Hedley ‘shipwrecked’ in St. John’s

Tobias Romaniuk
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Hedley lead singer Jake Hoggard, seen here performing at Mile One Centre in April 2010. — Telegram file photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Sometimes, there can be benefits to waiting for something. Like a much-anticipated concert that is cancelled, then rescheduled for months later.

That's what happened to Hedley and their fans after an illness in the band forced the group to pull off the road and cancel a St. John’s show scheduled for  February.

The benefit, in this case, is that Hedley felt they needed to do something to make up for the long wait when they play Mile One Centre on May 24 and 25.

The post-illness leg of the tour will feature an improved performance, featuring a better stage show with more lights and production than before, said guitarist Dave Rosin, on the phone from Vancouver.

“It’s a full-on sensual assault this time,” he said.

The band has played Mile One before, but not like this.

“You are in for an entirely different type of show this time,” Rosin said.

For the past couple of weeks the band has been getting ready for the show in its east Vancouver rehearsal space.

“It’s funny how absence makes the heart grows fonder and I think as we were jamming for the first time in a couple weeks the other night we were like, ‘oh man, this feels good, let's get back on this horse,’”  said Rosin.

While band members were preparing to return to the road, to continue the Shipwrecked tour in support of their latest album “Storms,” the band decided to chart some new seas, musically speaking.

“We worked on some new stuff because that was the one thing that we've always tried to do, is keep the momentum going,” said Rosin.

Hedley, as a band, is constantly looking ahead, trying new things, and thinking of what’s next.

Band members have taken to calling their sound checks “soundtracking” and use their pre-show set-up time to try out new ideas and work on pieces of new material, he said.

Singer Jake Hoggard is the primary songwriter of the group, and he’s always bringing in new song pieces to work on, Rosin added.

The process also keeps things fresh and fun, said the guitarist.

“It’s pretty fun,” he said. “Eight years of playing together and we’re still having a good time, so I think that's a good sign.”

The push to try new things can be heard on the song “Stormy,” which features R&B singer Babyface.

“That was a really neat take, because it was somebody out of our genre usually, but he’s just known for really good songs, which is one thing we’ve always kind of believed in. Start with a good song and go from there.”

The pursuit of a good song has increasingly led to the band experimenting with electronic sounds and the use of synths.

Lately, Rosin has been using an Electro Harmonix Microsynth effects pedal. It’s an effect that can make a guitar sound like an old analog synthesizer.

“We’re a rock band at heart, but we always try to pull in other things from different elements that we love,” he said.

It’s all for the sake of the song, and an approach similar to another band known for good songs.

“Speaking of good songs, I had a chance to say hello to the folks from Hey Rosetta, and man, are there some good songs on that record,” said Rosin. “It’s a fantastic record. It’s played quite a bit on one of our favourite radio stations, and every time it comes on I'll turn it up."

As Hedley prepares to start the last leg of their tour in Hey Rosetta’s hometown on May 24, Rosin is preparing himself for the possibility of yet another Screech-in.

“We’ve been Screeched in officially at multiple places,”

The first time was a bar with a name that possibly begins with an “O” and may have been upstairs. But Rosin is hazy on the details.

On his way to another rehearsal, Rosin is sure the St. John’s fans will like what Hedley has planned for this latest visit.

“If you haven’t seen the show yet, you guys are in for a treat.”


Geographic location: Vancouver

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Recent comments

  • Duff
    May 24, 2012 - 00:42

    Two shows? That's almost unbelievable for a band whose entire popularity stems directly from Canadian Idol.

  • Earl
    May 23, 2012 - 11:24

    This band sucks. Not as bad as Nickleback... but not far behind. I can't believe they have two shows here, but I guess Nickleback could sell out two shows here too.

    • Spleen
      May 23, 2012 - 15:27

      @EARL, Totally agree, Nickleback are an embarassment, amazing how people like that generic, cookie cutter garbage. Hedley are better then nickleback but not by much.

    • Anonymous
      May 24, 2012 - 06:15

      Serisouly? Of all the articles online this is what you choose to whine about? They may not be your favorite band, but come on.

  • Erin McCarty
    May 23, 2012 - 10:08

    Great story, Tobias!

    • debbie connolly
      May 27, 2012 - 04:46

      Two sold out shows? That shows Hedley's appeal to Newfoundlander's there. I attended Thursday's performance. They were outstanding! Their energy alone was beyond compare! I wouldn't pay good money to see Nickelback perform. To each, his own.