Jacob Hoggard Of Hedley Speaks Exclusively To TheFeed
There’s three things I know about Vancouver emo rockers Hedley:
1. They rock.
2. They roll.
2. Singer Jacob Hoggard will do anything on a dare.
Last year his band members bet him $150 he wouldn’t try out for TV’s Canadian Idol. Not only did he try out, he was chosen as a contestant and made it almost all the way to the end and garnered tons of votes along the way. He did so well that he ended up having to bow out for fear he would actually win and be forced to become a horrible pop star!
Best of all, he backs up this daredevil attitude with a mighty fine rock band.
Hedley -- drummer Chris Crippin, bassist Tommy Mac and guitarist Dave Rosin -- have been kicking ass and taking names In Canada for years now, but are touring the U.S. with Yellowcard in support of its debut album trying to break open wide out here.
After slugging it out in the clubs, the band recorded a demo, got signed in Canada, and began working with mega-producers Gggarth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Trapt, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Brian Howes (Hinder, Closure, DDT).
In December 2005, Hedley released their self-titled debut in Canada to instant success and acclaim. Within months the album went Platinum and produced three chart-topping hits. “On My Own” and “Trip” both went to #1, and “321” became the most played video on Much Music, with the group earning two Juno nominations in the process.
TheFeed had a chance to chat with Jacob recently and found him to be a darn funny gent. We have no doubt he will be a big success here in the US of A. If not via MTV due to Hedley’s success, then via YouTube when his exploits inevitably get captured on film and race to the top of the Featured Videos charts.
Read on… if you dare…
G4: Hola! Hey Jacob, what’s happening?
JACOB: Ah, it’s going all right. It’s a little cloudy in L.A., so I’m a little disappointed.
G4: Yeah! Well, it’s better to be that then the blistering intense heat wave we had a few weeks ago. It was a hundred and twenty degrees!
JACOB: That’s “take off your pants” weather.
G4: That’s “your skin melts” weather. That’s horror movie weather.
JACOB: “Fry an egg weather on the sidewalk” weather.
G4: I actually DID fry an egg on the sidewalk. Sort of a hobby of mine. Anyways, I’m sure you’re getting asked this a lot, but how did you end up on Canadian Idol?
JACOB: It was pretty much a dare that got out of hand. REALLY out of hand. I showed up to the audition, hung over with puke all over my shirt, and just totally didn’t care what happened, and I ended up beating everybody else there. I got really competitive with it, just to see how far I could get and beat people, and I ended up saying “Okay, that’s about enough of this.”
G4: How much control did you have over the material you’re singing on the TV show?
JACOB: I got to pick my songs. I went out one night in a tight blue spandex jumpsuit. It was cool because it was live national television. I’ve never done anything in my life like that before.
G4: Once you started doing well on the show, was there a part of you that thought, “Geez, I might as well see if I win.” Or would that have put you in a position where you’re like, signed to their label and signed to their management, and then you’d sort of be forced into bad pop stardom?
JACOB: Never. At no point in the competition was I interested in winning it.
G4: Since you did Canadian Idol thing as a dare. I’m curious as to what other sort of insane things you’ve done on a dare.
JACOB: I just finished eating a newspaper the other day, the entire newspaper. That was a trauma to my system.
G4: What does your poop look like after that?
JACOB: Black and white.
G4: Sort of a papier mache kind of thing?
JACOB: Yeah, I pooped the Classifieds. I stood up and was like, “Ooh! ’97 A Ford Taurus! That’s a good deal!”
G4: What else?
JACOB: We had a bottle of hair softener spray, and we were shooting flames through the cracks of our butts. We just came up with a Dare of the Week section of our website that’s going to be launching soon, where the fans come on and suggest anything and everything, like a top five.
G4: Are YOU the only guy in your band who’s committed to performing these dares?
JACOB: It’s all of us. We’re all pretty much retards. The thing is that we’re together all the time and eventually we kinda get bored and are left to our own devices to entertain each other. I mean, I think the biggest enemy to any touring band is boredom, and coming up with things to do isn’t very difficult for us.
G4: Well, it’s good that instead of falling into the normal rock ‘n’ roll trappings of heroin or alcohol, you guys are just eating newspapers and lighting your asses on fire.
