Hedley have become a legendary Canadian band having had sold over 3 million albums, 17 singles on the radio and a loyal fanbase that spans multiple generations.
The band from the soothing lands near Vancouver, British Columbia have that charismatic spark that instantly gets everyone excited from BC to Toronto and everywhere in between whenever a new single, album or tour is announced.
Hedley have accomplished what many artists can’t do, which is not only to release songs and albums that are of quality and integrity but also having kept the passion and wit needed to keep the bond with their fans alive even in times where the music industry is changing.
With over 3.5 million singles sold, 11 MuchMusic Video Awards and 2 JUNOs (lead singer Jacob Hoggard even hosted them last year!) in hand it’s fair to say that Hedley knows a thing or two about making time tested hits that people love.
We got to catch up with the band in Toronto to discuss their highly anticipated new album Hello. There’s certainly no sign of slowing down anytime soon with an album full of power pop rock hits and their upcoming tour with special guest Carly Rae Jepsen.
Guitarist Dave Rosin tells us the meaning of their new album Hello, his favourite studios, and what he spends his time doing when he’s not on the road!
See the full interview below:
1. Your new album Hello is very uptempo, what’s the process like for you guys when it’s time to get into the studio and make a new album? Is there something you really wanted to do differently this time?
I think Hedley has always tried to push itself in a forward motion. We wanted to talk about communication and expression and there’s so many things now, all you do is text, email, see what’s on an Instagram account and that’s what the song Hello is about, sometimes you just need that face to face time, to say hello.
Jake was in the studio working on it, he called me up and said “hey man” and was telling me about the concept and the idea he had, and it was one of those days where I kinda needed to hear that. There’s this highly advanced technological society and everybody is more in touch than ever but sometimes all it takes is just calling someone up and saying hello to convey your ideas.
2. You recorded Hello in Vancouver and LA, where’s one of your favourite places to record and is there any studios on your bucket list?
Oh man, great question! We’re lucky to live in Vancouver because there’s some amazing spots. There’s a place where Jacob has his writing room and it’s now the Nimbus School Of Recording. A guy named Garth Richardson who’s produced the first Rage Against The Machine album, and half of our first record – a dear friend. He and Bob Ezrin opened a recording school together to teach musicians and engineers. It’s a fantastic facility and they’re really passing on the old school knowledge.
So half of that is a rehearsal space and half is still the studio, and it’s really really cool to see. This is where Aerosmith recorded, ACDC – so many great bands. When bands came to Vancouver this was the place, and it’s still there! It’s almost been preserved in a way, it’s still being used as a studio and it’s pretty cool to always be involved there.
We spent time recording at a place called Mushroom Studios and that’s where they used to a bunch of old school symphony stuff. It was a small little spot and unfortunately it’s no longer a studio but I’m very proud to say that I got to record there.
Now if I could record anywhere – probably Electric Lady in New York or something like that where Jimi Hendrix recorded. That’d be awesome. I just watched a documentary called The Wrecking Crew, it’s about a group of studio musicians back in the sixties who recorded on so many hit records and songs, so I’d love to go back and record in the basement of Capitol Records again.
3. Hedley influences many other Canadians and artists with your own music, but what artists inspire you today?
I think we’re in an exciting time in music and I like a variety of stuff, me and Jacob are a big fan of the band Chrvches, they’re from Scotland and are doing really cool things. I’m also old school in a way, I like going and discovering music that’s already there that’s kind of waiting for you – bands like The Jam, The Smiths and stuff like that.
I’ll be on a plane and take my headphones off, look around and he’ll be recording on a little four track completely bopping along.
4. What’s your top 3 production weapons in the studio?
As a guitar player, give me a good Strat, give me a space echo and a Vox AC30 or an old school Marshall and you can do a lot of music with those. Jake’s a big synth fan, he’s acquired an old Roland Juno synth and there’s this little portable synth I’ve seen him bopping around with with all these cool sounds by a little Swiss company. Like I said, Jacob is constantly pulling ideas out and writing lots. I’ll be on a plane and take my headphones off, look around and he’ll be recording on a little four track completely bopping along, y’know a little drum beat going and writing something. As a guitar player he’s constantly giving me something new to play over, it’s always exciting and there’s always something new on the horizon.
5. When you’re not making music or on tour, how do you guys express yourselves creatively?
I love art, I’ve got a small little boy myself so we sit around and we’ll sit and draw together. My skill is not the pen to paper – I enjoy books, I love to read. Lately I’ve been reading a book which is excellent called Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, I’ve also been reading a Batman book called No Man’s Land – just keeping the brain active really. It’s funny how much more art I’ve been doing since having a kid. We sculpt with play dough and all that, maybe he’ll be a ball player or an artist whereas I’ll be the musician – who knows, he’ll tell me what he wants to do!
6. You’ve won JUNOS but what’s your proudest moment as a band so far?
I’d say that ten years in and we’re still playing music, I think that that’s a point of pride. We’re still in the band and getting to travel across the country together and play big shows!
7. This one’s a fan question – what made you decide to put such personal information and voicemails into the songs on Hello?
Oh yes on the song Back To Basics! I think it was really cool of Jacob to do that, he’s always been really open and honest trying to let people into part of his life. As a musician it can be tough, when you’re away from home you can be like “I miss my girl and my friends, I wish I wasn’t doing this”. We understand how much our fans mean to us and that we wouldn’t be in music without the people that have supported us over the last ten years. Sometimes you’re on the road like I said and I think “I miss my wife, my kid and my dog!” so putting something personal like those voice notes on is to remind us and to show everybody else that we’ve got a home base system as well and that while it’s great being out here – there’s also something waiting at home! It’s nice to be away and to play music and have fun but then it’s also nice to get to go home to what we know.
If I don’t get to go and play guitar on Call Me Maybe at least once I’m gonna be a little disappointed!
8. You guys are going on tour and you’ve got Carly Rae Jepsen joining you as a special guest, can we expect a potential collaboration on stage?
Not to give away too much but we were talking about it a little today, we’re really excited to have her on tour and if I don’t get to go and play guitar on Call Me Maybe at least once I’m gonna be a little disappointed! Her and Jacob are from a similar background. We’re really excited to go on tour and are certainly lucky to have her on it and also Francesco. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, we have a few things up our sleeves let’s just leave it at that!
9. What does Paradise mean to you personally and as a band?
When I close my eyes and think about it I think of palm trees and a beach, maybe that’s because that’s my idea of it. I grew up in the mountains up north, so it’s that oasis kind of thought you know where you see beach and sunny tropical… but I think Paradise is what you make it. Sometimes where your family are or where you feel relaxed, whether it’s out in the bush by yourself or chilling on a beach.
Album: Hello (2015)
Label: Capitol Records / Universal Music Canada
Buy the album on iTunes.
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