24 Minutes with Hedley
Hedley. (Supplied Photo)
Following up the platinum-selling album Hello in 2015, Hedley will release its seventh studio album, Cageless, this Friday. Joe Leary recently spent 24 Minutes with Hedley's lead vocalist, Jacob Hoggard, and guitarist Dave Rosin.
Hard to believe that you’re seven albums in already!
Hoggard: That is absolutely correct – we are on our seventh album in 12 years.
What was the initial goal when the group formed? Was it just to get your music released or did you plot a course as a band and figure that you’d be this far along?
Rosin: Hopping in the van and essentially playing shows and then getting to the “quit your job moment” I call it. Because people always ask like when did we need to leave our jobs to do something else. I think we just tried to stay the course and keep doing it, and forward momentum has always kind of been the thing for us. The fact that we’re still doing this – and (be) brothers – is a little amazing sometimes, but we feel very fortunate to be doing it and I think we’re still having as much fun, if not a bit more as adults.
Hoggard: It’s like going on a road trip where you don’t what the destination is and the only real objective is to stay in the car.
You mentioned brotherhood. There’s a certain familial bond within a group, and if you don’t have that bond or chemistry that can really take a heavy toll. Is it really hard to find chemistry?
Hoggard: It’s imperative and especially when you consider the dynamics of a creative relationship, which is often just as sensitive if not hypersensitive because you have to have this sense of familiarity. You have to have this sense of give and take and this understanding of each other’s strengths or weaknesses, and really that trust where you can develop the balance that allows you to work together efficiently...I think that over the years and through all kinds of “screw you” and “I’m sorry,” which is such a beautifully important part of all that process. We’ve kind of gotten to a place now where we realize that if we’re not having fun doing it – don’t do it. And from that, I think we’ve always been able to bond over our shared passion for what we do. We care about this. This is a part of our lives. It’s who we are and it’s why we put as much of ourselves as we put into it.
Do the group members all share the same musical vision, or is that even necessary?
Hoggard: I think we’re all autonomous creatively, and we all have the realm and space to do so and that’s why what we do is malleable. I think it’s really cool that we all have very different and eclectic tastes individually. That only helps a band like Hedley, who, maybe it’s no coincidence has had a very diverse career in terms of songwriting. We started out kind of a pop-punk band and then having rock phases and then transferring over to pop and still being able to be so dynamic album to album and then song to song. Cageless is no exception to that rule and I think we’ve always maintained a really high standard for having a really well-rounded body of work that isn’t repetitive and is pushing what we do, where our comfort zones are because that’s where we continue to grow and I think our fans are growing up with us in a sense because they continue to evolve.
As Jacob said, you guys did emerge out of the pop-punk genre and as you’ve evolved, do you risk pissing off some of your core fans or do you instead expand your fan base?
Rosin: We’re growing, and people are growing with us or apart from us, and back in, and as music consumers as well. Personally, I have the first two Oasis records and they are my favourite. I still love Liam and Noel (Gallagher) and what they’re doing with their solo stuff now, and that satisfies me even though it’s not like the older records. But when we were first playing, that’s what we sounded like. We were writing those songs and some of those first songs we still play live like Gunnin and Trip, and For the Nights I Can’t Remember off the second one, Famous Last Words. As Jake said, we slowly tried to do something different and keep it fun for us. Because after all, this is fun.