Big Interview: We catch up with Jake from Hedley to talk science and the art of swimming in cereal…

Canadian band Hedley have been making some serious waves over in their home country for a while now but the boys are ready to start their UK takeover with the release of their new single ‘Anything’ and it’s, ahem, colourful video. We caught up with Jake from the band to talk science and making out in a fridge… ooh er. 

MP!: So, on Maximum Pop! you know, we’d like to bring you an amazing new act we think are exciting. You’re welcome. Today is Jake Hoggard live from Hedley… how is it going man?

Jake: Good, absolutely my friend, I’m good. How are you doing?

MP!: Well, thank you. Welcome to the UK. Are you enjoying it so far?

Jake: Yeah man, I couldn’t complain.

MP!: Have you done any, you know, traditional British things? Have you had just seven cups of tea a day, that kind of thing?

Jake: You know, I’ve been going hard on the fish and chips, I’m not gonna lie to you man.

MP!: Good man.

Jake: It’s really starting to effect me though my skin’s all shiny now…

MP!: It’ll weigh you down, you need to bounce it out, that’s fine….. So, Hedley are pretty new in the UK. I’d sort of describe you as maybe like a kind of badass Maroon 5, is that kind of fair enough?

Jake: Yes, every time you use “bad” in description, I’m down.

MP!: That’s kind of like it. So your video, your single ‘Anything’, it’s an amazing video, it’s pretty epic. How accurate is that to your life? ‘Cause watching the video I’d guess you’ve spent kind a lot of time like, fairly naked in a big house with lots of girls.

Jake: Yeah, totally, rolling around on bare skin sucks!

MP!: So they just rock up to your house, turn the camera on and that’s what was going on?

Jake: Yeah, you know, honestly enough for that video, I didn’t know they were filming… you know. No, that video was kind of, we just wanted to capture what, like, maybe just take the extremities of how often it can kind of like, go that way in our lives and honestly we don’t like constantly living in a Pinocchio style menagerie of fireworks shooting out of a caravan, but you know, I think the reason why we call the album ‘Wild Life’ is just because of how often and unpredictable that kind of fun can get sometimes. I think that’s why the video sort of went in that direction too. I think the song and particularly anything that sort of speaks in such a positive direction, as far as everybody’s ability to be want they wanted to be and do want they want, and we wanted to take that concept and apply it to the video…

MP!: Nice. What was like ideas meeting for the video, ‘cause I’m guessing there’s a lot of people sat around and sort of brainstorming stuff that was gonna happen. How did that go?

Jake: You know, well, if I have to be quite honest, maybe the most catalytic part of that video process was going to the prop house that we went to the day before. So a big group of us went and started mucking about at the prop house first, ‘cause we were still sort of in pre-production and that part was maybe the most like where s**t really got rolling, like “Oh, we can totally screw around with this”. We got kicked out of a couple of prop houses just because we were messing around there, instead of on the video shoot!

MP!: Yeah, if you haven’t seen the video yet, I’m just gonna get you some of the main points, I got a few questions about it… there’s a part where you float with helium balloons. Discuss that. How did that happen?

Jake: Oh, mostly science.

MP!: Oh, yeah I know. I’ve heard of it.

Jake: Yeah, no that was actually a little more CGI. We shot on a green screen and I think that, as much as we wanted to make this kind of real time moment of insanity, it was also a kind of to be able to be more artistically creative with some of the visuals and obviously with film you can kind of push some boundaries, visually with effects… you can also challenge yourself, maybe with more artistic elements.

MP!: Yeah, nice. And there’s also a part where you bath in cereal. Whose idea was that?

Jake: Yeah, that’s our boy, Dave. We had him in a giant bath full of cereals being fed by naked models. I think that idea came out of like, maybe being as extreme as possible, conceptually anyway, because some of that stuff makes you go “What? How? Why?” even, so, I think that’s what we were shooting for.

MP!: I’m not sure you do want to eat the cereals, all over your body.

Jake: I did, I was all about it.

MP!: Fair play, get stuck in, get stuck in. There’s also some people who are making out in a fridge, tell me about it.

Jake: Yeah, that was a good one too. That’s typically me, but I was busy doing something else, so they had to get a stand in…

MP!: So you had a stand in person to make out with a girl… awkward.

Jake: Yeah, no, I had a stand in girl to make out with a guy!

MP!: Fair play. And also, there’s a man who’s got the word ‘Anything’ shaved in his head as well…

Jake: Yeah, so that was our director, actually.

MP!: Oh, did he agree to that or did that happen sort of against his will?

Jake: Yeah, no he was super hyped on the idea, and then after that I shaved his whole head off. We had this other cat, he was a really great friend of ours, he was actually one of the producers of the video, we shaved off his entire body off for it.

MP!: Wow. You’ve got a committed team. They’re pretty into you.

Jake: Oh yeah!

MP!: Nice. You had a show last night, right?

Jake: Yeah man, it was nuts.

MP!: Did any of those ideas from the video make it onto stage? Anyone, you know, bathing in cereal or?

Jake: No, I should have thought of that. But I think that if I got a chainsaw on the stage they might have just shut the place down.

MP!: Probably wise. How was that, was it good?

Jake: Man, it was insane. The crowd was great, it was really great to get back here and kind of play in front of a UK audience, it was really high energy and everybody was having a good time.

MP!: Yeah, what’s your live show like? Talk me through it. 

Jake: I mean, you know, I think when we get on stage we get back to our roots, you know. We were always a three piece rock’n’roll band, in that, we just kind of go really hard and the energy is always really high and it gets sweaty in the first six minutes and it kind of stays that way and it just gets wetter and better.

MP!: Amazing, that’s a good review. Tell us about the album as well, is there similar vibes from the album?

Jake: Yeah man, some of the tracks are but I think one of the things I’ve noticed in all of the albums we’ve done together is that it gets quite diverse and I think we might owe that to our ADD, which was always more of a hurt than a help, but in this case it was a really good way to keep changing things up. We were constantly looking for different ways to write music and different ways to kind of push it together, so it’s a great example of how every song just doesn’t sound the same, especially for us, I think that’s sort of a creative imperative.

MP!: That’s crucial. Also, what’s next for Hedley? What are you up to next?

Jake: Man, we’re kicking around Europe for a little bit longer and then we’re heading back to North America for the summer, we’ve got a lot of festivals to do there. Then we’re off to Australia and New Zealand, end of summer, and then we’re looking to get right back over to you, for the fall. Germany and France as well… but we’re stoked to get back here, it’s gonna be a fun year.

MP!: Yeah, busy time. So thank you very much!

Jake: Man, thank so much to you again. It was great talking to you.

Cheers, Jake! Remember kids, don’t try to recreate any of the stunts in the video. Especially swimming in cereal. Nobody wants Cheerios in their pants.

Hedley’s single ‘Anything’ is released today, June 30th.

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Written by Sally O

The latest member of the MP! team, Sally's busy writing pop gossip and working on her bio right now.

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