INTERVIEW: HEDLEY

Only two more sleeps Hedley fans!

This Friday the BC band returns with their seventh studio album Cageless, which features the tracks Love Again and Better Days. It’s been a busy summer for the band as they released new music and announced their massive Canada wide Cageless tour in 2018 with supporting acts Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams.

I had the chance to chat with lead singer Jacob Hoggard about the creation of Cageless, the evolution of Hedley’s sound, their upcoming tour and much more. Read the full interview below and don’t forget to pre-order Cageless here.

Into the Airwaves: Congrats on the upcoming release of Cageless!

Jacob Hoggard: Thank you!! I’m pretty hyped on it. It’s an intense process when you’re embarking on what I’d consider to be a creative journey with no destination.

Are you getting antsy for other people to finally hear the album?

Yes – Especially because you can work on an album forever! We’ve always been fairly disciplined and we’ll say it’s time to cut it! You can’t create just for yourself. When you’re creating music you want to be able to share it.

What are you hoping fans will take away from Cageless?

I think this freshness and growth of the band as we continue to move through our personal, professional and creative lives. Life’s not easy for anybody and you go through things that can make you feel tied down and like you can’t find your place. We’re in that constant jostling turmoil of discovering who we are and where we belong and that life long journey of being comfortable in your own skin. I think Cageless really represents this revelation for us. On a broader human sense, how important it is to find that freedom that we all have somewhere within us. Sometimes we can get so distracted and look so outward that we lose sight of the strength, independence and capability that we have as individuals. On an emotional and personal level that’s really what I expect people to take away because there is that consistent theme of growth throughout the album. Musically for us this is the album we want to drive down the highway with the windows down the most! It has that feel for us and that freedom and openness and rawness to it.

Which song did you most enjoy watching come to life in the studio?

There’s a track called Bad Tattoo and, for me, that’s the one that feels like the most classic Hedley track. Musically it brings me back to early Hedley days. It was a tough one because I wrote it from this perspective of having someone like that in your life that comes in and is a bull in a china shop and then they leave and you’re stuck with the damage. I’ve been guilty of being both. I’ve been the victim and the bull in the china shop. It represents a lot of different experiences for me and comes together in a really beautiful moment.

There’s a significant difference in Hedley’s first album vs Cageless. How would you say the bands sound has evolved over the years?

Hedley’s sound has evolved very naturally and very carefully. We’ve always wanted to change. We’ve always wanted to continue to grow. We’ve been careful not to take crazy hard left turns especially for our fans. We’re hypersensitive to what they think about this music. We’re creating music for our fans and us to share and that’s such an integral part of the process. We never want to jump light years ahead of where we’re at and leave our fans confused. We always push our fans and have always attempted to grow and evolve in a sense that it feels natural.

With so much access to streaming now-a-days and such competition on the radio, how does Hedley remain such a strong staple in the Canadian music industry?

We try not to care too much about that. Every once in a while someone will say “hey guys you’re nominated for this!” or “congrats guys you won this” and in a sense it’s almost comical because we’ll lift our heads up from what we’re doing and say “Cool! That’s awesome!” and then go back to what we’re doing. We continue to stay creative and we devote ourselves to what feels like a career now. We continue to dedicate ourselves to the process and I think that’s what keeps us where we’re at in the industry. For me, this is a part of who I am and it’s not something I can step away from. It’s all or nothing for me and it’s why we stay so devoted and why we’re still here.

With the release of the album comes another Canadian tour! Is there something you’d love to do on this tour that you haven’t had the chance to do yet?

I’m thinking of a floating cloud with mosquito themed skittles that fly around and bite the fans and inject them with a music loving disease? That’s not really a thing, I just thought of it now. *laughs* There’s a huge element of what we do in the studio that we love to articulate live! We don’t just go on tour for the sake of going on tour and selling tickets. For us it’s always been about giving our fans as much of ourselves as we can and we typically don’t want to jump on tour if we haven’t prepared and committed to something we believe in. I think this is going to be the coolest Hedley tour so far. It’s going to be the coolest combination of artists and it’s going to feel like a party!

Which song are you most excited to play live?

Better Days!

So we’ve got tour dates and a new album coming up – it’s going to be a busy rest of the year for Hedley!

It’s going to be a busy fall! We have a brand new album coming out and we can comfortably say it’s the coolest album we’ve ever worked on. We don’t release music if we think we haven’t beaten what we’ve done before. We write until we’re satisfied and while that’s never really possible, we write until we’re certain we’ve topped ourselves. We have a lot of fresh music for fans and a huge tour coming up so stay tuned!

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Jenia Schukov

Jenia is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Into The Airwaves. Born and raised in Montreal, she spent most of her teens and early 20’s working in the music industry at various labels, promoters and radio stations. In 2013 she made the move to Toronto where she joined the team at the Canadian Independent Music Association. As the Music Export Assistant, Jenia spends her days organizing international showcase and business opportunities for Canadian companies and their artists. This isn’t her first time delving into the world of music journalism and photography as she spent over 5 years as an editor-in-chief of Confront Magazine. When she’s not immersed in music you can find Jenia screaming at her hockey team (GO HABS!), practicing yoga, reading whatever she can get her hands on, or getting lost in nature somewhere. Interested in her musical endeavors? Follow her on Instagram (@jschubox)!

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