Wild Life all right by Hedley 0
Abbotsford’s Hedley makes a push into the U.S. in promotion of their new album, Wild Life, with upcoming shows in New York and L.A. before embarking on an extensive Canadian tour in mid February. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
With a new CD, Wild Life, and their energetic half-time show performance at the recent Grey Cup, everything’s coming up Hedley. Prior to their appearance Friday for the opening of the newly renamed Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with lead singer Jacob Hoggard and guitarist Dave Rosin.
24: There’s been a continual evolution in the artistry of the band over the years. Was it a conscious effort to evolve?
JH: That’s a cool questions and it’s absolutely a conscious thing. I think the antithesis would be resting on the sense of confidence in what you’ve already accomplished in that we could go, ‘well we’re good at doing this so why don’t we just continue to do it,’ as opposed to that sense of wonder or desire to fulfill what you haven’t yet fulfilled. We ask ourselves ‘What can we do next? … What haven’t we tried? How haven’t we approached this?’ That constant sense of reinvention is what keeps what we do fresh and I think that desire to push ourselves and be unsure of what we’re doing is where we find our most sustainable inspiration. It’s instrumental in our ability to be constantly inspired.
DR: There is an art installation on a crosswalk at 30th and Fraser right by the cemetery and it says, ‘How are you supposed to make progress if you keep going in a circle?’ I think we’ve always played to that.
JH: For us we have the privilege of having a fan base that believes in us. It’s because they believe in us that we have the confidence to take risks. Obviously with great risk comes great reward and also great failure and that’s terrifying for anybody. But we know that in order for us to grow we need to push ourselves, we need to be able to experiment and adapt. That’s a universal truth for artists, for individuals, for human beings. There’s a fine line between aging and growing and I think it has to do with sitting still and that’s why we don’t stop. If we’re not recording we’re playing. If we’re not playing, we’re touring. If we’re not touring, recording or playing, we’re probably having lunch.
24: You’re coming off your most commercially successful album. Does that fact put an added level of pressure on your new CD?
DR: Yeah, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner.
JH: For this tour we’ve incorporated musical instruments and created elements that we now have to say, ‘How are we going to do this live?’ because we’ve always been a band that prides ourselves in our ability, not just to sound like an album when we’re playing live but to make sure that we give people their money’s worth; make sure that when somebody comes to the show, they go, ‘Damn, that was everything I was hoping it would be and more.’ We push ourselves to get to that point. We practice six days a week now. We’re rehearsing now for the tour that we’ll be doing next spring to ensure that we don’t have one night on a tour where we give an 80% performance and people only think it’s okay. We’ve all been there; we’re music fans. We listen to music and go to live shows and people aren’t stupid these days. People can smell a rat and can tell when something’s not genuine and when someone doesn’t believe in what they’re doing. We live, eat, sleep and breathe this, so for us now this is the next stage.
DR: This is the biggest and longest tour that we’ve ever done, 37 dates across Canada stretching over two and a half months. We’ll be playing more music than ever before. We’ve already been building props and a bunch of stuff we can’t talk about. There are many more tricks up our sleeves.