JACOB: Our drugs are singe-ing pubic hairs and drinking.
G4: Well, that’s terrific. I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing or not but good for you, champ! As far as Hedley goes, what are some of your musical influences?
JACOB: Probably my biggest is Jimmy Eat World. I’ve always loved them. And Bob Marley was the first tape I ever bought. I grew up in church as a kid so I was always in choir and I took piano lessons since I was six. So I’ve always been surrounded with music from all different aspects. Even in school I was in band and choir and it was definitely a ticket for a lot of people to pour milk in my locker, but that was fine.
G4: Are you guys big videogame fans?
JACOB: All four of us have PSPs now. So we bought those, bought a slew of games for them and trade the games, so we can play wirelessly in the van and stuff.
G4: What sort of games you guys rocking?
JACOB: Actually our song “On My Own” is on the new ATV game coming out for Playstation. But, um, I’ve been playing a lot Tony Hawk now and I got FIFA ’06 cause I’m a huge soccer fan and my team won the World Cup, so that was pretty awesome. I own Xbox, and Xbox 360, and we have it all rigged up to have Halo tournaments and stuff.
G4: Do you guys ever play against other bands or just each other?
JACOB: Yeah, with MXPX. Actually, we’re wiring tour buses together with an Ethernet cable between them and playing across when we’re parked.
G4: Ooooh, when you’re stopped?
JACOB: ‘Cause it would be REALLY amazing if you were driving with an Ethernet cable between buses!
G4: That might be hazardous. We don’t want to cut anyone’s head off.
JACOB: Well, maybe on a dare you might wanna cut someone’s head off…
G4: It’s only funny if it’s a dare.
JACOB: Yeah! It’s only funny if it’s a dare! Hey, I almost died the other day. We were in Boston and an alcoholic told me to take my pants off and do a handstand on the edge of Yellowcard’s trailer and I fell off and smashed my shin on the corner of it. I took out an enormous chunk of flesh and bone out of my shin. I’m lucky I didn’t break my leg, but I’m almost fully recovered.
G4: It’d be kind of a bummer for you to have to finish the tour in a cast and then explain to the audience every night what happened.
JACOB: “I bet you’re wondering why I’m sitting down right now.”
G4: What kind of videogames were you into when you were a kid?
JACOB: I wasn’t allowed to play a lot of violent videogames because I was the kind of kid who would put down that controller and become that character. You know, grab the nearest broomstick, or baseball bat, or sword, or whatever it was and promptly accost my little sister.
G4: Yeah, thank god they didn’t have, like, Grand Theft Auto when you were a little kid. You might have picked up a gun and blasted somebody.
JACOB: Yeah, no kidding. I wasn’t that explicit, but I definitely liked re-enacting TV shows. I wasn’t even allowed to watch Ninja Turtles or Ghostbusters or anything, ‘cause I would just fight all the time, push my neighbor kids’ friends over.
JACOB: But later on I had NES. But I never had Super NES, or Sega, or anything like that. I played the Motorbike game a lot, and Super Mario 3?
G4: What other hobbies do you have, like when you’re not touring?
JACOB: Oh, I like to masturbate.
JACOB: I’m on my computer a lot. I like editing. I like editing videos and making short films, and we have boundless, endless footage, so that’s not a problem. I make little clips for our website.
G4: Got any advice for a young rocker out there on the scene?
JACOB: Umm... discretion and protection.
JACOB: And if no one’s around to see you, what’s the point in NOT stealing?
G4: I have been saying that for years.
JACOB: And because you didn’t bring her up, in reference Celine Dion, I’d like to extend to you, the American public, my most sincere apologies.
G4: You feel like she’s not really representing your great nation?
JACOB: I-I-I I’m just ashamed.
G4: Yeah, you probably should be. I mean, I can’t blame you personally, but I can certainly blame your people. Like everyone says, “Blame Canada.”
JACOB: We’re a sponge, dude. We take it. We’re strong.
G4: No, you guys are great. And there’s so many worse people out there. Why not blame Iraq, you know what I mean?
G4: They’ve done FAR worse things than Celine Dion. They, like, torture people and kill babies.
JACOB: Now, if we could get Celine Dion to Iraq, that might solve everyone’s problem.
G4: Perfect, dude.
Check out G4's Hedley photo gallery here.