoons (a second, "dipped" version of which was released in the mid-2000s). He also uses a Roland SPD-S sampling multi-trigger pad and Roland Electronic Drums and pads. Stewart uses Aquarian Drumheads
Prior to his switch to SONOR in early 2015, Tyler played Pearl Drums from mid-2006. Stewart used custom Ayotte drums from at least 1994, and prior to that, Canwood drums.