Hedley-Unleashed and Unbound on New Album Cageless
Don’t miss seeing the band perform live in Ottawa February 20th at TD Place
Canadian power house Hedley is coming to Ottawa February 20th to perform their new album Cageless at TD Place. The show will kick off with a performance by Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams. Cageless talks about breaking free and is sure to excite fans both old and new. We got the chance to talk to frontman Jacob Hoggard about his favourite places in Ottawa, how the band has evolved over the years and the process involved in producing Cageless.
Hedley started in Abbotsford B.C back in 2003. That’s right, Hedley has been a Canadian success with top singles for over 10 years! Some of Hedley’s most known songs include Kiss you Inside Out and Cha-Ching which they performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Over the years Hedley has maintained their strength releasing 7 top selling studio albums. They’ve received Junos for Pop Album of the Year and Video of the Year along with numerous other awards. Their most recent singles from Cageless like Better Days and Love Again are already climbing the charts.
Faces Magazine: You’re coming to Ottawa February 20, do you ever get a chance to explore Ottawa while you’re here? What are some of your favourite things to do while in the capital?
Jacob Hoggard: I always wish I had more time to explore Ottawa. I do normally end up getting shawarmas when I’m here, classic. I would say that’s the taste of the city for me. Ice skating is also something I’ve wanted to do too, I hope one of my band member takes me for a romantic skate when we’re here. (laughs)
Any specific spots you like to eat?
Mmm dinner, I’m getting hungry. I’m a big giant pizza fan and I know Ottawa has some giant pizza hidden gems. Unfortunately, they always get delivered to the show so I haven’t had a chance to actually go to them, but those little crusty joints that make slices of heaven are the best.
What are some of your other favourite Canadian pit stops?
Another bilingual favourite is Montreal, it has a very similar vibe to Ottawa, very eclectic and a lot of culture. The east coast is also exciting, it’s a very authentic and unique place. You can feel very far from home but just at home all at the same time.
Let’s talk about your most recent album Cageless. What makes this album special?
Yayayaa! A lot of things make it special. Even starting with the artwork, this is something we put a lot of thought and care into and it’s just the perfect vibe for us. Sometimes our work turns out alright and sometimes it turns out great, and I think in this case it was great. The feel you get when you look at the cover is the same feeling you get when you listen to it. This album has a sweet west coast vibe that really sums up our style with electronic, R&B and pop vibes that we love to play.
Your music video Love Again was shoot with 360 VR. Tell us about the filming experience?
That was a crazy thing. It was exciting to take a chance on something new. It was really a chance to push the limit. We had never shot a music video in virtual reality and it was such a fun experience creating an environment as opposed to just telling a simple story.
The Cageless tour kicks off next week in Moncton. How do you think this tour will be different from past ones?
Every tour is different. Hedley always makes sure that each show is brand new, we’ve discovered a way to re-create songs that we’ve played for years and turn them into something new and special. We have fallen in love with doing re-instrumentation of songs we’ve played all the time to make them fresh and exciting to play. Another important thing about a Hedley show is we always play all our songs because we know those are the times we’ve connected with our fans and moments we like to relive.
Cageless has been a massive hit so far and is only getting more popular! Any songs that you’re particularly proud of on the album?
You know ya, there’s a song called Bad Tattoo. It has a lot of intimate moments and that’s the side of song writing I’ve always been drawn too, those really raw real feelings. It’s an honest vulnerable song.
Let’s talk about the actual name of your album Cageless, what does this title mean to the band?
It’s just the kind of eggs we eat (laughs). It represents a period of our life where you get a new lease on life, when you change things and break old habits. Change can often be this unwanted concept and we’ve all felt uncomfortable in our lives when things change but I think the optimist in us looks at those experiences as a way to be freed from our old ways. For us Cageless represents the growth we’ve experienced and how we’ve changed over the years.
Your most recent music video Better Days has a retro feel starting off in a laundry matt. Can you tell us about the creative process behind it’s production?
We were kicking around some idea and we had the idea of making a video where we disrupt individual’s days and make them better. We had the idea of potentially shooting it in real life and just surprising people, like the price is right kind of concept. But then at the end of the day we thought well maybe we should be safe. The idea of the video was just about making the mundane or everyday things in people lives better by surprises and what better location then a laundry matt to disrupt peoples every day life!
Give us the rundown on the process that goes on between you and your band mates in terms of producing your music?
So I think we all have evolved from a really cool place, we used to write music when we were jamming and then this evolved to us working in studio environment. This became a really comfortable place for us to right. Studio first, jam space second. We write songs that sound really good in studio but when jamming don’t sound great. We keep doing both in order to get it right, it’s a good way to learn and keep experimenting.
I’ve read that you’ve taught yourself to play guitar, how did you do this?
I took 3 string off (laughs) so I only had to learn with a few then I got comfortable and started adding some back. From there I learned some simple cords.
As a teen growing up what artists did you get inspiration from?
As a kid growing up I listened to a lot of Tom Petty, a lot of Bob Dylan, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, B.B King. From an early age I had a very varied music taste.
Your band has been around for over 10 years. How do you feel your sound has changed since then?
I think the bands style has evolved naturally, our style has evolved extensively but the change happened gradually so we never alienated fans with a huge jump. That gradual evolution made it more tangible for our listeners.
Social media is obviously a huge part of life for musicians today. Are you a fan? What are your favourite platforms?
I am and I’m not. I think for as much as it’s important that there’s a line of how exposed you should be, and need to be. Sometimes I feel a bad for people who are too overwhelmingly exposed, it takes away from organic experiences and doesn’t let you be present. I go back and force from feeling stoked about posting and feeling that’s it’s taking away from my real life that I care about. When we started it was all Myspace and it’s been cool to experience such rapid transition to the Snapchat era. I thin you have to engage but be in control of when you should disengage.
You must get a lot of positive feedback on social media but as I’m sure you know there is a fair share of negativity online. How do you deal with trolls?
Haha. We can’t see the haters. If you see them you’re on the same level as them.
Could you tell us a little bit about your work with Free the Children? Why did you choose this organization to get involved with?
It’s been great and we’ve been involved for years. The band realized we had a way to impact culture in a positive way and it was an opportunity for us to do something positive in our community and our country. Free the Children is actually about kids helping kids, it’s not a bunch of oldies in a room drinking champagne. It has the capacity to truly make communities and peoples lives better.
The holidays are coming up. Do you have any special traditions you want to share? Anything special you ever do with your band around the holidays?
We take our families out for a big dinner then we break off to do our own things. Some off to cabins others drinking eggnog. I’m going to go down to the Caribbean to just coast, just chill before the tour kicks off.
If you could spend the rest of your life in only one place or setting where would that be?
The golf islands on the coast of B.C, it’s everything you could ever want.
What’s something unexpected that your friends might not know about you?
Gosh that’s hard. They know everything about me. I’m a bit of a clean freak. I grew up in an Italian home with my mom always yelling at me to clean my room and I inherited it. It’s good though, it’s nice to be clean, it gives you a peaceful feeling.
After you’ve finished your cross-Canada tour does the band have any set plans for the future?
Absolutely, a lot more shows and festivals in the summer then we’re going to jump right back into the studio for a new album!
By: Amanda Havey