Tuned In With Hedley's Jacob Hoggard

The Canadian rocker and lead singer reflects on touring as the group makes its way across Canada in support of its latest album, Hello

Hedley portrait

Vancouver, B.C.-based pop-rock quartet Hedley has been busy since first forming in 2003: Jacob Hoggard was a Canadian Idol finalist, while the whole band performed at the 101st Grey Cup and are two-time JUNO Award winners. Not to mention their string of radio hits you’ve undoubtedly wailed along to, such as “On My Own,” “Cha-Ching”—performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics—and “Perfect.”

Moreover, since 2009, the members of Hedley have been active philanthropists, working as ambassadors for international charity Free The Children. Compelled to assist the poverty-stricken, the quartet has participated in campaigns that have taken them to Kenya, India and Ecuador, where they helped build new schools.

While on tour for their sixth full-length album, Hello (Universal Music), vocalist/guitarist/pianist Jacob Hoggard, 31, shares some insight into life on the road as the Canadian rockers cross the Great White North with the likes of pop phenom Carly Rae Jepsen and pop/R&B newcomer Francesco Yates.

CAA How is touring compared to actually creating an album? Is one more engaging than the other?

JH They’re different sides of the coin. I’m lucky to have two very different components to what I do instead of checking into the same book. It keeps things fresh. When you stop doing something, you have experiences but you have fresh ones that keep it all lively.

CAA What makes Hello fresh to you?

JH Perspective. I’m scouring the world for new and exciting stuff: things that inspire me. Music is a time stamp, reflective of where you’re at in life. It needs to represent you.

CAA Looking back must take you to an interesting state of mind.

JH Absolutely. Rehearsing for [the] tour… I go over old songs and I relive those days. It’s emotional and magical, like a time machine. I remember the moment I wrote those songs. You miss those people or need those emotions again.

CAA How does reflecting feel—be it on songs or on some of your accomplishments?

JH I don’t carry [successes] with me as much as I feel they’re just cool things.
I don’t dwell on the past. I look to the future. That’s what’s gotten us from A to B. We look at where we’d like to see ourselves. We need to raise the bar higher.

CAA People have a very romantic idea of touring life. What’s it really like?

JH You fall in love every night but there’s drudgery. I’ve toured every season…it’s always an adventure if you have an appetite for new experiences and risk. It’s exceptionally beautiful to wake up in a new city every morning. You don’t know where you are, what language they’re speaking or what the weather’s even like. If you relinquish control, embrace variability and mystery, it’s amazing.

CAA When you think of traversing this country, what comes to mind?

JH Ice, salt and sub-zero temperatures [laughs]. Amazing people and places. There are so many unique things about places we go that keep touring exciting. It’s an adventure every time. Canada is one of the most diverse, beautiful countries in the world. There’s nothing like it, from the Great Plains to the Canadian Shield and Rocky Mountains. The people reflect that diversity and it makes me proud to be in a band—and a Canadian.