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ATP! Interview: Hedley

In the music scene these days, bands seem to come and go before they even have a chance to really get started. Your new favorite band releases one EP and the next minute they’re breaking up. Longevity in this business takes hard work, and Hedley, about to release their fifth album, have what it takes to achieve it.

Their new album, Wild Life shows a more pop-influenced Hedley than previous albums, and bassist Thomas MacDonald, AKA Tommy Mac, tells Alter The Press it’s a natural evolution. “We’ve never been the guys to release two albums that sound the same" he says, "We have to be conscious of evolving with people who are into our music.”

Since the band has been together for so long, having just passed their nine-year anniversary, evolving and changing with their older fans is important, but they still want to attract newcomers. “Not everyone nine years later is going to want to hear about a dude singing about just being a kid and ‘screw your parents’ and everything else. We’ve just been fortunate enough to just naturally grow with our audience,” Tom says.

“The album is all over the place,” he continues. “The album goes from asking ‘What the hell is wrong with this world?’ to ‘We’re all in this together,’ to ‘Hey, if you go out with us tonight you’re probably gonna end up in jail with us!"

The song “Anything” is his pick to sum up the whole album. “I think at the end of the day the message is that you can do anything as a person," he says, "I think that really sums up all of the messages that were on the record.”

Hedley is composed of members that all come from very different musical backgrounds and Tom believes that’s why they mesh so well and come out with the music they do. “There’s a certain amount of magic involved in creating music. Without sounding too hippieish,” he laughs. “Our magic is created by the fact that we have four very different guys in the band with four very different schools of thought and influences.”

Tom and drummer Chris Crippin come from metal backgrounds, while vocalist Jacob Hoggard is a reggae fan and guitarist Dave Rosin is an “AP guy for sure.” Tom believes the different influences and backgrounds are what come together to make the Hedley sound.

This magic the band has is also what has helped keep it going for nine years and counting. “I think we entered into this as a marriage. Look, we’re not going to get divorced. There’s not going to be anybody leaving. This is like a gang, you either die or you’re in the fucking gang,” Tom chuckles. “Nobody’s disposable, everyone’s opinion counts. Everything we do together matters.”

The gang has been on the road for eight weeks on the Wild Live tour across Canada and it continues to Europe in May. Touring is a big part of the business and Tom enjoys finding redeeming qualities and beauty in every city they go to. “Apparently the single is taking off in Germany so we’re really excited to go over there,” he says. “After that we go back to the States. There’s just no rest for the wicked.”

- Lauren Jones

Wild Life will be released on May 20th via Capitol. Pre-order your copy today via iTunes. You can read our review of the band's new album here.

Alter The Press!