Although based in Abbotsford, BC, the band got its name from another BC town that was at one time for sale for $346,000. Fronted by former Canadian Idol contestant Jacob Hoggard, who placed third in the show’s second season, Hedley has established themselves as one of the hottest tickets in Canadian music today, and is rounded out by guitarist Dave Rosin, Tom Mac on bass and drummer Chris Cripplin.
Following Hoggard’s success on the show, which he was bet $150 he wouldn’t audition for, they were signed to Universal Music Canada and released their self-titled debut in 2005. Their debut single “On My Own” topped the Canadian singles chart, while the follow-up, “Trip” peaked at number 11. They pounded out the hits with a unique blend of eclectic beats and driving rhythms, pushing the videos for the first two singles, along with “321,” and “Gunnin” to the top of the MuchMusic Countdown. “Street Fight” became their fifth single, and was followed by “Villian.”
They closed the Juno Awards celebration in April 2006 with “On My Own,” after receiving a nomination for Rock Album Of The Year earlier in the evening. At the MuchMusic Video Awards barely a month later, they won Best Pop Video for “On My Own, and “Gunnin'” was nominated in two categories. A Stateside deal with Capitol Records was signed shortly after, and their debut album was re-released as ‘The Platinum Edition’, and included remixes of “On My Own,” “Trip,” and “Gunnin’.” With the album certified double platinum (200,000 units), Hedley had become an overnight sensation and household name and were one of the hottest tickets around. They toured the continent and caught a trip to the UK over the next year and a half, playing both a back up role and headlining other smaller venues with Simple Plan, Yellowcard, and Faber Drive.
They returned home and found themselves on the Juno ballot sheets again, with four nominations and a win for producer Brian Howes for “Trip.” TRY THIS AT HOME was in the stores by late spring of ’07, which featured 16 new tracks, plus videos and exclusive rare and behind the scenes video documenting the band. The lead off “Hedley For Life,” “Avad’s Birthday,” “Phantom Menace To Society,” and “Shire Tannannigans” helped keep the band on the road all over the globe for the next year and a half, pausing only briefly to head back to the studios and finish up their next project.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS, which hit the shelves in the fall of 2007, took only 10 days to go platinum. It showcased a band with a purpose, and definite maturity in their writing. “She’s So Sorry” topped the MuchMusic Countdown, and the video for “Never Too Late,” the band’s quasi-nod to their reggae influences wasn’t far behind. The power ballad “For The Nights I Can’t Remember” gained critical praise as one of the best crossover hits in recent years, charting high on radio stations across the country, as did “Old School,” which peaked at number 10, and “Dying To Live Again,” stalling at number 54.
2008 was a banner year for Hedley, earning their reputation for energetic performances and refusal to compromise their standards, and fans rarely leaving not wanting more. They toured with Simple Plan and Faber Drive again, as well as with MxPx, the Planet Smashers, the Idlesons, and the held down the coveted opening slot on Bon Jovi’s cross-Canada jaunt that year. The band took home four of the six awards they were nominated for at the Much Music Video Awards that year, including two in the Best Cinematography category.
The American division of Universal released the 12 song compilation package NEVER TOO LATEin the spring of ’09, with THE SHOW MUST GO ON following that fall, which featured the lead off “Cha-Ching” about the influence of television on society and its subsequent zombies, peaking at number 6 on the charts. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” quickly followed suit, making it to number 24. Maturity in the songwriting, lighthearted and emotional honesty shone through in other noteable tracks, like “Scream,” “Amazing,” “Sweater Song” and “Young and Stupid,” and again helping them fill the stands across the globe with the likes of Fefe Dobson, Stereos, Faber Drive and Boys Like Girls.