There’s been no free ride in Vancouver-based band Hedley’s climb to the top.
The guys play the Centrium Sept. 16, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and showtime at 7:30 p.m.
Over the past few years, they’ve landed two multi-platinum CDs, won extensive acclaim and cultivated a devoted fan base through the flat-out fun of their concerts and their relentless touring. “We’re not rocket scientists—or rocket surgeons,” says frontman Jacob Hoggard, a former Canadian Idol contestant — he finished in third place on the show’s second season.
Rounding out the band are bassist Tom MacDonald, guitarist Dave Rosin and drummer Chris Crippin.
“We’re the same jerks we’ve always been, four buddies who like to have fun and make music. But our show is no longer about flashing lights and us running around pulling our pants down. We’ve really grown as writers, musicians and performers, so now it’s the full entertainment package.”
That sense of growth and ever-emerging strengths as singular musicians is clear on their latest disc The Show Must Go, which was released late last year.
The guys collaborated with four producers including Goldfinger’s John Feldman (The Used, Story of the Year), Dave Genn (Matthew Good Band), David Bendeth (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin) and long-time collaborator Brian Howes (Hinder, Daughtry).
The disc showcases a bracing and engaging versatility from the infectious charged-up fire of Cha-ching which focuses on the greed and craziness of reality TV to the distinctly reggae-tinged Shelter and the simply-crafted Amazing with its stellar-sounding chorus. Ultimately, they’re all clear examples of the band’s wish to broaden their creative vision.
Perfect is also an absolutely stunning and poignant ballad, showing the band’s impressive depth and range that much more.
Looking back, it’s been a relatively short journey for the guys to where they are today. After two showcases during Canadian Music Week 2005, Hedley signed a demo deal with Universal Music Canada and cut three songs in Vancouver. They named the band after the nearby community of Hedley when the town made news for putting itself up for sale.
Things took off from there, with increasingly busy touring schedules and a string of projects including their self-titled debut and 2007’s Famous Last Words.
For Hedley, it’s all about pushing the boundaries and seeing what they can stir up next as they map out their creative visions.
“I listen to way more urban and hip-hop music than any other kind, and these songs represent the first time I’ve been able to explore more of the electronic side of music that I normally listen to. So, for me, they’re the most exciting part of this record.”
Hoggard also says he is most proud of the tunes Amazing and Perfect for their candid nature and unabashed vulnerability.
“I’m very explicit emotionally when I write songs like that, which makes it kind of scary to think about performing them because I have to go up on stage and be really honest and vulnerable. But that’s exciting too.”
For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 403-340-4455 or visit www.ticketmaster.ca.