When we think about Canadian bands that rock hard, the first band to come to mind is Hedley! Hedley has been around for eight years and has done some amazing things like perform during the closing ceremony at the 2010 Olympics. They are great guys who like to give back by doing various selfless activities such as promoting Free The Children. Check out our interview with below as we discuss Dave’s iPod music, Free The Children and Hedley’s new single “Kiss You Inside Out”.
How did you guys come up with your concept for the Storm album? What made you guys want to write a concept album?
“It’s funny how it came about. I want to call it a light concept record. There’s not a linking story that goes through the whole thing, but there are definitely some themes that tie into it. It wasn’t really our choice, it really just came about. Recording every record is different. We’ve been really lucky to be a band for eight years and traveling, but within that eight years, we all know things happen with life. Family members pass on, new family members are born into your life, and people fight and survive. We were just facing a lot of different challenges with this record. We had to learn how to be open and honest with ourselves, and know that while we are writing this album, life is still going to happen. As we were writing this album, some heavy events were going on within our band and we had to make that decision to continue forward and make this record. It was kind of like a cathartic experience for all of us. The concept: storm, really came through in Jake’s lyrics. Like I said, even though it’s not really a concept album, the theme Storm ties in throughout all the songs. I was really proud of Jake, It’s defiantly his most lyrically concise record. Songs like “Invincible” really have that message we want to send that things are going to be rough some times when your trapped in the middle of a storm, but the storm is going to end and there is a bright side. I think that’s what Hedley’s always wanted to be. We didn’t want to be just sitting at home and complaining about everything, we’d much rather be the eternal optimist and look at the bright side knowing that you can get through anything.”
Do you guys know when it will be available for iTunes in the US?
“We are hoping for later this year or early next year. But for now, “Kiss You Inside Out” is on the radio and we are just happy to travel around and play for a lot of people. I can just urge everybody to come down to check out our shows! Just keep checking, we’ve got a bunch more shows in December. Head over to www.hedleyonline.com to check out tour dates! We’ve got a few more things before Christmas, but we can’t talk a whole lot about it yet.”
Speaking of “Kiss You Inside Out” since it is such a big hit, are you guys currently working on new music?
“Absolutely! We are always experimenting with new tunes. It’s neat for us to be able to put out a record and go back and put new stuff on it. “Kiss You Inside Out” was originally just a single in Canada and we went back and added it. We often do sound-tracking where Jake will play something on a piano and we will all kind of build around it. We’ve been known to throw out a few tunes and try them out before they hit the record. There’s a song called “Sweater Song” which we put on our last record ‘The Show Must Go’ which is available on iTunes. It’s a song that we originally had written on the road. True story, it was actually written on our bus. So we tried it out, the crowd loved it and we put it on our record. Everybody loves when bands play new stuff. I love when bands play new music! I just went and saw Motion City Soundtrack in Seattle and they played something off their new 7″ that I’d never heard. I absolutely loved it. We get that as much as people come to hear the songs they really enjoy, we like to also give them a little treat by playing something new.”
How did you get involved with Free The Children?
“Free The Children is an organization that gives high school kids the opportunity to organize themselves and build schools and medical facilities in countries around the world. Essentially it’s driven by the teen volunteers themselves. A couple years ago, we did our first event for it called We Day. We Day is essentially a giant pep rally. 180,000 came in from all over the area and they listened to speakers like Mia Farrow, The Dalai Lama and Shaquille O’Neal who are advocates for a better change in the humanity of the world. It was a really cool thing to be a part of and I urge everyone to who wants to get involved to go check out http://www.hedleyonline.com/free-the-children/. I could talk all day about it.”
You guys feature a fan of the month on your site, how do you pick that fan, and what made you want to do that feature?
“Picking the fan of the month is always really hard because we have some very dedicated fans. For anyone that’s new to our camp, it’s really cool. We have fans do challenges. Like we did Hedley Halloween, where people made jack-o’-lanterns and stuff. Our fans have always surprised us. On the last tour, we were probably 20 dates in on a 35 date run, and we were in Ontario playing the song “Stormy” and 200-300 people in the front rows had paper hearts with song titles on it and held them up. That was so cool! It was special and a really cool moment.”
You guys promote a lot of Canadian bands, are there any you’d love to open for you in the future?
“There are so many great bands that I’d love to take out with us. There’s a band called Mother Mother from Vancouver, they are really cool. It’s a guy singer with a couple girls on keys, they’re really neat so check them out. Another band called Hey Ocean from Vancouver. They are awesome, very kind of girl poppy.”
Being a band for eight years, is there a place you got to tour to that you’d never though you’d visit?
“I’m very lucky to have traveled as much as I have with this band. When I got out of high school I wasn’t that guy who was a travel bug and went backpacking across Europe, so the fact that I got to see so much of this globe with this band is pretty amazing. We got to go to Kenya a couple years ago with Free The Children which was pretty neat. All of a sudden in the middle of a field, eight hours outside of the nearest major city, we were bartering and trying to see how far $50 would go. So, we decided to buy a goat and give it to a family in need. So, here we are counter offering a goat farmer in the middle of Kenya, I never thought that this band would take me that far. We actually had to trade in some of our jewelry and some personal possessions. We had to increase the bid as well. We also had to sing to the guy too. We ended up getting two goats for the price of one, we got a mom and a little baby that our bass player named Pickles. It was a really special moment and the woman we gave the goat to us was so happy. She just had a brand new newborn and three other children. The woman we passed the goat onto is actually now the receptionist at the brand new medical facility. As far as we know, the goats are still kicking around and giving milk and providing for the family.”
What was your favorite concert that you’ve been to this year?
“Like I said, I was just at the Motion City Soundtrack concert in Seattle and I’m a big fan of those guys. They’ve only made it to Vancouver once or twice, so we really enjoyed that. We played this really cool festival this year and one of the things we got to do was play with Sarah McLachlan in Stanley Park for Voices in the Park. It was in support of her music charity. Bryan Adams and Stevie Nicks were there too. To be able to be involved with a show of that caliber and lineup was pretty surreal for us and we had a great time.”
What are the top 5 played songs on your iPod?
“Tough one! Let me look at my iPod real quick. I love Brian Eno’s Music for Airports. It’s like a four song CD, and that is actually my go to music for when I’m on a plane. It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong by FYS. Attractive Today by MCS. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung is a guilty pleasure of mine. It has that high note in the bridge. It reminds me of being a kid and watching music videos. I would watch Saturday morning cartoons and before they aired the channel would show music videos. I always picture the Wang Chung music video.”
If your band had a TV show, what would the theme song be?
“’The Family Ties’ theme song! [singing] “What would we do baby, Without Us? What would we do baby, Without Us”. That song is so good. Hedley is really a family, a dysfunctional family at that. I have dibs on being Michael J. Fox. That song works for us, or the theme song from ‘Diff’rent Strokes’.”