When it comes to dropping his drawers, Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard says getting naked for his band’s Anything video was an easy choice.
“It had the potential to go in a very heartfelt ‘hands across America’ kind of way,” Hoggard said of the new track, which has become the fastest selling in the Vancouver pop band’s career.
“In the spirt of the concept of the song, we were like, ‘Hang on, f--k, this, let’s just do whatever the f--k we want. I think that would almost be the truest form of expressing the sentimentality of that song in video form.’”
So this was purely a selfish act?
“Absolutely,” Hoggard said, with a hearty chuckle. “I was naked for myself. And it just so happened to be caught on film. I’m a fan of naked people, just this mutual ‘Let’s put it out into the universe.’ What’s wrong with a little bit of flesh?”
We caught up with Hoggard, 29, as he relaxed barefoot in the sun on the front steps of his West Coast home with his trusty dog Charles Bronson at his side before Hedley set out for a cross-Canada tour during the worst winter EVER.
“We’re just so thrilled with the way we’ve put together the show and we’ve put a lot of thought into it ‘cause we’re huge, huge fans of live music,” said Hoggard, who added the band is playing more than half of Wild Life - the band’s fifth LP - in a set that will run over 90 minutes.
The new disc sees you having a hand in producing for the first time. Was that a scary proposition?
Hoggard: It could have gone two ways. It could have been really successful or it could have tanked and everyone could have said, ‘Well, yeah, that was when Jake started producing.’ So there was a lot of pressure, or at least I put it on myself.’ ... As far as making a spectacle out of my life as artist… Even if everybody hated it, I would still say, ‘Well, f--- you all, I love it.’ Don’t worry about it. It just really goes the extra mile as far as encouraging and enforcing in me that confidence to continue doing what I’m doing.
The band was recently nominated for four Juno Awards, and you got a fifth as co-producer of Anything and (second single) Crazy For You, which will be handed out March 30. What was your reaction to the nods?
Hoggard: For me it’s kind of a shock every time. Just because I know we’ve been nominated before but I’m also aware that there’s a lot of pretty remarkable artists and musicians out there, some pretty notable talent that really deserve the recognition and I think for us to just be physically recognized and grouped into that talent pool is such an honour.
You’re competing against Justin Bieber, among others, in the Juno Fan Choice category. What do you make of his recent woes?
Hoggard: I think when you start off super early, the odds of being a normal person are very slim. And that’s just the industry, it doesn’t apply to particularly Justin’s own personal thing. I just think it’s really difficult for young kids before they even go through puberty, that enter into this sort of like superficial, unrealistic world of stardom to kind of develop with any real grasp on life. And I think that’s maybe indicative of his behaviour now. But I’m also not very keen on using my brain power to psychoanalyze such trivial matters.
Does being in a band help?
Hoggard: I think we’re lucky. We’ve been a band for almost ten years now and I don’t know if we could have done it without each other and I think that it’s because of each other that we almost didn’t do it.
What do you mean?
Hoggard: Any band worth it’s weight has got to have some characters in it that are creative and assertive… But we’ve been really lucky to not just survive but abide each other and use our strengths to all of our advantages and keep each other accountable and I think it’s because of each other that we’ve all been able to sort of maintain moderately normal lives. We’re able to go through life together and members of the band go, ‘I bought a house, or I’m having a kid, ‘ and it’s like ‘Wow, cool, we’re really growing up together,’ and we’re just lucky to go through that process. Just for the record that was not me either of those times, any of those crazy things, ‘cause I’m a gypsy and I don’t really think that those are really the right things to do in life.
What inspires you as a writer?
Hoggard: It’s almost comical to a degree into which you turn your private and personal intimate life into a public spectacle for the marketing and success of a f—ing band. It’s sort of dark and it’s kind of funny and it’s almost so extreme that you can just laugh it off ‘cause you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s really f—ed.’ And there’s like these super darker elements, pathways of it where you’re getting to this like, ‘Oh, I’m having a really hard experience in my life. Oh, I could have a song about this.’ And someone’s in front of you and they’re crying their eyes out and you’re like, ‘Oh, she said something, I should probably write that down.’ For as much as it tunes you in on an emotionally sensitive level, I think it also kind of turns you into a bit of sociopath in that you’re able to detach yourself in that moment to this third person observation perspective.
Hedley's remaining Canadian tour dates:
02.23.2014 Estevan, Saskatchewan Affinity Place
02.26.2014 Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum
02.27.2014 Kitchener, Ontario Kitchener Memorial Auditorium
02.28.2014 Oshawa, Ontario General Motors Centre
03.01.2014 Windsor, Ontario Windsor Family Credit Union
03.03.2014 Barrie, Ontario Barrie Molson Centre
03.04.2014 Sudbury, Ontario Sudbury Arena
03.07.2014 Peterborough, Ontario Peterborough Memorial Centre
03.08.2014 Kingston, Ontario K-ROCK Centre
03.10.2014 Fredericton, New Brunswick Aitken Centre
03.13.2014 St. Johns, Newfoundland Mile One Stadium
03.15.2014 Cornerbrook, Newfoundland Pepsi Centre
03.17.2014 Sydney, Nova Scotia Centre 200
03.18.2014 Halifax, Nova Scotia Metro Centre
03.20.2014 Moncton, New Brunswick Moncton Coliseum
03.21.2014 Quebec, City Pavillon de la Jeunesse
03.25.2014 London, Ontario Budweiser Gardens
03.27.2014 Toronto, Ontario Air Canada Centre
03.28.2014 Montreal, Quebec Bell Centre
03.29.2014 Ottawa, Ontario Canadian Tire Centre
03.31.2014 Thunder Bay, Ontario Fort William Gardens
04.01.2014 Winnipeg, Manitoba MTS Centre
04.02.2014 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Credit Union Centre
04.04.2014 Edmonton, Alberta Rexall Place
04.05.2014 Calgary, Alberta Stampede Corral
04.06.2014 Red Deer, Alberta Enmax Centrium
04.08.2014 Cranbrook, B.C. Western Financial Place
04.10.2014 Victoria, B.C. Save-On Foods Memorial Centre
04.12.2014 Abbotsford, B.C. Abbotsford Entertainment Centre